First story takes us to the largest country in South America, where a mystery is washing up along Brazil's coast. Crude oil — hundreds of tons of it — has appeared on Brazil's northeast beaches. This has been going on since early September. Roughly 1,200 miles of shoreline have been polluted. The mystery here is where it came from. No one knows yet.
Brazil's government has tested the oil, and officials say it did not come from Brazil. They believe it's from Venezuela, but they didn't directly blame Venezuela for the spill. Brazil's environmental minister says it might or might not have been an accident. It could have come from another country's ship, for instance, that was carrying Venezuelan oil. Venezuela says it's not responsible.
Natural oil spills, when the substance simply seeps out of the ocean floor, are possible. But Brazil's president thinks this could have been a criminal act. Whoever or whatever is to blame, thousands of volunteers and government workers have been doing what they can to clean up the coast.
Environmentalists are concerned about the oil's effects on the coral reefs in the area, and officials say a number of birds and sea turtles have been found dead in the slick.
Critics of Brazil's government say it hasn't done enough to address the spill. Earlier this week, it said it was sending 5,000 more members of the military to help out. Because people there don't know here the oil's coming from, they can't say for sure whether the spill is getting worse or better.
Officially, the Pacific nation of Japan has had a new emperor since May, shortly after Emperor Akihito abdicated — or gave up — his throne. But it wasn't until this week that his son, Naruhito made his enthronement and that of his wife official.
This is the ceremony in which a new Japanese emperor proclaims his status to the world. It's a centuries-old tradition filled with rituals and attended by more than 100 high-ranking officials from around the globe. And it's all for a position that's mostly ceremonial.
Japan is officially a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Though its emperor is a symbol of the country and the unity of the Japanese people, its decision-making power is in the hands of elected politicians. Of course, some of them were also at the ceremony.