Global Roundup

Health review

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

US president Barack Obama’s hard-fought health care reforms will be reviewed by the Supreme Court to ensure they are constitutionally sound. The court is expected to hear the matter in early to mid next year – just months out from the next election.

Monti steps up

Italy’s Prime Minister-designate Mario Monti said he is planning to serve a full term and face the polls in 2013. Monti, a former economist, is expected to finalise talks this week ahead of being sworn in. His predecessor Silvio Berlusconi resigned last week.

Breivik not insane: court

A Norwegian Court has ruled there is no evidence Anders Behring Breivik, believed responsible for July’s massacres in Oslo, is insane. In front of a full public courtroom, on Monday Breivik said he did not recognise the authority of the court.

Royal advice

Pressure is mounting on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to stand down and introduce democratic reforms. Jordan’s King Abdullah said he would do the right thing for his country and quit if he was in al-Assad’s position.

Burma reforms

Twelve months after she was released from detention, Aung San Sui Kyi said she has notice improved democratic reforms. The Nobel Peace Prize winner said she meeting with leaders of the ruling junta this week to discuss political reforms.

French freed

Three French humanitarian workers held in captivity in Yemen since May have been freed. President Nicholas Sarkozy said they are in good health and expected to return to France soon. A further eight aid workers remain missing.

Arrests over Ramos

Venezuelan authorities have arrested five Columbian nationals after the kidnapping of star baseball-player Wilson Ramos last week. 11 people have been arrested in relation to the two-day hostage drama surrounding the high-profile athlete.

Plant opens up

Eight months after a tsunami brought Japan to the brink of nuclear disaster, journalists have toured the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The site, north of Tokyo, is still off-limits to the general public.

Police reclaim city

Police backed by armoured military vehicles and aircraft have stormed Rio de Janeiro’s largest slum, Rocinha, to crackdown on criminal activity. The notoriously unruly seaside city has a reputation for being run by drug cartels and has high rates of violence.

Bishop urges reform

A halt in payment to civil servants has prompted Swaziland’s top Anglican cleric Bishop Meshack Mabuza to call for political reforms. He said it was time the country’s absolute monarch ceded his political powers to a democratically-elected parliament.

Israel’s offer to Kenya

Israel has offered to help Kenya secure its border with Somali in a bid to stop criminal activity by Islamist group al-Shabab. Prime Minister Ralia Odinga said the offer was made after he raised a spate of kidnappings during a recent trip to Israel.

Race murders ‘shameful’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the murder of nine immigrants and a policewoman at the hands of a neo-nazi group was “shameful”. Officials also revealed the group are believed responsible for a series of bank robberies spanning ten years.

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