The American student Amanda Knox, convicted in Italy of murdering her British roommate, started an appeal against her conviction and sentence Wednesday. The judge in the northern town of Perugia will decide whether to accept the defense's request for a complete review of all the evidence and a request for new witnesses. A positive ruling could signal a possible reduction of Knox's 26-year prison sentence.
Striking unions in Portugal are protesting the government's austerity measures. Parliament is expected to vote on the plan Friday. Portugal is one of the European countries facing massive problems caused by its national debt. Many Portuguese are angered by the government's plans to freeze pensions and cut the wages of civil servants by five percent.