Magazine article The Spectator

Abroad

Magazine article The Spectator

Abroad

Article excerpt

French voters prepared to choose between Nicolas Sarkozy, of the UMP, and Francois Hollande, of the Socialist party, in the second round of presidential elections, on 6 May. Marine Le Pen, knocked out in the first round with 18 per cent of the poll, said that she would be casting a blank ballot. Greece prepared for parliamentary elections on the same day. Standard & Poor's reduced Spain's sovereign debt rating by two notches, while the country's unemployment rose above 24 per cent. Norway's 100 metre breaststroke champion, Alexander Dale Oen, aged 26, suddenly died of a heart attack Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese dissident who has campaigned against forced abortions, took refuge in the United States embassy in Beijing, but left again after six days. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, addressed the parliament of Burma and visited Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader who has been elected to a seat. A ferry capsized on the Brahmaputra, in Assam, drowning at least 103. …

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