Worldwide protests mark May Day
In debt-crippled Greece, more than 2,000 people marched through central Athens in subdued May Day protests centered on the country's harsh austerity. Minor scuffles broke out in Athens when young men targeted political party stands, destroying two and partially burning another. There were no injuries.
In the United States, demonstrations, strikes and acts of civil disobedience were planned, including what could be the country's most high-profile Occupy rallies since the anti-Wall Street encampments came down in the fall.
Around 100,000 people in Moscow - including President Dmitry Medvedev and President-elect Vladimir Putin - took part in the main May Day march through the city centre - though not to protest against the government. Television images showed the two leaders happily chatting with participants on the clear-and-cool spring day. Many banners and placards criticised the Russian opposition movement that has become more prominent in Moscow over the past half-year.
Earlier, thousands of workers protested in the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and other Asian nations, with demands for wage hikes amid soaring oil prices a common theme. They said their take-home pay could not keep up with rising consumer prices, while also calling for lower school fees and expressing a variety of other complaints.
In Indonesia, thousands of protesters demanding higher wages paraded through traffic-clogged streets in the capital, Jakarta, where 16,000 police and soldiers were deployed at locations including the presidential palace and airports. There were also protests in Malaysia and Hong Kong.