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France legalizes same-sex marriage amid protest

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The French Parliament became the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage even with massive protest, according to multiple news sources.

The decision was made even when France has seen one of the biggest protests in years, according to the BBC News. French opponents of same-sex marriage rallied the National Assembly when the results were shared, according to the BBC News.

The move to legalize same-sex marriage was championed by current French President Francois Hollande, who vowed to create equality for all, Reuters reported. This is considered the largest social reform since the abolishing of the death penalty in 1989, Reuters reported.

Reuters reported that pro-same-sex marriage supporters were often greeted with violent protest over the last few weeks including a 24-year-old being beaten in the southern French town of Nice.

BBC News reported that the first wedding could take place in June. BBC News reported that France became the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage which includes 9 countries in Europe. BBC News added that legislation is currently moving through the British Parliament.

The French Catholic Church and Conservative Party said that this will undermine the essential building blocks to society, BBC News reported.

Mourners attend Thatcher's funeral

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Former British Prime Minister's Margaret Thatcher's funeral was held Wednesday at St. Paul Cathedral in London, according to multiple news sources.

Over 2,000 dignitaries from various nations attended the funeral to pay their last respects, according to the BBC News. Thatcher's casket was carried throughout the streets of London as Britannia lined the streets to get a glimpse of the funeral precession, BBC New reported.

BBC News reported that there were protest, but smaller than expected. Mourners from North America included Canada's Prime Minister David Cameron and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, CNN reported. CNN reported that Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger attended. Nancy Reagan, widow of Thatcher's main ally President Reagan, was unable to attend but sent a representative, CNN reported.

BBC News said Thatcher's funeral began when a hearse took her casket from Parliament for the last time and began the procession. The Union Jack, the name of Britian's flag, was laid on top of the casket. Her carriage was drawn by horses through the streets.

Margaret Thatcher died April 8th of a stroke, CNN reporter. Her funeral, CNN said, was with full military honor, similar to Princess Diana's funeral. Thatcher was 87, CNN reported.

Margaret Thatcher dies at 87

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Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died at the 87, according to multiple news sources.

Margaret Thatcher was known for her conservative shift in British politics, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Tribune reported that she was Britian's first female prime minister and Britian's longest continuous prime minister.

New York Times
reported that she died of a stroke and that she has been in poor health for months. "Thatcher died peacefully on Monday morning at the Ritz hotel after a stroke," New York Times reported.

The New York Times reported that her legacy included helping the USA and USSR through the last years of the Cold War and leading England to victory in the Falkland War. The New York Times reported that Thatcher has been criticized for her actions on labor union and dealing with economic troubles in England during her later years.

Chicago Tribune reported that mourners has gathered outside her home in London to lay flowers and play their respect. Prime Minister David Cameron has cut his European visit short and ordered all flags on government buildings and royal palaces be lowered to half mast, Chicago Tribune said.

Argentina Flood devastes country's capital

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Flooding in Argentina has killed over 50 people after one of the nation's heaviest storms dumped rain Wednesday, according to multiple news sources.

Thousands of Argentinians living in Buenos Aires and La Plata, a city just south of the capital, have been forced to evacuate after a record storm swooped through Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the BBC News. Argentina's government has called for a three-day national mourning for one of its' worst catastrophes, BBC News reported.

New York Times reported 250,000 people are still without electricity in Buenos Aires and thousands still stranded on rooftops. Victims told reporters that everything has been ruined by the flooding, New York Times said.

BBC News reported that as much as 16 inches were falling every hour in La Plata. BBC News said that the Red Cross reported that most of the vicitms were elderly people who had drowned in the flood. Only half of the bodies have been identified, BBC News reported.

BBC News reported that residences of La Plata have set up roadblock to "protect their neighborhoods from looters." Argentinian President visited one of the worst hit areas to ensure that security will increase for residences, BBC News said.

Pope Francis has called on authorities to protect the homeless, BBC News reported.

North Korea sends a new line of threats towards Guam, Hawaii, the US Mainland, and their southern neighbors, according to multiple news sources.

North Korean officials put their military on "highest alert" Tuesday after South Korean president threatened North Korea with a possible outbreak of war, according to the New York Times.

North Korean officials stated that it is aiming at American bases in Hawaii & Guam as well as South Korea stated that "they should be mindful that everything will be reduced to ashes and flames the moment the first attack is unleashed," according to the New York Times. Tensions have risen between North and South Korea since December forcing the US and South Korea to push UN Sanctions against the North.

Washington Post stated that China, North Korea's closest ally, might need to step in to "calm" North Korea. Chinese officials have stated that it could hurt relations with the North but expressed deep concerns over North Korea's actions, according to the Washington Post.

Recently, according to the Washington Post, the US and South Korea have signed a pact to defend each other's nations if attacks were to happen.

Worries arise as North Korea nullifies 1953 truce

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North Korea has nullified the 1953 war truce which halted the Korean renewing threats to the South, according to multiple news sources

The New York Times said that the move "comes as the United States and South Korea are in the midst of two months of joint military drills." South Korea says that they are fearful of a potential attack from the North, The New York Times reported. South Korea added that the North might be using the military drills and UN sanctions as excuses to cause tensions, The New York Times reported.

South Korea's new President said that she would want to build trust with North Korea, according to the New York Times. The New York Times added that she criticized military officials for golfing instead of dealing with the crisis.

The BBC News reported that North Korea has cut the hotline between them and South Korea. BBC News has added that government officials in the South has attempted to contact the North but were unsuccessful.

The 1953 war truce was signed as an armistice, BBC News said. BBC added that the two nations are technically still at war.

The BBC News said that tensions the last few years have boiled since 2010 when North Koreans killed four South Koreans in a shelling on a boarder island.

North Korean Communist newspaper said that the situation was unpredictable, BBC News reported.

Hugo Chavez dead at 58

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died at the age of 58 from cancer, according to multiple news sources.

The BBC News reported that Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced Chavez's death Tuesday evening during a televised announcement. BBC News reported that earlier that Maduro said that Chavez went into his "most difficult hours."

Maduro mentioned of a plot against Venezuela that Chavez's cancer was a result of foul play by enemies, BBC News said. BBC News reported that the government had "deployed the armed forces and police nationwide" to sustain peace while trying to protect the population. The military issued a statement swearing their loyalty to the vice-president and the parliament, BBC News said.

A temporary President will be put in place until a special election is held, BBC News said. Argentina President reacted by canceling all activities after the announcement of Chaven's death. The President was close friends with Chevez, BBC News reported.

The Chicago Tribune said that the special election could be held within the next 30 days. The Chicago Tribune also reported that Maduro is favored to win the election.

However, with opposition rising up, investors are worried about the political instability, the Chicago Tribune reported. Chicago Tribune reported that if Maduro were defeated, there would most likely be tensions between Venezuela and and the rest of Latin America, especially with communist Cuba.

US Government has not commented on the death as of the publishing of this post.

Bulgarian parliament accepts PM resignation

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After being faced with mass protest for hike in prices of electricity and amnesty, Bulgarian parliament accepted Wednesday the resignation of the Prime Minister, according to multiple news sources.

According to the New York Times, by a vote of 209-5, the Bulgarian Parliament has accepted the resignation of the Prime Minister who will remain in power until an election has been set up for in April or May. The resignation came in response to massive protest in the Bulgarian capitol of Sofia. The protest was sparked by hike in electricity prices and allegations of corruption.

Anger grew with the Interior Minister stepped down on Monday. The resignation, according got the New York Times, was greeted with public acceptance that the economic policies have not worked.

BBC News said that Bulgaria is among one of the EU's poorest country. The prime minister attempted to dissolve the problem by promising to cut price and sacking his fiance minister. He added that he would "punish foreign-owned power companies that he said charged too much." The government lost its' support when it abandoned plans to build a nuclear power place back in March of 2012.

(BBC News link isn't working: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21531810)

Pope Benedict to resign by the end of February

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After stating that his health is failing, current Pope Benedict will resign on February 28th, according to multiple news sources.

According to the BBC News, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world when he announced that he will resign. His resignation would be the first resignation in over 600 years. Resignation, according to the BBC, is rare and can be done if it is valid and is "properly published."

The article continued by saying that the Pope's brother has said that the Pope has been considering stepping down for months due to his health and doctor's advice. This age is what has been driving him to step down.

CNN reports that the Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, will retire in his summer home where he will live the rest of his life in prayers and reflection. Due to this extremely rare event, the Vatican is unsure what to call him when he officially retires. One possiblity has been Bishop Emeritus of Rome. Ratzinger has been the sixth German to become Pope. He was voted by the Cardinals to be Pope after the death of John Paul in 2005. Ratzinger's legacy, according to CNN, will include his push for his strict conservative social doctrine, bridging his generation to the younger generations, and the unfortunate child sex abuse scandal.

UN Rights Review Recieves Boycott From Israel

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Facing investigation over settlement in the West Bank, Israel, as expected, choose to boycott the Human Rights Council and will no longer co-operate with it, according to news sources.
Israel's absence has addressed multiple concerns for the council. The presence of every country is mandatory, even Syria and North Korea showed up, reported by the BBC. Further concerns addressed that other countries that are put in the hot seat might follow suit. The United States, Israel's biggest ally, has urged Israel to attend the council.
The New York TimesThe New York Times reported that "Efforts to persuade Israel to reconsider have been complicated by its recent elections..." Furthermore, Israel's frustration is vented towards their beliefs that the council has its' anti-Israel bias. The New York Times reported that Israel backed away from what they felt was a "political tool and convenient platform" used to demonize Israel.
The BBC reported that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Israeli believe in a better path towards peace in the Middle East.

(The BBC wouldn't show up, there's that link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21249431)

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