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International News Archive - February 04, 2009

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The steady retreat of glaciers on China's Qinghai-Tibet plateau during the past 40 years is troubling, scientists in the Asian nation said Wednesday. Xin Yuanhong, senior engineer in charge of a three-year field study, said the glaciers at the headwaters of the Yangtze, China's longest river, now cover 406 square miles, down from 482 square miles in 1971, Xinhua reported.

Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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