Obama's Journey In Times Of Trump

United States 2016-11-14 11:56:41

As he embarks today on what is expected be his last major trip abroad as president — with stops in Greece, Germany and Peru — Barack Obama might find himself thinking back to that remarkable visit he made to Germany in August 2008 as Democratic nominee. It was an unprecedented event that included a jam-packed speech near Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, marking the beginning of "Obamania" around the world, recalled German author Richard Herzinger recently in Die Welt. "The boundless euphoria ignited by the man onto whom we had pinned our hopes — even we Germans — even before he was elected for the first time," Herzinger wrote. Fast forward eight years, and the man coming to Berlin now will be missing a certain sparkle in his eye, after Hillary Clinton's stinging defeat last week to Donald Trump — which was also a major final blow to Obama's own legacy. Herzinger notes the first African-American president's failure “to stop the disintegration of political and societal institutions or the increasingly dangerous polarization of American society.” But the legacy of the outgoing president is also a reminder of the limits of even the most powerful man on Earth. La Stampa's Massimo Gramellini wrote last Wednesday, “Barack Obama was supposed to change the world; instead the world kept changing on its own accord, as if he didn't even exist.” Looking ahead to four (or eight) years of President Trump, we can only wonder how much — and in what ways — he will manage to change his country and our world. WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY U.S. Congress begins “lame duck” session. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be interrogated at the Ecuadorean embassy in London by Swedish prosecutors over longstanding rape accusations. Trial begins of Thomas Mair, the man accused of murdering British lawmaker Jo Cox in the days before Brexit referendum. TRUMP'S CABINET TAKES SHAPE President-elect Donald Trump's administration is starting to take shape, with the appointment this weekend of Washington insider Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff and of the right-wing outsider Stephen Bannon as senior counselor. In his first prime-time television interview since winning Tuesday's election, Trump said he would deport undocumented immigrants “that are criminal and have criminal record,” adding this could mean two to three million people. Meanwhile, anti-Trump protests continued yesterday for a fifth consecutive day. See the front page of Mexican daily La Jornada. EU FOREIGN MINISTERS DISCUSS U.S. RELATIONS Foreign ministers from European Union nations met yesterday and are expected to continue to discuss today on the future of the union's relation with the U.S. after Donald Trump's victory. “Both sides should start at zero and give each other a chance,” European Parliament President Martin Schulz told German newspaper Bild, adding he believed that “President Trump will be a different man than candidate Trump.” — ON THIS DAY A prince was born, and more, in your 57-second shot of history. VERBATIM “It feels like we're sitting on jelly,” a winery owner told The New Zealand Herald after a violent earthquake and major aftershocks hit New Zealand. At least two people have died, and many towns were cut off by close to 100,000 landslides. IRAQI TROOPS RETAKE ANCIENT TOWN OF NIMRUD Iraqi government forces have recaptured the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud from ISIS terrorist fighters in the ongoing battle for Mosul, CNN reports. The archaeological site, which was founded in the 13th century BC, was largely destroyed by the jihadists last year in what UNESCO said was a “war crime.” ISIS CLAIMS PAKISTAN BOMBING ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombing of a shrine that killed at least 50 people and wounded about 100 on Saturday in central Pakistan. This comes amid reports that the terror organization is increasing its presence and recruiting fighters in the region. WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO Nicaragua's once revolutionary president, Daniel Ortega, has won reelection, this time with his wife Rosario Murillo as VP. It's an accumulation of power and money that makes their own supporters squirm, this editorial in Colombian daily El Espectador argues: “After steamrolling over potential opponents with the connivance of Parliament, the Supreme Court and a discredited Supreme Electoral Council, Ortega has set about modifying laws to allow indefinite presidential reelections while gradually grinding the parliamentary opposition into oblivion. He has forged a single-party system in spite of the presence of various political parties and movements that pose no actual threat to the Ortega regime — so sure of their power, the government even finances some of its opponents. This all goes a long way to explaining the government's flat-out refusal to allow foreign observers to monitor the elections.” Read the full article, Ortega Ambitions, Nicaragua's First Couple Edges Toward "Dynastic Rule." — MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD A Grand Sunrise — Grand Canyon, 1987 PRO-RUSSIAN CANDIDATE WINS IN BULGARIA Voters in Bulgaria elected yesterday Socialist candidate Rumen Radev, a Russia-friendly newcomer to politics, with more than 58% of the vote, inflicting a stinging defeat on the ruling center-right party. Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, whose ally candidate Tsetska Tsacheva couldn't obtain more than 35%, is expected to resign and trigger early general elections. MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH German Fears Of New "Axis Of Evil" — Trump, Putin, Erdogan — Süddeutsche Zeitung Trump Shock, The Blindness And Naivety Of The U.S. Media — The Washington Post Trump Victory: We'll Never Talk About Globalization The Same Way Again — Le Figaro MILLENIA-OLD MUMMY FOUND Spanish archaeologists have discovered a mummy believed to be at least 2,500 years old in “a very good condition” near the Egyptian city of Luxor, AFP reports.

Power In America And American Power

United States 2016-11-10 12:12:44

It's Trump: Unifying Victory Speech After Clinton Concedes

United States 2016-11-09 11:13:45

In one of the most stunning election results in modern democratic history, Republican candidate Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States. Winning the world's most powerful job in his very first run for public office, the 70-year-old real estate tycoon and television reality star defeated his Democratic rival, who had served as First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State in the first term of outgoing President Barack Obama. The Trump win was an echo of the surprise victory in June of the so-called Brexit referendum, calling for the UK to leave the European Union. Voters in both cases defied the establishment and polling institutes to deliver a result that will possibly change the world as we know it. The latest confirmed figures show 279 electoral votes for Trump against 218 for Clinton in the state-by-state contest, as the Republican went past the 270 votes needed to win with surprise victories in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Several states are still counting their ballots and too close to call. The Republicans will also retain their majorities in both houses of the Congress, with 51 senators and at least 236 representatives. Trump, who had been repeatedly underestimated since announcing his candidacy on June 16, 2015, won sizable majorities among men and whites without a university degree, The New York Times reports. Hillary Clinton's edge from minorities and women was not enough to take her over the top in key swing states in the Midwest. In his victory speech, Trump stroke a unifying tone after a divisive campaign, as he vowed to “begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation.” “Now it's time for America to bind the wounds of division [...] I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It's time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.” Trump began by saying he had “just received a call from Secretary Clinton” to congratulate him. This came despite Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta saying earlier that the Democratic candidate “isn't done yet.” Clinton is expected to offer a concession speech later today. A series of spontaneous protests were reported around the U.S. following confirmation of the Trump victory. Several foreign leaders were quick to congratulate Trump for his victory. Among them was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said “Russia is ready and wants to restore full-format relations with the United States,” even though he admitted it would be “a difficult path considering the current degradation” of bilateral relations. The Guardian notes that far-right politicians were the first ones to congratulate the Republican candidate, including France's Marine Le Pen who tweeted even before Trump's victory speech. Observers are now trying to analyze how it all went so wrong for Clinton. But according to Politico, her team saw the defeat coming and believed her chances were “always fragile.” Asian markets tumbled as Trump's victory appeared more and more likely during the night, and Dow futures fell by as much as 800 points but recovered some ground later. Reuters however reports that the U.S. dollar, Mexican peso and world stocks “began to steady in the European morning.” WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY Racial profiling ruling in France. EU commission to release economic growth forecast for first time since Brexit. RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA APPROVED IN THREE STATES Yesterday was also a big night for recreational marijuana, with voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada voting in favor of its legalization. Results in Maine are still too close to call. A majority of voters in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota also supported allowing medical marijuana. GUNMEN KILL NIGERIAN MINERS A group of gunmen, believed to be cattle rustlers from the mainly Muslim Fulani herders, killed 36 miners in northern Nigeria, according to Vanguard. The attack, which took place late Monday, follows similar killings of dozens in the region in recent months. — ON THIS DAY The perfect way to not think about the U.S. election for at least 57 seconds, here's your daily shot of history. ANTI-AUSTERITY PROTESTERS STORM RIO ASSEMBLY Thousands of public service workers invaded the Rio de Janeiro assembly yesterday afternoon for three hours, in protest against austerity plans to try and fix the city's dismal financial situation, O Globo reports. — WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO In Paris, authorities have turned increasing attention to assisting people suffering from the so-called Diogenes Syndrome that causes them to hoard objects in their homes. For French daily Le Figaro, Caroline Piquet reports: “Agents from social services often find unsanitary living conditions when they come to the homes of hoarders. Even if officials are able to enter the house, they can find it difficult to move around because of the accumulated waste. Sometimes these agents can't even see the floor. ‘Some people climb the walls of debris in order to move from one room to another,' says Patrick Bachelet of the company Professional Cleaning Services. He says he's found all sorts of things in these homes: empty or full bottles, newspapers from years ago, excrement, rotting food, odds and ends. The waste can be up to three meters high, he says.” Read the full article, Diogenes Syndrome, A Peek Into The Crammed World Of Hoarding. INDIA SCRAPS LARGEST BANKNOTES Indians are in shock after the government's sudden announcement yesterday that it was withdrawing 500 and 1,000 rupee notes from circulation, in what The New Indian Express says is a “a surgical strike on black money, and thereby on corruption, fake currency and funds for terrorism.” — MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD Camel Calm — Palmyra, 1996 MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH U.S. Campaign, 19 Memorable Magazine Covers Around The World — Worldcrunch Turkey: Why Europe Must Stand Up To Erdogan' Power Grabs — Süddeutsche Zeitung Can A Bottled Spray Ensure That Your Lover Stays Faithful? — Le Temps MICHAEL KEATON'S BIRD FETISH Marvel Studios have confirmed that Michael Keaton, of Batman and more recently Birdman fame, will be playing Spider-Man's enemy Vulture in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming movie.

"Trump Brand" Ready For Export?

United States 2016-11-08 11:27:03

From Malmö to Mumbai to Melbourne, news junkies will spend the next 24 hours scrutinizing voting patterns coming out of places like Youngstown, Ohio, and Pensacola, Florida. Those Swedes, Indians and Aussies in the know can identify such bellwether localities in battleground states that the pundits say will decide whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States. It has become something of a trite habit every four years to declare that the race for the White House is a global event — from the international interest generated by the spectacle of the never-ending campaigns to the obvious and less-obvious ramifications for the rest of the world of the policies bound to come out of Washington. The 2016 campaign, however, has fused this truism with a brand new kind of urgency. For the first time in memory, there is the realistic chance that a candidate will be elected who has openly vowed to pull America back from its role as global superpower, to question generation-old military alliances, to stem free trade, to close borders. Beyond the cheerleading bluster of his “Make America Great Again,” Donald Trump has tapped into a sentiment among voters that the supposed greatness of yore has been lost not only amid Washington and Wall Street maneuverings, but in some distant and faceless swirl of globalization. Of course, such inward-looking, nationalistic messages had already been gaining traction — and winning at the polls — elsewhere in the world. A Trump victory would give it the kind of brand packaging and export power that, still, only America can provide. WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY First state polls close in U.S. election at 11 p.m. GMT. Nine U.S. states vote on relaxing laws on use of medical or recreational marijuana. SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT WILLING TO RELINQUISH SOME POWER As part of an investigation into President Park Geun-hye's ties to Choi Soon-sil, who is accused of having meddled in government affairs, prosecutors raided the offices of Samsung Electronics today. According to Reuters, Park said she would be willing to withdraw her nominee for prime minister in favor of a candidate picked by parliament and would let the new premier control the cabinet. BRITISH BANKER FOUND GUILTY IN GRISLY MURDERS A Hong Kong jury convicted Rurik Jutting, a British investment banker, of double murder in the killing of two Indonesian women in late 2014. According to the South China Morning Post, Jutting argued that he suffered from “abnormality of mind induced by mental diseases.” Jutting faces life in prison. — ON THIS DAY JFK, X-ray, Gordon Ramsay. No, it's not a haiku — it's your 57-second shot of history. ISRAELI JOURNALIST SLAMS NETANYAHU ON LIVE TV One of Israel's top journalists, Ilana Dayan, read aloud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bitter critique of her expose on him during her TV show on Monday night, Haaretz reports. Netanyahu apparently called Dayan, “one of the leaders of a concerted frenzy” against him, adding that she “has proven once again that she has not even a drop of professional integrity.” FORMER PHILIPPINES' DICTATOR MARCOS GIVEN HERO'S BURIAL The supreme court in Philippines allowed the body of former president Ferdinand Marcos to be moved to Manila's Heroes' Cemetery. The decision follows months of protests as Marcos had enforced strict martial law under his rule from 1965 to 1986, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports. — WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO When a person falls in love, several types of hormones are released — as addictive as drugs — that can provoke a state of ecstasy, euphoria and hyperactivity. They've now been reproduced in the form of a nasal spray to stimulate milk production in mothers, prompting Camille Destraz of Swiss daily Le Temps to ask: “Can this spray, which is available over the counter, also then guarantee the attachment and loyalty of your partner? A little spurt on the pillow before going to bed? ‘In theory, yes,' says Vuilleumier. ‘Conversely, in case of a difficult breakup, we could prescribe chemicals that would block the pain inflicted by the separation. This is part of ongoing scientific research.'” Read the full article, Can A Bottled Spray Ensure That Your Lover Stays Faithful? TOBLERONE TRIANGLES TO HAVE LARGER GAPS Mondelez International, the American company that produces Toblerone confectionery, announced a decision to change the design of chocolate bars in the UK. The decision angered consumers, BBC reports. In a statement on the company's Facebook page, Mondelez International said a change was necessary so that the chocolate was still affordable as the prices of ingredients have risen. — MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD Chic Chalk — Paris, 1958 $73,800 Yesterday, the Chinese legislature adopted a law to punish companies that fabricate box office earnings. Film distributors and theaters will now be fined $73,800 or more for falsified ticket data, according to China Radio International. This is the first law of its kind. MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH Youngstown, Rusting Ohio City Is Grim Trump-Clinton Battleground — The Washington Post Turkey: Why Europe Must Stand Up To Erdogan' Power Grabs — Süddeutsche Zeitung Trump Or Clinton? Arab-Americans' Surprising Ambivalence — Le Figaro BURNING CAMPAIGN TRAIL Steve Bannon, the chief executive officer of Trump's campaign, found his pants on fire at a campaign stop in New Hampshire last month. While writing a teleprompter script, Bannon looked down to realize that a hot TV light had made his pants burn.

Turkish Strongmen, Western Weakness

Turkey 2016-11-04 11:33:45

Turkey has grown silent. Since the failed military coup in July, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's crackdown across Turkish society has featured a particular focus on journalists working for opposition newspapers. According to Reporters Without Borders' Julie Majerczak: "Turkey has become the world's biggest prison for journalists.” But the crackdown goes well beyond press freedom. Two leaders of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party HDP have been arrested for failing to respond to a summons for questioning, in what some say is an attempt by Erdogan to push the party out of parliament. Ertugrul Kurkcu, a Turkish member of parliament who is currently out of the country, said the government is “heading towards a Nazi-style dictatorship,” Turkey's soL news website reports. Hours after the arrests of the Kurdish politicians, a suspected car bomb exploded in Diyarbakir, stronghold of Kurds in southeastern Turkey, killing eight people and injuring dozens, according to Hürriyet. Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp have reportedly been blocked in recent hours, following up on past shutdowns by the government of social networks. But the silence inside of Turkey is echoed by the silence of the West. Worried about harming their common interests in the region (including refugees, oil and air bases in the fight against ISIS), the U.S. and Europe keep mum on Erdogan's domestic moves. Former Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dündar asked Deutsche Welle whether the recent refugee deal signed between Brussels and Ankara — a deal Turkey is now threatening to cancel — had “led Europe to turn a blind eye to democracy.” Jailed since August, Turkish writer Aslı ErdoÄŸan summed it up, in a letter penned from prison: “Europe, currently concentrated on its ‘refugee crisis,' seems to underestimate the perils of total loss of democracy in Turkey,” she writes. In recent years, the West has learned that trying to “export” democracy with force can backfire. But that doesn't mean we should simply ignore it either. WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY (& WEEKEND) Chicago parade today to celebrate the Cubs' World Series win. President Daniel Ortega looking for third term in Nicaragua election. (Sunday) Vendée Globe round-the-world solo sailing race kicks off. (Sunday) MAY SAYS BREXIT WILL NOT BE DERAILED British Prime Minister Theresa May will not alter her timetable for activating the UK's exit from the European Union despite yesterday's High Court ruling that “Brexit” could not happen without Parliament's support, BBC reports. May is expected to tell European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker today that she will not let the court derail her plans to begin the exit process by March. — ON THIS DAY As we're about to bid Barack adieu, On This Day remembers Obama's 2008 election. That, and more, in your 57-second shot of history. TRUMP GAINS IN POLLS WITH FOUR DAYS TO GO As the long campaign comes down to the wire, polls are showing Donald Trump gaining momentum, closing in on Hillary Clinton in surveys of both nationwide preferences and key state contests. Meanwhile, American voters are expressing their general disgust at the campaign and political system in general. The New York Times reports that more than 8 in 10 voters say they feel repulsed rather than excited for the election on Tuesday. — WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO The Nov. 5, 2015 rupture of a mining dam in Mariana, Brazil destroyed lives and entire towns. One year later, there is no end in sight to the toll on a region decimated by the toxic disaster. Writing from Barra Longa for Brazilian daily Folha de S. Paulo, José Marques and Avener Prado report: “In the days that followed the floods, 14-year-old Bruno Henrique Faustino helped clean the toxic mud off the streets. A few weeks later, dark stains started to appear on his skin. Still in Barra Longa, Simone Silva's eight-month-old baby Sofya started having respiratory problems, something a medical report found to be connected to the inhalation of dust from the toxic waste. Both families claim they asked Samarco for help, to no avail. ‘I went to Samarco several times and they kept telling us: 'If you have a medical report that proves that she's sick, we'll help you.' So I took the report with me, and their response was: 'No, you should go to the health services.'" Read the full article, Year Of Mud, The Heavy Toll Of Brazil's Worst Ever Ecological Disaster. SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT AGREES TO BE INVESTIGATED Park Guen-hye, South Korea's president, was on the brink of tears in a nationally televised address this morning in which she apologized and said she was willing to accept an independent prosecutor into a spiraling abuse of power scandal, the Korea Times reports. STING TO REOPEN BATACLAN Sting announced last night he'll be performing at Le Bataclan on November 12 during the iconic Parisian venue's re-opening after the deadly shooting that occurred there a year earlier. Le Monde reports that money from the evening will be donated to the associations Life For Paris and 13 Novembre: Fraternité et Verité. — MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD Bridging The Times — Postbridge, 1976 HARVARD MEN'S SOCCER TEAM SUSPENDED The Harvard University administration has suspended the men's soccer team after the school's newspaper uncovered a document rating the attractiveness of the women's soccer team, which included sexually explicit comments. Reports indicate this may be a yearly tradition for the male soccer players, first discovered in 2012. The Boston Globe reports that Harvard president Drew Faust called the revelations: “appalling.” MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH A Cool New Recipe For World's Oldest Vegetarian Restaurant — Le Temps A Dirty Path From Smuggled Cigarettes To Terror Attacks — Die Welt Indonesia's War On Poachers Hooks Legal Fish Business Too — The Jakarta Post A WHITE HOUSE RACE ODDITY Haven't had enough of the U.S. presidential campaign, now, have you? From space voting to “idiots ban”, here are 10 weird facts about the election.

Baghdadi, Making It Personal In Mosul

Iraq 2016-11-03 11:04:02

BAGHDADI, MAKING IT PERSONAL IN MOSUL Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is back on your screen. After almost a year of public silence, and amid rumors that the self-proclaimed “caliph” might be dead, ISIS released what it claims is a 31-minute audio recording of its leader. In his message — which was recorded in the last 10 days according to an expert quoted by Al Jazeera — Baghdadi urges ISIS fighters not to “retreat” as a coalition of Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters and Shia militias advance on its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul. He declared that “this raging battle and total war” was “a prelude to victory.” To many ISIS enemies, this will sound like a desperate call from a fanatical leader who knows he's losing. In a little over two weeks, anti-ISIS forces have boasted of their impressive gains as Iraqi troops have even entered the city for the first time since Baghdadi's army captured it two-and-a-half years ago. No doubt, beyond the battlefield, a propaganda war is in full force aimed in part at motivating the respective forces. Baghdadi's audio urges his followers to strike the “enemies of God,” including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and to “turn the nights of the unbelievers into days, to wreak havoc in their land and make their blood flow as rivers.” For the anti-ISIS coalition, the goal of eliminating Baghdadi himself may now become just as important as liberating Mosul. Still, as the West has seen in Iraq alone — from Saddam Hussein to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — eliminating a leader is no guarantee of final victory. WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY Walter Scott shooting trial opens. National Sandwich Day in U.S. (but we'll celebrate in Paris too) UK HIGH COURT SAYS PARLIAMENT NEEDS TO VOTE ON BREXIT Britain's high court ruled this morning that the two-year process to leave the European Union cannot begin without the Parliament's approval, something that could delay London's triggering of Article 50, The Guardian reports. A majority of British MPs notoriously oppose Brexit, which was decided by 52% of voters on June 23. The government is expected to appeal the decision. REBELS REJECT RUSSIA AND SYRIA DEMAND TO LEAVE ALEPPO Syrian rebels have rejected a Russian and Syrian offer to leave eastern Aleppo unharmed and with their weapons by Friday evening, the BBC reports. One rebel leader was quoted as saying: “We will not give up the city of Aleppo to the Russians and we won't surrender.” — ON THIS DAY Who knew Anna Wintour and Godzilla had something in common? That, and more, in your 57-second shot of history. FOCUS STAYS ON CLINTON AND FBI As damaging WikiLeaks revelations keep pouring in, Fox News reports that an indictment in the FBI investigations of Hillary Clinton's emails and the Clinton Foundation is “likely,” citing two sources inside the FBI. President Obama meanwhile criticized FBI director James Comey, without mentioning him, renewed his support for the Democratic candidate and told a crowd in North Carolina that “the fate of the republic rests on your shoulders.” TERROR SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN SYDNEY AND BERLIN Australia's counter-terrorism police arrested two men in Sydney, aged 24 and 17, over alleged links to terrorist groups in Syria, ABC reports. German media meanwhile report the arrest in Berlin of a Syrian man believed to have links with ISIS. — WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO Near the French capital's Gare du Nord train station, migrants have expanded yet another shantytown just days after the controversial Calais "Jungle" was dismantled by the state. And as Delphine de Mallevoüe reports for Paris-based daily Le Figaro, locals are not pleased: “Paris already had its own fair share of undocumented migrants, but the situation has gotten worse over the last week in the capital, say shopkeepers and residents along the Avenue de Flandres. Paris city officials says some 2,000-2,500 migrants, mostly Sudanese, Eritreans, Afghans and Libyans, are in this encampment. [...] Faisal, a Pakistani who owns a clothes shop on the Avenue de Flandres, says the situation deteriorated in the past week: ‘Business in the neighborhood is dead. People lock themselves up at home and don't even want to go out to buy bread,' he says. ‘A few more weeks like this and I'll have to close down.'” Read the full article, Calais To Paris, The Grim Mobility Of Migrant "Jungles". 2030 China's middle-class is growing, and the world's second biggest economy will become a middle-class society by 2030, a new report suggests. By then, about 35% of the population will have in excess of $10,000 of annual disposable income, while the proportion of high-income individuals will grow from 2.6% to 14.5%. Read more from the South China Morning Post. CENTRAL ITALY HIT BY ANOTHER QUAKE The earth shook again overnight in central Italy, with a seismic event of magnitude 4.8, Corriere Della Sera reports. No casualties have been reported so far. — MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD Need A Bigger Boat — Caraquet, 1994 CUBS WIN THE WORLD SERIES It took them 108 years, but the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series after what reporters are describing as “the greatest World Series Game 7 ever.” See how the Chicago Tribune featured the historic win on its front page today. MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH Italy, Earthquake Cracks Open A Lifetime Gone By — Rue Amelot essay Lawyer Up! Clinton, Trump Camps Prepare For Contested Vote — Bloomberg Students Need New Mentality, Skill Set To Enter Job Market — Clarin FLIGHT OF THE SEAGAL American action movie actor Steven Seagal has been granted Russian citizenship. So, what should we call him now: the patriot or the foreigner?

American Mysteries, Baseball To Politics

United States 2016-11-02 11:45:28

The reach of American power, of both the hard and soft varieties, seems to know no limits. People across the planet are affected in real ways by what happens in the United States — from which movies get made in Hollywood to how Facebook builds its algorithms to who earns the keys to the White House. For better or worse, it can all make the political/economic/cultural superpower seem quite familiar, even for those who have never set foot on U.S. soil. But then, there's baseball. Save a few exceptions, like in Japan or the Dominican Republic, the sport appears to the rest of the world as a mysterious (and interminable) spectacle of Byzantine rules, lots of standing around and a ridiculous choice of mascots. But for Americans, the “national pastime” endures, a comforting reminder that certain customs still resist the forces of globalization. Tonight features the final game of the (interminable) season, as the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians face off in the decisive Game 7 of the World Series. The stakes are particularly high this year because the Indians haven't won a championship since 1948, and the Cubs haven't won one since … 1908! Indeed, Hollywood movie buffs around the world may remember that the Back To The Future trilogy had “predicted” the Cubs would finally win the World Series 30 years later, in 2015. Well, almost? They may also remember the cinematic time-travel script winking at then President Ronald Reagan, with one character from the 1950s unable to fathom that the second-rate actor would wind up in the White House. That, it seems, brings us to this year's race for the presidency, as the world keeps asking: And who wrote this script? WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY Federal Reserve expected to leave interest rates untouched. International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. MORE FBI BAD NEWS FOR CLINTON The 2016 White House campaign enters its last week and the outcome is growing more uncertain by the day, with Donald Trump now leading in the Washington Post-ABC News Tracking Poll. The FBI release of its 2001 investigation into Bill Clinton's pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich yesterday has further angered Hillary Clinton's campaign. For The Hill, “the daily spring of leaks coming out of the FBI has made it appear that the law enforcement agency is at war with itself.” ISIS LEADER STILL IN MOSUL, AS BATTLE RAGES The stakes involved in the battle to liberate Mosul from ISIS could be even higher than previously thought with The Independent quoting a senior Kurdish source as saying that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is believed to be hiding in the city. “Baghdadi is there and, if he is killed, it will mean the collapse of the whole [ISIS] system,” said Fuad Hussein, chief of staff to the president of the Iraqi Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani. The revelation, which the newspaper says may complicate the battle, comes one day after Iraqi forces entered the outskirts of the city for the first time in two years. — ON THIS DAY Eighty-six years ago, Haile Selassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia. That, and more, in today's 57-second shot of history. MINORS EVACUATED FROM CALAIS JUNGLE French authorities have begun the evacuation of some 1,500 unaccompanied minors from a temporary center near the so-called “Jungle” in the French city of Calais this morning. Local newspaper La Voix du Nord reports that two buses left early this morning with some 40 minors, transporting them to receptions centers across France. 5.5 MILLION The number of cancer deaths among women is expected to rise by close to 60% to 5.5 million by 2030, two recent studies warn. The number of women diagnosed with breast cancer is expected to double. — WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO Paolo Ciancaglioni awoke to Italy's Aug. 24 earthquake at his family summer home in Retrosi, a hamlet of Amatrice. He and his wife managed to escape unharmed from the quake, which would end up killing 297 people. His house was damaged, but not destroyed. This is Ciancaglioni's story, written by Cynthia Martens for Worldcrunch's Rue Amelot essay section: “When the noise started, sometime after 3:30 in the morning, my wife, Daniela, and I were asleep in bed. It was like the thunder you might hear during a big storm at night, that savage booming that makes you feel small and vulnerable because you can't tell where it's coming from. The room was rocking, and in the darkness I heard bits of stone dislodging from the rattling wall and falling to the floor. Rhythmic thumps pounded from above: the sound of pieces of rock thudding on the roof. I thought, ‘The ceiling is going to cave in on us.'” Read the full essay, Italy, Earthquake Cracks Open A Lifetime Gone By. SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT NAMES NEW PM AMID SCANDAL President Park Geun-hye named a new prime minister and finance minister as a cronyism scandal widens, with prosecutors requesting an arrest warrant against one of Park's close friends. More details about the situation in South Korea from The Guardian. — MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD Scandalous Building — Washington, D.C., 1990 CHINA MINERS DEAD The 33 miners who were trapped in a coal mine in southwestern China after a gas explosion were all confirmed dead by rescuers, who retrieved their bodies early this morning, Xinhua reports. Only two miners made it out alive. MH370 CRASHED AFTER UNCONTROLLED DESCENT The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing with 239 people on board in March 2014, was in a rapid and uncontrolled descent when it crashed into the Indian Ocean, a report by Australian investigators has found. This suggests that no one was in control of the plane when it crashed. Read more from ABC. VENEZUELAN PARLIAMENT DELAYS “TRIAL” OF MADURO The opposition-led parliament of Venezuela has delayed a symbolic hearing of President Nicolas Maduro in a bid to ease the ongoing political crisis, amid Vatican-mediated talks. The opposition also cancelled nationwide protests initially planned for tomorrow. MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH A Straight Black Line From East German Stasi To Egypt Of Today — Mada Masr For Restaurants, Michelin Stars Bring Heat And High Costs — Le Temps Students Need New Mentality, Skill Set To Enter Job Market — Clarín JACKPOT UNDONE Katrina Bookman thought she'd won the largest slot machine jackpot in U.S. history when the machine displayed $42,949,672 winnings. But the casino says it was a machine malfunction and offered her a steak dinner instead.

Panama Papers & Politics, From Pakistan to Iceland

Pakistan 2016-11-01 11:15:46

SPOTLIGHT: PANAMA PAPERS & POLITICS, FROM PAKISTAN TO ICELAND It's been more than six months since a massive leak first exposed vast networks of offshore financial dealings linked to a Panama-based law firm. But the reverberations of the so-called “Panama Papers” continue to show up in unlikely places. Pakistan's opposition party announced today that two of its supporters have died after police fired tear gas to stop protesters from marching to the capital Islamabad to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Driving the opposition's outrage are revelations from the leaked Panama documents that appear to show Sharif's family owned offshore holding companies. Opposition leader Imran Khan, a cricket hero turned politician, has vowed to send a million supporters to the city tomorrow to force Sharif to step down or agree to a corruption investigation. In a starkly different corner of the globe, Iceland's Prime Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson announced his resignation on Sunday. His Progressive Party was routed in a general election that had been scheduled after his predecessor was forced out after another series from the Panama leaks showed that he and his wife had stowed away millions offshore. While it's indisputable that leaks from tiny Panama have shaken far-flung parts of the world, it remains to be seen which political players will gain from it. It's fitting that Iceland's Pirate Party, which saw strong gains in the election, was founded by activists, anarchists and former hackers. It's also true that Pakistani opposition leader Khan, who's calling for the graft inquiry, was himself forced to admit to using an offshore company to avoid paying tax on the sale of a London property. WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY Two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve, the last before the U.S. election, begins with interest rates likely to stay unchanged. Celebration of All Saints' Day. IRAQI FORCES ENTER MOSUL Iraqi troops have entered the outskirts of Mosul for the first time since the battle to retake the city from ISIS began just over two weeks ago. According to the BBC, Iraqi forces are “facing very stiff resistance.” RUSSIA, AN INCREASING THREAT TO THE UK Russia is being “increasingly aggressive” and is prepared to use “propaganda, espionage, subversion and cyber-attacks” in order to “to push its foreign policy abroad,” and especially across Europe and the UK, the director general of MI5 Andrew Parker told The Guardian. FBI ACCELERATES EMAIL PROBE, ONE WEEK FROM ELECTION DAY FBI investigators continue to sift through some 650,000 emails potentially linked to Hillary Clinton, and experts believe they will find any relevant material by election day, The Wall Street Journal reports. Meanwhile, other documents leaked by Wikileaks continue to damage the Democratic nominee, including information related to what The Hill describes as “Team Clinton's sordid financial dealings.” The New York Times this morning reports that in the early 1990s, Donald Trump used a “legally dubious method” to avoid paying tax. For the latest state-by-state polls, check out this map, which shows Clinton holding on to a narrow lead. ACTRESS: HITCHCOCK SEXUALLY ASSAULTED ME Actress Tippi Hedren, famous for her role in The Birds, writes in her new memoir that she was sexually assaulted by director Alfred Hitchcock. “It was sexual, it was perverse, and it was ugly, and I couldn't have been more shocked and repulsed,” the 86-year-old wrote. VERBATIM "Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.." Pope Francis said at a Mass this morning on the second day of a historic trip to Sweden to seek reconciliation with Protestants. Next year will mark 500 years since Martin Luther nailed 95 theses on the church door in the town of Wittenberg, Germany, which set off the Reformation and led to the spread of Protestantism around the world and centuries of conflict with the Catholic Church. Read more from the Associated Press. — ON THIS DAY It's safe to assume a lot of people went “Wow” in the Sistine Chapel, 504 years ago. Find out why in your 57-second shot of history. CHINA UNVEILS J-20 FIGHTER JET China unveiled its fifth-generation J-20 fighter jets earlier today at the country's biggest air show in Zhuhai, where radar equipment and close to half of Chinese weapons systems were also on display, the South China Morning Post reports. SOUTH KOREA PRESIDENT'S FRIEND DETAINED AMID SCANDAL South Korean prosecutors have placed Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of President Park Geun-hye and the woman at the center of a massive influence-peddling scandal, under emergency detention, Yonhap reports. Opposition leaders are calling for Park's resignation. OIL EXTRACTION LINKED TO CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKES The deadly 1933 earthquake and other seismic events in the Los Angeles region in the early 20th century may have been caused by oil drilling, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey concluded in a report published yesterday. Read more from the Los Angeles Times. — WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO How does a parapsychologist deal with people who say they've seen ghosts? That is the question Victoria Michalczak tries to answer in a disturbing, spooky piece for Süddeutsche Zeitung. “It's the summer of 2006, and Farnaz Azadi, a 16-year-old German-Iranian, heads on vacation with her boyfriend and his family to Portugal. One night, shortly before midnight, a friend of Azadi's screams in panic — she had heard footsteps in the corridor and the sound of a knock from her cupboard. Azadi's boyfriend searches the house for burglars but doesn't find anyone. The following night, Azadi, whose name has been changed, experienced something she will never forget. She thinks about the incident a lot but rarely speaks about it. It was a "little traumatic," she recalls and recounts the tale: Azadi and her boyfriend had gone to bed and turned off the light. Her boyfriend had fallen asleep immediately. When Azadi turned around, she saw a dark figure standing next to her bed. She clearly sees its shape — the head, the neck, the shoulders. The figure could not be older than an eight-year-old. Azadi is certain it's not a shadow. And she faints.” Read the full article, Parapsychology, Serious Study Of The "Ghost" In Your Life. — MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD Going North — Road to Mo i Rana, 1967 MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH Who Will Win The White House, The Four Things To Know — The Washington Post Why UN Security Council Failing Aleppo Surprises No One — Syria Deeply For Restaurants, Michelin Stars Bring Heat And High Costs — Le Temps THUNDERSTRUCK Caitlín Nic Aoidh appeared to be hit by lightning and disappeared in a cloud of smoke live on TV, as she was presenting the weather forecast on an Irish news broadcast. Apparently Halloween has merged with April Fools' Day ...