The World

10 ESSENTIAL STORIES

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The euro's steady decline

Dec. 3, 2009

1 euro = $1.51

April 14, 2010

1 euro = $1.36

EURO

1 | Greece

E.U. Approves Rescue Plan

Greece can breathe a sigh of relief. On April 11, the 16 members of the European Union that use the euro agreed to lend $40 billion to the struggling nation. Under the long-awaited financial-rescue plan, Greece, which is $400 billion in debt, would be able to borrow at interest rates of about 5%, significantly lower than commercial market rates, which have been higher than 7%. The International Monetary Fund is expected to offer an additional $20 billion. Greece did not immediately accept the E.U.'s overture, saying it would wait to see if the pledge alone was enough to lower interest rates. Greek leaders also hope to continue to raise money by borrowing from capital markets and through austerity measures.

2 | Vatican City

New Abuse Guidelines

The Catholic Church released guidelines on April 12 instructing church officials to notify local police about cases in which sexual abuse is suspected. Posted on the Vatican's website, the rules instruct bishops to follow "civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities." The church claims this has long been its policy, though it was never explicitly documented. Critics say the measure--a suggestion, not a requirement--is not strong enough.

3 | Kyrgyzstan

Waiting for Bakiyev ... to Go

On April 13 ousted leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev said he would formally resign if leaders of the coup that removed him from power guaranteed safety for him and his family. But the nation's interim government said Bakiyev, who fled the capital on April 7, must either face trial or go into exile alone and leave behind family members who served in his regime. The highly unstable Central Asian country is home to an airbase that serves as a main transit point for U.S. troops and supplies into Afghanistan.

[The following text appears within a map. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual map.]

Manas Transit Center

KYRGYZSTAN

Bagram Airbase

AFGHANISTAN

Manas is a key supply hub for the Afghan war

4 | Arizona

Immigration Crackdown

Lawmakers have passed what could be the nation's strictest law against illegal immigrants, making it a crime to fail to have proper documentation. If signed by Governor Jan Brewer, the bill will also empower police to stop a person merely on reasonable suspicion that he or she is in the U.S. illegally--a departure from current law, which holds that police can inquire about someone's immigration status only if that person is already suspected of another offense.

5 | New York

More Toyota Woes

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