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Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Juan Manuel Santos via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0 br
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Juan Manuel Santos via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0 br

Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Juan Manuel Santos via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0 br
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Juan Manuel Santos via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0 br

Today, Friday, October 7, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos was named 2016’s Nobel Peace Price recipient. The committee bestowed the honor on Santos “for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end.”

As reported by The New York Times, the announcement comes less than a week after Colombians voted to reject a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The treaty was meant to signal the end of a bloody, 52-year conflict between the nation and the rebel group. After President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez came together to sign the deal following four years of negotiations, all that was needed to move the plan forward was a vote from the Colombian people. In a shocking development, the agreement was stricken down by a slim majority of 50.2 percent.

The future of the South American nation remains uncertain, but the Nobel Prize committee stresses that the news shouldn’t be seen as the defeat of peace. While that specific agreement has been discarded, President Santos—who was elected in 2010—hasn’t given up his goal of progressing towards peace.

The committee said in a press statement, “The Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasizes the importance of the fact that President Santos is now inviting all parties to participate in a broad-based national dialogue aimed at advancing the peace process.” In addition to recognizing President Santos's commitment to peace, the award is meant to pay tribute to all parties fighting for peace in Colombia, to the citizens who’ve yet to give up hope of achieving it, and "not least, to the representatives of the countless victims of the civil war.” 

[h/t The New York Times]
 
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Animals
Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air
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Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.

 

As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]

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