The clock is ticking for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The world's largest opera company may be headed for a shutdown. Most of the union contracts for the Met expire in a week. Yesterday, Met General Manager Peter Gelb sent a letter to the unions, warning them to prepare for a lockout if they don't come to terms.
For months now, the company and its unions have been at an impasse. Management has proposed cutting 16 percent of union members' compensation. Otherwise, Gelb contends, the company could go bankrupt in two to three years.
Chemistry teachers don't need to go the way of Breaking Bad's Walter White and make methamphetamine if they're looking for a compelling side gig.
Andy Brunning, a high school chemistry teacher in the U.K., makes beautiful infographics on everyday chemistry on his blog, Compound Interest. Thanks in part to the American Chemical Society, which has turned several of his posts into videos, his clever visuals have been going viral.
Saying it wants to join an international treaty banning anti-personnel land mines, the U.S. announced today that it will no longer make "or otherwise acquire" them. The new policy was announced at a conference on the Ottawa Convention, a 1999 treaty that outlaws the mines.
The country's stronger stance on mines is part of a push "to end the use of all nondetectable mines and all persistent mines, which can remain active for years after the end of a conflict," according to a White House news release issued this morning.
Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:33 am
Iraq's most-revered Shiite cleric called on the country's political blocs to agree on a prime minister in the next four days, putting pressure on a government that is struggling to address the growing security crisis.
The call Friday by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani came as Human Rights Watch said the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Sunni extremist group that now controls large parts of Iraq, likely executed at least 160 unarmed men when it took the city of Tikrit.
Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:03 am
Giorgio Chiellini, the Italian defender whose shoulder bore teeth marks after a clash with Uruguay's Luis Suarez during a World Cup match Tuesday, says FIFA's four-month ban of Suarez is too harsh. Chiellini released a statement on his website saying his thoughts are with the star striker and his family.
A free-trade zone between Ukraine and the European Union takes another step toward reality today, as the nation that's under pressure from pro-Russian separatists signs an economic agreement with the EU. The deal also includes two other former Soviet states, Moldova and Georgia.
The trade pact comes as a tense cease-fire is set to expire Friday in Ukraine, where government forces and militants have been locked in a confrontation for weeks. It also promises to push Ukraine firmly toward Europe, and away from Russia's influence.
Iraq is in chaos, but the country's ethnic Kurds might come out ahead.
They rule a semi-autonomous area in the north that is fairly prosperous and safe, and as the Iraqi army crumbled before militants this month, Kurdish forces moved in to take long-sought areas that had been under the central government in Baghdad.
The Kurds are now talking about their generations-old dream of independence, but they still face many dangers.
The shot that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was fired a hundred years ago this weekend.
The assassination in Sarajevo, on June 28, 1914, triggered World War I and changed the course of the 20th century. The consequences of that act were devastating. But the beginning of the story sounds almost like a farce — complete with bad aim, botched poisoning and a wrong turn on the road.