–Spain needs at least 40 billion euros to stabilise its stricken banks, according to the International Monetary Fund. Add in the price of covering restructuring costs and loan losses and the total bill could be as much as double that. The figures come amid reports that Spain will ask the eurozone this weekend for help with recapitalising its banks. The government had wanted a preliminary estimate on how much is needed before making a decision.
-President Barack Obama, beset by a faltering economic recovery five months before he seeks re-election, said on Friday European leaders must act urgently to resolve the region’s financial crisis and stem the threat of recession. Obama said decisions about how to solve the eurozone crisis were fundamentally in the hands of Europe’s leaders and their political commitment would be a “strong step.” He was speaking a week after a dismal U.S. jobs report heightened concerns about the impact of Europe’s crisis on U.S. growth.
-Seven UN peacekeepers from Niger have been killed in an ambush in southwestern Ivory Coast, the UN has said. The attack took place near the border with Liberia, UN officials say. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he was “saddened and outraged” by the deaths. UN peacekeepers were deployed to Ivory Coast in 2004 to help end the country’s civil war and have stayed through the country’s recent political crisis.
-Police have arrested 190 people in a major US crackdown on child pornography, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) say. Federal agents said on Friday that the month-long ‘Operation Orion’ also resulted in identifying and rescuing 18 children. In a statement, ICE said most of the arrests during Operation Orion through the month of May took place in the US, but suspects were also picked up in Argentina, Britain, the Philippines and Spain.
-Nothing less than the “survival of society” is at stake says Japan’s prime minister, justifying the decision to restart two nuclear reactors on the west coast, despite protests. The final decision is yet to be made, but power worries from employers like Panasonic, Sharp and a host of others have forced the move. However a new nuclear regulator is not in place, and people fear the 45 other reactors will soon follow.
-Chinese intellectual property laws have been overhauled to allow the nation’s drug makers to make less expensive copies of medicines still under patent protection. The move by China, considered a vital growth market for foreign pharmaceutical companies, comes within months of a similar action by India.
-One of Fleetwood Mac’s early members, Bob Welch, has died in Nashville aged 66. He played guitar and sang on five of the band’s albums in the early 1970s. Police say his wife found his body with a gunshot wound and a suicide note. Founder-member Mick Fleetwood said Welch was a huge part of the band’s history and his legacy would be his songwriting abilities.
-Actress Lindsay Lohan had a car accident on her way to the set Friday, briefly sending her to a hospital as a precaution, her publicist says. Lohan, 25, was taken to the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, and was released less than two hours later, Steve Honig said in a statement.
-Millions of football fans around Europe have been glued to the first two opening games of the Euro2012. In Warsaw, tens of thousands of people who couldn’t get tickets to the kick-off match between co-host Poland and Greece watched on a giant screen outside. Around 56,000 people crammed into the city’s national stadium for the home team’s 1-all draw. Later in Wrakaw, Russia beat the Czech Republic 4-1 at the city stadium in front of a 41,000 crowd.
-The stage is set for another classic men’s grand slam final on Sunday after Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal set up a French Open showdown with much more than just the title at stake. World No. 1 Djokovic will seek to become the first man since 1969 to hold all four majors at the same time, and only the third ever, while second-ranked Nadal is aiming for a record seventh crown at Roland Garros.
Sources: BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Reuters, euronews, NYT, WSJ