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f you're going to make "forever" stamps, it's hard to go wrong by invoking Rosa Parks' long-lasting legacy.
On Monday, the United States Postal Service began to issue their new Parks stamps -- called forever stamps because their rates never change -- to honor the civil-rights figure, who died in 2005. The stamp shows a portrait of Parks painted by Thomas Blackshear II. Monday would have been her 100th birthday.
In 1955, in Montgomery, Ala., Parks -- then 42 years old -- refused to give up her seat on a city bus so that a white man could sit down. This broke the law; buses at that time were segregated. She was arrested.
A 381-day bus boycott began, led by a charismatic young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King Jr. Parks appealed her charge, and the U.S. Supreme Court soon ruled bus segregation unconstitutional. The modern civil-rights era had begun, and Parks would become known as its "accidental matriarch."
Some consider this view of Parks oversimplified, a view presented in a new book by Jeanne Theoharis, released last week, called "The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks."
Last week Hillary Clinton stepped down from her position as secretary of state amidst speculation about whether she'll consider a 2016 bid for the presidency. For decades Clinton has embodied the conflicted status of women in power, with very public roles as a wife, mother and first lady, two terms in the Senate and four years as secretary of state.
On the one hand, Clinton's career highlights how far women have come. Just 20 years ago, there were only three women in the Senate (versus 20 today) and there had never been a woman secretary of state. On the other hand, a glance at the proportion of women in public positions of power — whether it's Senate seats (20 percent women) or board seats at Fortune 500 companies (16.6 percent women) — reveals that we have a long way to go.
Last month, a symposium at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology considered "when and why women step back from status," focusing on the subtle social pressures that reinforce traditional gender roles and cast women as nurturers rather than leaders. This research sheds light on why women may be less likely to pursue public positions of power and why they face extra challenges when they do.
New secretary of state John Kerry reported for duty Monday, acknowledging that as Hillary Rodham Clinton's successor he has "big heels to fill" and promising to protect US foreign service workers from terrorist attacks overseas.
On his first day at the office in his new job, the former senator and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate was greeted with loud cheers by employees of the State Department and the US Agency for International Development.
As the first man in the post in eight years, Kerry referred to his two most recent predecessors, Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, by asking in jest: "Can a man actually run the State Department?"
"I don't know," he answered. "As the saying goes, I have big heels to fill."
A judge at Guantánamo Bay refused Monday to suspend a pretrial hearing for the prisoner accused of orchestrating the attack on the USS Cole, ruling that defense lawyers had offered no evidence supporting their suspicion that the CIA can eavesdrop on private conversations with their client.
Army Col James Pohl said that unless the defense can offer evidence of eavesdropping, the hearing for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri would continue.
"I can't stop a trial simply because something might happen," Pohl told defense attorney navy Lt Cmdr Stephen Reyes during a heated exchange at the start of the scheduled four-day hearing.
Pohl granted ali-Nashiri's lawyers a three-hour recess to consider whether they can ethically continue representing him if they suspect that their privileged conversations are being monitored.
An Iraqi war veteran has been charged with murdering ex-US Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle and his neighbour in Texas.
Eddie Ray Routh, 25, is accused of the shootings at a gun range on Saturday.
Mr Kyle and his neighbour Chad Littlefield were reported to have been trying to help Mr Routh deal with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Mr Kyle, 38, wrote the 2012 bestseller American Sniper, about the psychology of a sniper, in which he said that he had killed more than 250 people.
He served four tours of duty in Iraq and was decorated for bravery.
President Obama today awarded 12 eminent researchers theNational Medal of Science and 11 extraordinary inventors the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government upon scientists, engineers and inventors. The recipients received their awards at a White House ceremony. This marks the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the first National Medals of Science in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy.
“I am proud to honor these inspiring American innovators,” Obama said when the awardees were announced. “They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this nation great–and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment.”
Leaders of the anti-tax Tea Party are fuming about plans by some Republican strategists to tap the party’s wealthy donors and raise money to help “electable” candidates win primary races.
Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for Conservative Victory Project, said in an e-mail today that Republicans lost some Senate races last year and in 2010 because of “undisciplined candidates running bad campaigns.” The new group “seeks to help elect the most conservative candidates in Republican primaries who can win in general elections.”
President Barack Obama pressed Congress on Monday to at least hold a vote on banning assault weapons, the most contentious part of his plan to curb gun violence in the United States.
Obama's comments suggested a realization in the White House that it will be difficult to get such a ban passed by lawmakers, despite consistent public support for the measure.
Opposition is high in Congress, including among some Democrats, and by calling simply for a vote, Obama seemed to acknowledge that even getting that far - let alone having an assault weapons ban approved - would be a struggle.
"We should restore the ban on military style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines. And that deserves a vote in Congress, because weapons of war have no place on our streets," Obama said as uniformed law enforcement officers stood behind him at the Minneapolis Police Department's Special Operation Center.
Myanmar's government held talks with top commanders of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) rebel group in China on Monday to try to rescue a faltering peace process and end one of the country's bloodiest ethnic conflicts.
The KIA is fighting for autonomy for Kachin state within a federal Myanmar, which successive governments of the ethnically diverse country have long rejected.
The two sides met for seven hours in Ruili, just inside Chinese territory and afterwards issued a vaguely worded joint statement that said further talks would be held in the next few weeks, aimed at setting up a communications channel and monitoring system, to enforce a ceasefire "as soon as possible".
Not just the identity of the man in the car park with the twisted spine, but the appalling last moments and humiliating treatment of the naked body of Richard III in the hours after his death have been revealed at an extraordinary press conference at Leicester University.
There were cheers when Richard Buckley, lead archaeologist on the hunt for the king's body, finally announced that the university team was convinced "beyond reasonable doubt" that it had found the last Plantagenet king, bent by scoliosis of the spine, and twisted further to fit into a hastily dug hole in Grey Friars church, which was slightly too small to hold his body.
The Canadian penny is being withdrawn from circulation because production costs have exceeded its monetary value.
The Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute the coin to financial institutions around the country, but it will remain legal tender.
The government has advised shop owners to round out prices to the nearest nickel (5p) for cash transactions.
Other countries that no longer use the penny include New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden.
Despite the change on Monday, electronic transactions can still be billed to the nearest cent.
The government has estimated that the coins, which bear the image of Queen Elizabeth II and two maple leaves, cost about C$11m (£7m) each year to make.
Spiegel Online International
A German archbishop is under fire for appearing to liken recent criticism of the Catholic Church to a Nazi-era pogrom. The cleric, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, had said that "targeted discrimination campaigns" against the church sometimes reminded him of a "pogrom sentiment."
The doctrinal watchdog of the Catholic church, German Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has run into criticism from politicians for saying the church was being subjected to a "pogrom sentiment" because of its position on the ordination of women, same-sex partnerships and the celibacy of priests.
Spiegel Online International
The Greek right-wing extremist party Golden Dawn has established contacts with German neo-Nazis in Bavaria. The group, which is represented in Greek parliament, is also attempting to set up a cell in the southern German state.
The Greek right-wing extremist party Golden Dawn is establishing close contacts with Bavarian neo-Nazis and began setting up a cell in Nuremberg last year. The party, known in Greek as Chrysi Avgi, even held a conference in the southern German city recently.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Dell Inc moved closer to a nearly $24 billion buyout deal, with price negotiations narrowing to $13.50 to $13.75 a share in what would be the biggest leveraged buyout since the financial crisis.
Talks between Dell, the world's No. 3 computer maker, and a consortium led by its founder and chief executive, Michael Dell, to take the company private were in the final stages on Monday, a person familiar with the matter said.
An outcome is expected soon, the person said, cautioning that no final agreement had been reached and negotiations could still break down.
Dell shares fell 2.6 percent to $13.27 in afternoon trading.
Microsoft Corp, which provides its Windows software for Dell computers and is also part of the investment consortium, is expected to invest around $2 billion in the deal, while private equity firm Silver Lake is expected to put in about $1 billion, the source said.
Environmental campaigners say that a draft plan to respond to an oil spill in the Arctic ocean is inadequate and vague.
The proposal has been in preparation for two years as oil companies look to increase exploration in the region.
Greenpeace says it fails to get to grip with the risks of an accident in an extremely sensitive location.
Ministers from the eight nation Arctic Council are due to discuss the plan at a meeting in Sweden tomorrow.
As summer ice in the Arctic has declined in recent years, the area has become the subject of intense interest from oil and gas companies. Estimates from the US Geological Survey indicated that there could be 60 billion barrels of oil in the region.
With the Superdome in New Orleans in near-darkness, the cookie giant sent out a tweet that proved the power of mastering social media.
Anyone watching the Super Bowl this evening saw a great game -- and one of the greatest embarrassments in pro sports history: a power outage that halted play for a full half-hour.
As the eventual champion Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers -- and tens of thousands inside New Orleans' Superdome and millions watching on TV -- waited, Oreo came up with an idea so brilliant and bold that it out and out won the night.
Despite Apple's best efforts to keep users from gaining deep access to its iOS software, it's proven to be a cat-and-mouse game that just won't quit.
The latest -- from the mouse front -- is a tool called evasi0n, which was released this morning. The software jailbreaks the most recent version of Apple's iOS 6 software, something that's already been accomplished. However this new, much-awaited tool continues to work even if you restart your iPhone or iPad, and also works with the iPhone 5.
The software itself runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux and can be used on "all iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini models running iOS 6.0 through 6.1," its creators say. Once installed, users can install applications on their phone outside of Apple's App Store using tools like Cydia. Some of those same software tweaks can also be used to make major changes, like reskinning the operating system, or adding extra functionality.
February 4, 2013, 2:53 p.m.
MENLO PARK, Calif.
Samsung disclosed more details Monday of the company's planned Silicon Valley innovation center, including plans for increased venture capital investment in the U.S.
The South Korean tech giant is making a big push to expand its Silicon Valley footprint on several fronts. One effort previously announced was a Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, or SSIC, located on the valley's famed Sand Hill Road, the epicenter of the region's venture capital industry. However, few details were previously available.
10 tech companies to watch in 2013
Young Sohn, Samsung's president and chief strategy officer, said the center has actually been open at least since August and would be a place where Samsung's nine product divisions can tap into Silicon Valley's innovation economy to help it continue to navigate the tremendous disruption occurring as the world moves into the post-PC era.
"That’s an opportunity for Samsung," Sohn said. "And that’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs."
Sohn said SSIC will have its headquarters in Menlo Park, but will eventually establish other offices in other global innovation hot spots. The SSIC will invite a number of fellows to join the center to conduct research there, as well as mentor and reach out to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.