1.MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
Swine flu has spread from Mexico to another ten countries, raising fears of a pandemic. 48 cases of the virus had been diagnosed in Britain, most of which can be linked to travel to Mexico.
2. REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
Johanna Sigurdardottir will continue as Icelandic Prime Minister after an election win for the Social Democratic party. Sigurdardottir plans to apply for Iceland’s membership of the EU in the next year, although the decision is unlikely to be made without a referendum.
3. BILGE, TURKEY
44 people attending a wedding including the bride-to-be have been murdered by masked attackers. The killings were said to have resulted from a ‘blood feud’ between two families. Honour killings are common in this impoverished part of Turkey, but such a high death toll is very unusual.
4. SOMALIAN COAST
In a rare instance of cooperation a South Korean helicopter chased off pirates trying to capture a North Korean freighter. After the Lynx helicopter opened fire, the pirates sped away and the freighter was led to safety. Pirate attacks in this area are common with 18 vessels currently being held.
5. KHARTOUM, SUDAN
82 men have been sentenced to death by the Sudanese government for alleged involvement in attacks on the Capital Khartoum that took place a year ago. Human rights groups have condemned the trials describing them as “grossly unfair”.
6. QUITO, ECUDADOR
Rafael Correa, the incumbent Ecuadorian president, has won a landslide victory in the presidential election. He obtained a majority of 52% beating his nearest rival Lucio Gutiérrez who took only 28% of the vote.
7. PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES
Republican senator, Arlen Specter, has switched party allegiance to become a member of the Democratic party. His change is said to have resulted from his concerns that the Republicans have moved too far to the right. The defection will greatly increase the chances of the Democrats obtaining a fillibuster-proof Senate making it much easier for them to pass legislation.
8. LONDON, UNITED KINDGDOM
Gordon Brown has called on Ed Balls and Lord Mandelson, two of his closest political allies, to drum up support for him within the Labour party. The prospect of replacing the Prime Minister as Labour Candidate at the next general election is now a very real one
following the McBride scandal, the MPs expenses row and the Commons defeat on citizenship of Ghurkhas.
9. JERUSALEM, ISRAE
Washington’s chief arms negotiator caused a diplomatic row with Israel, calling the country to sign the Nuclear Arms Non-Proliferation Treaty. Rose Gottemoeller broke the 41 year old US diplomatic practice of “strategic ambiguity” towards Israel’s nuclear capability, acknowledging it at an international conference.
10. MAINE, UNITED STATES
John Baldachi, Maine’s democrartic governor, has signed a bill making Maine the fifth US state to legalise gay marriage. There is evidence that neighbouring New Hampshire will propose such a bill to Governor John Lynch although he has not indicated whether or not he will sign.
11. KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
An Afghan warlord who appears on America’s ‘most wanted’ terrorist list is to be offered a power sharing deal by President Hamid Karzai. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is expected to be offered several key government ministries in the hope that his party, Hezb-i-Islami, will lay down their arms.
12. ROME, ITALY
18 year old Noemi Letizia, said to be partly responsible for the divorce of Italian Prime Minister Silvo Berlusconi, claims that she wants to stand for Parliament. She told an Italian newspaper “Papi [Daddy] Silvo will fix it.” Berlusconi’s wife made her concerns public when he attended the girl’s 18th birthday party and gave her a gold necklace – he didn’t attended the 18th birthdays of his own children.
13. TBILISI, GEORGIA
NATO has staged a series of modest military exercises in Georgia provoking anger from the Kremlin. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has condemned the exercise describing it as “overt provocation”. President Mikheil Saakashvili is seeking NATO membership for Georgia.
14. COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
Three Channel 4 journalists have been arrested in Sri Lanka for tarnishing the image of the government. The Sri Lankan Defence Minister ordered the arrests after TV reports by the news team made allegations of human rights crimes in the camps including sexual abuse and murder.