Last week, the people of Ireland made a very important decision. They decided to make it legal for people of the same gender (for instance, men or women) to get married.
Some businesses in Northern Ireland are getting a facelift before some of the world’s most powerful leaders meet there later this month.
The G8 Summit will take place in Ireland, June 17 to 18.
The G8 Summit brings together the leaders of eight of the world’s wealthiest countries. They are: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US. The European Union is also represented at the meeting.
More than 100 businesses in a small town called Belcoo have been “spruced up,” according to news agency Reuters.
Some businesses have been made more attractive with fake store fronts. Some ugly and crumbling buildings have been torn down. Others have been covered by huge billboards, according to Reuters.
The businesses are near a golf course where the G8 leaders will meet.
So instead of Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper or U.S. president Barack Obama seeing ugly storefronts, they’ll see posters of nice storefronts instead.
More than $3-million dollars have been spent by the government in Northern Ireland to make the villages look nicer.
At one store, which used to be a butcher’s shop but is now empty, colourful stickers have been put on the windows to make it look like it’s busy inside, Reuters reported.
It’s well known that in the 1840s, Ireland suffered from a disaster known as the Irish potato famine.
“Famine” means a “shortage of food.”
More than a quarter of the population of Ireland died or left the country from 1845 to 1852 because of the famine.
For much of the country at the time, potatoes were the main source of food.
The famine had a big effect on Ireland; for one thing, its population is not yet back to pre-famine levels.
The famine happened because the country’s potatoes caught a disease.
At the time, no one knew what the disease was or how to cure it.
A number of countries in Europe are having problems with their finances and their leaders.
This year, four prime ministers in Europe have quit their jobs or been forced out of office.
That’s because their countries have spent more money than they make and now they can’t pay their debts.
Some of the countries are making deals with other countries in Europe and the International Monetary Fund for a “bailout.”
A bailout is a loan to a country to keep it from going bankrupt.
The richer countries agree to put in more money to save the poorer countries.