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Rebel U.S. County Issues First Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

A U.S. county at the center of a firestorm for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gays handed out its first certificate to a same-sex couple Friday, local television reported.

The reversal comes after the Rowan County clerk in Kentucky was ordered jailed for contempt of court Thursday after refusing to comply with the Supreme Court's June 26 landmark ruling legalizing gay marriage. 

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Afghan Artist Paints Kabul's Walls of War to Help Heal City

A city at war, the Afghan capital is among the ugliest in the world.

Wide avenues once lined with rose gardens are today gridlocked streets sandwiched by concrete blast walls protecting those inside from the bombs and bullets that form the backbeat of a 14-year insurgency. After recent deadly attacks, the towering walls multiplied almost overnight, appearing in double rows outside government buildings, businesses, embassies and the homes of powerful people.

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Lights Out for Movie Houses in Libya's 'Mermaid of Med'

The Libyan capital once boasted grand movie houses that packed in smartly dressed couples for a special night out, but how times have changed.

Today, the sole major cinema left in Tripoli is a men-only zone stripped of glamour, offering a diet of violence-packed films and blunt warnings that women are not welcome.

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Egypt Jails Two More Female Dancers for Debauchery

An Egyptian court Thursday sentenced two female dancers to six months in jail each for "inciting debauchery," in the second verdict of its kind since June, a judicial source said.

Arrested in July, the dancers known as Bardis and Shakira, were also convicted of "broadcasting obscenities" for appearing in two video clips wearing flimsy clothes and making "suggestive" moves, the source said.

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Indonesian Politician Threatens Ban on Teen Dating after Dark

Dating just got harder for Indonesian teenagers in West Java, with a local leader on Thursday threatening to ban late-night trysts and marry off young couples caught out after dark.

If a new regulation goes ahead as planned on October 1, teenagers in Purwakarta, a local district about 100 kilometers from the Indonesian capital Jakarta, will be banned from visiting each other after 9pm.

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China Celebrates 70 Years since Victory over Japan

China kicked off a huge military ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II on Thursday, as major Western leaders stayed away.

President Xi Jinping oversaw the event, riding in a black car past thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks and missiles ahead of a parade through Tiananmen Square.

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Britons Reflect on Life under Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II will become Britain's longest-reigning monarch on Wednesday after over 63 years on the throne.

Here, three Britons talk about their very different views of her, and their lives during her reign:

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Saudi Top Cleric Slams Iran Prophet Movie

Saudi Arabia's top cleric hit out at Iranian film "Muhammad" on Wednesday describing its portrayal of the prophet's childhood as a "hostile act" and a "distortion" of Islam.

Iran's most expensive movie, which opened nationwide in the Shiite Islamic republic last week, depicts the prophet on screen, an act that is prohibited in Sunni Islam.

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Iran Police to Confiscate Cars of 'Poorly Veiled' Women

Women drivers in Iran's capital could have their cars impounded by police if they are caught driving with a poorly fixed veil or without their heads covered, a police chief said Wednesday.

"If a (female) driver in a car is poorly veiled or has taken her veil off, the vehicle will be seized in accordance with the law," the head of Tehran's traffic police, General Teymour Hosseini, was quoted as saying by the official ISNA news agency.

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6 Emerging Female Writers Receive $30,000 Rona Jaffe Awards

Fiction writer Vanessa Hua and nonfiction writer Meehan Crist are among this year's recipients of the Rona Jaffe Awards, $30,000 prizes for emerging female authors.

Hua is working on a novel about a Chinese factory girl, and Crist is studying traumatic brain injury.

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