Australian councils were left furious after spending millions of dollars campaigning for the constitutional recognition of local government only to see the referendum shelved by the decision to call a federal election on 7 September.

Only nine of South Africa's 278 local authorities were given clean audits for 2011-12 - despite the central government aiming to have all municipalities at this standard by 2014.

The vice-mayor for the city of Delaware, Ohio, came under fire for forwarding a pro-gun email featuring images of Holocaust victims and references to a second American revolution.

A municipal council was dissolved by Italy's Interior Ministry in April over its links to organised crime.

Discussions over a new model of local government for Ukraine should be completed before an EU summit in November, according to deputy prime minister Oleksandr Vikul.

Local government is critical to the development and industrialisation of South Africa, minister of trade and industry Dr Rob Davies has said.

Spain's government is offering 518 municipalities in financial difficulty the chance to take a bailout in return for tough austerity measures.

Local government corruption and weak law enforcement fuel forest fires on the Indonesian island of Sumatra that contribute to hazardous smog in Malaysia and Singapore, Greenpeace has said.

A council has uncovered an "endemic fraud" that led to it paying 20m naira (£81,000) a month to "ghost" primary school teachers.

A 29-year-old independent has become Japan's youngest serving mayor - and the second youngest in the country's history - after winning an election in the city of Minokamo.

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