The leader of Greece’s socialist party Evangelos Venizelos says he’s failed to form a coalition government following Sunday’s inconclusive elections. The continuing political uncertainty in Greece is casting doubt on the country’s future in the Euro zone as Mark Loan now reports from Athens.
Evangelos Venizelos is the third party leader to fail to form a coalition government. There has not been a consensus between the political leaders on whether Greece should adhere to or reject its international loan agreement and the cost cutting that it entails . Mr. Venizelos will now return the mandate to form a government to the president who’s expected to summon all party leaders in a last ditch attempt to form emergency government of national salvation . It is unlikely he would succeed and the expectation now is that Greece will head to fresh elections. This country is plunging further into the unknown.
The government of Spain has told the country’s severely troubled banks to certify an extra 40 billion dollars to cover potential losses. It also ordered independent audits of all property assets held by them. Robert Piston reports.
The primary calls of the weakness of Spanish banks was their reckless property and construction lending which filled the building of 2.5million homes that Spain properly doesn’t need. Today’s new plan to strengthen them forces them to insulate themselves from the danger that will be forced to write off all most half of all these loans. But some analysts fear the pain could be even worse and perhaps more worryingly the banks also face losses on mortgages and on loans to highly indebted companies as result of the serious weakness of the Spanish economy.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has sacked one of his most conservative advisors, an outspoken critic of moves towards relaxing the strict segregation of men and women in public places. No reason was given for Sheikh Abdelmoshen al-Obeikan's dismissal. The move comes a few days after Mr. al-Obeikan attacked what he called plans by influential people to corrupt Muslim society by trying to change the natural status of women. The Saudi King has recently support the gradually relaxation of more hard-line interpretations of Islam.
The party that has ruled Algeria for 50 years, the National Liberation Front has won a big majority in parliamentary elections. The Islamist coalition which came a distant third complained a fraud. From Algiers, here is Cloy Amos.
The party of the president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has won almost half the seats in parliament, 220 of the available 462 seats next to his 68 seats with the RND, the National Democratic Rally whose leader is the prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia. The green ally, a coalition of three Islamist parties came a distant third with 48 seats. They have already disputed there saying the figures from their observers do not tally with the official results. Cloy Amos
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Syrian state television says that an attempted suicide bombing has been stopped in the country’s second city Aleppo. State television said that there would-be attacker had been killed. It says his car contained 1200 kilograms of explosives. There’s no other verification of the report so far. Opposition activists have already dismissed it as a lie.
The United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay has said Sudanese air strikes on South Sudan may amount to war crimes. Mr. Pillay condemned what he described as deliberate attacks on civilian areas. South Sudan earlier this week accused Khartoum of bombing its territory in violation of a UN resolution. Khartoum says South Sudan sponsors rebel groups on its territory.
A writer of crosswords in Venezuela says he’s been questioned by intelligence agents after being accused of hiding a coded assassination message in a puzzle. Neptali Segovia who works for the newspaper Ultimas Noticias denies using his crosswords to inside the murder of President Hugo Chavez’s brother Adan. Sarah Granger reports from the Venezuelan capital Caracas.
Neptali Segovia had already published a statement in the newspaper saying his work had no political dimension. There was after a presenter on state television had accused him of copying the tactics of the French Resistance during World War Two by including code words as answers in a crosswords puzzle. But some couldn’t help but laugh this latest twist. The anti-government newspaper Tal Cual published a spoonful crossword in their Friday edition with the clue what officials do when they misuse public funds while the answer, corruption.
The defense team of the former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic has appealed to the Yugoslav war crime’s tribunal to replace the presiding judge in his trial. Mr. Mladic’s lawyers accuse Judge Alphons Orie of bias . They argue that he’s setting a number of cases in which former subordinates of Mr. Mladic were convicted.