February 2012 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of February 2012.
Riot at Soccer Match Causes Turmoil in Egypt (Feb. 1): At least 73 people are killed in a fight between fans of rival teams at a soccer match in Port Said, Egypt. Security at the gates is questioned as fans used knives, clubs, and other weapons in the brawl. (Feb. 2): Thousands protest against authorities in Cairo and other cities over the deaths caused by the soccer match riot. (Feb. 3): Four protestors are killed and over 600 injured due to stampeding crowds and tear gas. On a bus in the Sinai Peninsula, Bedouin gunmen take two American tourists and an Egyptian tour guide hostage. After several hours, the hostages are released to the Egyptian police. (Feb. 4): The third night in a row of street fighting in Cairo between the police and protestors leads to the death of 12 people. Questions about the legitimacy of the military-led government intensify as they are unable to stop the fighting. (Feb. 5): The military-led government announces it will put 19 Americans as well as 24 others on trial in a criminal investigation involving the foreign financing of nonprofit groups. The investigation could impact American aid to Egypt. (Feb. 9): The Muslim Brotherhood demands that the current prime minister and cabinet resign and be replaced with a new coalition government formed by parliament.
Russia and China Prevent U.N. Action in Syria (Feb. 4): Russia and China veto an effort by the United Nations Security Council to end the violence in Syria. The veto happens just hours after the Syrian military launch an assault on the city of Homs. The Security Council votes 13 to 2 for a resolution backing an Arab League peace plan for Syria. China and Russia vote against the resolution, seeing it as a violation of Syria's sovereignty. So far, Syria's 11-month uprising has caused more than 5,000 casualties.
Protests Turn Violent over Austerity Measures in Greece (Feb. 12): Demonstrations in Athens turn violent the day before Parliament is set to approve Greece's new austerity measures. At least 80,000 people protest. Demonstrators throw rocks at the police. By nightfall, protestors use Molotov cocktails. More than 40 buildings are set on fire. (Feb. 13): The Greek Parliament votes and approves the harsh, new austerity measures. The measures are the only way foreign lenders will loan Greece the money it needs to keep the country from defaulting on its debt.
A Series of Attacks Increase Tension between Israel and Iran (Feb. 13): Israeli Embassy personnel are the targets of bombers in the capitals of Georgia and India. The wife of an Israeli diplomat and a driver are injured. The attacks are similar to those recently used on Iranian nuclear scientists, attacks Iran has blamed on Israel. (Feb. 14): A residential neighborhood in Bangkok is the site of a series of explosions. Several people are wounded. Thai authorities arrest two men with Iranian passports and find bombs in a rented house. Israel says the attacks are not significant enough to warrant a counterattack. (Feb. 15): Reacting to international sanctions against its nuclear program, Iran warns six European countries that it might cut them off from Iranian oil. The threat is made to the ambassadors of Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Greece and Portugal at the Foreign Ministry in Tehran. Meanwhile, Iran announces advances to its nuclear program on state television. Iran says the nuclear program is for civilian use. Israel believes Iran's goal is to build nuclear weapons and has called on other nations, including the U.S., to help prevent Iran from doing so.
Report Exposes Assassination Plot against Putin (Feb. 26): Russian television reports that an assassination plot against Vladimir Putin has been stopped. The report says that Russian and Ukrainian intelligence worked together and arrested two men after an apartment explosion in Odessa, the third largest city in Ukraine. A third would-be assassin is killed in the explosion. The report also says that the three men were sent by Chechen terrorist leader, Doku Umarov. The report is released one week before the presidential election on March 4. Putin is expected to win the election, despite his fading popularity and the recent protests. Also on February 26, thousands of demonstrators protest in downtown Moscow. The activists hold hands and wear white ribbons to express their frustration with Putin.