News / Europe

Across the Globe, New Laws Taking Effect as 2014 Dawns

A banner showing a Latvian Euro coin is seen on the facade of the European Commission headquarters during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels December 20, 2013. Latvia will join the euro zone on Jan. 1, 2014. A banner showing a Latvian Euro coin is seen on the facade of the European Commission headquarters during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels December 20, 2013. Latvia will join the euro zone on Jan. 1, 2014.
x
A banner showing a Latvian Euro coin is seen on the facade of the European Commission headquarters during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels December 20, 2013. Latvia will join the euro zone on Jan. 1, 2014.
A banner showing a Latvian Euro coin is seen on the facade of the European Commission headquarters during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels December 20, 2013. Latvia will join the euro zone on Jan. 1, 2014.
VOA News
New laws are taking effect across the globe on New Year's Day 2014, with some affecting entire countries and others just the communities that enacted them.

Latvia is becoming the 18th nation in Europe's eurozone on Wednesday, as Riga continues to distance itself from its past as a Cold War-era Soviet satellite. Latvians will be able to immediately use the euro, as well as the country's lat currency until mid-January.

Other countries are also adopting nationwide changes. In Switzerland, drivers will have to keep their headlights on, even in the middle of the day. Canada has banned incandescent lightbulbs, while Botswana is prohibiting elephant hunting.

China is making it easier for tourists to visit Taiwan. Britain says it will now be legal to be an atheist. French police have a new code of conduct requiring them to be more respectful. Hungary says it will provide a free grave, and coffin or urn, for its poorest people who die.

In the United States, Colorado will become the first state to allow the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes, while another western state, Oregon, has banned smoking in a car with children. The Boy Scouts youth group says it will start accepting gay members instead of booting them out of the organization as it has in the past.

Millions of Americans will have new health insurance coverage as President Barack Obama's national health care reforms take full effect after months of start-up difficulties that are not totally resolved.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid