With a vote of 71-21, the Uruguayan House of Representatives approved same-sex marriage on April 10. With the Senate’s approval and the president’s promise to sign it, Uruguay became the 12th country to legalise same-sex marriage. Seven days later, on April 17, New Zealand became the 13th when its parliament voted 77-44 to legalise same-sex marriage.
A second storage pool was leaking highly radioactive water at the crisis-stricken Fukushima Dai-chi nuclear plant on April 7, operator Tepco said. About 120 tonnes of radioactive water breached the inner lining of one underground storage pool on April 5, with concerns that some may have leaked into the soil. Tepco is moving the remaining 13,000 tonnes of water in that tank to other pools, but said the April 7 leak was not large enough to warrant doing the same.
A selection of this week's celebrity news... Fall Out Boy To Donate Ticket Sales To Boston Bombing Victims http://bit.ly/13cfSQj Angela Betzien talks about her play on how communities are hit by mining http://bit.ly/ZoW4cp Musicians Send Their Love To Boston In Wake Of Marathon Bombing http://bit.ly/Yr22Gv BBC Refuses To Play 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead' In Countdown http://bit.ly/115BCdN Justin Bieber Hopes Anne Frank Would Have Been A "Belieber" http://bit.ly/10VUoFu
The United Nations warned on April 10 that austerity measures in richer, developed countries were hitting children hard. Most European governments have turned to austerity measures to cover their bankers' gambling losses. Social and economic policy research head UN children's agency Unicef Chris de Neubourg, said that they must reflect on how their cuts are affecting children. Instead of sparing today's children a future burden they are, in many cases, “presenting the bill to the children now,” risking "”letting them pay both now and in the future,” he told reporters in Geneva.
The state assembly of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has passed a resolution calling for a United Nations-supervised referendum on independence for the Tamils of Sri Lanka. This follows a month-long wave of mass actions throughout Tamil Nadu, initiated by students but drawing in broader sections of the population. The Tamil Nadu protesters want the Indian government to raise a similar resolution at the United Nations. The students are planning to launch a civil disobedience campaign if the Indian government does not act on their demands.
The report below is reprinted from Tar Sands Blockade on the oil giant Exxon-Mobil's recent oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas. The spill of tar sands bitumen has led to the evacuation of dozens of homes in this small community just north of the state capital of Little Rock. Visit the site for up-to-date reports on the spill. * * * As spill estimates are being revised to near 300,000 gallons, we have been hearing very disturbing reports about Exxon’s continued focus on PR damage control rather than actual damage control.
Three-and-a-half months ago, the walls upstairs at the Church of the Prophecy in Far Rockaway, a low-income coastal neighborhood of New York City, were covered with maps of where help was most needed. The church was a hub for the Occupy Sandy relief effort after Hurricane Sandy hit last October, established by Occupy Wall Street activists to help communities rebuild.
The admission on April 2 by former French Socialist Party (PS) government budget minister Jerome Cahuzac that he did have a Swiss bank account for tax evasion purposes has set off a storm of disgust and fury in France. The already unloved government of prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has been shaken to its core. President Francois Hollande’s popularity has sunk faster and lower than that of any president in the history of France’s Fifth Republic. It is not hard to see why. Here was the minister entrusted with the fight against tax fraud found out to be a lying tax cheat.
The article below is abridged from the statement released by South Africa's National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa to mark the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Chris Hani. When Hani was gunned down by a wihte supremacist on April 10, 1993, he was a leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the African National Congress (ANC).Aged 50 when he was killed, Hani was a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle. He joined the ANC Youth League aged 15 and became a leader of the ANC's armed wing.
Margaret Thatcher is dead. Her policies as prime minister ruined the lives of millions of people. Now, her political heirs are trying to extend the damage she did in ways she only dreamed of. The political task is to ensure they fail. We need to make sure Thatcher’s legacy dies with her. Those who will mourn the death of Thatcher include the bankers and get-rich-quick speculators in the City. She pioneered the neoliberal casino capitalism that enriched them. So will Rupert Murdoch's newspapers, which have done so much to champion her rotten values.
On the third anniversary of the release of the Collateral Murder video by WikiLeaks -- which exposed horrific war crimes by US forces in Iraq -- Icelandic MP and WikiLeaks contributor Birgitta Jonsdottir visited the US. Jonsdottir addressed a forum at Judson Memorial Church in New York City on April 5.

The Real News interviews Venezuela Analysis founder Gregory Wilpert on Venezuela's April 14 elections, in which the candidate of the Bolivarian revolution Nicolas Maduro beat the right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Caprilles by more than 300,000 votes.