Each week, NBN Politics recaps the top five news stories from the past week and brings you a look at the week ahead. Welcome to the Fast Five.
Ukraine unrest continues
The ongoing protests in the Ukraine have forced President Viktor Yanukovych to agree to repeal an anti-protest law, yet it is unclear whether parliament will back him. The protest began in November after President Yanukovych rejected a European Union integration pact, instead taking a $15 billion bailout from Russia. The protests have left many injured and, up to now, five dead.
Brain-dead woman removed from life support
After a long legal battle, a Texas woman who was 14 weeks pregnant when found brain dead after suffering a pulmonary embolism has been taken off life support. On Sunday, a Texas State District Judge ordered the hospital where Marlise Muñoz, 33, was held to take her off life support. The hospital had kept Muñoz alive to follow “the demands of a state statue” but abided by the court’s order.
Egypt set to hold early presidential elections
Egyptian President Adly Mansour said Sunday that Egypt will elect a president before holding elections for parliament. This marks a shift from the timetable agreed to before the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, which called for parliamentary elections first. The expected change could lead to the swift election of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the defense minister expected to run. The main objective of the early elections seems to be the restoration of stability, yet the full powers of the elected president in the interim period before parliamentary elections are unclear.
Government makes deal with Internet companies on data disclosure
Major Internet companies and the government have reached a deal allowing companies to disclose how often they are ordered to provide the government information about their customers. The tech giants wanted to be able to provide the disclosures in order to alleviate customer concerns about cooperation with the government in national security operations. Companies will have to wait six months before disclosing information.
Federal Reserve cuts stimulus
The Federal Reserve decided Wednesday that their bond-buying program will be cut by $10 billion next month. The decision signals the optimism of Fed officials that economic growth is to come after a few tremulous years. The change was a product of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's last policy-setting meeting before Vice Chair Janet Yellen replaces him on Friday.