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SPOTLIGHT: ABORTION BACK ON WORLD AGENDA

The recurring battle over abortion was bound to resurface in the U.S. presidential campaign, becoming what the Los Angeles Times called "one of the most personal, intense" moments of last night's debate between the respective running mates of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.


Both Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence and his Democratic rival Tim Kaine are opposed to the practice, but Kaine argues that his personal (and religious) views shouldn't guide his policy choices. Pence said such a stance was "anathema" to him.


Pence was also forced to respond to a statement made last spring by Trump supporting criminal prosecution against women seeking abortion. Not even ardent American social conservatives like Pence still defend such a harsh approach on the delicate issue.


That is, apparently, not the case in Poland. A proposed law by the ruling government would ban all abortions, and carry five-year jail sentences for women who have them. The issue prompted a momentous series of demonstrations on Monday across what is still a very Catholic country. Warsaw-based daily Gazeta Wyborcza described the protests as "unprecedented" in the way that Polish women exerted their democratic force: "Something unprecedented has happened. Polish women showed what they're capable of. They proved they have veto power, a power greater than what the heads of many trade unions hold. After all, which union would be able to organize so many protests in so many cities all over the country in just one working day? Only Polish women can do something like that."


The past half-century has shown that the issue of abortion has the power to inflame legitimate passions on both sides of the debate. In religious or moral terms, it is hard to argue with either side. In electoral terms, it is bound to be a winning issue for abortion rights supporters anywhere that women exercise their right to vote. And to protest. And some day, to even run for president.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



COLOMBIAN CEASEFIRE WILL EXPIRE ON OCT. 31

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced yesterday that the current ceasefire with the FARC rebels will expire on Oct. 31, after a short majority of Colombians rejected the terms of the peace accord on Sunday, El Espectadorreports. The FARC leader, Timochenko, asked on Twitter whether this meant that "from then onwards, the war continues?"


YAHOO SCANNED USERS' EMAILS AT U.S. REQUEST

For more than a year, Yahoo has been secretly scanning the incoming emails of its hundreds of millions of users to comply with an order from U.S. intelligence officials, Reuters reports. The internet company was looking for a specific "set of characters" in the emails and attachments.


— ON THIS DAY

It's already been five years since Apple founder Steve Jobs died. That, and more, in today's 57-second shot of history.


HURRICANE HITS HAITI & THE DR

Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful hurricane the Caribbean has seen in years, slammed into Haiti and the Dominican Republic yesterday. The death toll of the hurricane, which is now headed toward Cuba, is as of yet unclear. See how the Dominican Republic's daily El Caribefeatured the news on its front page today.


4,650 MIGRANTS SAVED ON THEIR WAY TO ITALY

Italian coastguards rescued some 4,650 migrants who were attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya yesterday, bringing the total rescued to more than 10,000 in just two days, Reuters reports. Since the beginning of this year, at least 142,000 migrants, most of them from Africa, have reached Italy's shores, and 3,100 died in their perilous journey across the sea.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

There is a dark side to the Silicon Valley. The boom of the high-tech sector has led to an exponential growth of the housing demand but not of the offer, with dire consequences for those less well-off, Les Echos reporter Anais Moutot writes.

"This housing crisis is not hard to see on the streets of San Francisco. With housing prices up to 64% over the past decade, San Francisco now ranks highest in the U.S. for the number of homeless people who sleep in the streets. On the sidewalks of the city's downtown, not far from the headquarters of such tech giants as Twitter, Airbnb and Uber, dozens of men and women wander the streets, some with swollen feet and dirty clothes. One woman talks to an imagined mobile telephone, which is in fact her left hand, another sings a lullaby to a Donald Duck doll, as if it was a child, while a man jumps on the floor, lowering his pants and imitating a frog. Nearby, employees at Twitter meet for lunch inside the company's shiny cafeteria that offers quinoa and kale salad."

Read the full article, Housing Crisis, Silicon Valley's Dark And Shiny Underbelly.


CHEMISTRY NOBEL PRIZE

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 was awarded jointly to three scientists: Frenchman Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Scotsman Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Dutchman Bernard L. Feringa "for the design and synthesis of molecular machines."


69 MILLION

The world needs to create close to 69 million teaching positions if international pledges to guarantee primary and secondary places for all children are to be kept, UNESCO warns. The United Nations agency estimates that 263 million children around the world are without a school and calls for a "seismic shift" in recruitment.


— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Forbidden Fun — Tivoli, 1968


THAILAND DETAINS HONG KONG ACTIVIST

Joshua Wong, one of the leaders of Hong Kong's Occupy movement two years ago, was arrested in Thailand last night at China's request, shortly after landing in Bangkok, the South China Morning Post reports. Wong, 19, was later released and put on a plane back to Hong Kong before he could speak as planned at a university event in Bangkok.


MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH

PAELLAGATE

British cook Jamie Oliver found out the hard way with Twitter vitriol that the authentic recipe of the classic Spanish dish paella doesn't include chorizo. Maybe he should have checked the website: Wikipaella.

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Economy

Europe's Winter Energy Crisis Has Already Begun

in the face of Russia's stranglehold over supplies, the European Commission has proposed support packages and price caps. But across Europe, fears about the cost of living are spreading – and with it, doubts about support for Ukraine.

Protesters on Thursday in the German state of Thuringia carried Russian flags and signs: 'First our country! Life must be affordable.'

Martin Schutt/dpa via ZUMA
Stefanie Bolzen, Philipp Fritz, Virginia Kirst, Martina Meister, Mandoline Rutkowski, Stefan Schocher, Claus, Christian Malzahn and Nikolaus Doll

-Analysis-

In her State of the Union address on September 14, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, issued an urgent appeal for solidarity between EU member states in tackling the energy crisis, and towards Ukraine. Von der Leyen need only look out her window to see that tensions are growing in capital cities across Europe due to the sharp rise in energy prices.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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In the Czech Republic, people are already taking to the streets, while opposition politicians elsewhere are looking to score points — and some countries' support for Ukraine may start to buckle.

With winter approaching, Europe is facing a true test of both its mettle, and imagination.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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