Headlines from around the world: 2-13-12

President Barack Obama is pushing a new budget proposal for the fiscal year 2012. The budget includes hundreds of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure spending. The new budget would require tax increases and spending cuts intended to reduce the national deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years.

Under a new proposed rule by the Obama administration, all employers would be required to offer birth control as part of their health insurance packages. The only employers exempt from this new requirement will be non-profit religious houses of worship whose beliefs are in opposition to contraceptives. In those cases, the insurance companies will be required to provide coverage for those services free of additional charge.

Sudan and Southern Sudan are facing the possibility of war, as the two sides of the country have begun violently fighting over the oil reserves which they both need to keep their countries alive. The oil quarrel rises out of the fact that much of the oil is produced in the south, but the pipeline runs through the north.

The future of Greece as a part of the European Union hangs in the balance, as European leaders continue to push the Grecian government to approve a new bailout package that would require severe austerity measures. Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has pushed for massive overhauls within the government, as well as a 20% cut in the minimum wage and widespread layoffs within the public sector.

Two explosions rocked the northern Syrian city of Aleppo last week in, killing 28 and injuring 235 people. The Syrian officials and media have stated that the attacks were perpetrated by “terrorists” intent on protesting Syria’s alliance with Russia.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia spoke out against Syria last week, in a speech aimed at denouncing Russia and China’s opposition to the UN security council’s trace sanctions against Syria.

The people of Jordan are protesting the corruption within Parliament. The Parliament has ruled the nation with the king under a constitutional monarchy since 1921. These protests are aimed at reforming the system of government.

An unknown epidemic causing acute, chronic kidney failure, has claimed more than 24,000 lives in Nicaragua and El Salvador since 2000. In Chichigalpa, a Nicaraguan town, one in four men show symptoms of chronic kidney disease. While there is much speculation on the cause of the epidemic, researchers believe chronic dehydration to be the source.

Lake Vostok, a frozen lake isolated in Antarctica for 20 million years, has finally been breached by Russian drills. The scientists drilled to a depth of 3,768 meters to reach the surface of the sub-glacial lake. Vostok contains high levels of oxygen and nitrogen which caused the water release gas when breached.

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