There is no indication that it came from the state of Denmark, but the beam that supports the roof over the grave of William Shakespeare is rotten. The Rev. Martin Gorick, vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, said the problem was discovered three weeks ago by workmen on the roof of the church, who were alarmed to find bits of the beam falling off. "We were doing some urgent lead repairs anyway, and the workmen found the odd bit dropped off," Gorick told the BBC. Fixing the beam is expected to add $80,000 to repairs that were already in progress.
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Oldest man now a little bit older
A party for Walter Breuning, who at 113 is believed to be the world's oldest man, was held at the Rainbow Retirement Community in Great Falls, Mont. Gov. Brian Schweitzer was on the guest list. Breuning was born on Sept. 21, 1896 in Melrose, Minn., and moved to Montana in 1918. He worked for the railroad for 50 years.
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Putin helps fulfill leopard promise
Once again, Vladimir Putin is hanging out with the big cats. The Russian prime minister supervised the release of two snow leopards into a wildlife sanctuary near the southern resort of Sochi, fulfilling a pledge he made before Russia won the right to host the 2014 Olympic Games. The male snow leopards imported from Turkmenistan were freed Saturday. Plans call for females to be introduced later and a breeding program begun. Putin had pledged to reintroduce the big cats to the Caucasus if Russia won the 2014 Winter Olympic games, the IOC said. Snow leopards are extinct in the Caucasus, the IOC said, although they survive in the mountains of Central Asia.
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China bears down for anniversary
Dozens of fighter jets and other warplanes soared over Beijing on Monday as China stepped up preparations for the 60th anniversary of communist rule, tightening security with restrictions on knife sales and plans to ground flights on Oct. 1. China has tightened security in recent weeks ahead of the holiday. In the latest move, sales of knives have been banned at some stores after two knife attacks near Tiananmen Square last week.
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Meet the genius class of 2009
The Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation named its 24 "genius" grant recipients. Each gets $500,000 over the next five years and was chosen as much for what they might accomplish in the future as anything they have already done. How are they chosen? To learn, go to links.tampabay.com.
- Lynsey Addario, 35, photojournalist, Istanbul, Turkey. Creates a visual record of major conflicts and crisis.
- Maneesh Agrawala, 37, computer vision technologist, Berkeley, Calif. Designs visual interfaces that enhance ability to synthesize and comprehend complex information.
- Timothy Barrett, 59, Iowa City, Iowa. A papermaker and paper historian who preserves the art of hand-papermaking.
- Mark Bradford, 47, Los Angeles. Mixed media artist who incorporates everyday items into abstract art.
- Edwidge Danticat, 40, Miami. Novelist whose depictions of Haitian immigrants chronicle human endurance.
- Rackstraw Downes, 69, New York. Painter whose landscapes explore the intersection between the built and the natural world.
- Esther Duflo, 36, Cambridge, Mass. Economist who analyzes poverty in South Asia and Africa.
- Deborah Eisenberg, 63, New York. Short story writer whose work depicts people coming to terms with personal relationships and changing social context.
- Lin He, 35, Berkeley, Calif. Molecular biologist who describes the role of microRNAs in cancer.
- Peter Huybers, 35, Cambridge, Mass. Climate scientist who theorizes about climate change.
- James Longley, 37, Seattle. Filmmaker who explores conflicts in the Middle East through the stories of ordinary families.
- L. Mahadevan, 44, Cambridge, Mass. Applied mathematician who investigates underlying behavior of complex systems to address such questions as how flags flutter.
- Heather McHugh, 61, Seattle. Poet who uses such wordplay as puns and rhymes.
- Jerry Mitchell, 50, Jackson, Miss. Newspaper reporter whose work has led to prosecutions in decades-old Civil Rights Era slayings.
- Rebecca Onie, 32, Boston. Health services innovator who helped build a program to improve health care for low-income patients.
- Richard Plum, 48, New Haven, Conn. Ornithologist who studies avian development, evolution and behavior.
- John A. Rogers, 42, Urbana, Ill. Applied physicist who is a leader in developing flexible electronic devices.
- Elyn Saks, 43, Los Angeles. Law school professor whose writings and struggles with schizophrenia challenge notions about severe mental illness.
- Jill Seaman, 57, Old Fangak, Sudan. Physician devoted to improving treatment for infectious diseases in Sudan.
- Beth Shapiro, 33, University Park, Pa. Biologist whose research focuses on tracing history of recently extinct or threatened species.
- Daniel Sigman, 40, Princeton, N.J. Biogeochemist examining the forces that have shaped the ocean's fertility and earth's climate.
- Mary Tinetti, 58, New Haven, Conn. Geriatric physician who studies accidents involving the elderly.
- Camille Utterback, 39, San Francisco. Artist who uses digital technology to redefine how viewers experience and interact with art.
- Theodore Zoli, 43, New York. Bridge engineer who has worked to protect transportation infrastructure in a disaster.