Abortion rights supporters rallied across the United States on Tuesday to protest the recent spate of anti-abortion state laws.
Several states have enacted restrictive laws since last year. Alabama state senate passed a bill last week that bans abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. It allows exceptions only when there are serious health risks to the mother or unborn child.
In Japan, voting for mayors and municipal assemblies has begun in the second round of local elections. Lower House by-elections are also taking place. The polls are viewed as forerunners to the Upper House elections this summer.
Polling stations started opening at 7 a.m. on Sunday. In all, 721 elections are being held for mayors and municipal assembly seats.
People across Japan are heading to the polls on Sunday to elect governors, mayors and local lawmakers. For national parties, it's an opportunity to fortify their base in the lead up to Upper House elections this summer.
Polling stations began opening at 7 a.m. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito are hoping for big wins to ensure their political agenda maintains momentum. But opposition parties see Sunday's vote as an opportunity to chip away at the ruling bloc.
Health officials in Japan say nearly 2,000 people have contracted rubella, or German measles, this year.
The infections are spreading from the Tokyo metropolitan area to other parts of the country.
The National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo announced on Tuesday that 154 new cases were reported in the week up to November 4th, bringing the total to 1,884.
Public transit has also been paralyzed across the island prefecture.
Aviation authorities canceled all flights at New Chitose Airport on Thursday. The country's transport ministry says a partial ceiling collapse and burst water pipes have shut down the airport's terminal. Workers are also checking runways for damage.
Nearly 3 million households throughout Hokkaido are without power following the strong earthquake that struck the northern prefecture early on Thursday morning.
The industry ministry says the tremor shut down the largest thermal power plant in Hokkaido, the Tomato-Atsuma plant, which in turn led to a shutdown of all other thermal and hydro plants in the prefecture.
Intense heat continues to grip much of Japan, with temperatures soaring to record levels.
The hot weather is expected to continue on Saturday. The Meteorological Agency says daytime highs could reach 39 degrees Celsius in the city of Kyoto, 38 degrees in Gifu and Kofu, 37 degrees in Osaka and Nagoya, 36 degrees in Hiroshima and 35 degrees in central Tokyo.