Chatter: Occupy May Day




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Need to know:
Ah, May 1, aka May Day, aka International Workers' Day. A time for public holidays, parades, and rioting.

This year, the traditional labor protests across Europe, Latin America and elsewhere will be bolstered by the US Occupy movement, which has called for a global "Day Without the 99 Percent."

It's no surprise that occupiers should set their sights beyond Wall Street. After all, the whole world suffers from income inequality. The whole world suffers from corporate malfeasance and corruption. And, now, the whole world is scrambling to fight back. This May Day, GlobalPost surveys the state of the Occupation across the globe.

Want to know:
One year ago today, US Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The anniversary of that now legendary raid falls in full election season, and America's presidential candidates are, unsurprisingly, looking to make political capital from bin Laden's death. Barack Obama's latest campaign ad questioned whether Mitt Romney would have approved the operation, a suggestion Republicans condemned as "shameless."

Meanwhile, in Pakistan and other Muslim-majority countries, a new poll suggests that support for Al Qaeda is low, and has in some cases fallen significantly over the past two years.

Dull but important:
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has met Myanmar's pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time.

It was latest in a series of landmarks during Ban's visit to Myanmar; the three-day trip has already seen him become the first foreign dignitary to address the country's fledgling parliament, as well as praising recent reforms and calling on Western powers to relax their sanctions.

Previously denied permission to visit Suu Kyi, today Ban met the soon-to-be MP at her house. She has reportedly accepted his invitation to the UN headquarters in New York.

Just because:
Don't you hate it when you stage a coup, and then someone else copies you? That's the situation in which Mali's junta finds itself, after soldiers loyal to deposed President Amadou Toumani Toure attempted a countercoup yesterday. 

Reports said members of the Red Beret presidential guard surrounded the airport and national broadcast station in the capital, Bamako, last night. Heavy gunfire was reported into this morning, with several people believed killed.

The coup leaders (the first ones) now say they are in control of the situation – as far as anyone is.

Strange but true:
Soft-drug fans looking to plan their summer vacation may want to know that the Netherlands has begun making it harder for tourists to buy pot.

From today, anyone wanting to buy hashish and marijuana from the country's licensed cannabis cafes will have to register for a special membership card called a "weed pass." The card will only be available to residents of the Netherlands, over the age of 18.

It might not be too late to get a refund on that interrail pass.