Welcome to the Prague Post’s World News blog, in which we scour the world’s press for the most important events and the most incisive commentary – so you don’t have to. We might also sneak in a few funny stories at the end so you don’t get depressed (it is Friday, after all).
Global news 19-23 March
One of the biggest stories in Europe was in France, where a militant Islamist who had killed seven people was shot dead by police after a 32-hour siege. The gunman, Mohamed Merah, was surrounded by police after murdering seven people in three separate attacks in Toulouse – three children and a teacher outside a Jewish school, and three soldiers. He also filmed the murders.
France has been rocked by the tragedy – here’s how it happened, from Le Figaro (in English). As Toulouse residents try to pick up the pieces, the next question for political commentators in France is what impact the tragedy could have on the country’s presidential race.
There’s another big presidential race going on (if you hadn’t noticed), or the beginnings of one anyway with the battle to be the US Republican nominee unfolding in America. Mitt Romney won Illinois but it’s not over yet, and it won’t be for a while if he and his team continue to throw away good news with gaffes like this one, comparing the candidate to an Etch-a-Sketch - see what the New York Times made of it here. As the NYT goes on to say, Romney’s main rival Rick Santorum hardly boosted his own standing with the Republican base almost immediately afterward, when he suggested that four more years of President Obama would be better than President Romney.
Fierce fighting continues in Syria, with harrowing reports of civilian casualties. Here’s a backgrounder from the BBC on what’s happening, why, and what’s at stake - the latest development is the EU slapping sanctions on President Assad’s wife, Asma, along with 12 other people.
This week has also seen a military coup in Mali, the capture of Australia’s most wanted man, and a new study suggesting taking aspirin can prevent cancer. But should you take it? Experts consider the risks versus the benefits here, in the LA Times.
And if all of that has got you down – don’t worry, it could be worse, you could be a sex-starved fruit fly forced to turn to drink. This is a real headline from the BBC in the UK – enjoy.
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