The G20 meeting of leading industrial nations at Cannes, France, was disrupted by the euro-zone crisis caused by Greek premier Papandreou's abrupt decision to call a referendum on the zone's approved proposals for his country's debt problem. Confusion lasted for five days; Papandreou withdrew his referendum proposal and after a vote of confidence in the Greek parliament called for a government of national unity.

Overall unemployment in the euro-zone in September was 10.2 per cent, the highest since 1998, and rose in Germany for the first time since June 2009.

The youth unemployment rate was 21.2 per cent but in Spain reached 48 per cent and in Greece 43.5 per cent.

Antonio Horta-Osorio, the recently-appointed Chief Executive of Lloyds Banking Group, has quit his post for medical attention after suffering from fatigue and stress.

Palestine was admitted to UNESCO as a full member on a vote of 107-14 with 52 abstentions. The United States and Japan immediately announced suspension of their funding of the educational, scientific and cultural organisation.


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