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1
Nov

Seven billionth baby born

Seven billionth baby born

The world’s seven billionth person has been born at a hospital in the Phillippines.

Weighing in at 2.5 kilograms, Danica May Camacho was chosen by the United Nations to represent the world’s population reaching seven billion, reports The Guardian. While there’s no way to know if she was the exact seven billionth person in the world, estimates put the birth as reasonably close, although some say that the seven billion people benchmark will not be reached until next year.

The U.N. chose October 31st as “Seven Billion Day” to draw awareness to the issues facing the human race as the population continues to expand. It was just 12 years ago that Adnan Nevic was named as the six billionth child, showing how quickly the world’s population is expanding.

One of the significant components of the birth is the fact that the milestone is recognized – something that may not have even been possible a few decades ago. In today’s quickly globalizing society, we now have the capability to track world population across countries, as a way of keeping the entire human civilization interconnected. Even families that are separated by great distances can talk on the phone, videochat over the internet or even send money online.

28
Oct

England looks to steal Twenty20 win

England looks to steal Twenty20 win

Fresh off of India's 5-0 victory in the one-day international (ODI) series, England is hoping to steal a win in the upcoming Twenty20 match and keep their ranking atop the world in that category.

The Twenty20 international rankings are brand new and only include a small number of matches, so they can change drastically on the outcome of just one game. England is currently ranked as the top Twenty20 team in the world, while India is fifth. But if England loses, reports The Guardian, then they will fall to third, India will jump all the way to second and Sri Lanka will become the new world champs.

England has not been in good form lately, losing five straight matches to the Indian squad. However, with the Indian team recently celebrating the Diwali holiday and many feeling that the point has already been made in previous matches, the English squad hopes that they catch an unmotivated Indian team that's just going through the motions.

Those who send their first money transfer with Xoom to any bank in India, the U.K., South Africa, Australia or Canada will receive two months of Willow TV for free, which will show this match and a number of other exciting clashes.

27
Oct

Cricket Australia chairman retires, offers thoughts on sport

Cricket Australia chairman retires, offers thoughts on sport

Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Jack Clarke has officially retired from his position, but not before he offered some thoughts on controversies that came up during his tenure, as well as where he sees the sport heading in the future.

Clarke has been in charge of CA since 2008, and thus has been one of the central figures in the sport for the past three years, representing the country on the International Cricket Council (ICC). Clarke used his time at the podium during CA's general meeting to give some thoughts on his time as chairman.

Responding to criticism of the outgoing chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch and former national coach Tim Nielsen, Clarke defended both men, saying that fans unfairly dismissed their contributions to the sport.

"Andrew Hilditch, a fine servant of Australian cricket who has responded graciously to unfair media and public criticism, leaves center stage following a long period as a selector since 1996-97 and as chairman of the National Selection Panel since 2006," Clarke said at the meeting, according to ESPN. "During Andrew's time as a selector, Australian cricket achieved unparalleled success including three ICC World Cups, two ICC Champions Trophies and numerous Test series victories."

Clarke also said that Nielsen's accomplishments as coach were "overlooked," pointing to the top ranking as an ODI team under his tenure.

Of his time on the ICC, Clarke said that the sport must do more to tackle corruption going forward.

"The ICC has had a challenging year tackling corruption as a major issue and is also undertaking a governance review," he said. "Cricket's ambition to be a major world sport will be significantly influenced by the ICC succeeding with both these issues."

Australia will next face South Africa in two tests throughout November. You can catch these matches, and all the latest cricket matches, on Willow TV, which is free for two months when you send your first Xoom transfer to any bank in India, the U.K., South Africa, Australia or Canada.

27
Oct

Pacquiao: It’s personal

Pacquiao: It's personal

On several occasions, Manny Pacquiao has been criticized for being a bit too "nice" in the ring. A boxing fan certainly wouldn't lump in Pacquiao's easygoing demeanor and non-boastful attitude with a former champ like Mike Tyson, for example. But for his upcoming bout on November 12th with Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao admits that the rivalry has gotten personal between the two fighters.

"Right now, outside the ring, there is nothing personal but when I get into the ring on November 12 it's going to be personal for us," the fighter told Reuters. "It seems personal to him because he talks too much, and he needs to prove it. He talks a lot, and it's not good for a fighter to talk a lot without action. Me, I don't talk a lot. I just do some action."

Pacquiao is referring to Marquez's claims that he should have won a controversial split decision that was awarded to Pacquaio the last time they fought. The Mexican boxer even went so far as to wear a t-shirt that read "We Were Robbed" while promoting his upcoming fight with the Filipino phenomenon.

Strength trainer Alex Ariza says Pacquiao is extremely motivated for the fight because of the perceived slight against him by Marquez.

"When something is personal, it's a lot different. He knows that he has to make a statement in this one," Ariza told the Associated Press. "I don't see Manny even touching gloves [with Marquez]. He has a disdain for the guy, and I've never known him to dislike anyone."

Boxing fans can see it all go down when they use Xoom to send their first money transfer to the Philippines, Latin America or the Caribbean. Qualifying transactions will get to see the fight free live on pay-per-view on November 12th. Those who complete their transactions before October 25th will be entered to win tickets to see the fight live in Las Vegas.

25
Sep

Unity Day commemorates the reunification of Germany

Oktoberfest will extend an extra day to be part of Unity Day celebrations in Germany.

October 3 is German Unity Day, a holiday to commemorate the anniversary of German reunification in 1990. Each year, Unity Day is marked with a ceremonial act and a festival in the German state that presides over Bundesrat, the Federal Council, that year. The main festivities will be held in Bonn, which is the former capital of West Germany, but other states will hold their own ceremonies as well.

This year, the holiday falls on a Monday, so everyone in Germany will have the day off. All the stores and offices will be closed, and public services, such as buses and trains, will run on a more relaxed Sunday schedule, which is good news for anyone who is planning to take part in Oktoberfest. The two-week festival usually ends on the first Sunday of October, but it has been extended to include the holiday this year.

Germans who are working in other countries will wire money to their families to they can go to Oktoberfest or cook a big meal for the holiday. Unity day is often commemorated with speeches from politicians and other figureheads, as well as fireworks and concerts.

20
Sep

Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, October 2, is honored around the world

On October 2, Indian people will honor the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, and people around the world will honor the day known as Gandhi Jayanti as well. The Father of the Nation was born on this day in 1869, and he played a major role in the Indian independence movement. He is credited with the development of satyagraha, or non-violent protest, and has inspired many civil rights movements around the world.

Gandhi lived modestly, humbly and honestly, and he encouraged others to follow suit. His non-violent approach to changing the world for the better rubbed some people the wrong way, and he was assassinated in January 1948 while approaching a stage to lead a prayer meeting. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered into the Sangam at Allahabad, where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet. The site is sacred in the Hindu religion and bathing in a sangam is said to free a person of the rebirth cycle and wash away their sins.

To honor the memory of the Father of the Nation, prayer services, ceremonies and other events are held throughout the nation and the world on Gandhi Jayanti. Many people sing Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram, which was Gandhi's favorite devotional song. Flowers are placed on statues of the iconic figurehead throughout the nation and many people who are working in other countries will send money to their families in India so they can buy flowers to decorate their monuments to Gandhi.

In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared that this day would also be recognized as the International Day of Non-Violence. Around the world people gather to take part in multi-faith prayers, light ceremonies that promote peace and public lectures and art exhibitions on non-violence and current issues.

The humble man's wisdom is revered around the world, and his approach to social change still proves to be one of the most effective. He believed that it was best to avoid violence and seek more peaceful means of resolution and his beliefs fueled his contribution to the freedom of India from British rule.

"The only virtue I want to claim is truth and non-violence," Gandhi once said. "I lay no claim to super human powers – I want none." 

30
Aug

First Hispanic-American woman appointed as new Girl Scouts chief executive

Anna Maria Chavez was recently appointed to the seat of chief executive of the Girl Scouts of the USA, making her the first Mexican-American woman to hold the position.

Chavez currently serves as the chief executive officer of the organization's branch in Southwest Texas, and was also the deputy chief of staff to Arizona's former governor Janet Napolitano. Her accomplishments make her a fine choice for an organization that puts such emphasis on female empowerment, and her cultural heritage teaches girls that they are capable of anything, regardless of their race or gender.

"Anna Maria is the right person at the right time for our organization," said Connie Lindsey, the national president of the Girl Scouts of the USA. "She has a tremendous track record, and her visionary leadership is going to be invaluable as we work to fulfill our mission to be the premiere leadership experience for girls in ways that are relevant, engaging and meaningful."

Girl Scouts teaches values such as honesty, fairness, sisterhood, confidence and citizenship. It also teaches girls about the world and how they can help to make a difference. The organization is one of 145 different groups from many different countries that belong to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, which encourages international friendship and helps girls learn about other people and cultures around the world.

People who are working in foreign countries send money home so their daughters and female relatives can participate in their own local organizations' events and trips.

29
Aug

Heritage Day gives South Africans the chance to celebrate the diverse culture of their land

Every year, on September 24, the people of South Africa celebrate Heritage Day. The national holiday recognizes the diverse cultures and history of its people, and the month of September has also become known as Heritage Month. A whole month dedicated to the rich history of the nation allows for ample time to cover all of the different cultures that are found in South Africa. This year, the theme of the holiday is "Celebrating the Heroes and Heroines of the Liberation Struggle in South Africa."

The theme, according to the South African Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), will not only teach younger generations of the struggles their nation faced not too long ago, but it will help to propel the country forward. The DAC essentially believes that improving the future depends heavily on educating today's youth about the past, and that this year's theme could close the generational gap. The events that will take place to pay tribute to South Africa's struggle include dance, songs, poetry, oral history narrations and visits to famous sites of the liberation struggle.

"When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation," former President Nelson Mandela said in a speech during Heritage Day in 1996, according to the South African government information website. "We did so knowing that the struggles against injustice and inequities of the past are part of our national identity – they are part of our culture."

On eve of the holiday, the graves of national liberation heroes and heroines in Mpumalanga and other provinces will be cleaned. Wreaths will then be laid at the grave sites to honor those who gave their lives to the struggle for freedom. The following day, a formal program will be held in Mpumalanga, featuring a keynote speech by President Jacob Zuma.

Heritage Day doubles as National Braai Day, which gives friends and families the opportunity to spend the day together, eating and enjoying one another's company, according to the BBC News. People who are working outside the country will send money to South Africa to help their families pay for the food on National Braai Day.