Japan: Train station stays operational for one high school student’s studies

One train station in the snow-swept northern Japanese island of Hokkaido has been kept operational so that one girl can finish her last year of high school. That girl is 18-year-old Kana Harada who lives in the area of the former village of Shirataki – which now consists of 18 families, and just 36 people, according to NHK. The village was administratively merged with the bigger municipality of Engaru. Jan 22, 2016

Tunisia: Police and rioters clash in more job protests

Tunisian police firing tear gas clashed on 21 January, with hundreds of protesters who set fire to a police post and tried to storm local government buildings in several towns, during a third day of rioting over jobs, residents said. At least one policeman has been killed in some of the worst protests in Tunisia since the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. That triggered a series of Arab Spring revolts in the region that swept long-serving leaders from power. Jan 22, 2016

Pope overturns tradition to allow women in Holy Thursday rite

Pope Francis overturned a centuries-old tradition on 21 January, which banned women from a foot-washing service during Lent, upsetting conservatives and delighting womens rights activists. Until now, only men or boys were formally allowed to take part in the service, in which a priest washes and kisses the feet of 12 people to commemorate Jesus gesture of humility towards his apostles on the night before he died. Jan 22, 2016