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Watching the World

Watching the World

Gulf of Mexico

After an April 2010 accident on an oil platform, huge amounts of oil and gas gushed into the sea for nearly three months. A study by one team of researchers found that two and a half months after that, some of the pollutants had disappeared—devoured, they concluded, by bacteria with a taste for methane. Some experts are skeptical, however. They believe that much of the oil has sunk to the ocean floor.


According to one survey, 59 percent of Russians aged 18 to 35 believe that “to attain success in life, you sometimes have to go against your moral principles and standards,” reports the newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.


Some of the oldest corncobs ever found (such as the one shown above) suggest that the inhabitants of northern Peru were making popcorn and corn flour at least 3,000 years ago.


Lucio Soravito De Franceschi, the Catholic bishop of Adria-Rovigo, believes that a religious message ought to favor having “direct contact with individuals” where they live. “Our pastoral care should go from ringing church bells to ringing doorbells,” he says.

South Africa

The street value of rhinoceros horn for medical use has risen to as high as $65,000 (U.S.) per kilogram (2.2 lb). In 2011, in South Africa alone, a record 448 rhinos were slaughtered by poachers. Museums and auction rooms in Europe have been broken into by gangs seeking the horns. Even rhinos in European zoos are thought to be at risk.