Top Five World News Events: May 6 to May 12

President Hollande during the campaign

François Hollande, seen in this photo taken during the presidential campaign, was elected President of France.

Girard Bucello, Online News Editor

1. François Hollande Elected President of France. On May 6, Socialist François Hollande defeated incumbent candidate Nicolas Sarkozy with 52 percent of the vote. He had won a plurality of votes in an election two weeks earlier, but could not achieve over 50 percent of votes cast, forcing a runoff election. The election is seen as a major blow to Sarkozy’s center-right political party, Union for a Popular Movement. Sarkozy was ousted after a single term in office. In a speech to supporters, Hollande said that he will “undertake to serve [his] country with devotion and in exemplary fashion,” and pledged to oppose austerity measures. (Source: BBC)

2. In Greece Elections, No Clear Winner. Greece may be facing a hung parliament after elections on May 6, with no political party receiving a majority of votes. Greek voters slammed the two main political parties, which had implemented hard-hitting austerity programs. The left-center PASOK party went from holding 44 percent of parliament to only about 17 percent. The right-center New Democracy party also dropped, from 33.5 percent to 20 percent. Various third parties benefitted the most, with leftist, communist, and neo-Nazi parties either receiving additional seats or joining parliament for the first time in decades. (Source: Al Jazeera)

3. CIA Foils Bomb Plot against U.S. Airliner. The CIA disrupted a plot by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to smuggle a bomb onto a plane bound for the United States. Officials state that the bomb never posed a threat to Americans. The design of the bomb was entirely non-metallic, making it undetectable to traditional airport screeners. The bomb is an improvement on the 2009 Christmas Day bomb, sewn into the underwear of a suicide bomber, which failed to detonate properly. Forensic experts note that the new bomb had improvements on its reliability, making it more likely that it would have exploded as intended if an attack had been carried out. (Source: MSNBC)

4. Jet on Flight Demonstration Crashes in Indonesia; 45 Killed. A Sukhoi Superjet-100 on a flight demonstration crashed after striking the side of a mountain. It is believed that all of the passengers and crew on board were killed, as officials stated that there was “no chance of survival.” The jet disappeared from radar not long after requesting permission from air traffic control to descend. An investigation into the crash is underway, but weather conditions and pilot error have been cited as possible causes. (Source: AP via The Australian)

5. European Union Economy to Contract by 0.3 Percent. The European Commission forecasts that the European Union (EU) economy will contract by 0.3 percent. As of now, 17 countries using the euro (€) are in a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. The Commission is also forecasting a 4.7 percent economic contraction in Greece to follow 2011’s 6.9 percent. However, it said the Greek economy should stabilize in the coming years, but only if current policies remain unchanged. There are concerns that the country may not meet its commitments to pay down its debt, and that its bailout may be withdrawn as a result. (Source: Sky News)