Must-Reads From Around the World: March 7, 2012

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Philippe Wojazer / Reuters

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech after the inauguration of the new headquarters of the Gendarmerie Nationale in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, Feb. 13, 2012.

French Frankness —Trailing in the polls with less than two months to go before Election Day, French President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled tough new policies on immigration Tuesday, the Daily Telegraph reports. During a televised debate, the leader discussed plans to cut the number in France by 80,000 if re-elected saying the nation has “too many foreign immigrants.”

Talk it Out — Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vocal calls for the use of military force to end Iran’s nuclear program, Israel – along with other world powers – has agreed to resume talks. The New York Times writes that returning to the table is a step forward, even if international government officials view them as an Iranian stall tactic. For former U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix, however, the best-option is a nuclear-free Middle East, he explains in the New Statesmen.

Money or Die — Foreign Policy makes the case that global health programs are in dire straits, stating that the world financial crisis, years of austerity programs and aggressive debt reduction policies have left funding for health initiatives on life support. With severely decreased support from Europe, America now shoulders most of the financial weight, “the burden of reducing suffering and increasing the health of the world’s poor now falls largely on the backs of the two Washingtons,” Laurie Garett writes.

What’s in a Name — German fashion brand Thor Steinar is in hot water over the name of its newest store. Located in the German town of Chemnitz, “Brevik” almost shares its name with Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian extremist who killed 77 people and injured 151 in attacks in Oslo and nearby Utoeya last summer (he’s confessed to the July 22 attacks but denies criminal responsibility). The clothing company defends the choice, telling German newspaper Die Welt that every store is named after a town in Norway (Brevik is located southeast of Oslo, and has 2,700 inhabitants). As for the 33-year-old right-wing extremist, he was formally charged with committing acts of terror Wednesday and is expected to stand trial April 16, the BBC reports.

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