Headlines from around the world: 12-5-11

A woman who was raped by a cousin by marriage who was imprisoned for adultery has been pardoned by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai after agreeing to become the second wife of her rapist.

The Syrian people are feeling the brunt of the ever-growing economic sanctions against the state, finding themselves unable to use credit cards outside the country or perform any financial transactions that occur outside its borders. The United Nations has backed the sanctions, in an effort to force President Bashar al-Assad to lessen the violence against his people.

The United Nation’s high commissioner for human rights has said that Syria is bound for civil war if something is not done to stop the government from further persecution of its citizens. The UN estimates that roughly 4000 people have been killed since the uprising against Assad’s government began nine months ago, with around 14,000 people held in jails and prisons around the country.

In an address to German lawmakers last week, Merkel said that the European Union must work toward the same goal, and that this crisis will not be solved immediately. She likened the work to a marathon, reminding her audience to keep in mind the magnitude of their task.

Following an attack on the British Embassy in Tehran, Iran, last week, the US has authorized even more restrictive sanctions against the country. The sanctions now target Iran’s oil production, specifically outlawing any business with Iran’s Central Bank, which processes all of Iran’s oil revenues.

The Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian Islamist group that is seeking political power, has distanced itself from the ultraconservative Islamist party, known as Al Nour, in an effort to reassure the more liberal of the Egyptian people and western governments that they do not, in fact, identify with the ultraconservative political views of that party.

The Russian watchdog agency “Golos” has been accused by the Russian government of breaking election laws, by broadcasting election opinions during the five days leading up to elections. The agency is known for informing the Russian populace about the various problems within any of the parties vying for power in an election. Golos suspects that the government is trying to keep them from observing the elections that are to take place December 4.

The American economy appears to be recovering, as unemployment showed the first real drop since early 2009. Currently at 8.6%, the unemployment rate coincides with a slight increase in hiring by employers, signalling a modest upturn for the US economy.

Herman Cain has announced the suspension of his bid for presidency. The move comes after allegations of sexual harassment and of a 13-year affair. Cain has stated that he will continue with “Plan B,” promoting his policy ideas and his “9-9-9” tax plan.

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