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Spain's New Government Makes History in Europe

The new Socialist government has the highest female-to-male ratio ever in Europe

(Newser) - The government cabinet with the highest proportion of female ministers in Spanish and European history was sworn in Thursday, putting the cap on one of the fastest power transitions in Spain's four decades of democratic rule. Per the AP , the new Socialist government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez... More »

Claim: German Double Agent Stole Files From Mailroom

As Merkel comments on the situation

(Newser) - If allegations that a German man spied on his country for the US are true, it's going to be a serious black mark on US-German relations, says Angela Merkel. The Wall Street Journal sheds more light on the 31-year-old accused spy , who was arrested Wednesday: Per sources, he was... More »

CIA Reveals Names of 15 Slain Agents

In new effort to publicly honor officers

(Newser) - CIA agents killed in the line of duty over the last 30 years finally got their due yesterday. The agency revealed the names of 15 such operatives in a ceremony, reports the Los Angeles Times . Many of the fallen officers had been working under the guise of State Department employees.... More »

UFO Rattles Colorado Town

Triangle of lights hovers, then vanishes

(Newser) - ET, phone Colorado. Lafayette residents are still scratching their heads after seeing three red lights in a triangular shape hover in the sky last week, move off, then vanish. A father videotaped the lights that were spotted by his son at work, as well as by a number of townies.... More »

Belgium Grabs World Record For...

...number of days without a government. And everything seems OK

(Newser) - Who needs a government? Not Belgium! The country broke the world record for the longest political deadlock last week—a distinction previously held by Iraq and its much-fretted-over 249-day holdout. Some quibble that Iraq’s lawmakers had to wait another 40 days to be seated, but no one doubts that... More »

Gawker Hack Puts 1.3M Users' Data at Risk

Fears for future attack on government agencies

(Newser) - Gawker's databases have been hacked, and the site is telling users to change their passwords on Gawker and any other site where they used the same password. The management says it's “deeply embarrassed” by the security failure, noting that it shouldn’t have to depend “on the... More »

Meet Mexico's Fake President

López Obrador never conceded after contested 2006 election

(Newser) - Andrés Manuel López Obrador narrowly lost Mexico’s 2006 presidential election to Felipe Calderón, a result he attributed to fraud. In what seemed at the time like a show of defiance, held a mock inauguration. But Obrador was serious: To this day, he calls himself the “... More »

Lockerbie Bomber Fading Fast

EU cancer specialists flown in to treat al-Megrahi

(Newser) - The condition of the cancer-stricken Lockerbie bomber has taken a sharp turn for the worse in the last few days, the Times of London reports. "The last check-up was very, very bad. He's dying. He is unable to speak to anyone," said the brother of Abdul Baset Ali... More »

Fierce Rivalries Shape, Threaten Kenyan Politics

Power sharing compromise has resulted in a rancorous impasse

(Newser) - Election violence in 2007 gave way to an uneasy coalition between Kenyan PM Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki, but that move seems only to have transformed the fighting on the streets into squabbling in the capital. Now, "Kenya does not have a functioning executive at all, just an... More »

Can Amy Poehler Save NBC's Bacon?

(Newser) - Wallowing in a muddy fourth place among major networks, NBC is betting on Amy Poehler to clean up its ratings with Parks and Recreation, Will Leitch writes in New York magazine. A mockumentary style sitcom “from the people who bring you The Office”—as NBC ads are trumpeting—... More »

Is Obama Trying to Fix Too Much at Once?

Despite new prez's gifts, Brooks worries he's moving too fast

(Newser) - David Brooks is not a liberal, but the New York Times columnist doesn't hesitate to call himself "a great admirer of Barack Obama and those around him." Yet as the new administration has thrown itself at a dozen staggering problems, from fixing health care and the auto industry... More »

Netanyahu to Form Israeli Government

LIvni averse to power-sharing propositions

(Newser) - Right-of-center Benjamin Netanyahu has been asked to form Israel’s new government, despite President Shimon Peres’s initial hopes that  Netanyahu would share power with centrist Tzipi Livni, who was the top vote-getter in the election last week. Livni said she would prefer to head the opposition, the BBC reports.... More »

Finance Crisis Topples Iceland's Gov't

Leftist party likely to replace coalition; protests growing

(Newser) - Iceland’s coalition government collapsed today amid financial upheaval, with PM Geir Haarde planning to resign. “I really regret that we could not continue with this coalition. I believe that that would have been the best result,” he said. The coalition had been in turmoil since October, when... More »

House Movers Shuffle 182 Offices Over Recess

Congress buzzes with activity even without lawmakers

(Newser) - Congress may be on Christmas recess, but movers are working overtime to shuffle the contents of 182 House offices to new digs for the new session beginning Jan. 6. Returning members of Congress are trading up to bigger offices, better views, or more convenient locations, CQ reports. New members of... More »

Castro Calls for More Work, Less Welfare

Cuban president cuts worker subsidies to shore up struggling economy

(Newser) - Saying Cuba’s finances “don’t square up,” President Raul Castro called for belt-tightening measures in the wake of three hurricanes and a global recession that have hobbled the communist nation. The state plans to dole out fewer worker subsidies, halve the number of overseas trips, and halt... More »

Chaos Reigns in Guinea as Coup Leaders Assert Power

Junior officers strengthen control over government

(Newser) - Junior military officers appointed their coup leader as president of Guinea, even as their superiors denied that the so-called putsch had succeeded. Coup leaders also postponed elections promised in 60 days and said they may have to remain in control for two years, leaving the West African nation teetering between... More »

Detroit's Not the Only Place That Needs 'Restructuring'

DC should streamline many useless layers

(Newser) - Lawmakers want to restructure Detroit’s auto industry—but Congress could use a little makeover, too, writes Philip K. Howard in the Wall Street Journal. He offers a prescription to streamline the government as one would a corporation:
  • Dump “legacy obligations.” Like Detroit, Congress must ditch old promises
... More »

Obama Team Swarms Federal Agencies

Preparation for handover has been under way for months

(Newser) - As Washington prepares for an Obama administration, 135 members of the president-elect's transition team are swarming into federal agencies to scrutinize budgets, interview civil servants, and prepare to take control of the government. Preparation for a smooth transition began months before Election Day, writes the Washington Post. The Obama teams,... More »

India Must Crack Down on Muslims, Hindus Alike

Time to end divisive religious tactics

(Newser) - The terrorist attacks in Mumbai are tied to growing disillusionment among Indians with a government that manipulates religious divisions for political gain, writes Dileep Padgaonkar in the Washington Post. Each party accuses the other of pandering to a religious constituency, be it Muslim or Hindu—and such posturing has filtered... More »

Gleeful Brown Is Acting Like a Drunk Dowager

Brits' PM 'swanks' and 'preens,' but the economy is his fault

(Newser) - Gordon Brown, "known as a gloomy old nail-biting misery-guts," has turned into the life of the party ever since the economic downturn hit Britain, writes Boris Johnson in the Telegraph. Deeming that the swooning market and plummeting home prices demand action, he's gleefully launched measures that will incur... More »

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