Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Take Five & Cinco De Mayo'
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. The outnumbered Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had not been defeated in almost 50 years.
A day in history that is celebrated in Mexico. They lost in California, but their independence was preserved in their own country, something that the powers that be in the US and Israel should consider when exerting their "cough cough"
diplomatic expertise in the middle East.
VOA News and video
may 5, 2009
1) The top U.S. military official says he is "comfortable" that Pakistan's nuclear weapons are secure. A U.S. newspaper has reported that American officials are worried about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal as the Taliban insurgency spreads. Admiral Michael Mullen says he is gravely concerned about Taliban and al Qaida advances in Pakistan and also in Afghanistan. Leta Hong Fincher has more.
2) Military commanders in northern Sri Lanka have dismissed accusations that they are responsible for civilian deaths over the past several months during the offensive to crush Tamil Tiger rebels. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman traveled to the Mullaittivu district under military escort, reaching the closest point to the fighting where observers have been permitted.
3) Since 1999, the Washington-based Arab American Institute Foundation has honored groups and individuals working to foster cross-cultural understanding with an award named for the poet and philosopher Khalil Gibran. The Lebanese American is perhaps best known for his 1923 collection of poems titled The Prophet. But he is also remembered for his love of humanity, his passion for equality and his skill at fusing East and West. The winners of this year's Gibran awards, as in the past, embody the poet's ideals. Mohammed El Shinnawi reports.
4) Nearly one third of the bird species in the United States are either endangered, threatened or in significant decline. This is the conclusion of a recently released U.S. government report, the first comprehensive study on American bird populations ever done. Among the factors contributing to the decline are climate change, habitat loss and the introduction of invasive species. Producer Zulima Palacio has more.
5) New York City's iconic Empire State Building - once the tallest skyscraper in the world - is now going to become one of the greenest buildings in the world. The historic landmark is getting an environmental makeover that building owners say will reduce energy use by 38 percent after the project is completed in 2013. The initial renovations come at a cost of 20 million US dollars, and are expected to help save $4.4 million U.S. dollars a year in energy costs. VOA's Paige Kollock has this preview of some of the changes.