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10 of the best cities offering quality life measured by traffic congestion, air quality, and personal safety
Mercer score: 108
GDP: $300.9 billion (2007 est.)
Population: 7,581,520 (total country); 347,517 (total city)
Life expectancy: 80.74 years
Mercer score: 107.9
GDP: $319.7 billion (2007 est.)
Population: 8,205,533 (total country); 1,825,287 (total city)
Life expectancy: 79.36 years
Mercer score: 107.6
GDP: $1.274 trillion (2007 est.)
Population: 33,212,696 (total country); 560,000 (total city)
Life expectancy: 81.16 years
Auckland, New Zealand
Mercer score: 107.3
GDP: $112.6 billion (2007 est.)
Population: 4,173,460 (total country); 1.18 million (total city)
Life expectancy: 80.24 years
Mercer score: 107
GDP: $2.833 trillion (2007 est.)
Population: 82,369,548 (total country); 1,332,650 (total city)
Life expectancy: 79.1 years
Mercer score: 106.3
GDP: $766.8 billion (2007 est.)
Population: 20,600,856 (total country); 4,297,100 (total city) read more »
Cartoons: Noah’s Ark - recession edition, Christmassy profit chart, Obama’s senate seat for bail-bonds, & more...
Images courtesy of John Klossner, Mike Peters / Dayton Daily News / King Features Syndicate, P.C. Vey, humor-in-photos-and-pictures.blogspot.com, Nick Anderson / Houston Chronicle, Hajo / CWS, and Riber / Cagle Cartoons
Ted Turner:“I’ve never asked for a bailout. Where does it end?” Big Three ask for $25 bil. Market’s bailout doubts
Time: “What did you think of the $700 billion bailout plan?”
Turner: “When I was running CNN we never had any money and I never asked for a bailout. Where does it end? AIG, you know, they need $40 billion more and we only gave them a hundred billion last week, didn't we? It's just ridiculous. And now General Motors. They said we're going to give them $25 billion to retool. Retool what? They'll run through that money so fast they'll be back wanting more. We can't keep every loser alive.”
Nobel Prize’08: Japan attracts top talents. Share chemistry prize, split physics award with American scientists
The Nobel Prize (Swedish: Nobelpriset) is a Swedish prize, established in the 1895 will of Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel; in his will, he used his enormous fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic element nobelium was named after him. It was first awarded in Peace, Literature, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Physics in 1901. An associated prize, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was instituted by Sweden's central bank in 1968 and first awarded in 1969.
"Land of Cheese" Asturias, Spain: thousands of caves hidden in hills used by residents for centuries to age cheese
We were in Asturias, a sliver of northern Spain that rests on the Bay of Biscay, and I had been drawn there by the region’s tagline: “The Land of Cheese.”
My pilgrimage had led me to the bat cave last September where I was following Raquel Viejo, a local woman whose family has lived in Asturias for generations. The specialty of the region — and what was stored on those shelves — is Cabrales, a blue cow’s cheese named after the town in Asturias where it was first made.
There are thousands of caves hidden in the hills here, and for centuries residents have been using them to age cheese. The specifics of each brand of cheese in various regions of Spain are regulated by a denomination of origin, or D.O., and Cabrales’s says it must be stored in cavelike conditions for at least two months so the good bacteria can kill off the bad. read more »
2009 will witness new US government: Obama, Biden; Hillary Clinton, President-elect’s pick for secretary of state
President-elect Barack Obama on Monday announced Sen. Hillary Clinton as his pick for secretary of state, calling her an "American of tremendous stature who will have my complete confidence."
"Hillary's appointment is a sign to friend and foe of the seriousness of my commitment to renew American diplomacy and restore our alliances," Obama said at a news conference in Chicago, Illinois. "I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton is the right person to lead our State Department and to work with me in tackling this ambitious foreign policy agenda."
Obama also confirmed that he is keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his current post. Rounding out his Monday announcements, Obama named retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones as his national security adviser, Eric Holder as attorney general, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary and Susan Rice as ambassador to the United Nations.
"I am confident that this team is what we need to make a new beginning for American national security," Obama said.
Clinton said leaving the Senate would be difficult for her, but said she believes that the best way for her to continue to serve the country is by joining Obama's administration. "Mr. President-elect, I am proud to join you on what will be a difficult and exciting adventure in this new century," she said at the news conference. Video Watch what Clinton says about her new role » read more »
Inaugural 2008 Asian Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia promote sports & culture: 6000 athletes, 71 events, 19 sports
About a month ago in Bali, Indonesia, the inaugural 2008 Asian Beach Games came to its conclusion. Intended to promote sports and culture, the games (held every two years) encourage tourism, support local economies and allow host countries like Indonesia to present a more global face to the world. The 2008 games brought 6,000 athletes to compete in 71 events in 19 sports. Sports included well-known games like beach volleyball and triathlon, and some sports better known to asians, like sepak takraw, kabaddi and pencak silat. The next Asian Beach Games are scheduled to be hosted by Oman in the year 2010.
The Indonesian team in action against Myanmar during the men's beach sepaktakraw on day six of the Asian Beach Games at Sanur Beach on October 23, 2008 in Bali, Indonesia.