BRUSSELS -- Five years after the economic crisis struck the European Continent, youth unemployment has climbed to staggering levels in many countries: in September, 56 percent in Spain for those 24 and younger, 57 percent in Greece, 40 percent in Italy, 37 percent in Portugal and 28 percent in Ireland. For people 25 to 30, the rates are half to two-thirds as high and rising.
Those are Great Depression-like rates of unemployment, and there is no sign that European economies, still barely emerging from recession, are about to generate the jobs necessary to bring them into the work force soon, perhaps in their lifetimes.
It is not that Europe will never recover, but that the era of recession and austerity has persisted for so long that new growth, when it comes, will be enjoyed by the next generation, leaving this one out.
For the European Union, addressing the issue has become a political as well as an economic challenge.
Future of Afghan women
WASHINGTON -- On a stage Friday at Georgetown University, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Kerry and Laura Bush were taking turns begging Americans not to abandon the women and girls of Afghanistan after the last U.S. troops come home next year.
Briefly, a Kabul, Afghanistan, classroom filled with beaming young Afghan women at the American University there got to see their famous champions and non-famous counterparts -- including about 700 Georgetown students -- through a satellite hookup.
27 killed in Libya protests
TRIPOLI, Libya -- At least 27 people were killed and more than 235 injured when gunmen opened fire Friday in Tripoli on protesters who were demanding an end to the presence of armed militias in the Libyan capital, Libya's state-run LANA news agency reported.
Many of the wounded were in critical condition, the agency reported, citing sources at two local hospitals.
Syria's chemical weapons
TIRANA, Albania -- The mission to destroy Syria's poison gas stockpile was dealt a serious blow Friday when Albania refused to host the destruction, but the global chemical weapons watchdog said it is still confident it can eradicate the arsenal outside Syria by the middle of next year.
Albania's refusal left open the question of where the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would send Syria's estimated 1,300-ton arsenal, which includes mustard gas and sarin.
Russian drug lab faulted
JOHANNESBURG -- Less than three months before the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, the anti-doping laboratory in Russia charged with conducting drug screenings at those Winter Games has been deemed unreliable and could be banned from testing Olympic athletes.
The World Anti-Doping Agency president, John Fahey, said that he had been given a recommendation to discipline the Russian lab and that he would make a decision in the coming days about its future.
Mayor's authority clipped
TORONTO -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford vowed Friday to take City Council to court after it voted overwhelmingly to strip him of some of his powers over his admitted drug use, public drinking and increasingly erratic behavior.
Then, in a flash of remorse, the 44-year-old Mr. Ford declared: "If I would have had a mayor conducting themselves the way I have, I would have done exactly the same thing."