World briefs: Cutbacks fail in Greece
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ATHENS, Greece -- The leaders of the three parties in Greece's coalition government failed to agree Sunday on a package of spending cuts worth 11.5 billion euros ($14.7 billion), a raft of measures the prime minister had said is crucial to restoring the country's financial credibility and sustaining its bailout funding.
Conservative Premier Antonis Samaras and the other two leaders -- socialist Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left -- disagreed on across-the-board cuts in pensions and wages. The latter two insisted that Greece's international creditors give the country more time to implement the spending cuts.
The three agreed to meet again Wednesday evening. Before that, Mr. Samaras will meet with the creditors' representatives on Monday and, on Tuesday, with European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, in Frankfurt.
In the fifth year of a deep recession, Greece has seen its economy shrink by about 20 percent and the unemployment rate soar to 24.4 percent in June.
MEXICO CITY -- The man who led Mexico's main leftist party in the past two presidential elections announced Sunday he is leaving it behind and may start a new party, throwing uncertainty over the future of the nation's political left.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told supporters at a rally at Mexico City's main plaza that he is leaving the Democratic Revolution Party "on the best of terms." The motives for the break were not clear, but it could complicate efforts for the left to rally again around a single candidate as it has in every election since 1988.
LONDON -- Tropical Storm Leslie, the 12th named system of the Atlantic season, is battering Bermuda with tropical-storm force winds as it passes to the east of the island, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Leslie was about 140 miles east of Bermuda with winds of 60 miles per hour and moving north at 10 mph, the Miami-based center said in an advisory. The eye of the storm is forecast to continue passing to the east of Bermuda and could strengthen to regain hurricane status as it heads for the east of Newfoundland, the NHC said.
KHAR, Pakistan -- Pakistani security forces pushed Taliban militants who came from Afghanistan back across the border after more than two weeks of fighting in a mountainous tribal region, spokesmen for both sides said Sunday. The government says over 100 people were killed in the offensive.
The violence in the northwestern Bajur area highlighted the growing problem of Taliban militants using sanctuaries in Afghanistan to attack Pakistan. The frequency of the raids has increased, and this was the first instance in which Pakistani Taliban militants coming from Afghanistan seized and held territory in Pakistan for a significant amount of time.
HONG KONG -- Hong Kong voters will choose a new legislature Sunday as discontent at China's influence fuels protests against an influx of mainland citizens and changes to the education curriculum.
The election may boost so-called pro-democracy parties that don't back Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, said Michael DeGolyer, a professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University, whose Hong Kong Transition Project has tracked changes in the city since its return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Dissatisfaction at the way the government deals with China has risen to the highest level in eight years, according to a survey by the project.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published September 10, 2012 12:00 am