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From today's featured article

Afonso in 1846

Afonso (1845–1847) was the Prince Imperial and heir apparent to the throne of the Empire of Brazil. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the eldest child of Emperor Dom Pedro II and Dona Teresa Cristina of the Two Sicilies, and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of the House of Braganza. With the birth of his child, the insecure and shy 19-year-old Emperor Pedro II became more mature and outgoing. Afonso's arrival also fostered a closer and happier relationship between his parents, who had not married for love. Afonso died from epilepsy at the age of two, devastating the emperor. After the loss of his other son, doubts grew in Pedro II's mind that the imperial system could be viable. He still had an heir in his daughter Isabel, but he was unconvinced that a female would prove to be a suitable successor. He became careless about the effects of his policies on the monarchy, provided his daughter Isabel with no training for her role as potential empress, and failed to cultivate her acceptance within the country's political class. Pedro II's lack of interest in protecting the imperial system ultimately led to its downfall. (Full article...)

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A smiling man in a black shirt

The Academy Award for Best Actor is presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role while working within the film industry. The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 with Emil Jannings receiving the award for his roles in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh. Currently, nominees are determined by single transferable vote within the actors branch of AMPAS; winners are selected by a plurality vote from the entire body of eligible voting members of the Academy. In the first three years of the awards, actors were nominated as the best in their categories. The system was later replaced by one in which an actor is nominated for a specific performance in a single film. Since its inception, the award has been given to 77 actors. Daniel Day-Lewis (pictured) has received the most awards in this category with three Oscars. Spencer Tracy and Laurence Olivier were nominated on nine occasions, more than any other actor. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Shun Lee

A panoramic view of the southern part of Shun Lee, an area north of Sau Mau Ping and east of Ngau Chi Wan in Hong Kong. Named after the first public housing estate in the area, it is located in a valley surrounded by hills.

Visible from left to right are the ECF Saint Too Canaan College, United Christian College, Shun Lee Fire Station, and the Shun Lee Disciplined Services Quarters.

Photograph: Samuel Louie; edited by Chris Woodrich

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