the Context


Madonna's concert in Marseille, France is cancelled after her stage collapses, killing one and injuring nine.

A French city official says an upcoming Madonna concert in Marseille has been cancelled following a stage collapse on Thursday that killed one worker and injured nine others.

Zac Sunderland

Zac Sunderland, at the age of 17, becomes the youngest person to sail around the world alone.

Flight data recorder

The black boxes from crashed Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 in Iran are recovered.

Sears Tower

The 110-story Sears Tower in Chicago, United States is renamed the Willis Tower.


A magnitude 6.1 earthquake occurs off the coast of Papua New Guinea but causes little damage.

A magnitude 6.1 quake has struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea, but appears to have done little damage.


Chinese athletes withdraw from the opening ceremony of the World Games but say they will compete.

Omar Bongo

Omar Bongo's son, Ali-Ben Bongo, is chosen to stand as the ruling party's presidential candidate in Gabon.


Interim Honduran President Roberto Micheletti says he is willing to step down, only if Jose Manuel Zelaya ceases his claim to the presidency.

Holy See

The Holy See acknowledges Oscar Wilde as a "lucid analyst of the modern world", softening its hardline stance against the poet.

Oscar Wilde, whose flamboyant homosexuality shocked Britain in the 19th century, won an unlikely endorsement from the Vatican on Thursday.


Iceland votes by a narrow majority to set in motion an application to join the European Union, after five days of debate.

Politicians vote 33 to 28 to start membership talks with the European Union.


President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan announces the latest stage of a plan to channel drainage water from the country's cotton fields through desert.

South Korea

Former South Korean President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kim Dae-jung is in an intensive care unit in a Seoul hospital being treated for pneumonia.

Gholam Reza Aghazadeh

Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and Vice President of Iran, resigns for unknown reasons.


China's GDP grows 7.9% year by year in the second quarter of 2009, despite the global economic crisis.

United Nations

A United Nations Security Council committee imposes further sanctions on North Korea.


A Ugandan study finds circumcising men who already have HIV does not protect their female partners from the virus.