After 10 years of research, Japanese engineers have extracted offshore methane hydrate from beneath the ocean floor. The substance, more commonly called flammable ice, is a great hope for the future of Japan, which desperately lacks energy since almost all of its nuclear reactors remain shut after the Fukushima disaster. France 24 asks if methane hydrates will solve the energy puzzle for Japan, or even the world.
It is now more than four months since 20 children and six adults were gunned down at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. At the time, President Obama declared that enough was enough, and that new gun laws had to be brought in. But all the proposals from the White House for new legislation have come to nothing: every one of them has failed in Congress. Gun culture remains alive and well in the US, especially in the rural heartland, as our correspondent found out.
Germany's trial of the year, that of Beate Zschäpe, is opening in Munich. She's the sole survivor of the NSU terror cell and alleged accomplice in 9 racially motivated murders. The case will revisit a scandal that shook the Turkish community: for years, police ignored clues that suggested racist attacks and instead blamed the mafia. Victims’ relatives were even suspects. Turks in Germany began to believe that authorities were blind to detecting racist crimes. Will the trial change that?
Reporters Without Borders has published its press freedom index, ranking 179 countries. The NGO singled out Kim Jong-Un, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad as the world's worst press freedom predators. Ninety professional journalists were killed in 2012, a record since the press freedom group started its reports. Syria was the world's most dangerous country, with 18 professional reporters killed.
Malaysians head to the polls this Sunday, and for the first time since independence in 1957, an opposition party could clinch victory. The ruling party, Barisan Nasional, is the world's longest continually elected governing coalition. Yet it has become increasingly unpopular over the past five years. Malaysians are now voicing disapproval at widespread allegations of corruption.