"We demand of our European partners a viable solution to our country's debt problem, not another useless agreement," Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said at a meeting of his party, Syriza. He said that his government would not budge in the talks "if the partners keep putting forward baseless demands." Tsipras warned that "most of the country's population cannot bear new austerity measures." Greece and international lenders are expected to finalize a new plan of financial assistance to Athens. The current austerity program lasts until the end of June, and the new plan could extend it until the end of the year.
The government in Peru has declared a state of emergency in the south of the country following the fourth killing at a demo against a copper-mining project. The emergency is set to last for 60 days, with security stepped up and troops joining 2,000 police on the streets. Among the suspended rights, are freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and protection against warrantless searches, Al-Jazeera reported. Tensions rose two months ago after local farmers started the protest against a $1.4 billion copper-mining project that might lead to water pollution and crops being contaminated.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged $453 million in aid to Pacific island nations in the upcoming three years “to foster resilient capabilities that will not be defeated by climate change or disasters,” AFP reported. The leaders of 14 Pacific island nations got together in Iwaki, southern Fukushima, to discuss their development needs, such as rising sea levels eroding coastlines and the growing severity of such extreme climate phenomena as super-typhoons. Developed nations, believed to be mostly responsible for the emissions associated with global warming, have been pushed to offer more help to cope with damage caused by harsh climate change. Japan is hosting this year's Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting (PALM) to raise awareness of the devastation caused by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.
At least 44 people were killed during clashes between security forces and suspected drug gang members on Friday in western Mexico, according to local officials. At least two police officers were shot dead and another one badly wounded, Reuters quoted a source as saying. The other 42 people killed were suspected members of the of the Jalisco New Generation (JNG) cartel. The armed battle took place in the Tanhuato municipality, Michoacan state – an area known for drug cartels. Police reportedly received a tip about armed men gathering at a local ranch and moved in by air and land.