CYPRUS: A senior official said today that the country is likely to accept raising its corporate tax from 10 to 12.5 per cent as part of an international bailout deal.
Nobel Laureate Christopher Pissarides, an adviser to the president, conceded that the government would accept the move but only if further increases are ruled out for at least a decade.
He also said the prospective bailout creditors accept that forcing Cypriot bank bondholders or depositors to share the cost of a bailout would harm Cyprus and the other 16 EU countries that use the euro.
LIBYA: The country's supreme religious cleric Mufti al-Sadiq al-Ghiryani called on Muslim nations today to reject a United Nations document on women's rights, saying that it counters Islamic law.
The cleric issued a fatwa against the document set to be signed at the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women this month.
The fatwa criticises the document's references to inheritance and its equating of men and women.
CHINA: The government said today that it is willing to co-operate on cybersecurity after the US called for "serious steps" to stop cyberattacks.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying repeated China's assertion that it is firmly opposed to cyberattacks and is one of the countries that has suffered most from them.
Ms Hua said: "Cyberspace needs rules and co-operation, not wars."
LEBANON: Security officials say clashes between rival factions in the country's largest Palestinian refugee camp have killed one person and injured at least 13.
Clashes in the Ein el-Hilweh camp near Sidon began on Monday night after a member of the extremist Fatah al-Islam group was shot and wounded.
The incident sparked a firefight in which a Palestinian from the mainstream Fatah group was killed and five people were injured.
AZERBAIJAN: The editor of the Khural newspaper was sentenced to nine years in prison today for bribery.
A Baku court found Avaz Zeynalli guilty of bribery, extortion, contempt of court and tax evasion.
Charges against the editor were brought following complaints by a deputy in the ruling New Azerbaijan Party who is now under arrest and suspected of extorting $1 million (£671,000) from a university rector.
FRANCE: President Francois Hollande said today that the government will only be able to cut its deficit to 3.7 per cent of gross domestic product this year - above the 3 per cent limit set by the European Union.
The French government has previously warned it would miss its target because of slower-than-expected growth.
Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici ruled out further austerity measures for France earlier this month.
JAPAN: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has acknowledged that Japanese nuclear plants need to increase anti-terrorism measures.
Mr Abe told a parliamentary session today that an investigation into the tsunami-hit Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant had revealed an overall lack of security.
The government has instructed nuclear operators to upgrade security measures to match international standards.
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