News On The Go: January 25, 2013

Maura Zurick

1. North Korea announced Thursday it plans to conduct several more nuclear tests and long-range rocket launches, which are all part of the government’s offensive new phase in its confrontation with the United States. North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un is continuing his late father’s plans and is preparing military action that will target the U.S. Leon Panetta, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, said they are prepared to deal with North Korean military actions. The U.S. claims North Korea’s actions are a result of a Security Council decision that restricts nuclear testing and advancement in Korea. (Read the full story.)

2. The Rhode Island House passed legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry. The measure passed 51-19 Thursday following debates about religion, gay rights and marriage. Rhode Island was the only New England state that did not allow gay couples to marry.

3. The Syrian conflict began two years ago and cost the country more than 60,000 lives, but that didn’t stop Syrian warplanes from bombing rebel areas near Damascus Thursday. President Bashar Assad’s troops battled rebel fighters for control of a major highway that leads to the country’s largest airport. The conflict began when opposition supporters rallied against the government’s strict rule. The U.N. is currently unsure how many died in the Thursday bombing. (Read the full story.)

Benjamin Millepied, Natalie Portman’s husband and choreographer for the film, “Black Swan” was named director of the Paris Opera Ballet on Thursday. Millepied, 35, was a former principle dancer with the New York City Ballet. He left the company to create his own in 2011.

Several European nations urged their citizens to leave the Libyan city of Benghazi Thursday. Britain, Germany and the Netherlands received warning of an imminent threat against Westerners days after the deadly hostage crisis in Algeria. Schools in the city have been listed as the primary targets.