TOP STORIES: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs – April 27, 2012
*Austerity topples Romanian government, Czech survives *Pakistan seeks bids for Iran gas pipeline, despite U.S. pressure *Spanish unemployment hits record 5.64 million *Hollande to Keep Burqa Ban *U.N. Secretary ‘Troubled’ By Syria …
* Austerity topples Romanian government, Czech survives - Staff, Reuters
Romania’s left-leaning opposition will try to form a new government after torpedoing the centre-right cabinet in a confidence vote on Friday, the latest collapse of an austerity-minded ruling coalition in Europe.
* Palestinian government cracks down on critics - Staff, AP
The government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has moved to silence critics, raising new concerns about freedom of expression in the West Bank.
* Pakistan seeks bids for Iran gas pipeline, despite U.S. pressure - Singapore, Reuters)
Pakistan is pushing ahead with plans to build a gas pipeline from Iran despite strong opposition from Islamabad’s strategic ally Washington…
* Spanish unemployment hits record 5.64 million – Staff, BBC
More bad news for Spain: unemployment has hit a record high, and it is expected to climb further. The unemployment rate is now 24.4 percent. The news came mere hours after Standard & Poor’s cut Spain’s credit rating for a second time this year, dropping it to BBB+ from A, with a negative long-term outlook.
* In Europe, a Marriage Shows Signs of Fraying – Floyd Norris, New York Times
If the European monetary union is something like a bad marriage, what can be done to avoid a messy and disastrous divorce?
* U.N. Secretary ‘Troubled’ By Syria
Syrian activists said that up to 70 people were killed in the city of Hama as United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the ongoing troop violence there, saying he “remains deeply troubled” by the attacks.
* Hollande to Keep Burqa Ban
France’s socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande told RTL radio Friday that if elected, he won’t overturn a law banning face-covering Muslim veils, called “the burqa ban,” which was enacted by President Nicolas Sarkozy.