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The Week so Far

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1. North America

The congresswoman for Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, gave the first major speech of her presidential campaign, in Iowa on Monday 27 June. A poll of voters in Iowa, the first caucus to vote in the Republican primaries, placed Bachmann second in the race, just 1 point behind the current favourite, Mitt Romney.

2. Latin America

Riots broke out in Buenos Aires after the River Plate football club was relegated from Argentina's top division for the first time in its 110-year history. Dozens were injured as police fired tear gas and water cannons at football hooligans. The game was abandoned with one minute still to play due to violence in the crowd.

3. Europe

The appeal of the American former student Amanda Knox against her conviction for the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher in 2007 began in Perugia, Italy on Monday 27 June. The trial has been marred by bribery claims, after allegations that a defence counsel had offered to pay for a witness's sex change.

4. Asia

The US and the Philippines began an 11-day programme of joint military exercises in the South China Sea on 28 June, amid increasing tension in the region. The Philippine government claims that Chinese ships have made nine incursions into Philippine waters since February.

5. Africa

Cameroon has banned driving at night to reduce the number killed in night-time road accidents each year. Last year, 12,000 people died in road accidents, with night-time travel accounting for 35 per cent of the toll despite far fewer journeys occurring at night.

6. Middle East

Colonel Gaddafi has been charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, which has also issued arrest warrants for the Libyan leader. The Libyan government - which does not recognise the ICC - dismissed the legitimacy of the ICC in response. The Nato bombing campaign in Libya entered its 100th day on 28 June.

7. Education

Universities will compete for the right to offer more places, under plans outlined in a government white paper on education. Universities will also be allowed to increase student places in order to accommodate candidates with excellent grades.

8. Economics

Christine Lagarde has won the race to become head of the IMF, beating the Mexican Central Bank chief Agustin Carstens to the position. The French finance minister was backed by most of Europe, the US and China, and will become the first woman to head the organisation.

9. People

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was hit with a tax bill for five million yuan (£500,000) and fines of seven million yuan (£700,000) by the Beijing authorities, weeks after being released on bail following three months in detention.

10. Health

Members of the British Medical Association called on the government to reverse its Health and Social Care Bill, which includes radical reforms of the NHS: 59 per cent of members voted in favour of the motion.

This article appears in the 04 July 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Afghanistan