Around the World

News from around the globe impacting our world.

Qatar Arming Libyan Rebels. The Guardian reports that officials in Doha confirm Qatar has been secretly supplying French-made missiles to Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

In other Libya related news, NATO foreign ministers are meeting in Berlin on Thursday to discuss how to move forward on Libya. But the alliance against Qaddafi will have to make tough choices if the military stalemate continues. Der Spiegel reports from Berlin.

Protests Spread Across Syria.  Al-Jazeera reports that anti-government discontent is spreading to new towns, as the challenge to President Assad's regime grows. Significantly, protests have been reported in Aleppo, the country's second largest city and an Alawite stronghold.

Bulgaria's Demographic Crisis. Bulgaria has completed its 2011 census. The census results have expectedly revealed the scope of Bulgaria's demographic catastrophe – the country's population is declining rapidly, aging rapidly, and continuing to emigrate at a steady rate. According to Novinite, "Bulgaria's demographic condition is unique as it corresponds to its situation as the poorest country in the "rich countries' club." As the least developed among the developed states, it is exhibiting the worst characteristics of the two worlds. Bulgaria is like the developed countries because its birthrate has declined dramatically and its population is aging; it differs from them in that it is failing to attract skilled young foreign immigrants. Bulgaria resembles the developing states in the sense that its best and brightest are emigrating at a constant rate; it differs from them because its birthrate is nowhere near those of the typical developing countries."

Korea Widens Its Ban of Japanese Food Imports. South Korea will virtually suspend importing agricultural products from areas near the quake-crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan, from next month, a state food regulator said Thursday. Beginning in May, the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) will require the Japanese government to provide certificates showing agricultural products harvested in 13 regions in the plant’s vicinity are safe. So far, only India has instituted a total ban on Japanese food imports.

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman May Face Charges. Israel's Attorney General moved Wednesday to possibly indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on fraud and other corruption charges, capping a decade-old investigation into the leader of the hawkish Yisrael Beiteinu party. More from the Los Angeles Times.

Tags: Libyan Conflict, Bulgaria, Israel Politics, Syria (all tags)

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