Global Focus

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

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[mmplace location=”ATHENS, GREECE”]Thousands of protesters converged in Athens for a march against planned government cuts. The cuts are intended to help deal with Greece’s budget deficit, and are demanded by the EU as an exchange for a £120bn loan. Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, has warned Greece to be prepared for a period of austerity. [/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”BANGKOK, THAILAND”]Violence in Thailand has again flared between the red-shirt demonstrators and Thai troops. Clashes have been continuing for around six weeks as the red-shirts protest that the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is illegitimate. With possible reconciliation unlikely, the stand-off looks set to continue indefinitely.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”MADRID, SPAIN”]Unemployment in Spain has reached 20pc for the first time in over two decades. There are already approximately 4.6m unemployed, and analysts fear that the figure will continue to rise. A slump in Spain’s construction industry worsened the economic downturn. Spain is facing the possibility of having its credit rating downgraded.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”ARIZONA, USA”]The state of Arizona has passed the toughest anti-immigration law in the country. The law has been branded discriminatory and draconian, and has caused widespread outrage from civil rights groups. [/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”SOUTH KIVU, DR CONGO”]A UN official has termed DR Congo “the rape capital of the world”. Over 8,000 women were raped during fighting in 2009. A UN mission in Monuc is attempting to combat the endemic sexual violence against women by providing escorts, and liaising with local officials. [/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”LOUISIANA, USA”]A huge oil spill in the Mexican Gulf is washing up on the Louisiana coastline, and Experts say that the impact of the oil spill could exceed the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster which is the worst in US history. Wildlife species and the fishing industry will be threatened by the spill. At first the size of the spill was greatly underestimated.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”WEIFANG, CHINA”]Five schoolchildren were injured after a man attacked them with a hammer, before setting himself on fire. Three similar incidents have happened over the past three days. The Chinese government claims that media attention spurred the copycat attacks, and has banned front-page coverage of the incidents. [/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”NEW DELHI, INDIA”]The US, UK and Australia have warned of “imminent attacks” in New Delhi which are likely to target places where foreigners are known to congregate. Government advisories have warned travellers to remain vigilant and avoid certain areas. Markets and Western-owned hotels were named as “especially attractive targets”. [/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND”]Scotland’s Parliament has voted to support calls for the introduction of proportional representation in Westminster. Robin Harper, MSP for the Green party, spoke against the UK’s current electoral system, calling it “discredited”. [/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”LILONGWE, MALAWI”]The Malawi government has proposed a ban on polygamy. The proposed ban has drawn opposition from Muslims who have argued that such a law is discriminatory. The gender minister says the ban will stop abuse in polygamous relationships.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”JERUSALEM, ISRAEL”]US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has announced that proximity talks between Israel and Palestine will recommence next week. Indirect negotiations between the two countries stalled last month following Israel’s planned further development of East Jerusalem. [/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”WASHINGTON, USA”]The rise in childhood obesity could constitute a threat to national security. Two retired generals have warned that obesity prevents would-be recruits from joining the military service, and will ultimately jeopardize US military strength. [/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”LONDON, UK”]A study in the Lancet journal has found that the UK has a higher risk of early death than in other rich nations. Denmark and Belgium were the only western European countries that had a higher early death risk. Poor diet and high rates of smoking and drinking are named as contributory factors. [/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”SUCRE, BOLIVIA”]Evo Morales, the Predsident of Bolivia, has ordered the nationalisation of four electricity firms. The government now controls 80pc of the electricity. This follows the nationlisation of oil and gas reserves as well. Morales is attempting to re-distribute wealth away from foreign owned companies to the indigenous people of Bolivia.[/mmplace]

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