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(Mike Hutchings/Reuters/Mike Hutchings/Reuters)
(Mike Hutchings/Reuters/Mike Hutchings/Reuters)

Morning Briefing: Concern mounts over Nelson Mandela’s health Add to ...

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe’s news desk on Dec. 7, 2012

Mandela to undergo unspecified medical tests

A frail Nelson Mandela is to undergo further medical tests as he entered his third day in hospital amidst increasing concern and speculation about the 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero’s health. “Mandela had a good night’s rest. The doctors will still conduct further tests today,” according to a statement from President Jacob Zuma’s office. It is the third time that Mr. Mandela – who hasn’t appeared in public since 2010 – has been hospitalized over the past two years.

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Ontario elementary teachers begin walkouts

Ontario elementary teaches plan to step up their week’s long job action today, as staff with two boards stage walkouts, the first of many expected to roll out across the province this month. Teachers in the Stratford and Timmins area are scheduled to walkout today, with six other boards expected to follow later in the week. The province, which has the legal power to order teachers back to work, has said it will allow one-day walkouts.

Supreme Court to hear right-to-life case

The Supreme Court of Canada will grapple today with the emotionally fraught issue of who gets the final say in withdrawing life support to patients. The case revolves around Hassan Rasouli, a 61-year-old retire engineer in a near-vegetative state in a Toronto hospital for nearly two years. Doctors believe Mr. Rasouli has no hope of recovery, but the family has opposed the hospital’s efforts to withdraw life support. Read Andre Picard’s analysis of the issue.

Bond market votes with feet over Berlusconi

The bond market has voted early on Silvio Berlusconi’s plan to revive his scandal-plagued political career. Bond yields on Italy’s debt jumped Monday after Prime Minister Mario Monti announced plans to resign following moves by Mr. Berlusconi’s People of Freedom to withdrew support for the government on some key economic measures last week. Mr. Berlusconi, who had said previously he wouldn’t run in the election expected in February, has criticized Mr. Monti’s austerity measures as too severe.

Hugo Chavez back in Cuba for cancer treatment

Strongman Hugo Chavez is heading to Cuba today for yet another round of cancer treatment , the fourth time the Venezuelan President has undergone surgery since being diagnosed with the disease last year. The latest health set back has taken on even more urgency after Mr. Chavez made a point over the weekend of naming a successor – Foreign Minister and Vice-President Nicolas Maduro.

Egypt’s military take on new powers

In what us shaping up to be a critical week for Egypt, President Mohammed Morsi has ordered the military to maintain security ahead of this weekend’s referendum on the controversial constitution, granting the army the power of arrest. The opposition, which has taken to the streets in recent weeks, rejected as insufficient a move by the President on the weekend to cancel a elements of power-grabbing decree that initially sparked the protests.

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