BY Wire reports
Thursday, May 10, 2012
5/10/12 at 4:19 AM
Athens, Greece: Greece deeper in impasse as new coalition talks fail
A second round of talks to form a coalition government collapsed Wednesday, with Greece's future in the euro and commitment to its international bailout deal in the balance and the specter of new elections looming ever larger.
Sunday's election threw the country's political scene into turmoil after voters angered by years of Europe's harshest austerity program - implemented to secure vital international bailouts and fend off bankruptcy - hammered mainstream politicians, but left no party with enough seats in Parliament to govern alone.
Alexis Tsipras, head of the runner-up Radical Left Coalition, or Syriza, met with heads of parties across the political spectrum as he tried and failed to win support for Greece's first left-wing-led government in four decades of democratic rule.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Argentine Senate OKs 'dignified death' law
Argentina's Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a "dignified death" law giving terminally ill patients and their families more power to make end-of-life decisions.
The law passed by a vote of 55-0, with 17 senators declaring themselves absent. It passed the lower house last year.
Now Argentine families won't have to struggle to find judges to order doctors to end life-support for people who are dying or in a permanent vegetative state.
The measure expressly forbids euthanasia - actions that provoke death - and instead focuses on the rights of patients and their families. It also absolves doctors of any legal responsibility when they follow the patient's wishes.
Kharkiv, Ukraine: Tymoshenko ends hunger strike, goes to hospital
Yulia Tymoshenko ended a nearly three-week long hunger strike Wednesday as the imprisoned former Ukrainian prime minister was moved from jail to a hospital for treatment of a severe back condition under the supervision of a German doctor.
The news was likely to allay at least some Western concerns over Tymoshenko's health and handling in prison.
EU officials and some governments from the 27-nation bloc have vowed to boycott the European Championship soccer tournament, which begins in June and is co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland. Ukraine had to cancel a regional cooperation summit this weekend after most heads of central and eastern European states canceled their visits because of the Tymoshenko case.
Tymoshenko, 51, the country's top opposition leader, had been on hunger since April 27 to protest alleged abuse.
Daraa, Syria: Blast near U.N. car hitsSyrian military truck
A roadside bomb hit a Syrian military truck Wednesday just seconds after the head of the U.N. observer team drove by, demonstrating the fragility of the international plan to end the country's bloodshed.
The attack, which wounded several Syrian soldiers, emphasized the limits of the international community's plan to use unarmed observers to promote a cease-fire between government troops and rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad.
The team of 70 U.N. military observers now in Syria should grow to more than 100 in the coming days. It is unclear when the full team of 300 will arrive. They are to oversee a cease-fire intended to allow for talks on a political solution to the conflict.
Dublin: N. Ireland judge jails man for taking call in court
Letting your telephone ring in a courtroom is rarely a good idea. Taking the call is worse.
A Northern Ireland man received a brief jail sentence Wednesday after his phone rang, the judge told him to turn it off, but instead he took the call and had a brief chat.
The judge ordered 36-year-old Paddy Sweeney behind bars for two hours, then fined him $322 for willfully interrupting the court in Londonderry, Northern Ireland's second-largest city. Sweeney had been watching a civil trial at the time.
Quito, Ecuador: Lawmakers OK plan toforgive mortgage debt
Ecuador's legislature has passed a law that would oblige banks to forgive any outstanding debt on mortgages to first-time home buyers of properties worth up to $146,000 if they default and forfeit the home.
The law would also apply to loans by banks to first-time purchasers of automobiles that cost up to $29,200.
President Rafael Correa praised the law after it passed 68-21. He did not say whether he would sign it or possibly seek amendments.
The director of Ecuador's private banking association has said the legislation would discourage construction, and would make getting mortgages more difficult.
A Pakistani family waits on the side of a road to sell camel milk to customers in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Wednesday. B.K. BANGASH/Associated Press