Archive for Saturday, December 7, 2002


December 7, 2002


Havana: Elian celebrates ninth birthday

Elian Gonzalez turned 9 years old Friday, with celebrations planned in all the schools of his hometown.

The Communist Party youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde dedicated a full page Friday to the famous shipwreck survivor, publishing photos of Elian in a suit and tie alongside his father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, and sitting atop a horse and a motor scooter with relatives.

Elian remains an icon on both sides of the Florida Strait, the focus of a major publicity campaign in Cuba and a symbol of betrayal to many Cuban-Americans furious that the United States returned him to the island.

Cuban officials say they have tried to create a relatively normal life for the child who lived under the eye of television cameras during his seven-month stay in the United States, from November 1999 to June 2000.

Tokyo: Researchers set record with pi calculation

A team of researchers at a leading national university have set a world record by calculating the value of pi to 1.24 trillion places, one of the researchers said Friday.

Professor Yasumasa Kanada and nine other researchers at the Information Technology Center at Tokyo University calculated the value for pi with a Hitachi supercomputer for more than 400 hours in September, project team member Makoto Kudo said.

The new calculation is more than six times the number of places in the record currently recognized by Guinness World Records - 206.158 billion places - which Kanada also helped calculate in 1999.

Pi, usually given as 3.14, is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle and has an infinite number of decimal places.

Such an extremely precise calculation of the figure isn't necessary for any practical scientific use, but researchers say it contributes to improving scientific calculation methods.

Montreal: Canadians pay tribute to 14 slaying victims

About 200 women, many dressed in black, marched Friday in Montreal to mark the 13th anniversary of the killings of 14 women by a gunman at Ecole Polytechnique at the University of Montreal.

The shootings by Marc Lepine, who also took his own life, sparked a campaign that persuaded the government to adopt Canada's gun control program in 1995.

The law requires Canada's estimated 2.3 million gun owners to register their 7 million firearms, including rifles and shotguns, by Jan. 1, 2003. The deadline has been extended by six months for those who apply before Jan. 1.

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