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Mexico says cobalt-60 finally secured, villagers doubtful

Mexico’s energy authorities say specialists finally have recovered a capsule of cobalt-60 from a cornfield near the Mexican capital, presumably ending a nine-day saga that began when thieves hijacked a truck carrying the highly radioactive metal.... Read more»

Meeting will cover whooping cough in Vail schools

The Pima County Health Department and Vail Unified School District are holding a meeting Thursday evening to inform parents of the rise in pertussis, or whooping cough, in the district and Pima County. ... Read more»

With PE an elective, schools finding new ways to keep kids active

PE isn’t a required course at Payne Junior High, part of the Chandler Unified School District, and Arizona state law doesn’t require students at this grade level to take it. But for the roughly 700 students who take it as an elective here, it’s an intense workout. Each class is an hour and 12 minutes, two to three times a week. There is no sitting down in class; it’s constant movement.... Read more»

Leader, savior, terrorist: How white South Africans remember Mandela

Here in Fochville, a sleepy farming and mining town in South Africa’s conservative Afrikaner heartland, asking about Nelson Mandela can make people suddenly very busy.... Read more»

Beer wars, Guatemala edition

The centerpiece of Cerveceria Centro Americana’s headquarters and brewery here is a chapel constructed in 1946, when it still held an absolute monopoly on the Guatemalan beer market. This is where Guatemala brews Gallo — a pale lager with a mean rooster crowing on its label. For many in this impoverished Central American country, beer was Gallo, and Gallo was beer. That was until 2003, when the Cerveceria’s more than a century-old monopoly was broken by AmBev, the Brazilian division of what’s now beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.... Read more»1

Obama: Mandela 'changed laws, but he also changed hearts'

Full text and video of Obama's eulogy for Nelson Mandela: "It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection — because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried — that we loved him so. He was not a bust made of marble; he was a man of flesh and blood — a son and a husband, a father and a friend. And that's why we learned so much from him, and that's why we can learn from him still."... Read more»

Guest opinion

Race & beyond: Remembering Nelson Mandela

The author’s personal encounter with Nelson Mandela showed the man’s quiet dignity and strength: "I am struck now by the fact that what seemed at that time a random, chance meeting represents my brush with one of the great historical figures of all time. What Mandela represents extends beyond the borders of his country; he is a person that will forever be linked to the history of the world."... Read more»

Little-known visa for trafficking victims is chronically underused

Visas to enter the U.S. are typically a hot commodity: The government stopped taking applications for its 2014 allotment of 65,000 H-1B work visas after just four days, for example. But not the T-visa. Of the 50,000 T-visas that have been offered over the last 10 years, the government has issued only 6,206 of the little-known visas meant to protect victims of human trafficking and their family members.... Read more»

Mandela: The fondest farewell the world has ever seen

U.S. President Barack Obama led world tributes to Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, hailing him as 'a giant of history' at a rain-soaked memorial attended by tens of thousands of South Africans united in proud, noisy celebration. "He was not a bust made of marble, he was a man of flesh and blood," Obama said of Mandela. "It is hard to eulogize any man... how much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation towards justice."... Read more»

Update: 9-year-old runaway located after missing overnight

A 9-year-old boy who ran away from his Midtown home after a fight with his father Sunday afternoon has been located. Police said he "spent the night at the home of a close family friend, who was unaware that police were called and looking for him."... Read more»

Looming Super Bowl drives efforts to toughen Az sex trafficking laws

With the clock ticking down to the 2015 Super Bowl, nonprofits and advocates are already working to raise awareness about sex trafficking and persuade lawmakers to toughen laws. Advocates say that sex trafficking increases around sporting events, and the Super Bowl in particular. That was a consideration when a committee appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer made recommendations for new laws and policies in September.... Read more»

Advocates: Child care less affordable in Arizona than many states

Arizona is the seventh-least-affordable state for before-school/after-school child care, according to a study by a national advocacy group.... Read more»

Commentary

Faith in values: Repairing Christianity’s damaged brand

One of the saddest and most damaging consequences of the Religious Right’s grip on partisan power over the past three decades has been the tarnishing of Christianity. Change happens when there is a shift in the wind—when collective urges and values find public expression and action. Pope Francis is one of the expressions of this change. In office less than a year, he has urged the church to be more compassionate and welcoming.... Read more»

Downtown Phoenix park atop I-10 slated for major upgrades

Margaret T. Hance Park, covering 32 acres atop the tunnel where Interstate 10 crosses under Third Avenue through Third Street, would get an amphitheater, more shade, additional parking and other upgrades under a draft design presented recently to the City Council.... Read more»

Genetic testing: A mother’s advice, a daughter’s decision

“This doesn’t have to happen to you.” My mom, Susan Knudson, told me that from her hospital bed in May, less than a month before dying of ovarian cancer at age 54, leaving behind my father, my two brothers and me.... Read more»

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