This Week in News

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Photo courtesy Reuters
The Rev. Al Sharpton has learned that he is descended from a slave who was once owned by ancestors of the one-time segregationist former U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond (R), the New York Daily News reported on Feb. 25, 2007. The series of revelations came to light after the newspaper offered Sharpton a chance to delve into his family history with the help of genealogy experts from Ancestry.com.

Compiled and researched by ROBIN BRAVENDER

The Observer staff knows that you’re busy, and as much as you’d like to, you don’t get a chance to read the paper and watch the news everyday. So we’re bringing you a weekly synopsis of the important stuff: national and international headlines that are too big to miss and the funny stuff that seems too weird to be true (we promise it is).

National Headlines

Fall in Asian stock markets sparks fear about U.S. economy

Drops in stock markets across Asia have caused fear that the U.S. economy might suffer dire consequences, several major national newspapers reported Wednesday. According to The New York Times, markets on mainland China rebounded some, but almost every other stock index in Asia continued to fall. For the full story, go to The New York Times.

Juror in Libby trial forced to resign

A juror in the I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby trial was dismissed Monday after she revealed that she had compromised her status as a juror by accessing outside information about the trial. The judge said he would allow deliberations on the trial to continue. For the full story, go to The Washington Post.

Al Sharpton’s ancestors were slaves owned by Strom Thurmond’s family

Al Sharpton found out over the weekend that his ancestors were slaves owned by the late Senator and segregationist Strom Thurmond’s relatives. According to BET.com, Sharpton said this was the “most shocking” news he had ever received. For the full story, go to
BET.com.

Top International News

Iraqi vice president survives assassination attempt

The Shiite vice president of Iraq escaped an assassination attempt on Monday when a bomb went off at a ceremony he was attending in Baghdad. According to the Chicago Tribune, Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi sustained only “slight scratches” from the attack. For the full story, go to the Chicago Tribune.

Serbia cleared of genocide charges

A United Nations tribunal ruled Monday that Serbia was not directly responsible for the genocide committed during the Bosnian war in the 1990s, but that it did not do enough to prevent the massacre of as many as 8,000 Muslim men and boys, The Los Angeles Times reported. The case was the first time an entire nation had been tried for genocide, according to the article. For the full story, go to The Los Angeles Times.

Strange but True

Low-fat dairy products can cause infertility

A recent Harvard study found that women who frequently consume low-fat dairy products are more likely to experience problems with ovulation. The study said consuming full-fat dairy products cut the risk of infertility, according to the BBC. For the full story, go to the BBC.

Pole dancing: The newest exercise fad?

Pole dancing has become a new fad among women, taking the place of social gatherings like Tupperware parties and book clubs, The New York Times reported. According to the Times, the activity can give women a renewed sense of sexuality and has even begun to take place at some bat mitzvahs. For the full story, go to The New York Times.

News revisited — this week’s news in years past

Feb. 28 (1854) — The Republican Party of the United States was founded
in Ripon, Wis. in opposition to a Congressional pro-slavery bill.
Mar. 1 (1692) – The Salem witch trials began in Salem, Mass.
Mar. 2 (1933) – King Kong was released in New York City.
Mar. 3 (1873) – The U.S. Congress enacted the Comstock Law, which
made it illegal to send any obscene literature through the mail.
Mar. 4 (1933) – President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his New Deal
at his inauguration speech.
Mar. 5 (1970) – Forty-three nations entered the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Mar. 6 (1981) – Walter Cronkite retired after 19 years of work at
“CBS Evening News” as anchor and managing editor.

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