In 2011, California lawmakers passed a law banning the controversial shark fin trade. Though the law doesn't go into effect until January, it's already sparked discontent among chefs and seafood distributors in San Francisco's Chinatown, where shark fin soup remains a popular delicacy.
For years, immigration law has sent undocumented immigrants who marry U.S. citizens back to their home countries to obtain visas. Charlie Garcia, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador did just that. Tragically, he was killed there, waiting for his paperwork to come through.
In Greece, the Orthodox Church is tied financially to the state. The state pays some priests and exempts the church and its activities from any taxes. But with tight economic times, some politicians are calling for the relationship to be adjusted.
Palestine's economy suffers under the weight of the long-running Israeli occupation. And while it's resumed growth, that growth is tied to foreign aid. Economists say to achieve true stability, it needs a vibrant private sector economy -- and that requires a peace agreement with Israel.
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, women and human rights groups are demanding that Palestinian leaders do more to stop violence against women. The call comes in the wake of a murder in Bethlehem last week that has shocked the Palestinian public. Activists hope the case will raise awareness of domestic violence.
In many African countries, dozens of different languages are spoken by different ethnic groups. And while each country often has a European language as its "official" language, most people don't even begin to understand it. That presents a problem for aid groups, trying to share information.
Greece has a difficult relationship with followers of minority faiths. In order to build a place of worship, they must get government permission and, for more than 100 years, no mosques have been allowed. But Muslims aren't the only ones who have difficulty practicing their faith.
As Europe's economy veers further into trouble, one U.S. region in particular is at greater risk of seeing the European crisis impede its own economic fortunes. Europe and New England are closely tied together, and that's hurting New England's effort at its own economic recovery.
England's largest county, Yorkshire, is responsible for much of England's current success in the 2012 Olympic Games. Most of the nation's winning athletes have come from the county, which, so far, has won more gold medals than Japan, South Africa or Australia.
Rio de Janeiro will soon have its moment in the sun. As Brazil's second largest city, it will host both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. But before the city can host the world's two largest sporting events, it must first deal with its notorious crime scene.