Regional elections are coming up in India, and the national Election Commission is gearing up to keep the balloting smooth and protect voters and pollworkers from potentially violent disruptions.. by elephants (no, not American Republicans).

Five people were killed when a chartered bus swerved off the road in Belgium and plunged off a bridge into a dry riverbed. 

A crowded passenger plane crashes into the ocean and splits in half;  The US and China announce new cooperation to denuclearize North Korea;  A French Bandit stages a daring escape from Le Slammer;  And Tiger Woods is not disqualified.

People were jolted out of bed by an early morning earthquake in Japan’s “Second City”;  US Secretary of State John Kerry is in South Korea to work on resolving the current tensions on the peninsula;  Women want to pray at the Western Wall, Israeli cops stop them; And a legendary comedian is dead.

Sexual assault and online bullying come to tragic ends on either side of North America;  A kid recovers from the new Bird Flu while hundreds of others are catching measles elsewhere on the globe;  And BBC Radio One has to choose between respect for the deceased and the will of the marketplace.  Yikes.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the Hamas government of Gaza has totally failed to investigate the murders of seven Palestinians who were accused of collaborating with Israel.

Foreign Ministers of the world’s eight wealthiest nations (G8) are condemning North Korea for its nuclear belligerence, ballistic missiles, and steady stream of threats.

Hundreds of thousands of university students hit the streets of Chile’s major cities again today, calling for free, quality education available to all in the South American nation.

U.S. Defense Intelligence officials believe that North Korea might be able to launch a nuclear weapon on a missile, the first such admission about Pyongyang’s capabilities.

The North American “National Hockey League” (NHL) is adopting historic measures in support of gay athletes.  It’s the first time any men’s professional sports league has done so.

A fisherman in Belarus is dead after getting into a fight with a Beaver and losing, badly.  The victim bled to death before an ambulance could reach him and take him to hospital.

The United States Senate has begun debate a proposed law to expand criminal background checks on gun buyers.  Although the polls say most Americans want this, a handful of conservatives vow to stand in the way.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agengy is reporting that the North has shifted the positions of two mobile launchers holding missiles in advance of what is widely expected to be at least one launch very soon.

A revolting case of bullying in South Africa:  A frail, 87 year old woman showing up at a government office for her $22 pension check was forced to sing for it.

Syrian Rebels trying to get international help for their cause of overthrowing the regime of Bashar al-Assad suffered a big setback when al Qaeda announced an alliance with one of the rebel factions.

Uruguay’s House of Representatives approved legislation legalizing Gay Marriage for citizens and for foreign couples who travel to the country to get hitched.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is warning that killing UN Peacekeepers is a war crime.  This comes after five peacekeepers and 7 civilians were killed in an ambush in a volatile area of South Sudan.

China is alarmed over Japan cutting a deal to allow Taiwanese fishing vessels to operate near a group of uninhabited but disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Austria’s FPO Party likes to portray itself as a conservative, populist party that sits in the political mainstream.  But for the third time this year, a party official was caught flaunting Nazi sympathies. 

Mali plans to send a replacement Camel to French President Francois Hollande, after the first beast presented to the visiting dignitary became stew.

The H7N9 Bird Flu has claimed its eighth and ninth victims, from two provinces in China that haven’t had a problem with the virus before.  And Beijing might be doing a collective face-palm after a senior military official called the Avian Flu an American Conspiracy.