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Five stories you may have missed during the U.S. election

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:02 AM EST, Wed November 7, 2012
Demonstrators shout slogans Tuesday in front of the Greek parliament in Athens.
Demonstrators shout slogans Tuesday in front of the Greek parliament in Athens.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Greece will vote on another round of austerity measures as the country strikes
  • Two South Korean candidates will team up to challenge their conservative opponent
  • China's Communist Party Congress will select the country's new leaders this week
  • Britain's prime minister raises the idea of a "safe passage" for Syria's president

(CNN) -- While the U.S. presidential election dominated coverage, news from across the world certainly hasn't stopped.

Here are five other stories that you might have missed:

1. The austerity battle in Greece

The Greek government is set to vote on yet another round of austerity measures Wednesday, a day after a general strike shut down the country. Greek media are expecting a cliffhanger in parliament on Wednesday night, with passage of the austerity measures by just a handful of votes.

If legislators do not pass the measures, it will endanger the payout of the next international bailout installment of 31.5 billion euros. Without the funds, the Greek government says, it will run out of money by mid-November.

But Greeks are furious about the effects of multiple rounds of belt-tightening, which have resulted in cuts to pensions and pay, and seen unemployment in Greece's fifth year of recession soar to more than 25%.

South Korean candidates Moon Jae-In, left, and Ahn Cheol-soo agree to field one candidate between the two of them.
South Korean candidates Moon Jae-In, left, and Ahn Cheol-soo agree to field one candidate between the two of them.

2. South Korean rivals come together

In South Korea, two presidential hopefuls will join forces and field only one candidate between the two of them in an effort to beat their conservative opponent.

But it's not yet clear which of the two left-leaning hopefuls, Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party and Ahn Cheol-soo, a professor and former software mogul, will challenge Park Geun-hye, the candidate for the governing Saenuri Party.

The South Korean election is set to take place next month.

3. China's Communist Party to forge a new path

In China, the 18th Communist Party Congress will convene Thursday to chart a new course for the country, say farewell to the old leadership and usher in a new generation of leaders -- hundreds of new faces. But the presumptive top leader, Xi Jinping, remains shrouded in mystery.

4. British leader pushes for way to stop bloodshed in Syria

British Prime Minister David Cameron raised the idea of a "safe passage" for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if that's what it takes to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

"Anything, anything to get that man out of the country and to have a safe transition in Syria," Cameron told Al-Arabiya TV. "Of course I would favor him facing the full force of international law and justice for what he's done. I am certainly not offering him an exit plan to Britain, but if he wants to leave, he could leave; that could be arranged."

5. France takes step toward same-sex marriage rights

France's Cabinet approved a draft bill Wednesday that would give same-sex couples marriage and adoption rights in the face of fierce resistance from the Roman Catholic Church and social conservatives.

The bill is expected to go before the National Assembly and Senate in January, and is likely to be voted on in February or March. If passed, it would mark the biggest step forward for French gay rights advocates in more than a decade.

An opinion poll released Wednesday by polling group Ifop and Le Monde newspaper found 65% of those surveyed support equal marriage rights for same-sex couples -- a clear majority of the population. However, opinion on adoption rights for same-sex couples is split almost down the middle, with 52% in favor, according to the Ifop-Le Monde survey.

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