Coming up this week: Greece, the country that invented democracy, has a second go at electing a government, while Egypt, one of the most recent to try it out, holds the second round of voting to chose its new president.
Meanwhile, British prime minister David Cameron faces some awkward questions about his "cosy relationship" with Murdoch at the Leveson inquiry, and the International Criminal Court's lead prosecutor finishes his term – hopefully with a splash.
Hopes for democracy, young and old
Greeks go to the polls again on Sunday, 17 June, after parties failed to form a coalition from the election results on 6 May. The country that invented democracy could quickly run out of money to pay basic government costs if the vote don't produce a decisive result and a stable government this time round.
The same day sees a second round of voting in one of the world's newest democracies, in the contest for the Egyptian presidency. The Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi, faces off against former Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.
Tensions on the streets are running high, in part due to public frustration over the first set of election results and the prison sentence given to ex-president Mubarak, which many think is too lenient. More female protesters were sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square on Friday, and one high-profile judge has openly declared his desire to curb growing Islamist influence in his country.
But here's one important, positive sign: the country's warring factions have finally reached a compromise on who gets to write the new constitution.
Syria: arms dealers in Paris
One of the biggest arms fairs in the world, Eurosatory 2012, comes to Paris this week. The event will host hundreds of arms dealers – including the state-owned Russian agency Rosoboronexport, believed to be largely responsible for arming the murderous Syrian regime. Avaaz is calling on the US and India to boycott the company until it cuts Syria's arms supply completely. Join the call here.
Leveson inquiry: a star line-up
An incredible roster of witnesses is set to appear at Britain's Leveson inquiry into media ethics this week. The list includes the prime minister, his deputy, two former prime ministers, the chancellor of the exchequer, the Scottish first minister, and the leader of the opposition. Prime minister David Cameron will no doubt be dying to explain why he hired as his spin doctor former News of the World editor Andy Coulson – now charged with perjury and under investigation for phone hacking; why he signed text messages to Murdoch executive Rebekah Brooks "LOL"; and, indeed, just how close he was to the media mogul until the phone hacking scandal broke.
Farewell to head of the ICC
On Friday, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, steps down. To round off his term, Moreno-Ocampo has taken the unusual step of asking the United Nations Security Council to help with the arrest of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir – accused of organising war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Moreno-Ocampo's retirement comes as the International Criminal Court hears oral submissions in the sentencing of Thomas Lubanga, a former rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo who was convicted in March of recruiting and using child solders. Lubanga's conviction highlights the progress that has been made under Ocampo's leadership – even if there is still so much more to do.
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