Current Events Cheat Sheet: February 7, 2011

The protests in Egypt continue, and they’ve started to have some pretty big effects. Today is day 14 of the protests, and the gatherers’ biggest demand- that President Mubarak be ousted immediately- has not yet been met. Many journalists who have descended on the capitol to film the over 100,000 daily visitors have been arrested, though the government claims this is unintentional. What’s the American take on it all? Apparently, Obama’s administration is backing a plan that would put the current Vice President, Omar Suleiman, in charge of the government’s transition. Suleiman has already begun meeting with opposition leaders. This story has been going on for weeks and will continue to do so, so stay tuned.

Inspired by the events in Egypt, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in countries across the Middle East. In Jordan, King Abdullah II brought back a former, reformist prime minister to help create a more expansive, new government. In Syria, a massive Facebook campaign advocated for protests in the capitol, but few people actually showed up. The president, though, does acknowledge the need for reform.  In Yemen, rallies led to the president, who has been in power for over 30 years, agreeing not to run for reelection in 2013. Finally, protesters in Sudan demonstrated against their ruler, who has been president for 21 years, despite police arrests and beat downs. It’s incredible the amount of power that lay unharnessed across the region, just waiting for the spark that the Egyptian protests provided.
A man hiking in Scotland lost his footing on a peak and fell 1,000 feet…and survived. Rescuers found Adam Potter of Glasgow after the fall, standing up and fully conscious, referencing his map to see where he had landed. That distance is about the height of the Eiffel Tower…crazy! Amazingly, he suffered only a few broken bones in his back and scrapes on his face. The best part of the story may be the guy’s resolve- he still plans to climb Mount Everest in March.
In a huge media business deal, AOL will be buying the Huffington Post for $315 million. The Huffington Post (or Huffpo as media types call it) is one of the most read news sites on the Internet, averaging about 24 million monthly readers.  Many see this move as an attempt by AOL to gain back some of its popularity and prestige since the days of the dialup connection (oh I remember those days well… waiting and waiting and waiting; those nasty seven steps!) The well-known head of the HuffPo, Arianna Huffington, will remain in place, now spearheading the Huffington Post Media Group within AOL. Lots of people have been talking about the increasing amount of media consolidation for a long time, by the way, and this is definitely another example of it.
On Groundhog Day 2011, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, thus predicting the early onset of Spring. If only this little creature had any bit of weather-psychic abilities, it may provide some kind of comfort to those still buried in snow from the week’s epic storms. But, alas, the lil’ guy’s predictions have proven inaccurate over the years. It’s a sweet tradition though, right?
Picture of the week:
Photo courtesy of
Cars were immobilized on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive after the massive snowstorm this week that dumped over 20 inches of snow on the city. Some of the people inside were stuck for up to twelve hours and some just abandoned their rides for warmer pastures (a.k.a. anywhere else). So far about 30 cars remain unclaimed… um, can I have one?

Body Blog: A Little Bit Goes a Long Way
Body Blog: A Little Bit Goes a Long Way
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