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Google Doodle salutes 105th Anniversary of great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s Antarctica Expedition and Conquest of the South Pole

The Doodle depicts the crew with a tent at the finishing line, skis, sleds, dogs, and the flag fluttering furiously, fighting a snow storm in a stark grey-white background, indicating the harsh conditions down the South Pole

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Mumbai, December 14, 2016: Google on Wednesday saluted the 105th anniversary of the great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s Antarctica expedition and conquest of the South Pole with a special Doodle dedicated to his epic journey on December 14, 1911.

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Amundsen’s expedition comprised just 19 people and nearly 100 Greenland sled dogs, who along with the use of skis to cross treacherous terrain, were key to the team’s success.

Known as the ‘last of the Vikings’, the 39-year old Amundsen had raced another British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott and left his party behind by five weeks to reach the icy-cold ‘bottom’ of the world that day.

Amundsen, along with Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting erected a tent at Polheim and hoisted the flag of Norway, and at the bottom of the tent marked it ‘Fram’, the polar exploration ship on which the expedition was carried out.

The Doodle depicts the crew with a tent at the finishing line, skis, sleds, dogs, and the flag fluttering furiously, fighting a snow storm in a stark grey-white background, indicating the harsh conditions down there.

Later, Amundsen – a lifelong adventurer with a gift for organisation and planning said: “Victory awaits him who has everything in order” and his South Pole conquest was a perfect illustration of that principle.

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Like the dogs, the explorers were aware that playfulness could help them endure the extreme conditions of the icy frontiers south under.

While prepping from Framheim, their base camp in the Bay of Whales, the team maintained a sense of fun — playing games, holding ‘guess-the-temperature’ contests, celebrating birthdays and telling stories.

When a sub-crew made the final trek to the South Pole in December 1911, it was their camaraderie and meticulous preparations that helped them win the race to “the bottom of the world”.

Google doodle of South Pole conquest
The Team at the South Pole on December, 1911. Wikimedia commons

“In honour of that achievement, today’s Doodle depicts the crew at the finish line, taking a moment to bask in the glory while the Antarctic wind whips outside their tent,” the Doodle tribute said.

Amundsen, who also conquered the North Pole years later, disappeared along with four others while on an air rescue mission to the Arctic on June 18, 1928.

It was after five decades in 1960 that Indian Navy’s Lt Ram Charan became the first Indian to set foot on the Antartica as part of an Australian Polar Expedition.

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Indian marine biologist, S.Z. Qasim led the first Indian expedition to Antarctica in 1981-1982, paving the way for India’s entry to the icy continent for research and setting up a permanent base there.

Later, Qasim guided seven other expeditions to the ‘bottom of the world’. He died aged 89 in 2015. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

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Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)