World in brief

BELGRADE, Serbia
The Gay Pride march in Belgrade, Serbia took an unfortunate turn when thousands of right-wing supporters swarmed the scene, a brutal riot quickly ensued. Their attempt to disrupt the parade was successful as anti-gay protestors threw stun grenades and gasoline bombs into the crowd. Police arrived in time to arrest over 250 people, yet could do nothing to prevent injuries to over 150 people. European Union officials have made it clear that this should have been a foreseeable risk due to political conflict between the two groups involved and Serbia’s failure to prevent the riot may be detrimental to their chances in joining the EU.

POKHARA, Nepal
The world’s smallest man, Khagendra Thapa Magar, can now officially refer to himself as a man having recently celebrated his eighteenth birthday. Finally, the infamous Nepalese teen is a legal adult and able to steal the title from 24-year-old, Colombian Edward ‘Nino’ Hernandez. Magar enters the new Guiness World Record books at an approximate height of 65 centimeters and weight of just 12 pounds. The young man reaches celebrity status, as he has already been named Tourism Ambassador Magar and will receive his Guinness certificate in public ceremony by the end of the week.

COLOMBIAN BASIN, Colombia
The Colombian Basin, an area between Colombia and Panama, has always been privy to attempted drug trafficking, by ship through the canals. The British Royal Navy managed to catch an entire ship of drug smugglers carrying over $26.9 million worth of cocaine. On word of suspicion from US Maritime Patrol aircrafts, the Navy targeted and investigated a large vessel travelling across the Basin. The British vessel, HMS Manchester, confiscated over 530 pounds of cocaine, serving as a warning to anyone attempting similar illegal activity.

VIRGINIA, USA
Shots were fired outside of the Pentagon early Tuesday morning; police still search for the shooter. No one was injured. Witness accounts state that at least five rounds were fired, several of which hit the Pentagon itself. For the time being, authorities are considering the shooting as a random event. This recent shooting has rekindled memories of the Pentagon shooting in March earlier this year. The attack, which took place at the front steps of the Pentagon, resulted in the injury of two officers and the death of the 36-year-old shooter.

YEREVAN, Armenia
Armenian Grand Candy Factory celebrated its tenth anniversary this past month, choosing to forgo the traditional birthday cake for a giant chocolate bar. The factory unveiled a 9702-pound chocolate bar, at a celebration in Republic Square, inviting citizens from across the city for a chocolate tasting and giveaway. The bar was made from pure Ghanaian cocoa beans, which according to Guinness officials surpasses the previous record for world’s largest chocolate bar in taste and weight by 2000 pounds.

BEIJING, China
Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, has shocked the country in his recent call for reform of China’s political system. A notorious communist country, the premier’s strong desire for progress towards democratic change has stirred much political debate among officials and citizens alike. As the country prepares to make way for an entirely new era of leaders in 2012, Jiabao is certain that without political change China will regress in terms of any recent progress made in economic development. His comments may cause an internal divide within the current Chinese government, as lobbying, campaigning and debate continue throughout the month.

LONDON, England
Last year’s notorious “Halloween murder” was finally resolved in court earlier this month. What started as a spat about a girlfriend’s Halloween costume, resulted in fatality when three men ganged up on a party guest for allegedly stealing a girlfriend’s hat. 30-year-old Londoner Ben Gardner stood no chance against the three perpetrators and was beaten and killed due to the violent attack. As each man had a previous criminal record, court proceedings were easily announced unanimously, sentencing each attacker to no less than a minimum of 14 years in prison.

HONG KONG, China
The newest trend for marriage ceremonies in Hong Kong – tying the knot in a local McDonalds. The idea originated from a couple who met at a local branch and held their wedding reception in the same place. Corporate Communications of McDonalds Hong Kong saw this as a business opportunity, creating the McWedding: a package that includes a burger buffet and apple pie cake. The only catch being that the chain cannot allow the sale of alcohol and the event will have to remain open to the public. Still, the company has already received numerous calls looking to book ceremonies and the McWedding will be available to the city’s public as of January 2011.

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