Chatter: Cyprus gets bailed out




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Cyprus is bailed out. Hours before the European Central Bank was due to cut off its lifeline to struggling Cypriot lenders, the country's leaders reached a deal with the EU to bail out their banking system and keep Cyprus in the euro zone.

The agreement means Cyprus can access loans of up to €10 billion from the EU, ECB and IMF. For that, it will break up its second-biggest bank and drastically restructure its biggest – and anyone with more than €100,000 in their account will have to swallow the losses. It's no secret that many businesses will suffer. Cyprus may be in the euro zone, but it'll also be in recession.


Bye bye, Bagram. The US has formally handed over its infamous prison in northern Afghanistan to the Afghan authorities. The transfer, which began several months ago, was finally completed today, reportedly after Washington received Kabul's assurances that suspected extremists would not be allowed to go free.

Afghanistan's Guantanamo, as Bagram was not-so-affectionately known, has now become the Afghan National Detention Facility. It's a symbolic step in the transfer of security from American to Afghan forces – an ongoing and often thorny process which US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Kabul, on an unannounced visit, to discuss with President Hamid Karzai.

The right to work, but not to live. The highest court in Hong Kong has ruled that foreign domestic workers cannot apply for permanent residency despite long years of service there.

The decision ends a two-year legal battle fought by two Filipino workers who, between them, have lived in Hong Kong for more than 45 years. Now, if they or any other of the territory's 300,000 foreign domestics leave their employer, they have two weeks to find another job, or get out.

Bail for Beatrice. Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, detained for more than a week, has been granted bail.

Mtetwa faces charges of obstructing justice during a police raid on the office of four of her clients who work for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Her lawyer calls her arrest "not just an attack on her profession but on the people of Zimbabwe."


Could this be the worst ad ever? Ford has issued an apology after running a print campaign in India that featured three women bound and gagged in the back of one of its Figo cars, driven by a smirking Silvio Berlusconi. (It's something to do with having extra trunk space, apparently.)

Ford has since pulled the ad, which it said was "contrary to its standards of professionalism and decency." You think?