Owing to Japan's nuclear power ordeal, the inevitable debate over nuclear power and its impact on the environment and human health is beginning to stir once again. Japan’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake and its resulting tsunami last Friday shattered the northeast section of the country, and its after-effects have devastated the infrastructure and surrounding landscape. The Fukushima Daiichi plant was designed for a  8.2 magnitude earthquake, which was the worst-expected earthquake for a 500-year time frame. Because the Richter scale is logarithmic, the quake that rocked the Fukushima nuclear power plant was actually more than six times its design withstandability.

The government in Australia is going to punish companies of more than 100 or more employees if those companies do not employ what the government thinks is the right number of women.

tsunamiA tsunami triggered by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake wreaked havoc on Japan Friday at 2:46 p.m. The megaquake is the largest in Japan’s recorded history, and the world’s seventh most powerful earthquake, spawning a destructive tsunami that wiped out boats, homes, and people, and caused widespread fires in its path. It prompted tsunami warnings in the entire Pacific, South America, Alaska, Canada, and the entire U.S. west coast. The death toll from the disaster has already exceeded 680 as of Saturday at midnight local time. Meanwhile, 300,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes by the Japanese National Police Agency.

The European Union, which is enduring severe financial crises in several of its member states, including Greece and Ireland, and internal stresses in artificial nations such as Belgium, may soon face new woes. The fear of German or Franco-German hegemony is already producing some quiet anger among smaller nations.

Coptic ChristiansAlthough the Coptic Church in Egypt has suffered varying degrees of persecution for centuries, events in the past few months appear to indicate that the plight of the Christian minority is growing worse as Islamic extremism is on the rise in a nation torn by revolution. While the protests that overthrew the Mubarak regime were given worldwide attention, the violence that is being perpetrated against Christians in the aftermath of these recent events is not receiving a similar level of concern.

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