Wikinews Shorts: January 23, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, January 23, 2012.

If you believe any of these stories deserves more in-depth coverage, feel free to write a full article on the issues raised.

Western show of unity in the Strait of Hormuz on the eve of further anti-Iran sanctions

A six-strong flotilla of United States, French, and British warships, centered around the USS Abraham Lincoln, has sailed through the Strait of Hormuz. The move comes on the eve of an expected embargo on the import of Iranian oil by the European Union, and an Iranian threat to close the straits to international shipping.

Thirty five percent of the world's supply of crude oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

Libyan deputy leader resigns over protests

Abdul Hafiz Ghoga, the vice-chair of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) resigned following protests in Benghazi on Saturday. Talking to Al Jazeera on Sunday he said, "[m]y resignation is for the benefit of the nation and is required at this stage."

A human rights lawyer, Ghoga became the focus of discontent over the prominence of former Gaddafi loyalists on the NTC, the pace of reform and the belief that Benghazi was sidelined in the political process.

Nigeria death toll set to rise

The confirmed death toll of 178 in co-ordinated attacks against Nigerian government targets in Kano on Friday, with police and soldiers amongst the many dead and wounded, is expected to rise.

Attacks by Boko Haram, who seek to create an Islamic state, are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with fears the group aims to provoke a civil war between Nigeria's Muslim north and Christian south.

Economy not Sharia will be the focus of Egypt's new Islamic government

Improving the economy and fighting poverty, not legislating to create a Muslim state, will be the Muslim Brotherhood's agenda when they form Egypt's first post-Mubarak government today. "We can't talk about implementing Islamic Shariah law when the country is experiencing such devastating economic problems," said Mohammed Gouda, a party policymaker and economics committee member.

Islamists form a majority in the new assembly with the Muslim Brotherhood winning 46% of seats and the conservative Al-Nour Party 23%.

UK unemployment increases to 2.68m as profit warnings increase

The UK's unemployment rate has reached 8.4% — 2.685 million people — according to data released by the Office of National Statistics. The figure reflects the quarter ending last November and is a 0.3% increase on the previous quarter.

Unemployment amongst younger people now stands at 22.3% — 1.043 million people, and the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance has now reached 1.6 million; in December, 1,200 new claimants began receiving unemployment benefits.

Profit warnings from firms within the UK have increased from 51 in the third quarter to 88 in the fourth, say Ernst & Young. The nation saw 206 firms issue 278 warnings profits were not as high as initially expected.

Three years after British retailer Woolworths collapsed, 24,000 who lost their jobs as a result have won a fight for compensation; each will receive 60 days' pay, a total payout of £67.8 million and averaging £2,800 per person.