Full of important and famous world news stories, July 2013 had been quite a vibrant month. Birth of the royal baby, George Alexander Louis, Prince George of Cambridge on July 24, 2013 was the happiest world news of the month. Derailing of a high-speed train near Santiago de Compostela, Spain, leaving 80 passengers dead was perhaps the saddest news of the month. In July 2013, some great scientific discoveries had been made. Cross country flight of the Solar Impulse aircraft and discovery of the ultra-precise optical lattice clock are especially notable. The political world scenario has been dominated by the protests across Egypt, following the disposition of the former president Mohamed Morsi. Many developments in business, sports, archaeology and genetic engineering had also been made in the month of July 2013.
1. Egypt’s army has given 48 hours to resolve ‘ July 01, 2013
The Egyptian army, holding strategic positions in Cairo, has given the government and opposition 48 hours to arrive at a consensus in accordance with the popular will or it would intervene in its own way. An army spokesman read out a statement on state television quoting General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who said the army would not get involved in politics or government. Millions of Egyptians rallied throughout the country, urging the president to step down by Tuesday afternoon or to face civil disobedience. President Barack Obama, while on a visit to Tanzania, called for restraint on all sides and said that, although it was not for U.S. to choose the Egypt’s leaders, it wanted all voices to be heard.
2. A passenger jet of Asiana Airlines crashes at the San Francisco ‘ July 6, 2013
A jet airliner conducting Asiana Airlines flight 214 took off from Inch eon International Airport at 08:04 UTC. It was bound for San Francisco International Airport and was scheduled to land at 18:04 UTC. There were 307 passengers on board the Boeing 777. The weather was perfect for landing but the plane caught fire while trying to land. Two passengers died at the spot, while one expired in a hospital after many days. Of the other passengers, 181 were injured and 12 of them were in critical condition. The Boeing 777-200ER, registration number HL7742, was inducted into the fleet of Asiana Airlines in March 2006. The Boeing has good safety reputation. It was the first fatal accident since the beginning of its commercial operations in 1995.
3. The Solar Impulse aircraft completes the first cross-country flight – July 6, 2013
On July 6, 2013, the solar impulse aircraft, piloted by the Swiss cofounders AndrÃƒ© Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, took off from Dulles International Airport at 4:46 a.m. The ultra lightweight aircraft was exclusively powered by the solar panels and it was the only aircraft capable of flying day and night by solar panels only. After remaining in the air for about 21 hours, the aircraft landed at JKF airport, an hour earlier than the schedule. The flight was broadcast alive and according to Solar Impulse pilot and co-founder AndrÃƒ© Borschberg. ‘We had a small technical problem, which was discovered when we did pictures of the airplane from a helicopter … The airplane is built using different materials, solar cells on top of the wing, and soft skin underneath. Part of that skin was taken away.”
4. Boston Dynamics unveil the Atlas humanoid robot ‘ July 11, 2013
On July 11, 2013, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DRAPA and Boston Dynamics unveiled the six-foot Atlas humanoid robot, weighing 330 pounds. It is considered to be the most advanced humanoid robot ever built. The robot is intended to compete in a public competition with a $2 million grand prize. The purpose behind its development is to explore the possibility of its being used as first responder in difficult and hazardous disaster situations. Atlas is capable of walking on treadmill, avoiding small obstacles and balancing on one leg on hitting. Of its future endeavors, DRAPA informed, ‘Like coaches starting with a novice player, the teams now have until late December 2013 to teach ATLAS the moves it will need to succeed.’
5. Ultra-precise optical lattice clock – July 10, 2013
On July 10, 2013, French scientists announced the development of the latest, ultra precise optical lattice clock. It is way more superior to the most precise atomic clocks of modern times which utilize caesium for their working and deviate by one second in every 100 million years. The newly developed optical lattice clocks are thrice more precise and are claimed to deviate by one second in 300 million years. The optical lattice clock utilizes strontium instead of caesium. The unit of time to the second is undergoing a new definition due to this development.
6. Queen Elizabeth II approves a same-sex marriage – July 17, 2013
On July 17, 2013, a day after having been passed by the parliament, Queen Elizabeth II approved the same sex marriage bill for England and Wales. The bill allows the same sex couples to marry in religious as well as civil ceremonies. The couples, presently in civil parternship, can now convert it into marriage. In consideration of this bill, The Oxford English Dictionary and the online Macmillan dictionary have revised the definition of marriage as ‘The relationship between two people who are husband and wife, or a similar relationship between people of the same sex.”
7. Discovery of Genomic off Switch for Down Syndrome – July 17, 2013
American Scientists discovered a process of switching off the extra, and causative chromosome of the Down syndrome. It has paved the way to new treatment of the medical condition. Named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who first described the condition in 1866, Down Syndrome is characterized by typical facial features, stunted growth and low IQ. Almost one in 1,000 children is born with this condition. A child with this condition has an IQ lower than 50, while a normal child has an average IQ above 100 and 70 is considered to be the lowest IQ for a normal child. Although no major breakthrough has yet been made, the medical professionals are very hopeful of making notable advancement in the treatment of the condition, in the near future, by utilizing this newly developed process.
8. Birth of George Alexander Louis, Prince George of Cambridge – July 24, 2013
A healthy, royal baby boy, weighing 8 pounds and 6 ounces, was born to Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton. The child, formally known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, is third in line to the British throne. He has been named George Alexander Louis. The parents introduced their son to the world outside St. Mary’s Hospital. Kate was wearing blue polka dress while William was in a blue, collared shirt and dark pants. Both the parents shared the great moment of happiness with the viewers. When asked about the baby’s hair, William laughed and said, ‘He’s got way more than me, thank God.’ He further commented, ‘He’s got quite the pair of lungs on him, he’s a big boy I can tell you that, he’s quite heavy … He’s got his mother’s looks; he was rather tardy and I’ll remind him of that later.’ Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge said, ‘It was very emotional, it is such a special time.’
9. A high-speed train carrying 225 passengers derails – July 24, 2013 (Wednesday)
On July 24, 2013 a high-speed train, capable of traveling at 155 mph, derailed near Santiago de Compostela, Spain. There were 225 passengers on board and the accident left 80 dead and 140 injured. It was the deadliest accident since the 2004 train bombing. King of Spain, Juan Carlos, visited the hospital where the injured were being treated. He said, ‘All Spaniards, we are united at this time. … Really all Spaniards join in the pain of the families of the dead.” Pope Francis offered his support and prayers for all those who suffered.
10. Demonstration in Cairo in support of Morsi – July 26, 2013
Urged by Gen. Sisi, hundreds of thousands of the Egyptian protesters took to the streets on July 26, 2013 to confront terrorism. It was followed by the counter-protest by the Muslim Brotherhood in favor of the deposed president Morsi. Police opened fire on the mob and killed 80 people, leaving many hundreds wounded with many of them in critical condition.
July is an important month in the American history. The Fourth of July is celebrated as the day of independence from the British rule on July 4, 1776. According to Ronald Regan, ‘Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.’ The month of July 2013 has left many indelible imprints on the pages of history, and many of them are only too sad for humanity, while a few of them are like the most memorable happy notes.
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