A real breakthrough in the Euro zone crisis
EU president Herman Van Rompuy told reporters that a “real breakthrough” had been struck to calm the financial markets and reshape the eurozone to prevent the crisis from occurring again, 17 countries that share euro sealed a dramatic deal on Friday to allow emergency measures to aid the crisis-hit Italy and Spain.
It also decided to provide billions to boost the economy, this paves the way for the eurozone’s €500-billion ($630 billion) bailout fund to recapitalise the ailing banks directly. For this purpose, a Europe-wide banking supervisory body will be set up by the end of the year.
Also, a reference was made for buying countries’ bonds to drive down high borrowing costs that have crippled Spain and Italy.
U.S. to intensify defence ties with India
After being ejected out of the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender competition, Pentagon seems to intensify efforts to deepen its defence ties with India. This has been indicated by the U.S. Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta indicated that the U.S. would go the extra mile to win more defence contracts with India. He also hinted at possible relaxation of export control norms, a sore point in the bilateral relationship, particularly regarding high-technology, dual-use items.
As noted by Pentagon officials, India-U.S. defence ties have deepened in recent years with India now holding more than 50 annual military exercises with the U.S., more than any other country; cumulative defence sales have grown from near-zero to more than $8 billion.
Chinese astronauts return safely
China’s first female astronaut and two other crew members returned safely to Earth on Friday from a 13-day mission to an orbiting module that is a prototype for a future space station.
Egypt’s first elected civilian president takes oath
Islamist Mohamed Morsi swore himself in as the country’s first elected civilian president before a huge crowd at Tahrir Square. Morsi, who won a run-off election earlier this month, was received with applause by tens of thousands of people gathered in the square, birthplace of the revolt that overthrew his predecessor Hosni Mubarak last year.