Here are five stories that shaped the world this week:
Pressure is on Iran: The U.S. Administration promises to keep the pressure on Iran to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency's requirements to open up the nation to nuclear inspections. This might avert sanctions to block oil exports to Europe, which take effect in July and any possible military action on the part of Israel.
The White House on Tuesday called the UN nuclear watchdog's progress toward an agreement with Iran a step forward but said it would keep pressuring Tehran until it sees concrete actions on the Iranian nuclear program."Promises are one thing, actions and fulfillment of obligations are another," White House spokesman Jay Carney said when asked about the International Atomic Energy Agency's announcement it was close to a deal to unblock monitoring of Iran's suspected work on atom bombs."We will continue to pressure Tehran, continue to move forward with the sanctions that will be corning online as the year progresses," Carney told a news briefing. [Jerusalem Post]Elections in Egypt: The first round of voting in elections in Egypt has resulted in no declared winner. Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister from the former regime, will face Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in a runoff on June 16-17. The victor will be announced on June 21, the first day of summer.
Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq paid tribute to the “glorious revolution” that toppled Hosni Mubarak on Saturday, a dramatic turn-around for the former regime official who fought his way into the runoff elections by appealing to public disenchantment with last year’s uprising. Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under Mubarak, vowed there would be no “recreation of the old regime” as he prepared to face off against Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in a runoff on June 16-17. [Washington Post]Observant Jews Wary of the Internet: The Internet is widely accessible and widely used, even by the ultra-religious for the same reasons that everyone likes the Internet. For some rabbinical leaders, however, this accessibility poses a threat to religious purity of mind and soul. The Jewish leaders gathered the faithful to hear a warning of the dangers that the Internet posed to family purity; the chief danger is pornography, which puts observant Jews on the same side as radical feminists.
It was an incongruous sight for a baseball stadium: tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men, all dressed in black suits and white shirts, filing through the gates of Citi Field on Sunday, wearing not blue-and-orange Mets caps but tall, big-brim black hats. There was no ballgame scheduled, only a religious rally to discuss the dangers of the Internet. More than 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews were expected to attend — a sellout in a season where the average attendance at a Mets game has been barely half that. [The New York Times]First Commercial Space Flight: When a U.S commercial spacecraft docked with the International Space Station on Friday at 9:56 a.m., it was the beginning of a new era in the space program— the first U.S. commercial flight to space; SpaceX was the company to launch its cargo. This comes after NASA's space shuttle program ended last summer. Will SpaceX became the FedEx of space?
Bethlehem Existed: Israeli archaeologists have unearthed an ancient artificat—a clay bulla, outside Jerusalem, which cites the name of Bethlehem, the first such mention outside the Bible. The clay bulla is about 2,700 years old.
The find shows not only that the city existed, but that it probably also had a thriving commercial trade. A bulla is a piece of clay used to make an impression in wax, sealing a document. The wax was intended to show the integrity of the document once it reached its final destination. The bulla is generally impressed with the name of the person who sent the document. The bulla has three lines of text. The first says "in the seventh;" the second says Bethlehem; and the third has the letter "ch," which was probably the last letter of melech, the word for king. "It seems that in the seventh year of the reign of a king (it is unclear if the king referred to here is Hezekiah, Manasseh or Josiah), a shipment was dispatched from Bethlehem to the king in Jerusalem," said archaeologist Eli Shukron, director of the excavation. The bulla itself is what is known as a "fiscal bulla," one used to seal tax shipments to the kingdom of Judah. [Los Angeles Times]****************************
May 27 In History
1529: 30 Jews from Posing, Hungary, charged with blood libel, are burned at the stake.
1703: The Russian city of St. Petersburg founded by Peter the Great;
1907: A bubonic plague outbreak takes place in San Francisco, California;
1933: The Century of Progress World's Fair opens in Chicago, Illinois;
1942: Top German Nazi Reinhard Heydrich is shot & mortally wounded in Prague, Czech Republic;
1948: Arabs blow up Hurvat Rabbi Yehudah he-Hasid, a synagogue in Jerusalem, Israel, during the Arab-Israeli War of 1948;
1957: Toronto's CHUM-AM (1050 kHz) becomes Canada's first radio station to broadcast only top 40 Rock n' Roll music; and
1961: U.S. President John F, Kennedy announces goal to land a man on the moon before the decade ends.