Correction Appended: August 15, 2007
MANILA Harry Potter finale sells 72 million in first weekend
SOFIA, BULGARIA Nurses return after eight years in Libyan prison
TEWKESBURY, ENGLAND Suffering the worst floods in 60 years
POINT HOPE, ALASKA Snowman asks question in YouTube debate
KUALA LUMPUR Raucous celebrations of Iraqi soccer victory
WHEATON, MD. Arrest comes after huge Mexico drug-cash seizure
The Gulf of Mexico's Dead Zone
It's a calamitous cause and effect: hundreds of millions of tons of agricultural waste, mostly fertilizer, run off the fields and feedlots of the American heartland into the many tributaries of the Mississippi River. The nutrients end up in the Gulf of Mexico, where they trigger a massive algae bloom, which in turn depletes nearly all the oxygen in the water. The result is a massive die-off of marine life, notably shrimp and shellfish. This summer's dead zone is projected to be the biggest ever. [This article contains a map. Please see hardcopy of magazine.] [This article contains a chart. Please see hardcopy of magazine.]
DEFINITION nak-ba n: an Arabic word meaning disaster or catastrophe that Palestinians use as shorthand to refer to the time just before and after the creation of the state of Israel, in which approximately 700,000 Palestinian refugees were displaced.
CONTEXT The Israeli government, in an effort to reconcile with its large Arab population, will allow the taboo term to appear in a new third-grade textbook created specially for separate all-Arab schools within Israel.
USAGE Many Jews are incensed that the government is allowing the Palestinian pejorative. They argue that the word discredits the conflict's result--the founding of Israel.
NASA's New Spacesuit
COSMOS CHIC MIT's design for a skintight, agile spacesuit could let astronauts walk, run and even scale mountains on planets and moons.
HOW IT WORKS The clingy BioSuit compresses the body to protect it from the strong vacuum of space. For almost 40 years, NASA has relied on gas pressurization, which uses force to create an Earth-like atmosphere within the suit.
WHAT TO THINK The BioSuit isn't quite ready for takeoff. Researchers expect it will take about 10 more years to work out all the kinks--hopefully in time for a Mars debut.
McDonald's Supersize soda just got a friendlier name. Hugo is the new name for the 42-oz. (1.25 L) soft drink, which has more than 400 calories. The move is somewhat of a U-turn for the chain, which saw sales quadruple over the past four years thanks to healthy options like salads and apple dippers. Now critics say McDonald's is returning to its weighty ways. It is advertising Hugo in several languages, and critics accuse it of targeting the low-cost cup to minorities, who are disproportionately overweight.
LOOKING AHEAD When the fast-food chain opened in 1955, the largest soda was 7 oz. (about 200 mL). McDonald's execs defend Hugo, six times the size of the original, as just a summer promotion.
A Pakistan Primer
When General Pervez Musharraf seized power in 1999, he promised to bring law and order to Pakistan. Yet the country has been anything but orderly of late, with controversy in its Supreme Court and a deadly raid on Islamabad's pro-Taliban Red Mosque. The White House is pressing Musharraf, a longtime ally, to take a more forceful stand against al-Qaeda strongholds. Here are the four key players:
PERVEZ MUSHARRAF The President faces criticism from Islamic militants and pro-democracy opponents. Now opposition political parties say they will file a legal claim challenging Musharraf's re-election plans
IFTIKHAR MUHAMMAD CHAUDHRY Musharraf tried to suspend Chief Justice Chaudhry on a whim, but the Supreme Court overruled the President on July 20 in a clear rebuke of Musharraf's meddling
GEORGE W. BUSH Facing criticism over chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush is looking the other way on democratic reforms, in the hope that Musharraf can keep Pakistan, a nuclear power, from falling into anarchy or worse
OSAMA BIN LADEN The wild card, bin Laden is rumored to be doing what he does best--hiding out--in tribal lands. Musharraf's dilemma: win over those who harbor bin Laden, or attack them? He's tried both and failed
The original version of this article reported that almost 100,000 Arabs fled their homeland before and after the creation of Israel. However, approximately 700,000 Palestinian refugees were displaced.