Global Focus

The Nouse Politics team summarises the biggest stories from around the world

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[mmplace location=”PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI”]Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake, which measured magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale. Although numbers are still uncertain, it is thought hundreds of thousands of people may have died. Following the huge scale of destruction in the country, a massive aid effort has been launched. More than a million Haitians have been made homeless by the earthquake; many bodies still remain on the streets.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”ANKARA, TURKEY”]Police in Turkey have arrested more than 100 people suspected of being linked to Al Qaeda. One detainee was a faculty member of a Turkish university and is suspected of recruiting students for the terrorist organisation. The arrests follow previous raids in which documents relating to Al Qaeda were seized.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”WASHINGTON D.C., USA”]President Obama has proposed bold banking reforms that will deeply affect Wall Street. Obama said: “never again will the American taxpayer be held hostage by a bank that is too big to fail.” The reforms will segregate commercial and investment banking activities. If imposed, they will force large US banks to restructure. Stock markets worldwide fell sharply after the news.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”JOS, NIGERIA”]Fighting between Muslim and Christian groups in Nigeria has left hundreds of people dead. The army imposed a 24-hour curfew on the city in order to halt the violence; which has now eased. The cause of the confrontation is unclear. However, Jos lies in the middle belt of the country, which has a history of religious conflict.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”MASSACHUSETTS, USA”]The Republicans have won a crucial Senate seat following elections in Massachusetts. Scott Brown, the Republican candidate, won a tight race, obtaining 51.9 percent of the vote. The loss of the seat causes the Democrats to lose their Senate supermajority, putting healthcare reform at risk. [/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”CARACAS, VENOZUELA”]Hugo Chavez, the President of Venozuela, has nationalised a French-Columbian supermarket chain. Chavez has accused them of raising their prices too high. The army controls price checks on goods in Venozuela. This is the latest step in a trend of nationalisation for the country. The mining industry was nationalised last year.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”BEIJING, CHINA”]Google has threatened to leave China following a cyber attack that originated from the country. They described the attack as “sophisticated and targeted”. It appears email accounts of human rights activists were the target of the attack. Hilary Clinton urged China to lift their Internet restrictions as well as investigate the source of the attack.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA”]Two more prisoners have been transferred out of Guantanamo Bay. The Algerian men, Hasan Zemiri and Adil Hadi al-Jazairi , have returned to their native country. The release was announced on the eve of President Obama’s deadline for closure of the prison. Although many prisoners have now been removed, the timing of a full closure still remains unclear.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM”]The Government has been criticised for Royal Bank of Scotlands’ (RBS) funding of Krafts’ takeover of Cadbury. RBS is 84 percent owned by the taxpayer and lent money to Kraft. The merger will result in jobs being lost in the UK. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg called the situation “plain wrong”.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN”]It has been revealed that the US plans to provide 12 unarmed surveillance drones to Pakistan, in order to help the war against the Taliban. In order to not appear biased, the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said America is providing weapons to Pakistan and India on an equitable basis. India is concerned that the drones will be used along the Indian-Pakistani border.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG”]The European Union Court of Justice has ordered Germany to ease restrictions on the hiring of Polish workers. Currently, only a firm who is German or has a branch in Germany is allowed to hire Polish workers. The court found that this discrimination was contrary to the European Commision treaty. However, Germany is allowed to keep limits on hiring workers from ex-communist states.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”SANTIAGO, CHILE”]For the first time in half a century, Chile has elected a conservative President. The defeated party Concertacion, led by Eduardo Frei, had been in power for the last two decades. The winner of the election, Sebastian Pinera, is a billionaire businessman. Pinera has promised to rejuvenate the economy as well as promising not move the country radically to the right. [/mmplace]

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