At least, fifty thousand demonstrators gathered in Athens, Tuesday, to protest a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German leader's five-hour stop in Greece was her first visit since the debt crisis in nations using the euro began several years ago. Germany has paid more than any other nation to rescue Greece from financial failure. Thousands of police were spread throughout Athens to control protesters angry at budget cuts ordered by the European Union. Many protesters were arrested during the demonstration.
French riot police fired tear gas, Tuesday, at hundreds of protesters trying to enter a Paris car show. The incident comes during nationwide protests over job losses. Ten percent of French workers are unemployed. Thousands of other demonstrators marched in Lyon while operations on the ports of Le Harve and Marseilles were slowed. Protests were organized by a national coalition of labor unions. The number of French without work has reached three million for the first time in thirteen years.
Taliban gunmen in Pakistan have shot and wounded a fourteen-year-old child activist who became famous for speaking out against the militant group. Malala Yousafzai was shot twice as she climbed onto her school bus, Tuesday, in Swat Valley. Witnesses said gunmen came to the school and asked for Miss Yousafzai by name before shooting her. She was shot in the head and neck. The girl was taken to Peshawar for medical treatment. Two other girls were also wounded. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting. Miss Yusefziah became famous for writing about Taliban crimes against the people of her area of Swat Valley. She wrote under the penname Gul Makai in a blog published by the BBC.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ordering early parliamentary elections to be held as soon as possible. Mr. Netanyahu said, Tuesday, he was being forced to form a new government because the current coalition was not able to agree on a budget for twenty thirteen. Elections had been planned for next October but will now be held in January or February. The Prime Minister said the country must put its national interest above everything else and that a long political campaign would hurt the economy.
[You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.]
A court in Azerbaijan has sentenced twenty-two Azerbaijani citizens to prison for helping Iran in a terror plot against American and Israeli targets in Azerbaijan. The defendants were sentenced Tuesday. The sentences were from three to thirteen years in prison. Officials accused them of planning attacks in cooperation with Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Targets for the attacks were to include the United States and Israeli embassies. Family members of the convicted tell VOA they will appeal the sentences and take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
The Philippine Supreme Court has suspended a disputed new Internet law. Critics said the law harms free speech. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the court ordered that the law be temporarily suspended. Her order says it must first be decided if some parts of the law limit civil liberties. The law went into effect last week. It is aimed at identity theft, hacking and pictures of child sex abuses. Critics are concerned about a part that lets the government close websites and watch online activity without a court order.
The Mexican navy says early tests appear to confirm that the leader of the powerful Zetas drug group, Heriberto Lazcano, was killed in a gun battle in northern Mexico. The navy statement says two reported group members died in a battle with naval forces in Coahuila state on Sunday. But, a state prosecutor says gunmen stole Los Cano's body from a funeral home. The navy says fingerprints taken from the body match those of the suspect. Investigators say pictures of the body appear to match Los Cano. The Zetas are considered one of Mexico's main drug groups. They are known for their extreme violence.
A former university football coach has been sentenced to between thirty and sixty years in prison for sexually abusing young boys. The judge in the eastern state of Pennsylvania announced the sentence on Tuesday. The long sentence means that sixty-eight-year-old Jerry Sandusky will likely be in prison for the rest of his life. Prosecutors say Sandusky met many of his accusers through an aid group he started for children. The lawyers said some of the abuse took place at Pennsylvania State University where Sandusky was an assistant football coach. Sandusky has repeatedly said that he is innocent of the charges.
The two thousand twelve Nobel Prize in Physics has been given to David Wineland of the United States and Serge Harosh of France. The winners were announced Tuesday in Stockholm, Sweden. The two scientists worked independently. Serge Haroche is with the College de France while David Wineland is currently at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
The International Monetary Fund says world economic growth will expand more slowly this year. At least, fifty thousand demonstrators gathered in Athens, Tuesday, to protest a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. And, Taliban gunmen in Pakistan have shot and wounded a fourteen-year-old child activist who became famous for speaking out against the group.
That's the news in VOA Special English from Washington.