Politics 17 March 2011 The Week so Far By Staff blogger 1. Europe Kosovo and Serbia have begun high-level talks for the first time since the former country's declaration of independence in 2008. The EU-sponsored meeting aims to improve life for Kosovans, whose trade and freedom of movement are restricted by Serbia. 2. North America Barack Obama has lifted the two-year freeze on new military trials for Guantanamo Bay prisoners. A spokesman said the president was still committed to closing the detention centre. 3. Africa A Kenyan MP is fighting for the right to wear "bling" in parliament. Gidion Mbuvi, 35, was thrown out for wearing earrings. The deputy speaker said that no male lawmaker had done so in the building before. "I represent the youths who elected me to parliament," said Mbuvi. 4. Asia Kyrgyzstan's president, Roza Otunbayeva, has been given the US Women of Courage award for helping to turn the central Asian state into the region's first parliamentary democracy. She is also the first woman in the world to lead a male-dominated, Muslim-majority country. 5. Entertainment The long-running battle between the Star Wars creator, George Lucas, and a British prop designer who sells replica storm trooper outfits has reached the UK's supreme court. Andrew Ainsworth built the original costumes while working at Shepperton studios in 1977 and sells outfits based on his original moulds. Lucas maintains that the designer does not own the copyright to them. 6. Business Japan's largest brokerage house, Nomura, has appointed its first female chief financial officer. This is an unusual move in Japan, where top business posts are generally filled by men. Junko Nakagawa will take up her position on 1 April. 7. Technology From 25 May, European laws dictate that "explicit consent" must be gathered from web users who are being tracked by "cookies" - text files that help users navigate faster around sites that they visit regularly. The laws attempt to protect privacy and limit targeted advertising. 8. Science The planned joint mission to Mars in 2018 by the US and Europe has hit a snag: US bureaucrats have ruled that it is $1bn too expensive. Nasa and its European counterpart Esa had hoped to collect rock samples. 9. People On the BBC's The One Show on 8 March, the presenter Matt Baker smilingly asked Prime Minister David Cameron: "How on earth do you sleep at night?" Some have argued that this was an innocent question about the restfulness of the PM's slumber. Others, however, maintain that he was having a sly dig. 10. Education The country singer Dolly Parton has launched a project to give away free books to children in Scotland. Under the initiative, run in partnership with the Scottish government, thousands of children in care will receive a book each month until their fifth birthday. The singer first developed the project in her birthplace of Sevier County, Tennessee. Subscribe This article first appeared in the 14 March 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Who owns the world?