Mayan doomsday 2012
According to the ancient Mayan civilisation, December 21, 2012, represents the end of a cycle in the Mayan long count calendar that begins in the year 3114 BC. It is the completion of 5,200 years counted in 13 baak t’uunes, a unit of time. One baak t’uune is equivalent to 144,000 days, or roughly 400 years. Doomsday believers expect a cataclysmic event to occur that day and end the world.
A bad week for ... , December 23, 2012
You might argue that the Mayans have not had a good week in a long time - at least since their civilisation was all but wiped out by the Spanish conquistadors. But the ancient people and their descendants, associated with an end-of-the-world "prophecy", have been grossly misunderstood. As a scholar points out, the Mayans didn't predict an apocalypse but the end of an era.
The former human rights lawyer has one more reason to bear a grudge against the family of the late South Korean strongman Park Chung-hee. Not only did Park's authoritarian government lock Moon up, but Park's daughter, Park Geun-hye, beat him in a hotly contested presidential election this week.
The director's new film Zero Dark Thirty has received rave reviews - but also faces scathing criticism from politicians, including US Senator John McCain. The senator was infuriated by scenes in the film suggesting that waterboarding and other so-called "enhanced interrogation" techniques had helped extract information to snare terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.