GREECE: Austerity budget approved
Lawmakers approved the 2013 austerity budget early Monday, an essential step in Greece's efforts to persuade its international creditors to unblock a vital rescue loan installment without which the country will go bankrupt. The budget passed, 167-128, in the 300-member Parliament. It came days after a separate bill of deep spending cuts and tax hikes for the next two years squeaked through with a narrow majority following severe disagreements among the three parties in the governing coalition. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pledged that the spending cuts will be the last Greeks have to endure.
PAKISTAN: They want their YouTube
For two months, Pakistanis have been unable to call up YouTube to watch an anti-Islam video that sparked deadly riots here and elsewhere in the Muslim world. But neither have they been able to use the service to view the U.S. debates, to catch the "Gangnam Style" craze or even to laugh at silly kitties in the Friskies Internet Cat Video Awards. Now, the netizens are telling the government that they want their YouTube back, prompting a re-evaluation of the ban. Minister Rehman Malik, a regular social media user, announced that the government will set up a committee to find a way to filter anti-Islamic content on YouTube, but still let Bollywood music videos continue to entertain the nation. A large number of people on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites asked for a lifting of the ban, a ministry official explained,
GUATEMALA: 6.2 quake strikes off coast
A 6.2-magnitude earthquake has shaken the Pacific coast, four days after a major quake killed dozens. The U.S. Geological Survey said Sunday's earthquake was centered 112 miles west-southwest of Guatemala City, off the coast. It had a depth of 18 miles. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake Wednesday killed 52 people in Guatemala's strongest quake in 36 years.