Globe at a Glance – June 27- July 3rd
The United States Supreme Court ruled that states cannot ban the sale or rental of violent video games to children, calling it an unconstitutional violation of free speech, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment. The 7-2 ruling struck down a 2005 California law banning such sales to children under the age of 18.
Rioting protestors clashed with police outside the Greek Parliament, for over 10 hours, as lawmakers voted to adopt additional austerity measures, a condition for bailout funds needed to prevent a potentially disastrous default that could drag down European banks and shake the world economy. At least 46 people were injured and 14 were arrested. Meanwhile, Labor unions nationwide began a 48-hour strike that shut down various services throughout the country.
Suicide bombers stormed a landmark hotel in Kabul, where Afghan officials had gathered for a conference. At least one suicide bomber blew himself up at the hotel entrance, and more explosions were heard during the ensuing gun battle between insurgent gunmen and Afghan police in one of the most significant s attacks in Afghanistan in the past few years. The battle ended after NATO helicopters, hovering over the hotel roof, fired rockets, killing three of the insurgents. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which left at least six insurgents and four others dead.
A U.S. tourist snorkeling off the East Coast of Australia surfaced to find that his boat had headed back to shore without him, leaving him behind in shark-infested waters, 30 miles away from dry land. Luckily, he spotted another boat and was able to hail it, which afforded him a narrow escape. After nearly having drowned, he was plucked from the waters, exhausted but alive.
Twenty-two students and a teacher died, and another 51 students were injured when lightning struck their school 160 miles northwest of Kampala, Uganda. Experts said the school was vulnerable because of its location on high ground and lack of a lighting conductor to ground strikes.
A scorpion stung a man, seated aboard an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Anchorage. Two doctors on board treated the man, while the flight crew called for medics to meet the plane at the Anchorage Airport. The flight originated from Austin, Texas, where officials believe the scorpion got on board.
China opens the world’s longest cross-sea bridge. The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is 26 miles long and links China’s eastern port city of Qingdao to the island of Huangdao. The bridge, supported by more than 5,000 pillars, cost under $2 billion to build and was completed in four years. It is almost three miles longer than the previous record-holder -the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana.
New York prosecutors released former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and returned his bail, after an investigation raised doubts about his alleged victim’s credibility. The 32-year-old woman, a hotel maid, reportedly spoke to her boyfriend of the possibility of financial gain from the incident, and was inconsistent in her reported accounts of the occurrence.
Minnesota’s Government shut down, as Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers failed to reach a compromise on closing the state’s $5 billion budget gap. State parks and the Minnesota Zoo remained closed for the July Fourth holiday weekend, and nonemergency road construction halted. Only government functions deemed critical by a county judge continued to operate, including the state patrol, prisons and the Medicaid Health Insurance Program. Courts remained open, and welfare and food-stamp payments continued.
A treasure trove of gold and silver jewelry, coins and precious stones, said to be worth billions of dollars, was found in a Hindu temple in Southern India. The thousands of necklaces, coins and precious stones have been kept in at least five underground vaults at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, renowned for its intricate sculptures. The temple was built hundreds of years ago by the king of Travancore, and donations by devotees have been kept in the temple’s vaults since then.
At an anti-helmet law rally in Upstate New York, a man riding bareheaded, lost control of his bike, went over its handlebars, hit his head on the pavement and died. State troopers said that the cyclist would probably have survived the accident if he’d been wearing a helmet. The man was part of a group of 550 bikers on a helmet protest ride organized by the Onondaga Chapter of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education, or ABATES. The Organization states that it encourages the voluntary use of helmets but opposes mandatory helmet laws.
Hackers broke into Fox News Twitter account and reported that President Obama had been assassinated. “BREAKING NEWS: @BarackObama assassinated, 2 gunshot wounds,” have proved too much. “It’s a sad 4th for #america. #obamadead RIP,” said one of the tweets. Fox News and Twitter are investigating the incident.