Atlanta, Georgia — A rare winter storm swept through the United States, leaving many major cities—with Atlanta being the worst affected—in states of emergency. Many commuters on the freeway were forced to abandon their cars and thousands of children spent the night at school.
Government officials came under fire for a lack of preparation; many emergency response centers were not opened until the brunt of the damage had already been done. Businesses in the area responded in any way they could. Home Depot, an Atlanta-based company, kept its doors open all night in 17 stores in the area to let stranded travelers come in from the cold and sleep on lawn chairs.
London, England — The Royal Family is in a bit of trouble, and it has nothing to do with a certain red-headed prince. The Queen and her financial advisors were reprimanded by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee for failing to balance the books in the Royal Household. They have an annual “sovereign grant” limit of £31 million, yet in the 2012-2013 fiscal year the amount was surpassed by £2.3 million.
The household was forced to tap into the emergency reserve fund, bringing that total to £1 million, a historic low. There was also criticism for the state of the extensive properties of the Royal Family, as many have fallen into disrepair.
The Queen must now find new ways to generate revenue in order to have financial security for the next fiscal year.
Florence, Italy — The guilty verdicts for Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito for the murder of Knox’s flat mate, British national Meredith Kercher, in 2007, were reinstated on January 30. The pair was originally convicted in 2009, and Knox had served four of the 25 years of her sentence before being acquitted of the charges in 2013.
The Italian court system has increased her sentence to 28.5 years. She now faces the possibility of extradition should the Italian High Court uphold the conviction.
Sollecito, her former boyfriend, was caught by police at the Italian border as he was assumedly trying to escape the country after hearing the third court verdict.
Adelaide, Australia —Greater, the world’s oldest flamingo, died at the age of 83 in the Adelaide Zoo on Friday, January 24. The bird, born at the end of the Great Depression, lived through World War II and survived an attack from teenagers at the zoo in 2008
The flamingo arrived at the zoo in 1933, its gender and origin unknown (though it is thought to be from either Cairo or Hamburg Zoo).
The only other flamingo in the country is a “Chilly,” a Chilean flamingo, as Australia has a moratorium on the importation of birds.