Greek PM seeks to overhaul government amidst Euro bailout debate; World markets fall sharply; Fighting intensifies in Burma forcing refugees into China; US says Libya 'war' is legal; Al-Zawahiri takes over al-Qaeda reins; Ba'asyir sentenced to 15 years in Indonesia; and more
Top of the Agenda: Gathering Clouds Over Greece
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is set to announce a broad cabinet overhaul (FT) in an effort to avert a political crisis and garner support for a new round of austerity measures, required by the EU and IMF as a condition for the €110 billion financial aid package Greece received last year.
However, top lawmakers in Papandreou's ruling Socialist Party resigned in protest (Reuters) Thursday amid nationwide strikes and violent anti-austerity demonstrations in Athens, complicating the prime minister's efforts to form a new government and build enough momentum to pass an austerity package that includes €28 billion (DeutscheWelle) in spending cuts and tax hikes.
The upheaval comes as the EU debates the terms of a second Greek bailout (DerSpiegel), which could run upwards of €120 billion. Germany is demanding that any further financial aid for Greece require private bondholders to take losses, a position that is at odds with that of the European Central Bank.
Meanwhile, world stock markets fell sharply (Guardian)Thursday as investors speculated on the likeliness of a Greek debt default.
PACIFIC RIM: Burma Army Clashes with Rebels
Fighting intensified between Burma government troops and ethnic minority rebels (AFP) in the mountains of northern Kachin state, forcing hundreds to flee over the border to China.
Indonesia: An Indonesian court convicted radical cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir (BBC) of supporting an Islamic militant training camp in Aceh, sentencing him to fifteen years in prison.
-Al-Zawahiri named al-Qaeda chief