A Maya ceremonial center that has stood in northern Belize for approximately 2,300 years was destroyed when construction crews chipped away at it with backhoes and bulldozers to extract rock for a road-building project, Associated Press is reporting.
The news outlet detailed how construction crews demolished parts of a pyramid in the Nohmul complex, the most important Maya site in northern Belize, near the border with Mexico. There are 81 structures in the complex, but the destroyed pyramid was the ceremonial center, as well as the namesake structure for the complex. Now the once large structure has been whittled down to its core, and the limestone that was extracted will be used for gravel roads in a nearby village.
Although the land the pyramid sits on is privately owned, laws in Belize maintain any pre-Hispanic ruins are under government protection. According to the Associated Press, police said they are conducting an investigation and criminal charges are possible.
A proposal to rename San Francisco International Airport after Harvey Milk has been scrapped by a California lawmaker, the Associated Press is reporting. Instead, there is a possibility one of the airport’s terminals will be named after the politician and gay rights leader who was assassinated in 1978.
David Campos, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, told the news outlet that public opposition to re-naming the airport caused him to cancel plans to put a question on the city ballot. It seems the city’s daily newspaper and Mayor Edwin Lee are not thrilled about the idea, as well as other politicians, businesspeople and locals.
Moving forward, Campos now plans to establish a committee that would recommend which of the airport’s four passenger terminals should be named for Milk, as well as additional airport landmarks that could potentially be named in honor of other prominent San Franciscans. Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, who is also a gay rights leader, said he believes the airport’s international terminal would be most appropriate – especially since Milk is already recognized abroad, with a gay rights celebration observed in his honor in Chile and a gay community center named for him in Italy.
Uttering the word “bomb,” especially at an airport, is definitely cause for concern in this day and age. But in the case of a 19-year-old man who got kicked off a JetBlue flight for saying the word over and over again, he had an excuse: Tourette syndrome.
According to the Associated Press, Michael Doyle of Rockville, Md. was set to go to San Juan, Puerto Rico, through Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport. Doyle made it past security while repeating “bomb” – and even had paperwork to document his illness, a neurological disorder that can cause uncontrolled speech – but after being seated on the plane a JetBlue pilot asked him to leave due to “security concerns.”
Doyle told ABC News he had the Boston Bombings on his mind and tried to tell himself not to say the word. “When you try to suppress Tourette’s, it comes out even worse,” he explained, adding he repeated the word approximately 100 times. So what do you think? Were his enunciations cause for concern, or can we as air travelers never be too careful? Doyle, by the way, was offered a free round-trip ticket on another JetBlue flight, but there is no guarantee he will be allowed to fly at a later date.
If you’re looking to visit Beijing, China, in the near future you might want to consider packing a face mask in your suitcase. According to the Associated Press, one of the worst rounds of air pollution is currently engulfing the population there, keeping schoolchildren indoors and sending residents to hospitals.
According to the outlet, pollution peaked over the weekend, when off-the-charts levels hid the tops of city skyscrapers and caused face masks to fly off the shelves of drug stores. The news source reported that government monitoring showed levels of PM2.5 particles reached more than 700 micrograms per cubic meter on Saturday – a number that far outshadows the World Heath Organization’s safety levels of 25. At one point, separate monitoring by the U.S. Embassy reached 886 micrograms.
According to the Denver Post, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality index only goes up to 500, and the agency says anything greater than 300 would trigger a health warning of “emergency conditions.”
The pollution, which is a major problem throughout China, is mostly due to the country’s rapid pace of industrialization, which also includes a reliance on coal power and explosive growth in car ownership, not to mention a general disregard for environmental laws.
Things are starting to look up, though. Thanks to vocal residents and environmental groups, the government is being more transparent about the air pollution than usual. In the past, officials played down the smog, but this time they are holding news conferences and posting messages on the Internet that discuss the pollution.
For more amazing photos of the smoggy capital, click through the gallery below.
Visiting the 50 states in America can be a life-long quest for some travelers. Others fall into it through frequent business travel. Many just realize that they have only a few states left and they will have visited all 50. But the criteria used to determine if a visit “counts” and gives one “I was there” rights is another matter.
The All Fifty Club is about as close as we can find to a governing, official organization charged with validating traveler claims of visiting all the states in America. They have some rules for scoring a win, requiring “that one should breathe the air and set foot on the ground. Thus driving through the state counts if you get out once, but airport layovers do not,” club founder Alicia Rovey said in an Associated Press report.
But many members have their own standards that include specific requirements for state visits to count. “Some do not count it unless they spend the night in that state or visit the state capital,” says Rovey. “More unique ones are sighting native birds of that state, playing a round of golf, donating blood in each state.”Not sure how many states you have visited? All Fifty Club has a fun interactive map on their website where visitors can quickly click on each state, adding each one visited to their total.
Not a politically oriented website, the All Fifty Club interactive map starts with all the states colored blue. Clicking on a state turns it red. Take a look and tell me you don’t think the Presidential candidates have a map like this that they play with on the road.
Struggling with the names and locations of all 50 states in America? This short video may help: