(CHICAGO) — President Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago plans to name a high school after him.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday announced plans to build Barack Obama College Preparatory High School. The selective enrollment high school will be open for the 2017-2018 school year. Chicago Public Schools says its enrollment will be 1,200 students.
Emanuel and school officials say Chicago needs more competitive selective enrollment schools. They say nearly 16,500 students applied for 3,200 seats this school year. The Obama school will be the 11th selective enrollment high school in Chicago.
School officials say the Obama school will open with a freshman class of 300 students. Subsequent grade levels will be added in following years.
Chicago Public Schools is the nation’s third-largest school district, with 400,000 students in 658 schools.
The FDA approved Thursday an human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test for women aged 25 or older for use as a first-line screening method to determine a woman’s risk for cervical cancer.
The new tool samples women’s cervical cells and looks for 14 high-risk HPV strains. The so-called cobas HPV test, developed by Roche, looks specifically for the most dangerous strains, HPV 16 and HPV 18, while also searching for signs of the 12 other strains.
An FDA advisory committee unanimously agreed in March that the test should be approved by the FDA as a primary screening tool for HPV. Some argue the cobas test is a better screening tool than the pap smear. Currently, women are tested for HPV after a Pap smear shows abnormal changes on their cervix or if a physician gives her a test during a standard appointment. But the new test from Roche is a more precise diagnostic because it can identify the risk of cervical cancer in the pre-cancer stages.
The FDA also provided guidelines for how the test should be used. Women who test positive for HPV 16 or HPV 18 should have a colposcopy, which magnifies the cervix so a physician can better assess the abnormal cells. Women who test positive for the other strains should then have a pap test to determine if they need to undergo a colposcopy.
As TIME previously reported, it’s not likely the new test will completely replace the pap smear, as it will take some time for physicians to start implementing it. However, Roche’s trials showed it was better than the Pap smear in detecting cancerous lesions.
HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer, making screening for the virus extremely important. In most cases, a high-risk infection will go away on its own, but about 10% of infected women become at risk for developing cervical cancer. Almost all cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV.
The Bronx Zoo got two new additions this spring: a pair of baby gorillas. One was born on March 10, the other on April 17. Though they have two different mothers, Julia and Tuti, they share the same father, Ernie. Zookeepers haven’t determined the sex of the two babies yet because they have not been able to get close enough to examine them, the New York Daily News reports.
Newborn gorillas weight between 4 and 5 pounds, though they will grow to be between 350 and 450 pounds if male or 150 to 250 pounds if female.
The babies are the first newcomers to the zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest in eight years. Western lowland gorillas, native to equatorial Africa, are critically endangered.
Water is in the air nearly everywhere on earth, even in the most parched desert. But that doesn’t help much when you’re thirsty because most of that H20 is in its vaporized form, not its handy liquid state.
To solve that dilemma, an Israeli startup based in Rishon LeZion has developed a portable water generator, which extracts water from the air by sucking it in and cooling it down, much like an air conditioner, but a lot more efficient. “We bring the water in the air to the dew point and recycle the cold air so we can reuse it to cool the water even more,” Water-Gen CEO Arye Kohavi told TIME.Courtesy Water-Gen
Called the Atmospheric Water Generation Unit, the generator-powered device can produce up to 450 gallons of clean water a day for as little as eight cents a gallon. (It needs about 310 watt-hours of energy to make a liter — just over a quart — of drinking water.) Available in either ground or vehicle configurations, the units are no lightweights, weighing in at about 1100 and 175 pounds, respectively. Prices start at $18,000 for the Gen-40 vehicle model and $30,000 for the larger, Gen-350 ground unit (shown at left).
Ok, so chances are you won’t be hauling them around on your next camping trip. But the units are quickly gaining traction in the military sector and are currently being tested by armed forces from seven countries, including the United States, India, France and Mexico.
Water-Gen isn’t the first company to market such a device, but Kohavi says his units are more energy efficient because they reuse the cool air generated while converting water vapors to liquid to create even more water. He’s also working on adapting the technology for personal use in clothes dryers and dehumidifiers that could speed drying time by as much as a third.
McDonald’s is giving its long-time mascot a makeover. Ronald McDonald, the iconic clown that kids love and adults find quietly menacing, is getting a more modern look. The character will now sport a yellow vest and cargo pants instead of a jumpsuit, as well as a red-and-white striped rugby shirt. He’ll also don a red blazer and bowtie for “special occasions,” the company says. The outfits were crafted by Broadway theatrical designer Ann Hould-Ward, who said in a press release that designing clothes for the fast-food mascot was “one of the highlights of [her] career.”
Expect the redesigned Ronald to be a more active presence on social media. McDonald’s plans to use the #RonaldMcDonald hashtag to allow the character to engage with online audiences, and the company has posted a video to YouTube of a Ronald photo shoot that shows him trying on his new threads. McDonald’s also confirmed that, yes, there will be selfies involved.
Ronald McDonald first appeared in 1963 in local McDonald’s ads in Washington D.C. and was named the brand’s national spokesman in 1966. Perhaps bringing more attention to his fixed, broad smile can help lift McDonald’s out of its current funk. The fast-food chain posted disappointing quarterly earnings this week, with same-store sales in the U.S. dropping more than analysts expected.
(LAGOS, Nigeria) — A Nigerian rights group is urging the United Nations to help secure the release of some 230 schoolgirls abducted by extremists 10 days ago.
More than 40 of the girls and young women kidnapped from a remote northeastern school escaped by themselves but school officials say 230 still are missing.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project called Thursday for several U.N. agencies to “urgently intervene” and provide “international assistance and support to the Nigerian authorities to secure the release of the children and to ensure that they get back to school.”
Nigeria’s military said it mounted a “hot pursuit” operation.
The mass kidnapping and a massive explosion that killed 75 hours earlier in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, strengthened fears the Islamic uprising is spreading and the military unable to stop it.
(WASHINGTON) — Michelle Obama’s annual question-and-answer session with the children of Executive Office employees took a serious turn Thursday when a 10-year-old girl in the front row told the first lady that her dad had been out of work for three years. Then the girl popped up to hand the first lady his resume.
The first lady seemed a little taken aback but then explained to the other children, who might not have heard the girl’s comment, that the matter was “a little private, but she’s doing something for her dad.” Mrs. Obama promised to deal with the matter later.
When the event ended, Mrs. Obama gave the girl, Charlotte Bell, a hug and then reached back to grab the resume off a table as she left the East Room. The first lady played host to the children at the White House on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
Charlotte’s family had joked over the weekend about making a job pitch to the first lady, but her parents didn’t know she would give it a try, according to her mother, an executive branch employee who did not want to be identified.
Charlotte’s father, Ben Bell, has been looking for a policy job for more than two years and recently has been trying to get a job with the Obama administration. He worked on the Obama campaign in 2012.
(WASHINGTON) — Federal health regulators have cleared a genetic test from Roche as the first U.S.-approved alternative to the pap smear, the decades-old mainstay of cervical cancer screening.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Roche’s cobas HPV test to detect the human papillomavirus, or HPV, in women 25 and older. HPV causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. Such DNA-based tests have been used for several years to confirm results from the pap tests. But Thursday’s decision means Roche can now market the test as a stand-alone option for cervical cancer screening, without the pap test.
The decision comes despite pushback from a number of women’s health groups, who warned regulators that approving the DNA test as an alternative to pap testing could lead to confusion, higher costs and overtreatment.
Selling the burning of Washington to Washingtonians turns out to be not so easy.MoreIs Today Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday? MaybeThe History of Technology, as Told in Wacky British Pathé NewsreelsMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostBritish Millionaire Fatally Shot, Bikini Model Ex Held by Police People
This summer marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Why, one might ask, is a war that began in Canada in 1812 and ended in 1815 in New Orleans being celebrated in Washington D.C. in 2014? “Although it seems rather morbid to celebrate the burning of Washington in the summer of 1814, it was the turning point of the war. It was the force that pushed the American side to really come out and push for the victory that culminated in the battle of New Orleans with Andrew Jackson a few months later,” says Leslie Jones, public programs manager at the National Center for White House History at Decatur House, one of a dozen organizations organizing events marking the anniversary.Popular Among Subscribers Barbara Brown Taylor Faces the Darkness Subscribe Shinzo Abe: The PatriotThe Blindness of Bigotry
But even though the U.S. won it, the War of 1812 seems to be the buck-toothed stepsister of American military victories. Jones and a small battalion of historians and curators are all very eager to talk about the important milestones of America’s second war of independence—Dolly Madison saving George Washington’s portrait from the White House fire; the brave, tiny militia of Washingtonians who tried to defend the city; Francis Scott Key’s ode to the Battle of Fort McHenry, otherwise known as the Star Spangled Banner — but despite their best efforts, there seems to be little interest thus far in marking the bicentennial.
Other historical anniversaries have fared better. The bicentennial of the American Revolution, for example, saw nearly a decade of celebrations that encompassed televised fireworks, concerts, speeches, nautical and ticker tape parades and a yearlong exhibit at the Smithsonian. It was the theme of Superbowl X as well as two American bids for the Olympics. The original planned name for the first space shuttle was Constitution, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the founding document, but that was before NASA engineers got carried away by Star Trek and switched the name to Enterprise.
The 150th anniversary of the Civil War that started last year saw the Steven Spielberg biopic Lincoln, a spate of books including Rise to Greatness by my colleague David Von Drehle, a History Channel series, an exhibit of Abraham Lincoln’s papers at the Library of Congress and more battle reenactments than can be counted.
Compared to all that, the celebrations for the War of 1812 seem modest indeed. On Flag Day on June 14, the Smithsonian will hold a concert and will display the U.S. flag that inspired Key to pen the nation’s anthem during the war. The annual July 4 Independence Day celebration of the National Mall will be 1812 themed.
But you’ll need to look hard for more events around the nation. Washington, Virginia and Maryland museums and landmarks will hold a “Muster the Militias” open house weekend on July 25-26 featuring free admissions, special tours and family programs. Bladensburg, Md. will unveil a monument commemorating that pivotal battle. Alexandria, Va. will hold a commemorative weekend of events, and the White House Historical Association will hold a half-day symposium entitled “America Under Fire.”
Aug. 24, the actual day of the 200th anniversary of the burning of the Capitol, will be celebrated in Washington with little more than a 5k run at the Historic Congressional Cemetery, a family festival in Georgetown and a beer festival at Yards Park. The only sponsors signed on thus far are the British, Belgian and Canadian Embassies, WAMU radio and On Tap Magazine, who is sponsoring the beer festival. However, there are cool commemorative stamps and coins to collect.
So why the relative lack of enthusiasm about 1812? Maybe because the U.S. is now best friends with the aggressor, Great Britain. But that didn’t seem to generate any awkwardness during the Revolutionary War bicentennial, when Queen Elizabeth was happy to visit to join in the celebrations. More likely, say some historians, it’s simply a lack of awareness.
“This is an area of history that is so not well known by the broader American public,” says Karen Daly, executive director of Dumbarton House, an historic Washington property that is now a museum. “I find when people visit Dumbarton House, an incredible number of Americans don’t even know this event even happened. They tend to jump from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. This area of history is glossed over in our schooling. And yet, this is what gave us our national anthem and it is very much the event that cemented the union and the democracy. It’s an incredible piece of our history.”
So come on America, have some pride for the 1812 War! We actually won this one.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told CNN Thursday that Malaysian officials may release a preliminary report on the disappearance of Flight MH370 next week.
“I have directed an internal investigation team of experts to look at the report, and there is a likelihood that next week we could release the report,” Najib said in an interview.
CNN says Malaysia’s report has already been sent to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations body for global aviation. However, it has not yet been made publicly available.
Malaysian and Australian officials are continuing to plan a long-term strategy to find the missing plane, which could continue for months or years. A U.S.-made Bluefin-21 submarine has been searching the southern Indian Ocean for the plane, but has not discovered a solid lead.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in early March with 227 people on board while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Beyoncé is pretty great at inspiring people to start hashtags —just think #serfbort and #iwokeuplikethis — but with the announcement today of her inclusion in this year’s TIME 100 and the exclusive premiere of the official video for “Pretty Hurts” on TIME.com, she’s decided to mint her very own. The superstar is asking fans to define the word pretty by posting photos that represent what the word means to them using the hashtag #WhatIsPretty.
Check out a few choice submissions below (if you like selfies and Beyoncé photos, you’re in luck).
Peter Jackson announced on Facebook Thursday that the third and final installment of the Hobbit films will be entitled The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
In choosing the new name, the Lord of the Rings director of the Lord of the Rings is completely eschewing author J.R.R. Tolkien’s original name for his fantasy book, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. Jackson split Tolkien’s book into three films, with the first titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the second The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
The studio has been referring to the third film as There and Back Again until now.
Jackson explained the name change in his Facebook post:
“There and Back Again” felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo’s arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived “there” in the “Desolation of Smaug.”
An Unexpected Journey grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, but The Desolation of Smaug only brought in a little over $950 million, according to Box Office Mojo. Though the returns were huge for both movies, the franchise still saw a decline this past holiday season. Perhaps Jackson and Warner Bros. (one of the studios behind the Bilbo Baggins epic) hope that the grander name The Battle of the Five Armies will do better at the box office.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is set to release in December of next year.
(LONDON) — A British private school said Thursday that images of between 50 and 60 of its students were found on the computer drive of an American suspected child predator who killed himself last month.
The FBI has asked for international help to find victims of William Vahey, who worked at 10 international schools around the world over four decades.
Graham Lacey, executive principal of the Southbank International School in London, where Vahey taught history and geography between 2009 and 2013, said staff learned of the images Thursday.
“As a staff, we feel upset, angry and betrayed,” Lacey wrote in a letter to parents. “We can only imagine what you as parents must feel.”
Vahey, 64, committed suicide March 21 in Luverne, Minnesota, two days after U.S. agents filed for a warrant to search his computer thumb drive.
The FBI said the device contained pornographic images of at least 90 boys, aged 12 to 14, who appeared to be drugged and unconscious.
In a statement, the FBI said Vahey had confessed to an administrator at his most recent school “that he was molested as a child and had preyed on boys his entire life, giving them sleeping pills prior to the molestation.”
The FBI said the photos dated from 2008 or after, but that Vahey may have abused children for decades.
The agency said Vahey was jailed for child molestation in California in 1969. Lacey said Vahey had undergone a criminal records check before he began working in London, but that it hadn’t found anything of concern.
British police said they had searched a London property in connection with the case and were working to identify and support potential victims.
Vahey had residences in London and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
To a half-century of moviegoers and TV fans, the name Steve McQueen meant a terse cowboy with squinty blue eyes. He starred in The Magnificent Seven and Bullitt, loved racing motorcycles and fast cars and died of cancer at 50, in 1980.MoreThird Hobbit Movie Officially Named Battle of the Five ArmiesGet Ready For A Third Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants MovieMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostPaul Walker Was a 'Kid at Heart,' Says His Brick Mansions RZA People
Then, in 2008, came Hunger, the spare, scalding film biography of IRA volunteer Bobby Sands, who starved himself to death in protest against his British captors. Festival and art-house audiences took admiring notice of the fiercely disciplined central performance by Michael Fassbender, and of the film’s director, an Englishman of Grenadian descent. Viewers had to do a little brain shift and realize he had the same name as the old movie star. Now there was a new Steve McQueen. That Steve McQueen.Popular Among Subscribers Barbara Brown Taylor Faces the Darkness Subscribe Shinzo Abe: The PatriotThe Blindness of Bigotry
The record is mute on whether our Steve McQueen, growing up in the London suburb of Ealing, experienced any recriminations, advantages or confusion over the coincidence of names. But he did have challenges in pursuing his calling. At 13, dyslectic and wearing a patch over his amblyopic “lazy eye,” he was shunted into a class for manual laborers. Securing a spot at NYU’s film school, which had trained Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Joel Coen, Vince Gilligan, Ang Lee, Spike Lee and many other worthies, McQueen got reprimanded by his professors — “They wouldn’t let you throw the camera up in the air,” he recalled — and soon split. Even after he won acclaim as a visual artist, his father kept urging him to get a proper job.
All his life, McQueen, 44, has been teaching his teachers — and as a filmmaker his audiences — to see his dark, stark, sensuous vision of humanity. That artistic persistence paid off two months ago, when, with 12 Years a Slave, he became the first black director to win the Oscar for Best Picture. What’s more impressive is that he achieved mainstream acclaim while working boldly and resolutely in the backwater of high culture’s visual arts.
He first attracted attention with his 10-min. silent film Bear (1993), in which he and another nude black man circle each other with menacing or erotic intent. The 1995 Five Easy Pieces shows a woman walking across a tightrope — in his words, “the perfect image of a combination of vulnerability and strength.” Deadpan (1997) reconstructs the famous scene from Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr.: the façade of a house falls on a man who isn’t hurt because an upper-story window is open. These studies of the body in motion or at rest earned McQueen the Turner Prize, Britain’s most prominent art award, for the “poetry and clarity of his vision, the range of his work, its emotional intensity and economy of means.” This was 1999, and he was 30.
(READ: Jessica Winter on Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen)
Nearly another decade passed before Hunger, McQueen’s first feature film, premiered at Cannes. Fassbender vaulted quickly to prominence, starring in Inglourious Basterds, Jane Eyre and X-Men: First Class, but always was available for films directed by his friend. In the 2011 film Shame, McQueen and Fassbender offered a vividly clinical depiction of satyriasis, as a Manhattan office-worker cruises the streets, bars and subways for new conquests that never fulfill him. Filmed in elegant, unrelenting long takes with very few traditional reaction shots, Shame has plenty of hot action but a frosty, distant tone, like pornographic activity on Earth as photographed from a space shuttle. Like Bear and Hunger, the movie reveals McQueen as a prime poet of the body, and the soul, in distress: from starvation or sexual misuse, or from the institutional sadism of slavery.
(READ: Corliss on Steve McQueen’s Shame)
Based on the 1854 memoir of free black man Solomon Northrup, 12 Years a Slave is a Holocaust film set on American soil, and a brutal rebuttal to the Confederate romance of Gone with the Wind. The plantation elite here do not confide intimacies to their slaves, and occasionally take orders from them, as Vivien Leigh did from Hattie McDaniel. Instead, they poke and stroke the bodies of their chattel; shy a heavy glass decanter at a slave girl’s head; and leave Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to be hanged in the front yard as the other slaves tend meekly and carefully to their chores. In an episode as grueling as the scourging in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Master Epps (Fassbender) applies dozens of lash whips to the scarred body of favorite mistress (Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o) and orders Solomon to do the same.
Other antislavery films reveled in the white man’s inhumanity to people he thought less than human; 12 Years a Slave made the spectator feel the sting of each indignity. To McQueen, it was a matter of finding new aspects in familiar territory. “I was just interested in telling the truth by visualizing it,” he told Decca Aitkenhead of The Guardian. “I mean, some images have never been seen before. I needed to see them. It’s very important. I think that’s why cinema’s so powerful.”
This searing epic, shot in just 35 days for about $20 million, grossed nearly $180 million worldwide and earned McQueen, as one of the film’s producers, an Oscar for Best Picture. (Alfonso Cuarón received the Director prize, for Gravity.) And this wasn’t the usual case of a director of radical independent films softening his vision for mass consumption, as David Lynch did on the road from Eraserhead to The Elephant Man, or Darren Aronofsky from Pi to Black Swan. McQueen’s approach was as harsh and uncompromising here as in any of his short films or earlier features. He didn’t go Hollywood. Hollywood, and the world, went to him.
With luscious, remorseless artistry, he has taught us to see things his unique way. And now our Steve McQueen is the Steve McQueen.
Hockey player Jordin Tootoo failed to make the Detroit Red Wings’ playoff roster and was recently sent to the team’s AHL affiliate, but he seems to be maintaining a pretty good attitude nonetheless.
While walking to the locker room during a recent game, Tootoo spotted a young fan and completely made the kid’s night (or week, or probably his entire life) by letting him keep his hockey stick. Seriously, has anyone else ever known euphoria like this?
Meanwhile, though, another young fan (who you’ll notice in the top right corner of the video) is just looking for a high-five, and Tootoo totally leaves him hanging. That boy’s complete and utter despair kind of cancels out this other kid’s unadulterated joy, reminding us once again that the world is a dark place and life is ultimately pointless and nothing really matters. Bye.
It’s hard out there for pop stars making videos this week. On Tuesday, a sneak peek of a Katy Perry’s “Birthday” video drew criticism for its stereotypical portrayal of a bar mitzvah DJ, and today Avril Lavigne is fighting off accusations that her wacky “Hello Kitty” video was totally racist.
On the Perry front: the full video for “Birthday” premiered today, and it does little to quell concerns. As expected, it features a supposedly incognito Perry crashing birthday parties as five different costumed characters (Halloween pro tip: Jewish people aren’t costumes), and together they leave behind a trail of chaos, crying children, car accidents and… animal poop. As with any Perry video, there’s a lot going on, but the faux-hidden camera hijinks here distract from the fact that “Birthday” is actually one of the better tracks on Prism, her disappointing follow-up to the confectionary perfection of 2010′s Teenage Dream.
Saudi Arabia has reported four new deaths and 36 more infections within the last day from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the Associated Press reports.
Among the newly infected is a 65-year-old Turkish pilgrim in Mecca, one of two cities where millions of Muslims from across the world will gather later this year for the Hajj, an annual Islamic ritual. Some health experts are concerned the gatherings will exacerbate MERS’ rapid spread to other countries.
Saudi Arabia has seen a spike in MERS infections in recent weeks, with many health workers among the sick and the dead. The Saudi Health Ministry says there have now been 297 cases and 85 deaths related to the virus since it first appeared in the country two years ago.
MERS is in the same family of viruses as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the common cold. MERS has no vaccine or treatment. It’s unclear how the virus is being transmitted, though some scientists theorize that the virus may have spread from camels. The virus does not spread as quickly as SARS. It’s possible MERS will die out on its own, though some are worried it could mutate into a more easily-spreadable disease.