–Greece will hold a new election after politicians failed to form a government, nine days following an inconclusive vote, prolonging a political crisis that pushes it closer to bankruptcy and exit from the euro. After a third day of failed talks with political leaders today, a spokesman for President Karolos Papoulias said the process of seeking a compromise had been declared a failure and a new vote must be held.
–Francois Hollande has vowed to “open a new path” to address Europe’s debt crisis after being sworn in as French president amid ceremonies in Paris. Hollande, who is due to fly to Berlin for urgent talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, became France’s first Socialist head of state in 17 years.
-A man set himself on fire today outside the court in Norway’s capital, Oslo, where Anders Behring Breivik is on trial over terrorist attacks last summer that killed 77 people/ The man, whose identity is not known, was given first aid treatment on site, according to police.
–Palestinians have been marking the 64th anniversary of the event they call the “Nakba” or “catastrophe”, the day when hundreds of thousands were forced from their villages as the state of Israel was created. Many combined it with celebrations for the end of a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
-Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of the UK’s now-defunct News of the World newspaper, has been charged with perverting the course of justice over the phone-hacking scandal, British prosecutors have said.
-EU naval forces have conducted their first raid on pirate bases on the Somali mainland, saying they have destroyed several boats. The EU forces were transported by helicopter to the pirate bases near the port of Haradhere. Anti-piracy forces have been reluctant to attack mainland bases, fearing for the crew of captured ships. Somalia-based pirates have seized vessels across the Indian Ocean and demand huge ransoms for their release.
-Last week, Barack Obama went on record as the first American president to support same-sex marriage, but he doesn’t appear ready to take his commitment beyond the endorsement stage. In an interview scheduled to air today on ABC’s “The View,” Obama wouldn’t commit to fighting for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -a federal law that defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman.
-A Soyuz spacecraft lifted off from a launch site in Kazakhstan to ferry three new crew members to the International Space Station. The Russian vehicle is carrying the three space engineers -an American and two Russians.
Sources: BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Reuters, euronews, NYT, WSJ