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2010s portal

The "2010s, pronounced "twenty-tens" or "two thousand (and) tens", is the current decade. It began on January 1, 2010, and will end on December 31, 2019.

The decade brought the continuation of US military involvement, both in direct combat and through foreign bases, in many parts of the world, including "Afghanistan, "Iraq, "Pakistan, the "Sahara, the "Horn of Africa, the "Philippines, the "Caribbean and Central America. In 2011, the "U.S. Navy SEALS "assassinated "Osama bin Laden in a raid on his "Abbottabad compound. Online nonprofit organisation "WikiLeaks gained international attention for publishing classified information on topics including "Guantánamo Bay, "Syria, the "Afghan and "Iraq wars, and "United States diplomacy. The website's editor-in-chief, "Julian Assange, was granted "political asylum by "Ecuador, while the United States accused "Chelsea Manning of "leaking classified information and "conducted a court-martial. Elsewhere, "Edward Snowden blew the whistle on "NSA "global surveillance.

The 2010s began amid a "global financial crisis dating from the late 2000s. The "European sovereign-debt crisis, which stemmed from these economic problems, became more pronounced and continued to affect the possibility of a global economic recovery. "Austerity policies particularly affected "Greece, "Ireland, "Portugal and "Spain. Such policies were among factors that led to the "15-M and "Occupy movements. Other economic issues, such as inflation and an increase in "commodity prices, led to unrest in many lower-income countries. Unrest in some countries—particularly in the "Arab world—evolved into "socio-economic crises triggering revolutions in "Kyrgyzstan, "Tunisia, "Egypt, "Bahrain and "Yemen, as well as civil war in "Libya and "Syria, in a widespread phenomenon—commonly referred to in the "Western world as the "Arab Spring—which continues as of September 2017.

Sitting world leaders "Hugo Chávez, "Muammar Gaddafi and "Kim Jong-il all died, as did former leaders "Fidel Castro, "Nelson Mandela and "Margaret Thatcher. Major natural disasters include the "2010 Haiti earthquake, the "2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, "Nepal earthquake of 2015 and the devastating "Hurricane Harvey. Other major international events this decade include the "Northern Iraq offensive (June 2014) and the "Paris attacks of November 2015.

Selected article

The "Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (福島第一原子力発電所事故, "Fukushima Dai-ichi (""About this sound pronunciation) genshiryoku hatsudensho jiko) was a series of "equipment failures, "nuclear meltdowns, and "releases of radioactive materials at the "Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, following the "Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011. It is the largest nuclear disaster since the "Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

The plant comprises six separate "boiling water reactors. At the time of the quake, Reactor 4 had been de-fueled while 5 and 6 were in cold "shutdown for planned maintenance. Immediately after the earthquake, the remaining reactors 1-3 shut down automatically, and emergency generators came online to control electronics and coolant systems. However the tsunami following the earthquake quickly flooded the low-lying rooms in which the emergency generators were housed. The flooded generators failed, cutting power to the critical pumps that must continuously circulate coolant water through a nuclear reactor to keep it from melting down. As the pumps stopped, the "reactors overheated due to the high radioactive "decay heat that normally continues for hours or days after a nuclear reactor shuts down.

At this point, only prompt flooding of the reactors with seawater could have cooled the reactors quickly enough to prevent meltdown. Salt water flooding was delayed because it would ruin the costly reactors permanently. Flooding with seawater was finally commenced only after the government ordered that seawater be used, and at this point it was already too late to prevent meltdown.

As the water boiled away and levels in the "fuel rods pools dropped, they began to overheat severely, and to melt down. In the hours and days that followed, Reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced full "meltdown.

In the intense heat and pressure of the melting reactors, a reaction between the nuclear fuel metal cladding and the remaining water surrounding them produced explosive hydrogen gas. As workers struggled to cool and shut down the reactors, several "hydrogen-air chemical explosions occurred.

Concerns about the repeated small explosions, the atmospheric venting of radioactive gasses, and the possibility of larger explosions led to a 20 km (12 mi)-radius evacuation around the plant. During the early days of the accident workers were temporarily evacuated at various times for "radiation safety reasons. At the same time, sea water that had been exposed to the melting rods was returned to the sea heated and radioactive in large volumes for several months until recirculating units could be put in place to repeatedly cool and re-use a limited quantity of water for cooling. The earthquake damage and flooding in the wake of the tsunami hindered external assistance. Electrical power was slowly restored for some of the reactors, allowing for automated cooling.

Japanese officials initially assessed the accident as Level 4 on the "International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) despite the views of other international agencies that it should be higher. The level was later raised to 5 and eventually to 7, the maximum scale value. The Japanese government and TEPCO have been criticized in the foreign press for poor communication with the public and improvised cleanup efforts. On 20 March, the "Chief Cabinet Secretary "Yukio Edano announced that the plant would be decommissioned once the crisis was over.

The Japanese government estimates the total amount of radioactivity released into the atmosphere was approximately one-tenth as much as was released during the Chernobyl disaster. Significant amounts of radioactive material have also been released into ground and ocean waters. Measurements taken by the Japanese government 30–50 km from the plant showed "caesium-137 levels high enough to cause concern, leading the government to ban the sale of food grown in the area. Tokyo officials temporarily recommended that tap water should not be used to prepare food for infants. In May 2012, TEPCO reported that at least 900 PBq had been released "into the atmosphere in March last year [2011] alone" although it has been said staff may have been told to lie, and give false readings to try and cover up true levels of radiation.

A few of the plant's workers were severely injured or killed by the disaster conditions resulting from the earthquake. There were no immediate deaths due to direct radiation exposures, but at least six workers have exceeded lifetime legal limits for radiation and more than 300 have received significant radiation doses. Predicted future cancer deaths due to accumulated radiation exposures in the population living near Fukushima have ranged from none to 100 to a non-peer-reviewed "guesstimate" of 1,000. On 16 December 2011, Japanese authorities declared the plant to be stable, although it would take decades to decontaminate the surrounding areas and to decommission the plant altogether. On July 5, 2012, the parliament appointed The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) submitted its inquiry report to the Japanese parliament, while the government appointed Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations of Tokyo Electric Power Company submitted its final report to the Japanese government on July 23, 2012. "Tepco admitted for the first time on October 12, 2012 that it had failed to take stronger measures to prevent disasters for fear of inviting lawsuits or protests against its nuclear plants.


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""Official 113th Congress photo portrait of Tim Kaine.

Selected biography

""Lady Gaga BTW Ball Antwerp 02.jpg
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ("/ˈstɛfəni ərməˈnɒtə/ "STEF-ə-nee jər-mə-NOT; born March 28, 1986), known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer and songwriter. Born and raised in New York City, she primarily studied at the "Convent of the Sacred Heart and briefly attended "New York University's "Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to focus on her musical career. She began performing in the rock music scene of "Manhattan's "Lower East Side, and was signed with Streamline Records by the end of 2007. During her employment as a songwriter for the record company, her vocal abilities captured the attention of recording artist "Akon, who signed her to his label "KonLive Distribution.

Lady Gaga came to prominence as a recording artist following the release of her debut album "The Fame (2008), which was a critical and commercial success that topped "charts around the world and included the international number-one singles ""Just Dance" and ""Poker Face". After embarking on the "The Fame Ball Tour, she followed the album with "The Fame Monster (2009), which spawned the worldwide hit singles ""Bad Romance", ""Telephone" and ""Alejandro". The Fame Monster's success allowed her to embark on the eighteen-month long "Monster Ball Tour, which later became one of the "highest-grossing concert tours of all time. Her 2011 album "Born This Way topped the charts of most major markets and generated more international chart-topping singles, including ""Born This Way", ""Judas" and ""The Edge of Glory". Besides her musical career, she involves herself with humanitarian causes and "LGBT activism.

Influenced by "David Bowie, "Michael Jackson, "Madonna, and "Queen, Lady Gaga is recognized for her flamboyant, diverse and outré contributions to the music industry through her fashion, performances and music videos. She has sold an estimated 23 million albums and 64 million singles worldwide and her singles are some of the "best selling worldwide. "Her achievements include five "Grammy Awards and 13 "MTV Video Music Awards. Lady Gaga has consecutively appeared on "Billboard magazine's Artists of the Year (scoring the definitive title in 2010), ranked fourth in "VH1's list of 100 Greatest Women in Music, is regularly placed on lists composed by "Forbes magazine and was named one of the most influential people in the world by "Time magazine. In 2012, Gaga was ranked at number four on Billboard's list of top moneymakers of 2011, grossing more than $25 million. In the annual report published by Nielsen Soundscan in 2011 she was named the 4th best selling digital artist of all time in U.S. with the total digital sales of 42,078,000. According to the "Official Charts Company, she is the 5th best selling female singles artist of all time in U.K. with sales of 7.329 million.

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