While the world’s attention has been focused on the NATO intervention in Libya, violent clashes between protesters and security forces have escalated in Syria. In the city of Deraa, south of Damascus, between 15 and 100 protesters were killed by police and soldiers. An estimated 20,000 people attended the funeral of some of the victims.
Meanwhile, Japan experienced a “yellow rain” scare in the Tokyo area. A number of residents became worried by a rainfall which contained a yellow powder, fearing that the resulting pools of water contained radioactive compounds. Government officials assured the public that the yellow material was pollen, and normal for this time of year. But not everyone was reassured, since officials told people the same thing when radioactive “yellow rain” fell in the then Soviet Union in 1986, after the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
In other news, the Portuguese prime minister was forced to resign when parliament failed to pass an austerity program to meet the EU’s requirements. Some analysts suspect that a euro-bailout for Portugal may be on the way.
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