The time jump means that Samoa's 186,000 citizens will now be the first in the world to ring in the new year, rather than the last.
New Zealand's delayed response to its oil spill emergency, described as the worst in the country's history, has been compared with last year’s Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.
Schools in the city shut their doors for weeks after teachers became extortion targets for Mexican drug gangs.
Rat Island used to be the home of typhoid patients in New York City. Now, a local resident has bought Rat Island.
After the latest massacre of Mexican citizens, former President Fox said authorities should seek a truce with the gangs – a suggestion that isn't feasible, says guest blogger Patrick Corcoran.
The days of jet set vacationing in Acapulco are long gone, but the Mexican resort city is once again in the news, this time for drug violence. It is one of the few tourist spots in Mexico suffering from public shootouts.
A Christian Science perspective: How a grandmother prayed when it looked as though a cyclone and her new grandchild were going to arrive at the same time.
Space shuttle launch: the US space shuttle Endeavour will launch for the last time on Friday, drawing an estimated 750,000 spectators from all over the country.
Fat stigma goes global: The Western desire for slimness has been spreading to cultures that previously celebrated larger bodies causing a fat stigma that never existed before.