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The Week so Far

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1. Europe

Shares in the Franco-Belgian bank Dexia crashed by more than 20 per cent on 4 October and eurozone stocks were on the slide, over fears of a Greek debt default and a subsequent double-dip global recession. US and Asian markets also fell and the euro dropped to a nine-month low against the dollar.

2. Middle East

A senior Fatah official criticised the "unbelievable" decision of the US Congress to block $200m (£130m) in aid to Palestine on 2 October. Mohammed Shtayyeh, who was a member of the Palestinian delegation to the UN in September, said that "Arabs will help Palestine" in place of the US.

3. Africa

Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, suffered the country's worst suicide attack yet on 4 October, when a truck bomb killed at least 82 people. The al-Qaeda-linked rebel group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility.

4. North America

Mitt Romney became the second Republican presidential candidate after Herman Cain to condemn the former name of Rick Perry's hunting lodge in Texas, "Niggerhead", on 3 October. Once the front-runner in the Republican race, Perry has suffered large falls in the opinion polls in recent days.

5. Asia

Thailand's worst monsoon floods in 50 years killed at least 224 people and affected three-quarters of the country. Tens of thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes. The floods have damaged the Chaiwatthanaram temple, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

6. Cinema

An Iranian film that was smuggled into the Cannes festival inside a cake opened in French cinemas on 28 September. In December, Jafar Panahi, co-director of Ceci n'est pas un film, was given a six-year jail sentence for "anti-regime propaganda" and banned from making films, leaving the country and giving foreign interviews.

7. Technology

The new chief executive of Apple, Tim Cook, launched the fifth-generation iPhone onstage at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, on 4 October. The analytics company Interbrand valued Apple at $33.5bn (£21.8bn) in its latest annual report.

8. Law

Concerns over the reliability of the DNA evidence linking Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to the murder of the UK student Meredith Kercher in 2007 played a role in their successful appeal, the New Scientist reports. US forensics experts said in 2009 that the DNA analysis of a knife belonging to Sollecito and Kercher's bra clasp was flawed.

9. Science

Nasal cilia, tiny protuberances inside the human nose, continue to beat after death and then slow down gradually at a predictable rate, Italian scientists have found. This discovery should help investigators pinpoint more precisely when someone died.

10. Health

Denmark has become the world's first country to impose a tax on fat. Consumers stockpiled butter, milk and meat in the weeks before it was levied. The price of food will increase by 16 kroner (£1.84) per kilogramme of saturated fat, considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

This article appears in the 10 October 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The next great depression