Wars, death, austerity, protests:  At least a brave little doggy stayed with a wandering toddler to keep her safe and warm during a cold night she was lost in the woods.  Here’s the news:

Trouble involving Aussie troops in Afghanistan, a deadly fire-fight on Borneo, and and a highly illogical disturbance in the force wakes the Sci-Fi nerds from their hibernation tubes.
Mister Sulu!  Set a course for "International News", Warp Factor 8!

Good Morning, from a possible victory in the War on Terror to getting swallowed by scary sinkholes to meatless pies.. Nothing goes with a healthy brekkie like a trip around the world of news.

South African President Jacob Zuma is condemning the death of a cab driver, caught on cell phone video being handcuffed to the back of a police van by cops, and being dragged off camera.

A whiskey distiller in Dumbarton, Scotland is investigating the mix-up that led to thousands of liters of whiskey being flushed down the drain.

Benedict XVI ended his reign as leader of the world’s 1.1 Billion Roman Catholics, going through with his resignation and ceremonially leaving the Vatican to the Cardinals who will elect his successor.

U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning has pleaded Guilty to sending diplomatic cables and other secret documents to WikiLeaks.  But he’s denying the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.

Environmentalists are others are blasting a new World Health Organization (WHO) report that they say severely downplays the cancer risk following Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, saying "The WHO's flawed report leaves its job half done."

The Ted Conference in Southern California is wrapping up after hearing from inventors and visionaries from around the world.  One of the highlights came in the presentation from a 13-year old Kenyan boy who just wanted to keep the Lions away from his family’s Cattle.

The leader of an Islamic Fundamentalist political party in Bangladesh has been sentenced to death for war crimes stemming from that nation’s bid for independence from Pakistan in 1971.  Delwar Hossain Sayedee’s allies will appeal the sentence, which sparked rioting that killed at least 30 people.

Usually when American Fraternities make the news it’s because of sordid and sexist behavior.  But in a remarkably progressive move a Massachusetts frat is helping a member complete his journey from female to male.

Police in Clarksdale, Mississippi are investigating the apparent murder of an African-American candidate for Mayor.  34-year old Marco McMillian was also openly Gay, making him the first such candidate to seek public office in this corner of America’s Deep South.

A major oil company is cutting its losses after an embarrassing streak of mishaps (thankfully before they turn into a streak of oil on the Arctic Ocean), foul play is ruled out in the deaths of several tourists, and a world-renowned Pianist passes away.  Time to take a spin around the world for the news:

Talks to solve the Nuclear Crisis with weren’t expected to produce any results, but at least Iran calls it a “positive step” while acknowledging more work is necessary.  And at the very least, two more contacts are scheduled between Iran and those who would halt its nuclear weapons program.

They held out the chair, but Beppe is refusing to take it.  Italian insurgent politician Beppe Grillo is snubbing attempts by the center-left to lure his Five-Star Movement (M5S) into a governing coalition.  It signals a period of looming gridlock that will almost certainly force new elections.

Perhaps Pope Benedict XVI was not laying his problems off on his boss.  But in his final general audience in Rome the outgoing pontiff said his reign say "difficult moments" when he felt that God "seemed to be sleeping".

America’s new Secretary of State John Kerry says his country is about to get more deeply involved in the Syrian Civil War.  The U.S. is considering ways to send non-lethal help to carefully vetted rebel groups.

20 people are dead after a fire swept a building containing unlicensed markets and warehouses in Kolkata (Calcutta), India.  Twelve more people are hospitals with serious injuries.

The man attacked and killed by a shark off the coast of New Zealand was award-winning filmmaker.  46-year old Adam Strange in his biography describes himself as an avid outdoorsman who loves to "surf some big waves out on the West Coast ..."

The government of Japan is getting out of the cigarette business.  The Finance Ministry is selling a third of its stake in Japan Tobacco, a move expected to raise $10 Billion for the country’s northeast coast to rebuild after the tsunami and nuclear disasters

U.S. President Obama wins a round, a new strain of a old tropical disease is spreading rapidly, and Coffee Growers are on strike in a key region.  Let’s take a trip to the Western Hemisphere: