A state of disaster has been declared in northern Samoa as a Cyclone Evan batters the island. Two people have been confirmed dead so far.
The pressure on the Assad Regime grew as Russia, hitherto one of the countries staunchest allies, said that the Government now only controls about half the country, and that a rebel victory was a possibility. Analysts viewed the statement as part of a continuing effort by Moscow to distance itself from the regime without fully abandoning it. Rumours are that Russia has secretly spoken to Western governments regarding a guaranteeing [liveblog][liveblog]of Russian interests in Syria after Assad’s fall.
Unconfirmed videos from inside Syria seemed to show elements of the Free Syrian Army sawing off the heads of captured government troops. Days later, an Alawite village was attacked, leaving 125 dead. The two stories have fuelled debate about what a post Assad Syria will look like.
Riots have broken out in Argentina following the acquittal of over thirteen people involved in a sex slave case. The defendants were accused of kidnapping a young woman and selling her into prostitution. The country’s president has come out in support of the protestors.
Authorities in Venezuela have warned that Hugo Chavez may not be well enough to return home for the presidential inauguration next month. The leader is in Cuba undergoing cancer treatment.
Chavez isn’t the only leader under the weather; the 92 year old former South African President Nelson Mandela is said to be responding well after a lung infection.
EU leaders have agreed another round of bailouts for debt stricken Greece. The move was welcomed by leaders across Europe, but has done little to move the markets. Unemployment in Greece is now at 26 percent, and the country is about to entre its seventh straight year of recession. The economy has shrunk by 23 percent since 2008.
North Korea launched a satellite into orbit. The rocket launch angered the country’s neighbours who have called on the China to pressure the hermit state to wind back its missile program. The move was widely seen as at least partly motivated by the new leaders desire to prove his standing among the military. There then followed conflicting reports that the satellite was tumbling out of orbit.
This century’s last sequential date passed by with little or no apocalyptic outcomes. The 12/12/12 did however see a rush of weddings as couples sought to make the most of the special date. Bless.