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World Newsbits for August 15, 2014

RUSSIAN CONVOY

Voronezh, Russia (AP) — A Russian aid convoy has resumed its travels toward Ukraine and has taken the road leading south toward the rebel-held city of Luhansk. Associated Press reporters saw the trucks leave the military depot in the southern Russian city of Voronezh early Thursday. The convoy of about 262 vehicles had been parked since late Tuesday amid disagreement over how and where it would cross into Ukraine, where government troops are battling pro-Russia separatists. By sending the convoy south, Russia appears intent on not abiding by an earlier tentative agreement to deliver the aid to a Ukraine government-controlled crossing in the Kharkiv region, where it could be inspected by the Red Cross.

LANGUAGE TRENDS

London (AP) — Don’t know what “vaping” is? How about “listicle”? Perhaps it’s time to get to know them. Britain’s Oxford University Press said Thursday it is adding the words — along with other new entries, from “time-poor” to “Paleo diet” — to its online Oxford Dictionaries to reflect new language trends. Editors for the site track and analyze some 150 million English words used online, in newspapers and other sources, and once every few months they decide which new words are so widely used that they merit a dictionary entry. “These are words that are common enough that you are likely to encounter them, and may have to look up their meanings,” said Oxford Dictionaries editor Katherine Martin.

BELL IN RIVER

Yangon, Myanmar (AP) — A team of divers is trying to retrieve a bronze bell that has been lying for centuries at the confluence of three rivers south of Myanmar’s old capital, Yangon.

The 270-ton bell, believed to be one of the largest ever cast, was made on the order of King Dhammazedi in 1476 and donated to the revered Shwedagon pagoda. In the early 1600s, it was stolen by Portuguese despot Philip de Brito. The vessel carrying the historic treasure sank where the Yangon and Bago rivers meet the Pazundaung creek. Private and foreign groups have tried unsuccessfully to retrieve the bell in the past. Buried deep beneath the mud, they have been deterred in part by murky waters and torrential currents.

PROFESSOR WINS

Washington (AP) — An Iranian-born Stanford University professor is the first woman to win math’s highest honor, the Fields Medal. The International Mathematics Union awarded the prize to Maryam Mirzakhani and three others at a meeting in Seoul on Wednesday. The prize and $13,700 is awarded every four years to mathematicians 40 years old or younger. It was established in 1936. Mirzakhani, 37, won for complex theoretical math on the symmetry of curved surfaces, including spheres and even doughnuts. “This is a great honor. I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians,” she said in a statement released by Stanford.

RACIAL UNREST

Ferguson, Missouri (AP) — Protests in a St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death turned violent, with some people lobbing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police who responded with smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, who has been the public face of the city torn by Saturday’s death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, told reporters earlier Wednesday that the St. Louis County investigation of the shooting could take weeks to complete. In the meantime, he said, his department welcomes Justice Department training on racial relations in the suburb, where two-thirds of the 21,000 residents are black while all but three of the police force’s 53 officers are white.