Wikinews Shorts: January 24, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, January 24, 2012.

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

Christine Lagarde: World economy 'faces a downward spiral'

In a speech yesterday in Berlin, International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director, Christine Lagarde warned that the world was facing "[a] 1930s moment... A moment, ultimately, leading to a downward spiral that could engulf the entire world." To avoid a repeat of the Great depression she urged leaders of the Eurozone to moderate austerity measures in order to maintain demand and to find further funds to bolster the 500 billion European Stability Mechanism.

In order to mitigate the Eurozone crisis the IMF is also seeking to raise 500 billion US dollars to support developing economies that would be caught up in the fallout of a Eurozone collapse.

International Criminal Court calls for four Kenyans to face trial for communal violence

The International Criminal Court has presented formal charges against three senior Kenyan politicians and a radio executive accused of orchestrating the wave of communal violence that followed the 2007 presidential election in that country. Of the six individuals initially investigated enough evidence to prosecute has been found in only four cases - including 2012/13 presidential hopefuls Uhuru Kenyatta and his rival William Ruto a former education minister. Menyatta is deputy prime-minister and finance minister.

In the past the rich and powerful in Kenya have often escaped justice. Kenyatta is the nation's richest man.

Syria accuses Arab League of interference as GCC withdraws observers

The Gulf Co-operation Council is to withdraw its observers from the Arab League observer mission in Syria following Syrian dismissal of plans for President Bashar al-Assad to hand power to his deputy and share power in a unity government as "flagrant interference".

The United Nations estimate that upwards of 5000 people have died in almost a year of anti-government protests and demonstrations.

A planned video-link address by Salman Rushdie at the Jaipur Literature Festival has been cancelled admidst fears of violence. Sanjoy Roy, the festival's organiser, said "Earlier today, a number of organisations came to us and threatened violence."

Salman Rushdie, whose book The Satanic Verses remains controversial 24 years after its publication, had earlier cancelled attending the festival citing assassination threats, and it is claimed several authors who read excerpts from The Satanic Verses in support can be prosecuted.