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An estimated 20 million tourists visit the state each year. Over 100,000 of these are from other countries, including from Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. In 2006, 22.3 million tourists spent $8.3 billion providing an estimated 162,000 jobs in the state. Some of the most popular areas include the Rocket City of Huntsville, the beaches along the Gulf, and the state's capitol in Montgomery.

Major newspapers include Birmingham News, Birmingham Post-Herald, Mobile Press-Register, and Montgomery Advertiser. Television news channels in Alabama include: ABC WJSU 40 ABC, Anniston, AL WBMA 33/40 ABC, Birmingham, AL WDHN 18 ABC, Dothan, AL WAAY 31 ABC, Huntsville, AL WNCF 32 ABC, Montgomery, AL WCFT 33 ABC, Tuscaloosa, AL, CBS WIAT 42 CBS, Birmingham, AL WTVY 4 CBS, Dothan, AL WHNT 19 CBS, Huntsville, AL WKRG 5 CBS, Mobile, AL WAKA 8 CBS, Selma, AL Fox WBRC 6 FOX, Birmingham, AL WZDX 54 FOX, Huntsville, AL WALA 10 FOX, Mobile, AL WCOV 20 FOX, Montgomery, AL WDFX 34 FOX, Ozark, AL NBC WVTM 13 NBC, Birmingham, AL WAFF 48 NBC, Huntsville, AL WPMI 15 NBC, Mobile, AL WSFA 12 NBC, Montgomery, AL PBS/Alabama Public Television WBIQ 10 PBS, Birmingham, AL WIIQ 41 PBS, Demopolis, AL WDIQ 2 PBS, Dozier, AL WFIQ 36 PBS, Florence, AL WHIQ 25 PBS, Huntsville, AL WGIQ 43 PBS, Louisville, AL WEIQ 42 PBS, Mobile, AL WAIQ 26 PBS, Montgomery, AL WCIQ 7 PBS, Mount Cheaha, AL

Achilles was the son of the Nereid Thetis and of Peleus, the king of the Myrmidons. Zeus and Poseidon had been rivals for the hand of Thetis until Prometheus, the fore-thinker, warned Zeus of a prophecy (originally uttered by Themis, goddess of divine law) that Thetis would bear a son greater than his father. For this reason, the two gods withdrew their pursuit, and had her wed Peleus. There is a tale which offers an alternative version of these events: In the Argonautica (4.760) Zeus' sister and wife Hera alludes to Thetis' chaste resistance to the advances of Zeus, pointing out that Thetis was so loyal to Hera's marriage bond that she coolly rejected the father of gods. Thetis, although a daughter of the sea-god Nereus, was also brought up by Hera, further explaining her resistance to the advances of Zeus. Zeus was furious and decreed that she would never marry an immortal. According to the Achilleid, written by Statius in the 1st century AD, and to non-surviving previous sources, when Achilles was born Thetis tried to make him immortal, by dipping him in the river Styx. However, he was left vulnerable at the part of the body by which she held him, his left heel (see Achilles' heel, Achilles' tendon). It is not clear if this version of events was known earlier. In another version of this story, Thetis anointed the boy in ambrosia and put him on top of a fire, to burn away the mortal parts of his body. She was interrupted by Peleus and abandoned both father and son in a rage. However, none of the sources before Statius makes any reference to this general invulnerability. To the contrary, in the Iliad Homer mentions Achilles being wounded: in Book 21 the Paeonian hero Asteropaeus, son of Pelagon, challenged Achilles by the river Scamander. He cast two spears at once, one grazed Achilles' elbow, "drawing a spurt of blood". Also, in the fragmentary poems of the Epic Cycle in which we can find description of the hero's death (i.e. the Cypria, the Little Iliad by Lesches of Pyrrha, the Aithiopis and Iliou persis by Arctinus of Miletus), there is no trace of any reference to his general invulnerability or his famous weakness at the heel; in the later vase paintings presenting Achilles' death, the arrow (or in many cases, arrows) hit his body. Peleus entrusted Achilles to Chiron the Centaur, on Mount Pelion, to be reared. Thetis foretold that her son's fate was either to gain glory and die young, or to live a long but uneventful life in obscurity. Achilles chose the former, and decided to take part in the Trojan war. According to Homer, Achilles grew up in Phthia together with his companion Patroclus.