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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mayan end-of-world rumors prompt Michigan officials to close 33 schools; Vatican astronomer says Earth has billions of years of life left

Mayan end-of-world rumors prompt Michigan officials to close 33 schools

From the piece:

Matt Wandrie, superintendent for Lapeer Community Schools, said doomsday "rumors" are running rampant in several districts, adding to fears raised by last week's school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

"Given the recent events in Connecticut, there have been numerous rumors circulating in our district, and in neighboring districts, about potential threats of violence against students," Wandrie wrote on his website.

"Additionally, rumors connected to the Mayan calendar predicted end of the world on Friday have also surfaced," he added.

Vatican astronomer says Earth has billions of years of life left

From the piece:

But while the idea that Earth could be shattered into a billion pieces by some sort of interplanetary cataclysm has worried millions of people around the world, the Holy See's chief astronomer suggests that life as we know it is unlikely to come to an end quite so soon.

In an editorial in the Vatican's official daily newspaper,L'Osservatore Romano – in an issue whose front-page article was entitled “The end is not nigh – at least for now” – Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the director of the Vatican Observatory, criticized "pseudo-prophecies" about the end of the Universe.

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