News Summary


A number of stories are bubbling under the surface but do not yet meet our criteria for more complete coverage. A summary of those stories is covered here in no particular order.

In Syria the battling continues with many more casualties and Turkey opening a further four refugee camps. The Free Syrian Army says that the Vice President has defected; the government says he hasn’t but no-one has seen him in recent days.

In the Philippines a major search and rescue operation is under way after a light aircraft carrying the Minister of Interior and Local Government, Jesse Robredo, crashed into the sea. One person has been rescued but three others including the Minister are still missing.

In Egypt the debate over freedom of the press continues as two journalists are charged following articles criticising the president. President Mohamed Morsy is planning a trip to Iran which will concern many in the West.

Israelis have been issued with gas masks after the talk of a major strike against Iran reached fever pitch. Iranian president Ahmadinejad delivered a strong anti-Israeli speech in Tehran which denied the holocaust and has done little to cool the political temperature.

Meanwhile Iraq has been accused of assisting Iran avoid sanctions; there are suggestions that four Iraqi banks are controlled by the Iranians and that oil trades between the two countries have taken place.

In Somalia it is touch and go as to whether a presidential election will take place tomorrow. The Electoral College includes 275 legislators, but only 202 have been selected by the clans so far; until that process is completed the election may be put on hold. Most commentators are reporting that there is likely to be little change after the election and the incumbent president is likely to win.

In South Africa the repercussions of the killing of 34 striking miners at a platinum mine by police are being debated. Calls for President Zuma to resign over the affair have been answered with the setting up of an inquiry.

United Kingdom MPs have got excited over the announcement by India to send a mission to Mars. They argue that the UK should not be giving £240 million in aid to India if they can afford such an expensive project.

Uncertainty over the Eurozone continues. There are plenty of stories talking about Greece leaving the Eurozone soon, Spain needing a bailout soon, disenchantment growing in the stronger countries over the actions of the weaker countries and banks being told to work out their position if the Eurozone does break up.

Diplomatic wrangles continue between Ecuador and the United Kingdom over Julian Assange although the rhetoric appears to have cooled a little.

In Russia the three members of Pussy Riot have become celebrities and martyrs to many anti-government protesters after they received a two year prison sentence. Much of the commentary is about the impact on the presidency of Vladimir Putin and how much damage this has done to his authority and credibility.

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