President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt granted himself the power to make any decision he sees fit. The power cannot be revoked by any agency or judicial authority until a new constitution is ratified and a new parliamentary election is held. The decree caused riots and protests in Tahrir Square in the capital city of Cairo last week, and tens of thousands of Egyptians are rallying to call for the fall of the regime.
The World Health Organization has announced that a fifth person has died of a coronavirus infection, similar in nature to the SARS virus. So far the origin of the virus is unknown and there may be human-to-human infection potential, according to recent tests. As of writing it is not known whether there is a serious potential for a widespread viral outbreak.
Last week, the United Nations upgraded the nation of Palestine to non-member observer status, giving their cause global credibility.
Israel has committed to build another 3000 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem, as well as pushing through permits for another 1000 in the near future. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has requested that Israel cease building settlements in Palestinian lands and resume peace talks. Israel has given no indication that it intends to do either.
Talk of the so-called “fiscal cliff” continued, as president Barack Obama said that this season we will experience a “Scrooge Christmas” if tax cuts for working families and the middle-class are not renewed by years’ end. Economists are concerned that the tax raises set to take effect January 1 could send the U.S. back down into a recession if congress and the White House do not reach a better deal soon.
Finnish anti-piracy group Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Center (CIAPC) forced the father of a nine-year-old girl to pay 300 euros for attempting to access the torrent website The Pirate Bay, which she was unable to use. The report said that the girl searched for the site, but found that it was blocked and bought the album she wanted the next day from a legitimate source. The search for The Pirate Bay was traced to her ISP from her laptop, which tipped off the CIAPC.
A couple from Missouri won the Powerball lottery last week, winning the second-largest lottery payout in United States history at $587.5 million. The size of the jackpot prompted massive ticket sales, at one point nearly 130,000 a minute.