FRANCE: France woke to a new era today after electing Socialist Francois Hollande as president, a leftist pledging to buck Europe’s austerity trend and Nato’s timetable for Afghanistan.
After an appearance before thronging crowds on Paris’ Place de la Bastille in the early hours during which he pledged “to finish with austerity,” Mr Hollande was soon back at work.
GREECE: Greece faces days, possibly weeks, of political instability after voters angry at crippling income cuts punished mainstream politicians.
They voted a far-right extremist group into Parliament but gave no party enough votes to govern alone.
RUSSIA: Vladimir Putin took the oath of office in a brief but regal Kremlin ceremony today, while on the streets outside thousands of riot police prevented hundreds of demonstrators from protesting his return to the presidency.
Mr Putin, 59, has ruled Russia since 2000, first as president and then during the past four years as prime minister.
SOUTH KOREA: South Korea said it is strengthening customs inspections in a crackdown on the smuggling of Chinese-made capsules filled with powdered human flesh.
The state-run Korea Customs Service said that since last August it has discovered 35 attempts to smuggle from China about 17,450 such capsules disguised as stamina-boosters.
AMERICA: A man released from prison four years ago after spending two decades on Ohio’s death row will learn today whether he will be going go back to prison.
Ken Richey, from Scotland, faces up to three years in prison when he’s sentenced for threatening a judge in the Ohio village of Ottawa who prosecuted his original case.
NEPAL: Police said the death toll has reached 17 from weekend flash flooding in western Nepal. Another 47 people are missing and presumed dead.
Police official Shailesh Thapa said rescuers were searching the banks of the Seti River for the missing people and helping those who had lost their homes and family members.
INDIA: Hillary Clinton said she has no desire to make for another run for the highest office in the land but hopes to see a female US president in her lifetime.
Politely turning aside questions about her political intentions at a town hall event in Kolkata, Mrs Clinton said she really wanted to see “that final glass ceiling” broken.