World Timeline

France Legalizes Gay Marriage Amid Violent Protests

France Gay Marriage

France legalized gay marriage on Tuesday amid violent protests in the nation’s capital. The vote was preceded by intense national debate that exposed deep social conservatism in the country’s heartland. It also triggered huge protests in Paris from both sides of the debate. Hundreds of officers armed with water cannons were present outside the National… Read more »

Bill Gates ‘Rude’ Handshake Causes Controversy In South Korea

Bill Gates Condom Offer Follows In His Spirit Of Innovation

Bill Gates was criticized for being rude this week after he was photographed shaking hands with South Korea President Park Geun-hye. The handshake probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to the American audience, but South Koreans were upset with the Microsoft founder’s casual approach to greeting Park Geun-hye. According to ABC, a one handed… Read more »

Canadian Police Thwart Terror Plot, Arrest Two Suspects

Canadian Police Foil Terror Plot

Canadian police thwarted a terror plot on Monday when they arrested two suspects linked with al Qaeda. The pair allegedly planned to derail a passenger train in Greater Toronto. The Canadian Mounted Police called the plan a “major terrorist attack.” The RCMP spoke during an afternoon news conference, saying that Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed… Read more »

Fukushima Cleanup Could Take More Than 40 Years, IAEA Says

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Decommissioning

Cleanup at the Fukushima nuclear plant could take more than 40 years, according to a UN nuclear watchdog. The plant, which was badly damaged during the 2011 Japan earthquake and resulting tsunami, is in the process of being decommissioned. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team, Juan Carlos Lentijo, added that the… Read more »

7.0 Quake Off Japan’s Northern Coast Causes No Damage


Authorities say a powerful 7.0 earthquake struck islands off north Japan Friday, but no tsunami warning was issued. According to Reuters, the quake hit off Japan’s Hokkaido (the largest and northernmost of Japan’s 47 prefectures) at around 12:06 local time in the Pacific Ocean at a relatively shallow depth of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers). The… Read more »

Rare 25.5-Carat Blue Diamond Found In South Africa

25.5 carat blue diamond discovered in South Africa

A rare blue diamond weighing 25.5 carats has been discovered in South Africa. The stone was recovered by Petra Diamonds at its Cullinan mine, which has produced several large diamonds that were eventually sold at hefty prices. “It’s very unusual for a diamond of this quality and size to come to market,” Petra spokeswoman Cathy… Read more »

New Zealand Parliament Votes To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

New Zealand same-sex marriage

New Zealand’s Parliament passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage Wednesday. Parliament voted 77-44 in favor of the bill on its third reading, the second-to-last step to enacting laws in the country. The next and final step, in which the governor-general gives royal assent, is generally guaranteed. Louisa Wall, the bill’s sponsor, said she is “very… Read more »

6.8 Earthquake Hits Papua New Guinea [Video]


A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Papua New Guinea’s northern coast Wednesday morning, causing residents who feared a tsunami to seek higher ground. According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake struck at approximately 8:55 am 11 miles east of the country’s coastal town of Aitape. The CS Monitor reports the temblor was felt… Read more »