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U.K. to discuss changes in royal succession rule

With the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton rapidly approaching at the end of this month, members of Britain's government are thinking about changes in the royal succession rule, the Associated Press reported.

As of right now, the rule states that the oldest son would inherit the throne, even if he has an older sister.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called the current rule "old fashioned" and told reporters that he thinks "most people in this day and age would think it's worth considering whether we change the rules so that baby girl could become the future monarch."

However, the British government agreed that abolishing this rule would be a difficult process, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Along with requiring an act of the British Parliament, the new royal succession rule would have to get approval from 15 other Commonwealth countries since the current Queen of England holds the position of head of state in countries such as Australia.

''Even if they change the line of succession in the UK, that doesn't change it in Australia automatically,'' said constitutional lawyer George Williams in an interview. ''It would need to be followed through in every Commonwealth nation that has the Queen as the head of state.''

Although this has been discussed in the past, there is a push now for this law to pass since there may be a new royal child within the next year should Prince William and Middleton decide to start a family immediately.

Two British reporters arrested in phone-hacking scandal

On Tuesday, two British reporters were arrested on suspicion of unlawfully intercepting phone messages, The New York Times reported.
According to the Los Angeles Times, authorities will not release their names but other media outlets have named them Neville Thurlbeck and Ian Edmondson.
Thurlbeck is the chief reporter for News of the World and Edmondson was the news editor of the same tabloid until he was fired in January of this year.
The two men allegedly hacked into the cell phones of movie stars, athletes and other celebrities, hoping to get information for their publication.
Public figures that have complained about their phones being hacked include actress Sienna Miller and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
However, this is not the first time News of the World has had a run-in with the law.
In 2007, former reporter Clive Goodman spent time in jail for supposedly intercepting the messages of Prince William and Prince Harry to their aides.
According to the Los Angeles Times, News of the World is now under investigation for several breech-of-privacy lawsuits.
Before being released on bail, the homes of Thurlbeck and Edmondson were searched by detectives.

Radioactive spill continues to leak into the ocean

For the past two days, workers at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant have unsuccessfully tried to plug the crack in reactor No. 2.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the 8-inch crack was discovered where radioactive water was accumulating after being sprayed on the reactor to cool it.
This leak has caused high levels of radioactivity detected offshore.
According to The Japan Times, the technology ministry tested the seawater 40km south of the plant. The water contained 79.4 becquerels per liter of iodine-131. The legal limit is 40 becquerels per liter.
So far, workers have tried to plug the crack with concrete and a mixture of sawdust, shredded paper and a plastic. The concrete was washed away by seawater before it got the chance to set and the mixture, which expanded 500 times its normal size when exposed to water, did not form a plug either.
With both of the plugs failing, radioactive water continues to leak into the ocean at a rate of 1,000 millisieverts per hour, The Japan Times reported.
While this is a high dose, it is not immediately lethal.
"As for the high-level number, it is our understanding the water rode the tide toward the south," NISA spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama told The Japan Times. "We don't think there are any risks even if people eat the fish . . . but we will continue to observe the situation carefully."
According to the Los Angeles Times, workers will continue to try to find alternative methods to plug the leak.

Claude Angeli's journalistic fight against technology

Claude Angeli is a die-hard newspaper fanatic. The 79-year-old executive editor of Le Canard Enchaîné in France believes in an old-fashioned approach to journalism.
He writes all of his articles in long-hand and fewer than half of his staff of 16 journalists work on computers.
"If we put our stories up on the Internet, who would buy the paper on Wednesday?" Angeli said to The New York Times.
However, Angeli's old-fashioned ways are part of his success.
In France, where large daily newspapers such as Libération and Le Figaro are failing, Angeli's combination of satire, investigative reporting and columns keeps him on top. There are no advertisements in Le Canard Enchaîné.
He attributes some of his best investigative reporting to the change in office in 2008. Since Nicolas Sarkozy took office, Angeli's newspaper affectionately refers to him as "Sarkoléon," according to The New York Times.
Since many government officials in France don't hold the highest opinion of Sarkozy, Angeli thinks there have been more leaks than usual. This has lead to intriguing stories and a 32 percent rise in circulation. Le Canard Enchaîné now prints 700,000 copies weekly, according to Spiegel Online.
In the past year, Angeli's 20-page newspaper has uncovered many scandals involving the French government, including "the public official who charged about $16,800 worth of cigars to the state and the one who lied about the size of his house to get around zoning laws in Provence," The New York Times reported.
Angeli told The New York Times, "It has been an interesting year."
Angeli, who did not originally plan to become a journalist, has been at Le Canard Enchaîné for 40. Taking over 20 years ago, Angeli said that he has no plans of giving up writing or editing, even at 79 years of age.

Man swept away in tsunami is rescued

Despite losing both his house and his wife, a man who was caught up in the destruction of the tsunami in Japan clung to the roof of his house for two days before being rescued.
"I thought it was the last day of my life," said 60-year-old Hiromitsu Shinkawa.
Shinkawa and his wife were packing up their valuables after the earthquake when their house was hit by the ensuing tsunami, TIME magazine reported.
Surrounded by debris, Shinkawa had a hard time calling attention to himself, despite waving a red flag.
"Several helicopters and ships passed by, but none of them noticed me," he is reported to have said.
When he was finally found by rescuers, Shinkawa was 10 miles off the coast of northeastern Japan, still floating on a portion of his roof.
Japanese troops plucked him from the ocean using a small boat, the Press Association reported.


The 8.9 magnitude earthquake on Friday morning prompted Japan to declare a state of emergency for five of their nuclear reactors at two power plants. The aftermath of the earthquake left workers struggling to get the units under control after they lost the ability to cool, the Associated Press reported.
The main cooling system at Unit 1 of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant failed after the earthquake and following tsunami interfered with the electricity, shutting down the emergency generators.
"[This situation] has the potential to be catastrophic," Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies Robert Alvarez told USA Today.
When the emergency was first announced, 3,000 people were evacuated within a two mile radius. However, the evacuation zone was increased to 6.2 miles when higher radiation levels were detected both inside and outside of the facility.
According to the Associated Press, this is the first state of emergency declared at a nuclear power plant in Japan's history.


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