March in Italy against austerity
Over 100,000 trade unionists and unemployed workers marched in Rome last Saturday to protest against the new coalition government’s austerity measures. It was called by the metalworkers’ union FIOM.
The centre-left Democratic Party prime minister Enrico Letta promised to create jobs. But his coalition with Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party and unelected technocrats looks set on cuts.
At 38 percent, unemployment for under 25s is the third highest in Europe.
Suicide bombs in the Iraqi capital
At least 200 people have been killed in suicide bomb attacks across Iraq’s capital Baghdad this week. This is the worst violence since December 2011, when US combat troops left.
Last month more than 700 died. Iraq is descending deeper into a bloody sectarian conflict in the wake of the destruction of the country’s civilian infrastructure. This sowed the seeds for sectarian divisions.
Shortages in Venezuela
Venezuela has been hit by severe shortages of basic goods including milk, flour and toilet roll.
President Nicolas Maduro, who was vice president under Hugo Chavez, says big businesses have engineered the crisis by under-producing food and whipping up panic buying.
Maduro met Venezuela’s biggest boss Lorenzo Mendoza hoping to reach an understanding last week.
His government also sent armed troops to run patrols and checkpoints in poor areas with high murder rates last week.
And it has approached the US about restoring diplomatic relations.