Top news: After a year of grim economic news and internal strife, the European Union has been given a vote of confidence by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awarded it the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said the award was for the part the EU played in stabilizing the continent in the wake of World War II and the positive role in played in encouraging the democratization of Eastern and Southern Europe. “The stabilizing part played by the E. U. has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace,” he said. Norway is not a member of the E.U.
EU Commission President Juan Manuel Barroso said on his Twitter feed, "It is a great honour for the whole of the EU, all 500 million citizens, to be awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace prize."
Addressing the EU's recent tensions, Jagland said, "we want to remind us all what can happen if disintegration starts and if we let extremism and nationalism start growing". He also put the blame for the continent's financial woes squarely on the United States. “There are many things to say about the economic crisis — where it originated for instance,” he said. “It started in the United States, and we had to deal with it.”
U.S. Election: Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden clashed on Libya, Iran, and Afghanistan in last night's vice presidential debate.
- Turkey claimed to have found Russian munitions on board the Syrian passenger jet it intercepted on Wednesday.
- Hezbollah says it piloted a drone into Israel.
- Jordan has sworn in a new government.
- U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned of the possibility of a devastating cyberattack on the United States.
- The U.S. has designated El Salvadoran gang MS-13 as a "transnational criminal organization."
- Guatemala has arrested a colonel and eight soldiers for the killing of protesters during a demonstration last week.
- The Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban has been moved to a hospital in a more secure area.
- Amnesty International says forced evictions are on the rise in China.
- Chinese Nobel Literature Prize winner Mo Yan unexpectedly called for the release of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.
- An abortion clinic is due to open in Belfast, the first on the island of Ireland.
- The IMF and Germany are split over whether to allow Greece more time to reach its bailout targets.
- Seven British Marines have been arrested on suspicion of murder in Afghanistan.
- South African truckers signed a wage deal to end a three-year strike.
- Botswana overturned a law preventing women from inheriting family income.
- Shell has rejected a liability claim by four Nigerian farmers.