The World Bulletin: Occupied for a year

By Federico Monsalve

A look at what's coming up this week in international news

Occupy Wall Street protesters outside the New York Stock Exchange. Photo / AP
Occupy Wall Street protesters outside the New York Stock Exchange. Photo / AP

Fresh from the protests last week at the Democratic Convention, Youths in New York will be making the last touches to placards and colour-matching keffiyehs to Chuck Taylors in celebration of Occupy Wall Street's first-year anniversary in a week's time.

Why this matters: Although short-lived, the movement managed to spark political passion in youths and the disenfranchised worldwide. Will the movement's main deficiencies - lack of strategy, cohesiveness, and leadership - be addressed?

Call of the mild

The Dutch elections which start on Wednesday night NZ time are seen as a litmus test of how the more economically stable EU nations are reacting politically to the continent's shaky legs.

What to expect: Emile Roemer's extreme left party has been climbing the polls by campaigning on anti-austerity. All hope is lost for the far-right after a hate crime against a Muslim Turk personified the worst in Geert Wilders' anti-immigration platform.

Conservative liberals led by Mark Rutte are expected to win with passive, yet much-needed support for a unified EU (at least on fiscal matters). Post-election coalitions are likely to push Rutte's party to consider populist fights.

iWant5

Apple's highly fetishised iPhone 5 will be unveiled on Thursday.

What to look out for: First, whether the handset includes an NFC chip which would allow it to act as a credit/debit card. Second, which and how quickly one of Apple's two rivals disappears in a pixelated haze. All eyes are on Nokia. Third, how Apple curbs China's enthusiasm. Last year Shanghai and Beijing saw near-riots at the launch of the iPhone 4s. This year the Asian nation has launched its own knockoff, the Goophone i5.

Steamed rice

Despite sanctions, and after a two-decade hiatus, 14,000 tonnes of rice leave Entre Rios, Argentina, today bound for Iran. This, combined with Buenos Aires' extradition request against Credit Suisse executive and former US Treasury Undersecretary David Mulford over a 2001 debt swap, continue to define the South American nation's reputation as an unruly democracy.

Extreme brew

In Florida on Wednesday the Tea Party Express starts its 25-state "Winning for America" bus tour on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Can he capitalise on their vote while maintaining a healthy distance from their toxic rhetoric? In Washington, a White House report to Congress on the impact of US$110 billion in spending cuts on defence and various domestic programmes for next year is expected this week.

State of the Crisis

A German constitutional court will rule mid-week on (most likely in favour of, but with a few amendments) the legitimacy of the European Stability Mechanism (the bailout fund). In France, the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will deliver his annual State of the Crisis ... pardon, State of the Union speech.

We know what you know

Tomorrow, Queensland will unveil a state budget with up to 14,000 public sector job losses expected. Thirty-four Queensland unions have already scheduled a statewide "day of action" for Wednesday.

- NZ Herald

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