From today's featured article
Darjeeling is a town in India's Eastern Himalayas, situated close to the borders with Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China. In the mid-19th century, when much of India was under East India Company rule, Darjeeling was founded as a summer retreat. On the slopes below, tea plantations were laid out where Darjeeling tea is grown. Thousands of labourers from the surrounding regions built the town and worked in the tea plantations. Their descendants constitute the majority of Darjeeling's residents today and give the town a cosmopolitan ethnic mix. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, ascending 2,100 metres (7,000 ft), is a World Heritage Site and a popular tourist experience. The local economy is largely dependent on tourism and tea growing. Population growth has made unregulated construction, traffic congestion and water shortages common. Deforestation has damaged the environment, including the springs that supply the town's water. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that wood type for printing (example pictured) was invented in China, first mass-produced in the United States, and later exported back to China for use by missionaries?
- ... that William Pinckney was only the second Black American to be awarded the Navy Cross, the highest decoration for valor in combat after the Medal of Honor?
- ... that the Franco-Greek defence agreement is the first intra-NATO defensive alliance?
- ... that Fateh Muhammad Panipati has been called the al-Jazari of contemporary times?
- ... that Harris Computer Systems specialized in making computers for real-time simulation?
- ... that LGBT rights activist Kit Malone helped create the first transgender organized marching group in the Indianapolis Pride Parade's history?
- ... that in a choral tour program titled Salmo!, Bach's 18th successor first conducted Salmo 150, an a cappella setting of Psalm 150 by the Brazilian composer Ernani Aguiar?
- ... that zoologist Herb Wong wrote the liner notes for more than 600 jazz albums, by his own count?
In the news
- A church fire in Giza, Egypt, kills 41 people, including several children.
- Salman Rushdie (pictured), author of The Satanic Verses, is critically injured after a knife attack at a speech in the United States.
- A mass die-off of fish, beaver and other wildlife occurs in the Polish part of the river Oder, causing a health and environmental crisis.
- A mass shooting after a family conflict in Cetinje, Montenegro, leaves 11 people dead and 6 others injured.
On this day
- 718 – Forces of the Umayyad Caliphate abandoned their year-long siege of Constantinople, ending the Umayyad goal of conquering the Byzantine Empire.
- 1038 – Upon the death of his uncle Stephen I, Peter became the second king of Hungary.
- 1942 – World War II: The tanker SS Ohio reached Malta as part of an operation to deliver much-needed supplies during the siege of Malta.
- 1947 – Jawaharlal Nehru (pictured) took office as the first prime minister of India, a post he held for 18 years.
- 1998 – The Troubles: A car bomb attack carried out by the Real Irish Republican Army killed 29 people and injured approximately 220 others in Omagh, Northern Ireland.
From today's featured list
Germany has submitted films for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film since the creation of the award in 1956. The Academy Award for Best International Feature Film is handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue. Because of Germany's status as a divided country throughout much of the second half of the 20th century, West Germany and East Germany competed separately in the Best Foreign Language Film category until 1990. With eight nominations and one win, West Germany was far more successful than East Germany, whose only nomination was received in 1976 for Jacob the Liar, a film that the Moscow International Film Festival had refused to screen. West Germany received several nominations during the 1970s, culminating with The Tin Drum (director pictured) winning in 1979. Since reunification in 1990, Germany has secured two wins and ten nominations. The two German films that received the award since reunification are The Lives of Others (2006) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and Nowhere in Africa (2001) by Caroline Link. (Full list...)
Today's featured picture
The Bengal tiger is a population of the tiger subspecies Panthera tigris tigris found in the Indian subcontinent. Ranking among the largest wild cats alive today, it is considered to be one of the world's charismatic megafauna. The tiger is estimated to have been present in the Indian subcontinent since the Late Pleistocene, for about 12,000 to 16,500 years. Today it is threatened by poaching, and habitat loss and fragmentation, and was estimated to comprise fewer than 2,500 wild individuals by 2011. The tiger is the national animal of India. This female Bengal tiger was photographed in Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp