E.U. Peace Prize – The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union for contributing to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, the AP reports. The announcement came “against a global backdrop of conflict,” which included civil war in Syria, a second decade of war in Afghanistan and instability in the Middle East. But some wonder whether the prize was justified. The AP compiled reactions to the announcement, some of which were critical of the award. “If they want to give the prize for preserving the peace in Europe,” former British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind said, “they should divide it between NATO and the E.U. Until the end of the Cold War, it was NATO more than anyone else that kept the peace.”
Greece Unemployment — Greece’s jobless rate hit a record high in July, with 25.1% of the population without a job, reports the BBC. The youth (age 15-24) unemployment rate reached 54.2%. Greece is currently surviving on international bailouts and the pressure to impose tough austerity measures is “pushing the country to breaking point and stunting growth,” said observers.
Evictions in China — In China, forced evictions of millions of poor and working-class citizens are on the rise, sparking violence and deaths, indicates a new report by Amnesty International. For years, urban renewal and redevelopment projects have been prompting local government officials to seize lands, sell development rights, and arbitrarily evict people from their homes and property, notes the Los Angeles Times. Experts said political incentives, tax gains, and the prospect of career advancement encourage local officials to continue the practice land seizures and evictions.
Child Marriage — A group of United Nations agencies is urging the world to fight child marriages, denouncing them as “a fundamental violation of human rights,” reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Child brides, according to the U.N. groups, “are often subjected to domestic servitude and sexual slavery and suffer from violations to their right to health and education,” wrote RFE. Every year, roughly 10 million girls worldwide — regardless of culture, religion, and ethnicity — are married before they turn 18.
Bali Bombing Anniversary – Commemorations of the tenth anniversary of the Bali bombings — which killed 202 people from 21 countries — were held on the Indonesian island on Thursday, the BBC reports. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered a memorial service where she praised rescue workers for running “towards terror” and paid tribute to the victims — 88 of which were Australian — and their families. The attacks were linked to Jemaah Islamiah, an al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic group, the BBC adds. TIME has compiled a photo essay depicting the aftermath of the 2002 blast, which occurred at two popular nightclubs.
South African Violence – Reuters details the increase of political violence and corruption amid recession and unrest in South Africa, even though President Jacob Zuma has pledged to crack down on corruption. But due to an ANC leadership race in December, reform and investigation could alienate supporters and damage Zuma’s bid for re-election as head of the party, Reuters reports. In wake in the increase in political murders, Reuters suggests that “Nelson Mandela’s 100-year-old liberation movement has strayed from the moral high ground it occupied when it came to power 18 years ago.” Violence has also plagued South Africa as close to 100,000 workers, including 75,000 miners, protested to privatize the mineral rich country’s mining industry, Reuters also reports.