Xi Jinping reveals China’s Politburo Standing Committee.

China’s new Politburo Standing Committee who will govern China. (Image courtesy of Associated Press)

China’s President Xi Jinping revealed the new Politburo Standing Committee with the seven members being President Xi Jinping, Han Zheng, Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Premier Li Keqiang, Wang Yang and Zhao Leji. None of the committee members, who are all in the sixties, are considered equals or rivals to the President. A younger leader was also not included in the group, meaning the President may want to extend his rule as there is no heir apparent. Experts are saying this new committee will make China’s government more authoritarian because of all the power the President now has. While President Xi has only been in office for five years, he now has the same status as China’s founder Mao Zedong.

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Archaic skull may be from first human tsunami victim.

Part of the skull found in Papua New Guinea. (Image courtesy of Arthur Durband)

A discovery from 1929 in Papua New Guinea may have revealed the earliest tsunami victim. Dr. Paul Hossfeld found bone fragments in a creek bank and originally thought they were from a previous ancestor of Homo sapiens. However, new research published in the journal PLoS One says the skull was in fact from a human. Scientists were intrigued by the tsunamis in the Papua New Guinea and through analysis of the sediment of the creek and time period, they concluded that the victim could have been killed by a tsunami six thousand years ago. Nevertheless, they admitted the skull fragments could have been from a death before the tsunami and the researchers are not completely sure how the person died.

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Einstein’s famous Theory of Happiness tip sold for 1.56 million.

A picture of Einstein’s notes to the bellboy. (Image courtesy of Getty Images)

On 24 October 2017, Einstein’s famous “Theory of Happiness” tip to a bellboy in Tokyo was auctioned for 1.56 million dollars. Einstein had recently won the Nobel Prize and was on a lecture tour. When he realized he had no money for the bellboy, he wrote him two notes on how to live a joyous life. The first sheet said, “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” The second sheet said, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Einstein told the bellboy that the notes may prove to be more valuable than a cash tip.

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Kenya elections damaged by boycotts and violence.

Police officers chase after protesters. (Image courtesy of Getty Images)

On 26 October 2017, Kenyans began to cast their vote in the second presidential election in three months.  The majority of voters were peaceful but certain sectors boycotted the vote. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s main competitor, Raila Odinga, accused the ruler of fraud, and dropped out of the race. Odinga urged his supporters not to vote, which caused a drastically smaller number of votes compared to the first election. Furthermore, citizens threw rocks and formed violent protests, leading to four deaths. It is estimated that less than half of Kenya voted and many question whether the election is legitimate.

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Thousands grieve at Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s funeral ceremony.

The cremation site of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (Image courtesy of CNN)

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s remains were cremated on 26 October 2017, one year after his death. The king ruled Thailand for seven decades and encountered coups, protests, and natural disasters. Thousands of people mourned his death and watched the cremation.  Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch blessed the remains and King Vajiralongkorn, the late King Bhumibol’s son, performed a religious ceremony. Many businesses shut down during the service, including banks. The entire funeral lasted five days and costs ninety million dollars.

Source and more information can be found here and here.