Editor's note: iReporters all over the globe are showing us what Occupy Wall Street is like in their towns and cities through the Open Story: from the Aleutian Islands to Raleigh, North Carolina; from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Zadar, Croatia. Check out a map of the reports, videos and pictures here.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, which swept across the United States as thousands¬†demanded that government institutions change to help¬†fix a struggling economy, gained a major boost as the world began to come together in solidarity over shared economic frustrations.
As the sun rose on each country, one-by-one in the same way each stock market would open, protesters took to the streets. What began as a movement that was largely ignored by the mainstream media can't be dismissed anymore, not when thousands of people are sharing rally cries from Zucotti Park in New York to City Hall Square in¬†Copenhagen, Denmark. Perhaps that's what organizers hoped for when they¬†called the global day of protest "Solidarity Saturday."
But that global push may not end with the one day of solidarity. Some would say it has bolstered the ambitions and confidence of those who began Occupy Wall Street. It was a hint that, with the right support and organization, they can spread the message they've so desperately tried to get across: They want change, and they want it now. And even though the frustrations and complaints may differ from country to country, the theme remains that governments aren't handling economic crises properly.
The protests spread amid the growing financial troubles for several Western countries. Maybe that's why it's no surprise the global movement came during a G20 meeting of ministers and bankers in Paris. Finance ministers with the Group of 20 pledged Saturday to take "all necessary actions" to stabilize global markets and ensure that banks are capitalized.
Europeans turned out to protest¬†amid debt troubles and austerity plans in Greece, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Germany. And in¬†an increasingly intertwined global economy where Americans watch what happens in the Greek debt crisis, the world too is watching to see how the United States is handling its economic issues.
In the spirit of that solidarity, thousands stepped out to support the frustrations of the unemployed in the U.S. and, in some cases, to share their own grievances.
We're taking a look at scenes from across the world to find out more about the main frustrations being lodged and how the protests are drawing support from each other through the lenses of our reporters and iReporters around the world.
The movement gained traction in London especially because of the presence of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.¬†Some Brits,¬†who have not been shy to share their frustrations with their economic situation during riots months earlier, echoed American sentiments that governments need to focus not just on the rich but on the little man.
Amedeo d'Amore , an iReporter, was at a demonstration near St. Paul's Cathedral, where he said there were about 1,500 to 2,000 protesters along with a few hundred police officers.
"Essentially, they are very disappointed by the current economic system," he said. "From my understanding, they feel that governments have done too much to protect companies while doing very little to assist the average citizen."
A top executive at the company that publishes the Wall Street Journal left Dow Jones this week amid allegations that the paper's European edition used underhanded methods to boost circulation figures, the newspaper itself reported Thursday.
Andrew Langhoff, the executive, left on Tuesday, following an internal probe which found he had pushed for two articles favorable to a company involved in the alleged circulation subterfuge, the paper said.
The Guardian, a rival newspaper, alleged that the Journal's publisher secretly directed funds to the company that was buying copies of the paper in bulk.FULL STORY
One of Europe's largest outdoor music festivals was canceled Friday after a stage collapsed during a violent storm in Belgium, killing five people and injuring 50 others, organizers said.
Belgian authorities confirmed Friday that the death toll has gone up.
"A fifth person has died," Andy Payne, spokesman for the nation's crisis center, told CNN. He said he did not know the circumstances surrounding the death.
The storm struck Thursday just hours after Pukkelpop kicked off. The scheduled three-day event was in Hasselt, east of Brussels.FULL STORY
While basketball fans in the U.S. are poring over their NCAA tournament brackets, European professional league fans are also enjoying playoff action.
But it may not have been so enjoyable¬†for fans of Italian team Montepaschi Siena, who saw their heroes humiliated Tuesday nightÔĽŅ in an 89-41 blowout by Olympiacos in a ¬†league quarterfinal game. Olympiacos hails from¬†Piraeus, Greece, where the game was played.
The thrashing set Euroleague playoff records for margin of victory (48 points), fewest points allowed in a half (9), fewest points allowed through three quarters (22), and most rebounds by one team (55), according to the league's website.
Things looked bad from the tipoff for Siena, as Olympiacos took off with a 19-0 start. Montepaschi missed its first 11 shots before Nikos Zisis finally broke the spell with a 3-pointer.
But it was too late. The score just kept getting more ridiculous as the first half wore on: It was 24-4 at the end of the first quarter, 33-4 soon after that, and 47-9 at halftime.
"I have never been beaten that much in my life before," Montepaschi forward Shaun Stonerook said. "This was as bad as it gets. We knew that we were done by halftime and tried to get ready for the next game in the second half."
Game 2 is Thursday night on the same court in Piraeus.
Italian police supported by the European Police Agency arrested 26 people this week suspected of smuggling thousands of illegal immigrants from Afghanistan into Europe.
The smuggling network was responsible for transporting about 200 hundreds migrants a month since August 2008, according to a news release from Europol. Twenty percent of those moved through the network were children, the police agency said.
The migrants were first moved through Pakistan, Iran and Turkey into Greece, the agency said. From there, they went through Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro or Bosnia into Rome for transport northward. Most went to the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden. The migrants could spend from days to weeks in transit, depending upon circumstances.
Migrants paid anywhere from $4,600 to $6,600 for the trip. Money was moved through the system using the ‚Äúhawala‚ÄĚ money transfer network that operates outside of normal banking channels, Europol said.
Most of the 26 arrests were made in Italy, but others were taken into custody in France and Germany, Europol said.
The chief executive of the airport operator BAA, which is responsible for London's Heathrow, says he will not be taking his bonus for 2010 following the travel chaos caused by heavy snow.
Colin Matthews said he wanted to "focus on getting people moving," but refused to comment on the size of the bonus he has declined.
"I do not want to talk about my renumeration. I will be foregoing my bonus for the calendar year 2010," he said. When questioned about a rumored "secret bonus" based on profits, Matthews said, "There is no secret bonus."FULL STORY
Wherever you may be today, there's a good chance you're walking in a winter wonderland. Mostly because it isn't safe to drive or fly.
A winter storm warning remained in effect through Monday afternoon for California's Sierra Nevada mountains, where 5 to 10 feet of snow could accumulate on top of the 9 to 10 feet that fell in some areas Sunday.
Heavy rains prompted the emergency evacuation Monday of nearly 2,000 residents of a flooding Southern California town and the
temporary closure of at least two highways because of mudslides.
Residents near McFarland were being evacuated Monday because of what Fire Department spokesman Sean Collins called "major flooding."
The area has been inundated with rain for four days, with totals ranging as high as 10 inches. The National Weather Service said additional rain is expected in the area through Tuesday.
Heavy snow was snarling air travel in Europe, where hundreds of flights were canceled in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin. And just for good measure, the temperature reached zero degrees¬† Fahrenheit overnight in Northern Ireland.
London's Gatwick Airport was closed until Tuesday morning after 5 cm (2 inches) of snow fell in an hour Monday night, airport officials reported.
Airport staff was working to make stranded passengers "as comfortable as possible," but it advised other travelers to check before they left for the airport to make sure their flights were still scheduled.
Australians may see a white Christmas for the first time in decades after up to 11 inches of snow fell in New South Wales and smaller amounts in Victoria. Aussies traditionally sunbathe on the beach on Christmas.
Even people in Minnesota are complaining about winter weather. Punter Chris Kluwe says the outdoor stadium where his Vikings will play Monday night is unplayable because of cold and ice. Watch out, Chris: The area is under a game-time winter storm warning.
Perhaps worst of all, Lady Gaga had to postpone her Sunday night concert in Paris because her 28 trucks could not get into the city under a snow ban.
How is the weather where you are? Share your photos and video with CNN's iReport.
We asked, you responded.¬† Here are some of the photos of the weather mess in Europe that you sent us.
Lisa Suarez's voice breaks as she stands in the snow outside London's Heathrow airport, unable to get a flight home to Dallas, Texas.
"It's very hard," she says. "All I want for Christmas is to hug my daughter."
She and her family are among hundreds of thousands of people stranded by "freak weather conditions" that dumped unexpected tons of snow on Europe this weekend, snarling flight schedules at the continent's busiest airports.FULL STORY
Ireland has formally requested substantial "financial assistance" from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to buttress the government and bolster its struggling banking sector, Prime Minister Brian Cowen said Sunday night.
"I want to assure the Irish people that we have a better future before us," Cowen said in announcing the request, as well as pledging substantial budget cuts and tax hikes.
Two men were recovering Saturday after their plane carrying a donor organ crashed in central England, police said.
The private two-seater Cessna crashed and caught fire while landing at Birmingham Airport on Friday, injuring the two men onboard.
As soon as the two men were "secure," the organ was retrieved and escorted by police to a nearby hospital, where doctors successfully carried out a liver transplant, West Midlands Police and the hospital said.
The American track star won three gold and two bronze medals at the 2000 Olympics in Sidney, Australia, but relinquished them when news emerged that she had used performance-enhancing drugs.
Jones spent six months in federal prison for lying to investigators. She now plays guard for the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA and recently released "On the Right Track," in which she gives her version of events and describes her time in prison.
Filmmaker John Singleton has made a documentary about Jones titled "Press Pause," airing on ESPN.
A group of demonstrators broke into the headquarters of Britain's governing Conservative Party in London on Wednesday, spray-painting anarchy symbols and setting off flares before being forced out of the building.
They went on to set fires outside the building.
The violence came during a largely peaceful protest by students against government plans to allow universities to increase tuition fees. The National Union of Students said 40,000 demonstrators were on the streets.
Extra police officers were sent to deal with the violence, London's Metropolitan Police said.
The British government announced deep budget cuts Wednesday, as it tries to fight massive deficits.
It will include "ruthless privatization" and will leave "no stone unturned in our search for waste," Chancellor George Osborne told lawmakers in the House of Commons.
But it is also guided by the principle of "fairness," he said, saying, "those with the broadest shoulders will bear the greatest burden."
Three suicide bombers launched an attack on the Chechen parliament Tuesday, killing at least three people, officials told CNN.
Vladimir Markin of the Russian Prosecutor's Office said two police officers and a civilian died in the attack. Six other officers and 11 civilians were wounded, he said.
A few hours after the attack was reported, the Russian Prosecutor's Office said that police had the situation under control.
A group of jihadists from the German city of Hamburg are alleged to be at the heart of the recent al Qaeda plot to launch co-ordinated terrorist attacks against European cities, according to European intelligence officials.
The plan prompted the U.S. State Department to issue a Europe-wide security advisory for Americans traveling in Europe.
Japan issued a similar alert Monday, citing the warnings issued by the United States and by Britain, which raised the level highest for France and Germany.
CNN contributor Frances Townsend, the former White House homeland security adviser, told "American Morning" on Monday that the U.S. travel warning on Europe is frustrating tourists and some officials.
The U.S. State Department issued the alert for U.S. citizens in Europe, based on information suggesting al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks. Americans are warned to be aware of their surroundings and protect themselves, especially when they are at tourist sites, in airports or using public transportation. The alert does not warn U.S. citizens against travel to Europe.
Townsend said the alert is based on "unspecific, but credible threats," and she thinks tourists and officials would like to know more specifics.
Sunday's travel alert by the U.S. State Department for Americans in Europe should scare no one from¬†going there, but people can use it to remind themselves of common-sense measures to help them avoid being targets of opportunity, current and former State Department officials say.
For those needing a refresher course on those common-sense measures, officials are happy to abide.
The State Department's travel website lists many tips on how people can lessen their chances of being targeted by terrorists and kidnappers, especially¬†those¬†who are looking for American tourists. These tips include minimizing the time spent near airports' public areas (because they are less secure than areas on the other side of the security checkpoints); avoiding luggage tags that would identify you as a tourist; looking for and reporting unattended parcels at an airport; and identifying visitors before opening the door of your hotel room.
Don Hamilton, a counterterrorism expert formerly with the State Department, added these tips in an interview with CNN: