Sunday 24 June 2012

Today's stories

Global economy

Leaders from the eurozone's four largest nations - Germany, France, Italy and Spain - have agreed to pump as much as $160 billion into the region's moribund economy, with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, indicating a fresh willingness to embrace fiscal stimulus as a tool to fight Europe's financial

Iceland, whose economy has recovered rapidly following the 2008 collapse of its banking sector, on Friday repaid $US483.7 million in loans to the International Monetary Fund, the lender said.

Despite a sovereign debt crisis that threatens to tear the European Union apart, Iceland is speeding ahead on its bid to join the bloc and even delivered a pep talk Friday to those struggling to hold it together.

Extension to deadline proposed by Greece
Greece's new coalition government has proposed an extension to the deadline for it to reduce its budget deficit by at least two years, to 2016.


Crowds continue sit-in at Cairo's Tahrir Square as election body fixes date for revealing winner of presidential runoff.

TURKEY has vowed to take ''necessary steps'' after concluding that Syria shot down a Turkish jet fighter along the Syrian border, sending tensions soaring in the already fraught region.

HEAVILY armed Taliban killed 18 people - most of them civilians - in an attack today on a lakeside hotel just north of Kabul that ended 12 hours later with the death of all five insurgents.

If Israel goes from threats to military actions, “it is Israel who will be destroyed,” says a high-ranking Iranian general. This comes as a fresh twist in the war of words that has engrossed Israel and Iran in recent months.

Iraqi police are under orders to shut down a number of foreign and local media outlets across the country, reports Iraqi journalist rights group. The BBC and Voice of America are just some of the prominent television channels targeted by the order.

Armed men riding on motorcycles kill eight people in a shop in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province

The website cites U.S. defense contracts and Israel's new military preparations, suggesting that 'all sides are getting ready for whatever may come.'


FLASH floods in Afghanistan triggered by days of torrential rain have killed more than 30 people, officials said, with dozens reported missing.

There’s mercury in the baby formula. Cabbages are sprayed with formaldehyde. Gelatin capsules for pills, tens of millions of them, are laced with chromium. Used cooking oil is scooped out of gutters for recycling, right along with the sewage.

Civil unrest/revolution

Looting has broken out near Bolivia's presidential palace as junior members of the police force, angry over low wages, joined a nationwide mutiny.

Egyptians have congregated in the thousands on Cairo's Tahrir Square in anticipation of the election results that could make or break the revolution. Egypt remains in political deadlock amid fears the results could trigger a fresh bout of violence.

Protesters smash windows of banks at Rabin Square, block major highway a day after police violently arrested a dozen activists.


Faced with electricity shortages and the prospect of rationing power supplies through the approaching summer peak, Japan reluctantly returned to nuclear power.


The battle for water in Palestine has become a fight to survive as wells drain and water quality turns deadly due to Israel using water as a tool of control.


Ecuador's President has acknowledged the diplomatic and political minefield created by Julian Assange's application for asylum, and indicated that a decision on the WikiLeaks founder's appeal is likely to take longer than first thought.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has recalled his ambassador to the UK in order to discuss the case of Julian Assange. The asylum bid is being analyzed without concession to foreign pressure, but with caution to “other countries’” 

Russia is unlikely to narrow federal budget deficit this year because of low oil prices, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Saturday.



The Vatican, stung by communications blunders and mired in a leaks scandal, has hired an American journalist from Fox News and member of the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei to help improve its relations with the media.

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