December 27, 2015

Top News Stories –

Eiffel Tower joins Twitter and receives a warm welcome from Statue of Liberty and Taj Mahal –
When a 126-year-old woman took to Twitter for the first time this week, the Taj Mahal and the Statue of Liberty were so impressed that they sent her tweets to congratulate her. But this was no ordinary old lady – it was the Eiffel Tower, the world’s most visited monument, taking its first steps on the wildly popular microblogging site. “Parisian since 1889, now I am sparkling on Twitter!” said one of the first tweets, in both English and French, on the official account of the 1,063 ft-high tower nicknamed La Grande Dame by its creator, Gustave Eiffel. The tower that each year attracts more than seven million visitors from across the globe, already has around 1.7 million fans on its Facebook account but until this week had kept away from Twitter. Its arrival there this week, under the username @LaTourEiffel, was quickly hailed by direct tweets from the official accounts of other world-renowned monuments. [Daily Telegraph]
Staue of Liberty Tweet

Star Wars: The Force Awakens becomes fastest to take $1bn –
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the fastest film to take $1bn (£674m) at the global box office. JJ Abrams’ film achieved the feat in 12 days, beating the previous record of 13 days set by Jurassic World in June.
But while Jurassic World had the benefit of record takings in China over the period, The Force Awakens has yet to open there. Star Wars also scored the biggest US Christmas Day box office takings in history with $49.3m (£33.2m). The film took $153.5m (£103.5m) in the US in its second weekend, bringing its total domestic haul to $544.6m (£367m). [BBC]

Christmas time storms, tornadoes kill at least 43 in U.S. –
Storms hit the U.S. South, Southwest and Midwest over the Christmas holiday weekend, unleashing floods and tornadoes that killed at least 43 people, flattened buildings and snarled transportation for millions during a busy travel time. The bad weather, or the threat of it, prompted the governors of Missouri and New Mexico to declare a state of emergency for their states. Flash floods killed at least 13 people in Missouri and Illinois. In Missouri, emergency workers have evacuated residents from their homes and conducted dozens of water rescues, Governor Jay Nixon said on Sunday. He said at least eight people had been killed and numerous roadways had been closed. [Reuters]

British soldiers aid evacuation in flood-hit northern England –
British soldiers helped evacuate hundreds of people from rising floodwaters in the historic city of York on Sunday, after heavy rainfall inundated towns and cities across northern England. Prime Minister David Cameron pledged more military help for the region as the army was deployed to move 300 to 400 people from their homes in York, where the River Ouse was expected to continue rising until Monday, the local council said. Some 100 soldiers were also helping emergency services in the hardest hit areas of West Yorkshire, including Leeds, police said, after the region suffered its worst flooding in 70 years. [Reuters]

Video of the Day –

The Christmas Human – Wishing you a very Christmas merry! from Andre Maat on Vimeo.

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