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Tuition hike approved in UK

The Britain government increased the tuition rate, Thursday, universities in the United Kingdom can administer to students

According to the Los Angeles Times, Britain's government voted on Thursday to triple the amount universities can charge students for tuition. This vote has been under a lot of scrutinty of late, and thousands of students have been protesting it with marches and sit-ins around the United Kingdom. The Washington Post said that protestors in London have even went as far as to attack a car containing Prince Charles over the tuition hike as well as fighting with police and smashing windows around London.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the vote on this issue was 323-302. The Conservative side have backed the rise in fees while the Liberals were split over the decision that contradicted one of their campaign promises. The Washington Post added that the tuition fee was raised to 9,000 pounds or $14,000. This was a crucial test for the government's plan to get rid of Britain's budget deficit. The Los Angeles Times reports the tuition fees will rise to $5,200 all the way to $14,200.

Some of the demonstrations, by upset protestors, have turned very ugly said the Los Angeles Times. Many protestors were seen throwing objects and fighting with the police. This led to several arrests and at least three officers being taken to the hospital. The Washington Post added that thousands of protestors were outside Parliament booing and chanting "shame" after they heard the result of the vote. They even pressed against metal barriers and police officers who were trying to pen them in. Some even threw flares, billiard balls, and paint bombs at the officers. Amongst this group, 13 protestors and eight police officers were injured, including seven who were arrested.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Tory-led government said the new tuition increase was necessary as part of Britain's plan to cut billions of dollars in public spending. However, those against the vote say this neglects student from poor families to seek higher education. The Washington Post added that the vote put the Liberal Democrat party in a very awkward position because they promised they would not increase tuition.

Deadly snowfall hits across Europe

Heavy snowfall and freezing tempeartures continue to sweep across the eastern and central parts of Europe on Thursday.

According to the Guardian, heavy snow, freezing temperatures and high winds broke records to start off December. The winter conditions have stopped various transportation modes around Europe and have even caused several deaths. The Irish Times said that freezing temperatures and heavey snow have taken the lives of more than 30 people in central and eastern Europe.

The Guardian reported that temperatures in Poland dropped to below -26C, which caused eight deaths from exposure. There were other cold-related deaths on top of the eight deaths reported in Poland. The Irish Times said 18 people died in Poland as temperatures plummeted to -33C. Most of those who died were homeless men or those who had been drinking heavily.

The Guardian said hundreds of commuters were left stranded at train stations in Germany. Many had to sleep in train carriages because hotels had run out of room after many train trips were canceled. The Irish Times put this number up to thousands of Germans. Homeless people in Berlin were told to take shelter in subway stations, soup kitchens and buses.

According to the Guardian, three people died in car accidents in Germany and another number of people across central Europe had died because of the same thing. There were 400 miles of traffic jams in Berlin, Prague's airport was shut down, thousands of motorists were trapped in their cars in Brittany and Normany, and hundreds of homes in France were left without electricity. The Irish Times reported that 3,000 Polish prisoners have helped with clearing snow and around 20,000 Polish people were left without heat and light after a power statino broke down in Warsaw.

The Irish Times also reported that four people had died in the Czech Republic. However, Romania and Bulgaria experienced unseasonbly warm weather and recorded its hottest day in December.

Ahmadinejad wants girls to marry at 16

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants girls to get married at the age of 16 newspapers reported on Sunday.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Ahmadinejad urged young girls to marry at 16 in his "lastest rejection" of Iran's family planning program. He criticized the program as "ungodly" and a Western ideal.

Monsters and Critics reported that although the average age for boys and girls to get married in Iran is 26 and 24 respectively, he thinks it should change to 20 and 16.

The AP said after Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005, he has been working to increase the country's population, which is currently at 75 million, and a third of that are between 15 and 30 years old.

Monsters and Critics said that experts think the age is not a problem in when one should marry, but that high unemployment amongst that young age group is because they make up 70 percent of Iran's population. High real estate prices and rent is unaffordable too for young people.

The AP reported in July Ahmadinejad set in a place a policy to stimulate the population with financial incentives for every new child that was born. However, critics of his policy say that this will only further unemployment.

Monsters and Critics also adds that due to social restrictions, with men and women being completely seperated from eachother, it is hard for them to meet and get to know one another. Currently, the "resulting problems" have led to increasing divorce rates.

Blast at Mexican resort kills Canadians

A explosion Sunday at a Mexican resort kills six people with three who may be Canadians, officials say.

According to CBC News, 15 people were hurt after a gas explosion at the Grand Riveria Princess Hotel in the Mayan Riveria. The Globe and Mail adds that the attorney general for the state, Francisco Alor, said that three of those who died may be Canadians, while two are hotel employees.

CBC News reported that there were at least 60 Canadians in the hotel at the time and that Canadian conselour officials are currently at the hospital where some of the injured victims were taken. The Globe and Mail said the 60 Canadians were at the resort as an appreciation week for 570 News Radio's clients.

The Globe and Mail reported that the explosion may have taken place underneath the hotel lobby and it occured at 9:30 a.m.

Letter bomb addressed to German chancellor

A letter bomb was discovered Monday at a Berlin chancellory.

According to AOL News, the package was supposed to be delivered to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The package contained a pipe bomb with "explosive black powder" that was hidden inside a book delivery package. The Deutsche Welle said the package was coming from the Greek Economics Ministry.

AOL News reported that the bomb was discovered hours after other letter bombs were discovered in Greece. Other letter bombs did explode around the Russian and Swiss Embassies in Athens. The Deutsche Welle added that other letter bombs were found in the Germany, Chile, and Bulgaria embassies.

AOL News said German officials believe that Greek leftist organizations may be behind the attacks. According to the Deutsche Welle, the letter bomb arrived after two suspects in Greece were accused of sending four parcel bombs to Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France, and the Mexican, Dutch, and Belgian embassies. Both of the suspects were linked to a Greek leftist group.

The Deutsche Welle also reported that although there have been many bombs circulating around the capital of Greece, the bombs are said to not induce great harm to those who open them. But sources say that the letter bomb sent to Berlin was a "fast" explosive devise that caused burns.

Earthquake strikes on coast of Indonesia

An earthquake struck the coast of Indonesia Monday that had intially sparked tsunami warnings, which caused residents to evacuate.

The Associated Press (AP) reported a that a 7.7-magnitued earthquake struck 13 miles from Indonesia's Sumatra island. Reuters said that it was a 7.5-magnitued earthquake that had started tsunami warnings which were later called off by an Indonesian earthquake legacy.

The AP said five towns were badly damaged as well as the islands of Mentawai. However, Reuters reported that the earthquake had caused no immediate damage or had any casualites.

There were 5.0-magnitude aftershocks that hit less than an hour of the original earthquake, according to the AP. Reuters reported that there were two aftershocks.

About one year ago, the city of Padang in Indonesia was badly hit by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake that killed around 700 people and damaged or flattened 180,000 buildings, said the AP. Reuters also added that in 2004, a tsunami, which was caused by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off of Sumatra, killed over 226,000 people making it the deadliest earthquake in history.

The AP reported that Indonesia is most prone to volcanic activity and earthquakes because it lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Saudi prince found guilty of murder

A Saudi prince was found guilty of murder Tuesday by the British jury.

According to CNN International, Prince Saud Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Saud was found guilty of murdering an aide, Bandar Abdulaziz, at a London hotel in February. He has also been convicted of "grevious bodily harm." The Los Angeles Times reported that Abdulaziz was found dead in his bed at the Landmark London Hotel on February 15.

Abdulaziz suffered broken ribs and bruises to his head and body. There were also signs of strangulation, brain injuries, and bite marks, the jury found, according to the Los Angeles Times. CNN International added that Abdulaziz died from a severe beating that led to injuries to his brain.

CNN International said that Saud did not deny killing Abdulaziz, but stated that he did not intend to do so. With that admittance, the British jury had to decide if Saud was guilty of murder or manslaughter. However, the Los Angeles Times reported that Saud initally told the police Abdulaziz was attacked and robbed at London's Edgware Road a couple weeks before he died. He also stated that Abdulaziz and another man had been out drinking on Valentine's Day night and when he awoke he had found his servent dead.

CNN International reported that this was not the first time Saud had mistreated Abdulaziz. However, prosecutors stated that the prince's consistent mistreatment of his aide had a sexual element to it. The Los Angeles Times supported this statement by saying that the court had heard from several hotel staffers who claimed the two seemed to be in a sexual relationship with each other.

Saud currently faces a lifetime sentence in Britain or deportation when he hears his sentence on Wednesday.

Hurricane weakens as it heads towards Cuba

Hurricane Paula headed closer to Cuba Wednesday night, although it is weakening and slowing down.

A forecaster reported to CNN International that Paula is expected to cross the western tip of Cuba either late Wednesday or Thursday. The AFP said the hurricane had previously drenched Mexico's Yucatan Penisula.

CNN International reported that Paula had been downgraded to a Category I storm, and was about 40 miles from west of the western tip of Cuba. The AFP added that the hurricane could be en route to the Florida Keys.

Paula's winds have dropped to 85 mph and that "gradual weakening" of the storm is expected over the next day or tow, CNN International said. The AFP reported it was currently at a Category II storm.

Cuba issued a tropical storm warning for the city of Havana and Pinar del Rio while Mexico canceled its warnings on the Yucatan, said CNN International. The AFP added that a tropical strom watch has also been issued for parts of the Florida Keys.

CNN International said that Paula was expected to bring three to six inches of rain to Cuba and could cause flash floods and mudslides.

The AFP added that Cuba was "slammed" in 2008 with three major hurricanes which caused $10 billion in damages. Currently, Hurricane Paula is the ninth hurricane of the June-through-November Atlantic season.

Bomb explodes outside Londonderry shopping centre

A car bomb exploded Monday outside a business in the Londonderry shopping centre in Northern Ireland for the second time in two months.

According to the Telegraph, a device in a Corsa car exploded outside a bank behind the DaVinci retail complex around midnight. BBC reported North West Money Exchange had recently relocated to the DaVince retail complex after its prior building was damaged from another car bomb.

The Telegraph reported that police received a warning an hour before the explosion. There was some damage but no injuries occured. BBC News reported that managing director David Harris said the attacks and damage done to the building would not deter the company from investing in the city.

The Telegraph also reported that no one has claimed responsiblity for the attack, but BBC News said that The Real IRA has committed responsibility for the device.

Police evacuate Eiffel Tower after bomb threat

Paris police have evacuated the Eiffel Tower Tuesday after the second bomb threat made to the monument.

The Associated Press (AP) reported Paris police headquarter's had an anonymous caller phone in a bomb threat Tuesday from a telephone booth.

The Irish Times said the monument was evacuated earlier this month after a similar threat was phoned in. After police searched the scene, they found no suspicious activity. The AP reported that the monument was evacuated on Sept.14, and on Monday the Saint Lazare train station in Paris had been evacuated and searched as well.

The Irish Times said National Police Chief Frederic Pechenard made a statement last week that authorities suspect al-Quada's North African branch of the bomb threat. According to the AP, several top French officials have recently said France is on high alert for possible terror attacks.

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