Bill will bring layoffs
Greeceís Parliament approved an emergency bill Sunday to pave the way for thousands of public sector layoffs and free up $11.5 billion in international rescue loans. The bill, which passed in a 168-123 vote, will allow for the first civil service layoffs in more than a century. About 2,000 civil servants will be laid off by the end of May, with another 2,000 following by the end of the year and a further 11,500 by end-2014.
The Egyptian presidentís office indicated Sunday a compromise has been reached with the judiciary to defuse an uproar over a proposed law that would have forced out thousands of the countryís most senior judges. Just three days earlier, the countryís Islamist-led parliament pushed ahead with the disputed bill that would have lowered the retirement age for judges from 70 to 60. That would affect nearly a quarter of Egyptís 13,000 judges and prosecution officials.
More pre-vote violence
At least 12 people were killed and 43 injured Sunday in bomb blasts targeting a candidateís convoy and the election offices of two others in northwestern Pakistan. They were the latest in a series of terrorist strikes that have cast a shadow over parliamentary voting scheduled for mid-May. In recent weeks, Pakistan has been rocked by bombings directed primarily at candidates and backers of three liberal, secular parties.
Mirren gets stage honor
Helen Mirren was crowned queen of the London stage at the Olivier Awards on Sunday, while compelling, canine-titled teen drama The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time emerged as best in show with seven trophies. Mirren, 67, was a popular and expected best actress choice for her regal yet vulnerable Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience, Peter Morganís behind-palace-doors drama about the relationship between Britainís queen and its prime ministers.
Compiled from wire reports.