Global Focus

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

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[mmplace location=”NAIMEY, NIGER”]The military in Niger has staged a coup, overthrowing President Mamadou Tandja. As a result, Niger has now been suspended from the African Union. The coup has also been widely condemned internationally. Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Naimey to show their support for the deposition. It is believed the President is being held at a military barracks.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”VANCOUVER, CANADA”]The beginning of the Winter Olympics was tainted by the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. He left the Whistler track at high speed and hit a pillar. As a result of the incident, the men’s event was moved to the lower course, used by female athletes, which has a lower top speed.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”WASHINGTON D.C., USA”]A meeting between the Dalai Lama and Barack Obama has strained relations between the USA and China. Following the meeting at the White House between the President and the Tibetan spiritual leader, China has expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition”. US-China relations were already fragile after America’s recent arms deal with Taiwan.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”DUBAI,UAE”]The Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh has been assasinated in a hotel room in Dubai. The Dubai police have suggested that the Israeli intelligence agency ‘Mossad’ may have been involved. It is alleged that Mabhouh was in Dubai to purchase weapons for Hamas. Some of the suspects had travelled using British passports. Mossad has previously used British passports.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”BRASILIA, BRAZIL”]The governor of Brazil’s Federal District, Jose Roberto Arruda, has turned himself in to police following alleged corruption. Arruda is accused of taking bribes for public-works contracts. He had been filmed accepting bundles of cash, but claims the money was to buy food for poor families. This explanation has not been well received in Brazil.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”YANGON, MYANMAR”]Tin Oo, Vice Chairman of the National League of Democracy (NLD), has been freed from detention. The party is the main opposition to the ruling Junta. He had been held under house arrest since February 2004. The leader of the NLD, Aung San Suu Kyi, remains under house arrest. Her house arrest was extended by 18 months last summer after an American man swam across a lake to reach her compound.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”COVENTRY, UK”]Prime Minister Gordon Brown has unveiled Labour’s “a future fair for all” slogan for the upcoming election. Brown also claimed that the economy would be “at risk” under a Conservative government. He emphasised the importance of supporting as many jobs as possible as well and encouraged people to look at Labour for a second time.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”MANCHESTER, UK”]Greater Manchester Police have arrested 395 people in the space of 24 hours during a major crackdown on alcohol related violence. Officers “locked down” the city centre and operated a string of raids. Safety arches were used to stop people carrying weapons and sniffer dogs were brought in to detect drugs. Two cannabis farms were uncovered and a shotgun with 50 live cartridges was seized. 36 cases have now gone to court as a result.

[mmplace location=”ATHENS, GREECE”]EU leaders have shown support for Greece following a massive debt crisis in the country. They promised, “determined and coordinated action, if needed.” However, they haven’t made any specific commitments. This ambiguity hasn’t helped to ease market nerves. The Euro has reached very low levels against the Dollar.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA”]Kim Jong-il’s birthday was celebrated in North Korea with fireworks, a flower festival and synchronised swimming displays. The leader’s birthday is one of the most important holidays in the country. His birth in 1942 is alleged to have been marked by a double rainbow and a bright star in the sky.[/mmplace]
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[mmplace location=”MEKNES, MOROCCO”]Several people have been killed and many more left injured in the Moroccan town of Meknes following the collapse of a minaret just before the beginning of a sermon. There had been heavy rain in the region for several days before the collapse, and it is thought to be the cause of the incident.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”DARFUR, SUDAN”]One of the largest rebel groups in Darfur (JEM) has signed a ceasefire with the Sudanese government. It is estimated that during the conflict between the rebels and forces loyal to the government more than 300,000 people were killed. Many more people have been displaced and are still living in refugee camps in Sudan and neighbouring countries.[/mmplace]

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