Internet and phone communications between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia have been seriously disrupted after submarine cables were severed. It is thought the FLAG FEA, SMW4, and SMW3 lines, near the Alexandria cable station in Egypt, have all been cut. A fault was also reported on the GO submarine cable 130km off Sicily.
EU ministers agreed this week to a 30% increase in next year's fishing quota for North Sea cod, but will reduce catches for several other species. The quotas are a compromise between environmental groups, who say some fish stocks are on the verge of collapse, and fishermen who fear for their jobs.
British television presenter Ben Fogle and UK Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell are due to arrive in Antarctica ahead of a gruelling South Pole race. Cracknell, 36, Fogle, 35, and 28-year-old Dr Ed Coats - who beat 650 applicants for his place on the team - will spend the next fortnight acclimatising to the harsh weather and terrain.
OPEC will continue to cut crude production until prices stabilize said the cartel's president Chakib Jelil on Friday during a conference of oil producing and consuming countries in London.
Oil producers rounded on UK PM Gordon Brown on Friday for complaining about prices while raking in huge fuel taxes. A senior OPEC figure branded the Prime Minister confused for demanding the cartel maintained output levels to control prices rather than reducing domestic duty.
Brazil beef exports dropped 33% during November following a significant contraction in global demand because of the world recession, according to the industry.
The global economy likely will contract next year for the first time in decades as the credit crunch bites, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF), a Washington-based association representing more than 375 of the world's major banks and financial institutions.
Venezuela's National Assembly has given preliminary approval for a constitutional referendum to scrap presidential term limits, which would allow President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election in 2012 and beyond.
Chile's LAN was granted a two-year concession to operate domestic flights in Ecuador, a top aviation official said on Thursday. The airline's Ecuadorean unit will be allowed to fly local routes to major cities like Guayaquil, Quito and Cuenca.
Members of Ecuador's private banking sector expressed concern Friday that recent government financial decisions and overall policies, together with the global crisis, are putting the country's financial system in jeopardy.