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The Monitor in Space: Monitor science reporter Pete Spotts tackles asteroids, Mars, and the smallest planet yet discovered
Russian asteroid highlights astronomers’ challenge: predicting such space objects
Curiosity makes history with scoop - and begins Mars mission in earnest
Discovery of smallest planet yet a ‘milestone’ in search for another Earth
Image: An artist’s illustration compares the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. JPL-Caltech/Ames/NASA/Reuters

The Monitor in Space: Monitor science reporter Pete Spotts tackles asteroids, Mars, and the smallest planet yet discovered

Russian asteroid highlights astronomers’ challenge: predicting such space objects

Curiosity makes history with scoop - and begins Mars mission in earnest

Discovery of smallest planet yet a ‘milestone’ in search for another Earth

Image: An artist’s illustration compares the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. JPL-Caltech/Ames/NASA/Reuters

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Week In Review: Britain moves a step closer to legalizing gay marriage, could this mark a turning point around the world?

Though British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party was split on the measure, a bill to legalize gay marriage in England and Wales is expected to pass with support from Labour and the Liberal Democrats. 

Polls have shown a majority of Brits support same-sex marriage, unlike the French, where tens of thousands took to the streets of Paris in January and February, to protest their government’s plan to legalize same-sex marriage.

How will impending legislation in Britain and France impact popular opinion worldwide? Which countries have already legalized gay marriage? Which countries are close?

Does Tory opposition to gay marriage signal a UK ‘culture war?’

French government unfazed by massive anti-gay marriage protest

Gay marriage laws around the globe

Photos: (Top) Civilly-partnered gay couple Tony (l.) and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, of Chelmsford, Essex pose near the Houses of Parliament in London February 5. Photo by Chris Helgren/Reuters

(Left) Opponents to government plans to legalize same-sex marriage, adoption and medically assisted procreation for same-sex couples, demonstrate in Marseille southern France Feb. 2. Photo by Claude Paris/AP

An activist wearing gay pride colors stands outside Parliament where lawmakers debated same sex marriage law in Montevideo, Uruguay, in December. Lawmakers postponed a vote on the measure until April. Photo by Matilde Campodonico/AP    

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Changing the World: Three stories about people and organizations making a difference, from the West Bank, to New Delhi, to North Carolina

In West Bank, a space for tutus and pirouettes
Ramallah Ballet Center owner Shyrine Ziadeh decided not to leave the West Bank to study dance, but instead opened a space to cultivate talent and hope among local youth.

Changing the face of aid, literally
Oxfam America wants to depict aid recipients as potential entrepreneurs and ‘job creators,’ not victims. But visuals of people suffering still pull in more donations.

Indian-American looks homeward to help the needy
Rakesh Agarwal, a successful businessman, has a track record of philanthropy in western North Carolina. Now he’s extending his work to include his home country of India.

Photos: (Top) Shyrine Ziadeh leads one of her three classes at the Ramallah Ballet Center, which she opened in December 2011 with the help of her family. Photo by: Christa Case Bryant/The Christian Science Monitor

(Left) Two boys laugh as they pose for a photo in a neighborhood of Monrovia, Liberia. Aids groups such as Oxfam would like to portray the people they help as trustworthy partners capable of helping themselves, and not as victims. Photo by: Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

(Right) Rakesh Agarwal stands in his store in Asheville, N.C. Nearly 30 years ago, he arrived in the US with $20 in his pocket. Now the owner and CEO of a rug and home store, Agarwal has created a nonprofit to help the poorest of the poor in his native India. Photo by: Patrick Sullivan/AP Photo/The Times-News

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Yes, you’re right, that is a Ducati. 

Ducati MotoGP rider Rossi of Italy rides during free practice for German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring circuit. 

Photo by: TOBIAS SCHWARZ/Reuters

Yes, you’re right, that is a Ducati. 

Ducati MotoGP rider Rossi of Italy rides during free practice for German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring circuit.

Photo by: TOBIAS SCHWARZ/Reuters

(Source: csmonitor.com)

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The Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest in the United States and third largest in the world, is seen in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Picture taken June 22, 2011. (REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)
Did you know: This geyser  discharges 560 US gallons (2,100 L) per minute. To put this into context; Old Faithful erupts every 45 minutes, but discharges 3,700 gallons. In 45 minutes, The Grand Prismatic Spring has discharged 25,200 gallons of water in 45 separate eruptions.

The Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest in the United States and third largest in the world, is seen in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Picture taken June 22, 2011. (REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

Did you know: This geyser discharges 560 US gallons (2,100 L) per minute. To put this into context; Old Faithful erupts every 45 minutes, but discharges 3,700 gallons. In 45 minutes, The Grand Prismatic Spring has discharged 25,200 gallons of water in 45 separate eruptions.

(Source: csmonitor.com)

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We like this photo and thought it was easily shareable. Pass it on - its not news, but it is a slice of everyday life.

A vegetable vender is seen as he waits for customers in Kathmandu. (REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

We like this photo and thought it was easily shareable. Pass it on - its not news, but it is a slice of everyday life.

A vegetable vender is seen as he waits for customers in Kathmandu. (REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

(Source: csmonitor.com)

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SPECIAL REPORT: As troop drawdown nears, is NATO surge working in Afghanistan?
As Obama’s promise of a troop drawdown nears, the US military says the surge of tens of thousands of NATO reinforcements that began last year has won some and lost some against the Taliban but needs more time to succeed.

Photo Caption: A Canadian soldier from the 6th Platoon, Bulldog Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Royal Regiment, walks through a field of Marijuana plants during a patrol in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province southern Afghanistan June 13, 2011. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

SPECIAL REPORT: As troop drawdown nears, is NATO surge working in Afghanistan?

As Obama’s promise of a troop drawdown nears, the US military says the surge of tens of thousands of NATO reinforcements that began last year has won some and lost some against the Taliban but needs more time to succeed.

Photo Caption: A Canadian soldier from the 6th Platoon, Bulldog Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Royal Regiment, walks through a field of Marijuana plants during a patrol in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province southern Afghanistan June 13, 2011. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

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csmphoto:

New government-made housing project (r.) is seen from the top of Las Mayas slum in Caracas May 24, 2011. Despite being in power for 12 years and bringing plenty of new schools and clinics to poor areas, Chavez has failed to fix Venezuela’s housing shortfall — currently at 2 million units. That, say critics, demonstrates the failure of socialism in Venezuela, where the 500,000 new homes built during Chavez’s rule, about two-thirds by the private sector, is no better than the rate of construction under his predecessors. Not surprisingly, Chavez has sought to take the initiative with a new “Grand Housing Mission” — his eighth such construction plan — aiming to build 2 million new units by 2017 with funds available from higher global oil prices.    REUTERS/Jorge Silva 

 To my eye, this is a classic example of photojournalism. The entire story is in this one image. To the left is Las Mayas, a hopeless looking slum area. To the right is brand new housing ready to be inhabited. The youths at the bottom right hand corner offer the question -  what promise does the new housing bring? We get a clearer understanding of what is at stake for this community looking at all the elements of the story at once. The photos were released today which is why I included it in today’s Photos of the Day.
Joanne Ciccarello, assistant photo editor

csmphoto:

New government-made housing project (r.) is seen from the top of Las Mayas slum in Caracas May 24, 2011. Despite being in power for 12 years and bringing plenty of new schools and clinics to poor areas, Chavez has failed to fix Venezuela’s housing shortfall — currently at 2 million units. That, say critics, demonstrates the failure of socialism in Venezuela, where the 500,000 new homes built during Chavez’s rule, about two-thirds by the private sector, is no better than the rate of construction under his predecessors. Not surprisingly, Chavez has sought to take the initiative with a new “Grand Housing Mission” — his eighth such construction plan — aiming to build 2 million new units by 2017 with funds available from higher global oil prices.    REUTERS/Jorge Silva 

 To my eye, this is a classic example of photojournalism. The entire story is in this one image. To the left is Las Mayas, a hopeless looking slum area. To the right is brand new housing ready to be inhabited. The youths at the bottom right hand corner offer the question -  what promise does the new housing bring? We get a clearer understanding of what is at stake for this community looking at all the elements of the story at once. The photos were released today which is why I included it in today’s Photos of the Day.

Joanne Ciccarello, assistant photo editor

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An aerial view shows smoke and ash from an eruption in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain near Osorno city in south-central Chile. Here is the latest story from Reuters. 

Photo by IVAN ALVARADO/Reuters

An aerial view shows smoke and ash from an eruption in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain near Osorno city in south-central Chile. Here is the latest story from Reuters.

Photo by IVAN ALVARADO/Reuters

(Source: csmonitor.com)

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A lantern dedicated to U.S. service personnel who have been killed in combat floats on the water during the Na Lei Aloha Lantern Floating event held by the Shinnyo-en Buddhist at Ala Moana beach park on Memorial Day in Honolulu, Hawaii May 30, 2011.The event is held in honor of those killed by war, natural disasters and health reasons. (REUTERS/Hugh Gentry)

A lantern dedicated to U.S. service personnel who have been killed in combat floats on the water during the Na Lei Aloha Lantern Floating event held by the Shinnyo-en Buddhist at Ala Moana beach park on Memorial Day in Honolulu, Hawaii May 30, 2011.The event is held in honor of those killed by war, natural disasters and health reasons. (REUTERS/Hugh Gentry)