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Greek leftwing refuses to bow to old order: fresh elections called for June

Greece has been plunged into further political instability after party leaders failed to agree on the formation of a national unity government that could steer the insolvent country through its worst crisis in modern times.

Nine days after inconclusive elections, the leaders announced they had been unable to forge the necessary consensus to create a coalition during emergency talks on Tuesday led by the president, Karolos Papoulias.

The collapse of talks, after a week of abortive attempts by individual leaders to form an administration, sent global financial markets diving.

Attributing the breakdown to "petty party interests", Evangelos Venizelos, who heads the socialist Pasok party, said the only way out of the impasse was to hold fresh elections next month.

The new poll is expected to be announced on Wednesday and will take place on 10 or 17 June, officials said.

A caretaker government will replace the outgoing left-right coalition, led by the technocrat banker Lucas Papademos, as the nation prepares for another round of election campaigning.

"Unfortunately the country is being led again to elections ... under very bad conditions," said Venizelos, adding that he hoped the next decision of Greek voters would be "more mature".


What? Anders Breivik trial: man sets himself on fire outside court

A man is in hospital with serious injuries after setting himself on fire outside the Oslo courthouse where Anders Behring Breivik is standing trial for mass murder and terrorism.

Police say the man was seen pouring liquid over himself before igniting the liquid and trying to gain access to the court building.

He was stopped by security officials when he reached the temporary security tent set up to scan everyone entering the building during the 10-week trial.

A video posted on the website of the daily newspaper VG showed a man running towards the tent with his black hat on fire, shouting after dousing himself with liquid from a bottle. He is wrestled to the ground by armed security officers who stamped out the flames.

Cloud Lightning

Message from the Universe? French President Hollande's plane 'hit by lightning'

© Michel Spingler/AP
Francois Hollande
Newly sworn in French President Francois Hollande has been delayed in his journey to Berlin for key talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after his plane was hit by lightning.

The plane was forced to turn back to Paris. Mr Hollande is now on a second plane and is expected to arrive in Berlin 90 minutes late, at 19:30 GMT.

During his inauguration speech, Mr Hollande appealed for "a compromise" over the German-led focus on austerity.

He called for an emphasis on "growth".

"The plane could have been hit by lightning," a presidential spokesman told the AFP news agency.

"For security reasons, it turned back. At this moment, the president is again en route."

No-one on board was hurt.


Quebec Standoff at College Ends in Arrests

© The Canadian Press/Jacques Boissinot
Two riot police officers tackle a demonstrator Friday, May 4, 2012 in Victoriaville, Quebec. Provincial police say a riot in small-town Quebec last week was the most violent protest they've seen in more than a decade and insist their response was a measured one.
Canada - A tense standoff has ended at Collège Lionel-Groulx in Sainte-Thérèse, Que., this morning, after provincial police tactical officers moved in on a group of students, teachers and parents blocking the school's entrance.

The protest was declared illegal at around 8:30 a.m. ET and protesters were told to disperse.

Authorities were trying to enforce a court injunction allowing some students to return to class. Similar scenes have played out at colleges across Quebec in the past few weeks.

The tactical officers began moving in on the group just after 9 a.m., pulling people out from the mass of demonstrators and arresting them. Tear gas was also fired.

Students flashed peace signs at officers as the group was forced from the entrance, and pushed back across the property by the advancing line of police.

2 + 2 = 4

Quebec's Education Minister Resigns Amid Student Crisis; Liberal Majority Narrows

© The Canadian Press/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp announces her resignation as Premier Jean Charest looks on Monday, May 14, 2012 in Quebec city.
Canada - Quebec's education minister and deputy premier resigned from politics Monday in a bombshell announcement that came amid months of student-related unrest.

Education Minister Line Beauchamp said she was not resigning from her dual roles because of violence and intimidation related to the student strikes this spring.

Making the announcement at a news conference alongside the premier, Beauchamp said she was actually leaving because she didn't feel like she was helping to solve the problem.

"I am not giving up in the face of vandalism and civil disobedience," said Beauchamp, who will resign her Montreal-area seat.

"I am resigning because I no longer believe I'm part of the solution."

The move leaves Premier Jean Charest with a wafer-thin majority in the legislature - where the Liberals hold 63 seats, the opposition and Independents hold 59, and there are three vacancies.


3 Confirmed Dead in Plane Crash Near Kelowna, British Columiba

© CBC News/Brady Strachan
The coroner hikes down an embankment to the plane crash site, 150m from Highway 97C. Monday, officials began extracting the bodies of the three people who died in the crash Sunday evening.
Canada - Three people were killed in a float plane crash about 25 kilometres southwest of Kelowna in the Okanagan region of B.C. on Sunday evening, the Transportation Safety Board has confirmed.

The single-engine de Havilland Beaver float plane went down in a heavily wooded area on an embankment below Highway 97C about seven kilometres west of the intersection with Brenda Mines Road around 6:45 p.m. PT.

Shortly after crash-landing, the plane was consumed by fire and crews from B.C. Ambulance and the West Kelowna Fire Department were unable to save anyone from the flames.

The pilot was Colin Moyes, of West Vancouver, CBC News has learned. Moyes was described by friends as an experienced pilot in his early 50s.

On Sunday night emergency officials confirmed that at least one person died, but were prevented by darkness from conducting a thorough search of the smouldering wreckage.


Strauss-Kahn Seeks at Least $1 Million from Maid

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Nafissatou Diallo
© Reuters / Todd Heisler/Pool (L) and Shannon Stapleton (R)
Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (L) and Nafissatou Diallo are seen in this combination photo.
Disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is seeking more than $1 million in a countersuit against the New York hotel maid whose accusation of sexual assault last year brought down his glittering political career.

The countersuit, signed Monday and made public Tuesday, seeks a minimum of $1 million, plus legal costs and undetermined punitive damages from the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, who is accused of "falsely and maliciously asserting" she was attacked.

The 18-page document accuses Diallo of malicious prosecution, abuse of process, false imprisonment, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

"Ms Diallo participated in the commencement and maintenance of a baseless criminal prosecution," the suit said, "and in doing so intended to injure Mr Strauss-Kahn."

The suit was the French politician's latest attempt to turn the tables on Diallo and recover from a scandal that started a year ago Monday when Diallo accused him of forcing her into oral sex when she went to clean his luxury hotel room.

An initial criminal case against Strauss-Kahn collapsed because Diallo lied to Manhattan prosecutors on certain aspects of the story.


China Rebuts Dalai Lama's Alleged Poison Plot

© The Associated Press/Lenny Ignelzi
The Dalai Lama at a news conference in April 2012.
After the Dalai Lama accused China of trying to poison him, the Chinese government rebutted his claims and said that if it wanted the Tibetan spiritual leader dead, it could have done so without waiting until he was 76 years old.

The Dalai Lama told the Sunday Telegraph that he believed the Chinese government had trained women to put poison in their hair and scarves for him to touch when he blessed them. The newspaper said that he and his aides have not been able to confirm the plots.

It's common practice for the Dalai Lama to place his hands on devotees heads when he blesses them, reported the Associated Press. He's usually surrounded by crowds of followers when he travels outside of the northern Indian town of Dharmsala, where he lives.


Meet France's new power couple

© KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/Rex Features
François Hollande kisses his partner Valérie Trierweiler after winning the presidential election.
French president François Hollande and his partner Valérie Trierweiler are now France's first family. So how will they differ from the Sarkozys?

On a stage in a country town square, the accordion band struck up Edith Piaf's bitter-sweet love song, La Vie en Rose. François Hollande, just elected France's first Socialist president in 17 years, attempted a few steps of a waltz with his partner Valérie Trierweiler before she stepped back, perhaps realising they might look a little ridiculous on TV. "Kiss! Kiss!" demanded the crowd gathered in Tulle in Hollande's rural powerbase of Corrèze. It was Trierweiler who had chosen the Piaf song, stock soundtrack of France, and who had asked the mayor to play it.

The music marked the return of the accordion to French politics, not seen since the faux-rustic former president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing played it in the 1970s - an important message about Hollande's rural, Mr Normal image. But it also showed the subtle importance of Trierweiler behind the scenes. Moments earlier, the political journalist - who began a relationship with Hollande after years covering the Socialist party for Paris Match magazine - had sat with him as he put the last touches to his victory speech. Hollande might have won the election by styling himself as the Ordinary Guy, a powerful political branding exercise, but it was Trierweiler who appeared to have coined the term, having described him as "the Normal Man" in a profile she wrote in 2004.


Met Police London City Airport Guard Shoots Himself Dead Inside Police Station

North Woolwich Police Station
© Google
Airport guard dies after being found with serious gunshot wounds

An investigation has been launched after an armed Met police airport guard shot himself dead at a Docklands police station.

The constable, in his 30s, was a member of London City Airport's SO18 security team. He was found by a colleague with serious gunshot wounds at North Woolwich station, in Newham, at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Paramedics battled to save his life but he was pronounced dead 22 minutes later. Scotland Yard today said no-one else was being sought in connection with the tragedy.

The station is used as a base by armed officers on the nearby airport's Aviation Security Command.