Another strong earthquake has struck, just off the coast of Northeastern Japan this morning and now the country is bracing for a tsunami. The 7.3 quake happened in the same area as the 9.0 quake that happened in March 2011. This time, nuclear plants are unaffected.
A 4th presidential advisor has resigned in Egypt and now tanks and armored vehicles are guarding the presidential palace in Cairo. Late Wednesday at least five people were killed and nearly 500 injured in fighting between rival protesters. Opposition leaders say they're willing to talk with Morsi if he withdraws his decree that gives him unlimited powers, and judicial immunity. His decree triggered almost immediate massive upheaval.
Jordan's King Abdullah is in the West Bank town of Ramallah. He's meeting the leader of the Palestinian authority, Mahmoud Abbas. Abdullah congratulated Abbas on a vote at the U-N general assembly that granted the Palestinians the enhanced status of non-member observer state .
Marine General Joseph Dunford has been confirmed as the new commander for the International forces in Afghanistan. He is now in charge of overseeing the final two years of the U-S-led war and carrying out the White House plan to phase out troops and leave a small number behind after 2014. He assumes command in February. Dunford is replacing General John Allen -- whose future in the military is uncertain, pending the outcome of an investigation into whether Allen had inappropriate communications with a woman in Tampa.
It was a "pot party" in Washington state. A new law -- legalizing recreational marijuana-use has taken effect, and celebrations took to the streets. The law comes with limits though: up to an ounce for adults. And growing or selling the drug remains a crime.
But…there are still a lot of unanswered questions about when and where it's ok to light up.
Also in Washington…….couples lined up in the streets for same sex marriage licenses just hours after Governor Chris Gregoire signed a voter-approved law…. legalizing gay marriage. Washington's biggest county--King County-- opened the doors to its auditor's office in Seattle just after midnight Wednesday… to start distributing marriage licenses. But hundreds of people had lined up for hours. Six hours later, 279 licenses were granted.
As Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams prepares to retire at the end of the month, he has sent his final Advent letter to the Anglican Communion. The full transcript can be found on "archbishop of canterbury.org.. He wrote about the 10 years he has been in charge, and the ups and downs of the church, which included divisive debates in the Anglican church; like ordaining gay clergy as well as women bishops.
IN HEALTH NEWS….
The flu season is upon us... And health officials say the most common strain of the virus…. is packing quite a punch this year, causing more severe illness. Here are some tips on how to stay clear of the flu.