Colin Dwyer

DeAndre Harris, a black man brutally beaten after a white nationalist rally last August in Charlottesville, Va., has been found not guilty of misdemeanor assault for his role in the incident. The city's General District Court handed down the ruling Friday.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma had avoided a host of corruption charges for roughly a decade, in the meantime winning and serving for years in his country's highest elected position — but on Friday, just over a month after Zuma resigned the presidency under significant political pressure, those criminal charges finally caught up with him.

The Syrian war crossed a wretched threshold Thursday, marking seven years since the start of the protests against President Bashar Assad's regime. Within months Assad had sent troops to crush the uprising, sparking a civil war that has gathered antagonists at a rate only exceeded by its human costs — which, by many estimations, have left roughly 400,000 people dead and displaced half the population.

Strap in, purists. This game is about to get a good deal faster.

At least, that's what Minor League Baseball officials are hoping. The league announced Wednesday that it plans to institute some pretty big rule changes for the 2018 season — including beginning extra innings with a runner automatically on second base and, in certain situations, shaving five seconds off the pitch timer the league had already instituted in triple- and double-A ball.

Sure, Norway may have dominated the Winter Games last month in Pyeongchang, handily sweeping the Olympic medal count — but the country has just been knocked from its perch atop another international ranking: the World Happiness Report. The country's Nordic neighbor, Finland, has unseated the Norwegians with a smile.

As of this writing, the Finns are the happiest people in the world.

More than a year and a half after Omar Mateen opened fire at an Orlando nightclub, leaving 49 victims dead and ultimately dying himself in a shootout with police, attorneys delivered their opening statements on the sole person charged in the massacre: Mateen's widow, Noor Salman.

Seven weeks into Turkey's Operation Olive Branch, a mission to clear Kurdish fighters from Syrian regions along its southern border, the Turkish military says its troops and Syrian rebel allies have nearly surrounded Afrin. They announced Tuesday that the central section of the border city and other "critically important areas" have been seized from the principally Kurdish militia known as People's Protection Units, or YPG.

Updated at 5:47 p.m. ET

President Trump is making his first visit to California since taking office, using the whirlwind trip to view prototypes for his signature border wall proposal and promote his defense policies to troops stationed in San Diego.

In an unusual step, President Trump has signed an executive order blocking Broadcom's $117 billion bid to buy Qualcomm. The order released Monday cited "credible evidence" that led Trump to believe the Singapore-based Broadcom, in purchasing America's largest mobile chipmaker, "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States."

From even Thursday's earliest moments, just after midnight, demonstrators across the world began gathering to mark International Women's Day. In the hours since, there have been marches, rallies, presidential speeches and even a nationwide strike.

They were all inspired by the same celebration, but what demonstrators campaigned for, and how, covered a wide range.