He's been president for five and a half years, brought troops home from Iraq, is winding down the Afghan war, killed Osama bin Laden and crafted a multitude of speeches defining his worldview. Yet President Barack Obama still feels the need to make a new attempt to explain his foreign policy to Americans this week. It's a measure of threats to his reputation as a statesman that Obama, who rode a willingness to talk to US enemies like Iran, avoid foreign quagmires and wage war by drone to two presidential terms, is giving the speech at all. Top aides say the speech at West Point military academy Wednesday will set out a broad foreign policy framework for a president who has resisted defining a personal diplomatic doctrine.
Workers in developing countries are increasingly moving to better jobs and joining the middle class, but 839 million workers still earn less than $2.00 a day, the International Labour Organization said. "The developing countries are generally in a process of catching up with the advanced economies," ILO chief Guy Ryder told reporters in Geneva ahead of the release of the agency's annual World of Work Report on Tuesday. Between 1980 and 2011, per capita income in the developing countries like Senegal, Vietnam and Tunisia on average grew 3.3 percent each year, which is far faster than the 1.8 percent growth seen in advanced economies, the report said. Today, more than four in 10 workers in the such countries are considered to be in the so-called "developing middle class" -- meaning that they earn more than $4.00 a day -- up from fewer than two in 10 two decades ago, it said.
Udo Voigt, the first member of Germany's far-right anti-immigrant party to enter the European Parliament, has faced legal action in the past with comments such as Hitler was "a great man". The son of a Nazi SA assault division member, Voigt, 62, was the chief candidate for the extremist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), which scored one percent in the German vote for the EU-wide election Sunday. And in 2011 the NPD stirred controversy again, with posters depicting Voigt, on his motorbike, wearing a black leather jacket, with the motto "Gas geben" (Step on It) or literally "give gas" in what some saw as a reference to gas chambers where millions of Jews perished in Nazi extermination camps. Despite its meagre score in Sunday's elections, the NPD has benefited from the recent scrapping of a three-percent threshold for European elections in Germany, enabling it to now send a lawmaker to the European Parliament.
Police clashed with protesters who burned bins and vehicles in Barcelona on Monday as anger boiled over at the eviction of activists from a well-known squat. Officers made several arrests as hooded youths smashed windows and hurled stones at police and journalists in the streets of the northeastern city. A police spokesman told AFP there had been arrests but could not confirm how many.