SPOTLIGHT: THE MEANING OF MUHAMMAD ALI

Today marks the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Later this week, the man who for decades was the world's most famous Muslim, and arguably its most famous person of any religion or race, will be laid to rest in an Islamic ceremony in the heartland of the American South. More than 35 years after his last boxing match, 14 years after the 9/11 attacks, and nearly eight years after the election of Barack Obama, the death of Muhammad Ali is an occasion to reshuffle the proverbial deck in the ways we think and talk about the front page of our times: the United States and the world, African-Americans, global Islam, sports, fame, faith — and more. That he became a figure of global unity and understanding after he hung up his gloves, is a testament to the character of the man. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz recalled when Ali tried, in vain, to save the life of the Jewish reporter Daniel Pearl, taken hostage by al-Qaeda. But what makes his widely-lauded humanitarian acts even more powerful was that he'd first risen to prominence by disturbing the status quo with a singular self-confidence fused by both physical and intellectual prowess. Even as he is eulogized, before the burial in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, Ali's complicated life is a reflection of our complicated times. But also a reminder that doing good is at least as important as being great. Muhammad Ali's story is one that transcends and endures. We tracked down print newspapers around the world (from 23 countries!) that featured his passing on their front pages. Have a look here.




WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



JORDAN INTEL OFFICERS KILLED

Three Jordanian intelligence officers were among five people killed in what officials are describing as a "terrorist attack" in a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of the capital city Amman, Al Jazeera reports.


— ON THIS DAY

Tetris and Levi Strauss blue jeans are in today's 57-second shot of history.


FAVORITE TRAILS IN PERU PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Former Wall Street investor Pedro Pablo Kuczynski holds a narrow lead over his opponent Keiko Fujimori to become Peru's next president, El Comercio reports. According to the latest estimates, Kuczynski has taken a slight lead with 50,52% of the votes, while Fujimori is right behind with 49,48%, with 88% of votes counted.

Read more about it on Le Blog.


CLINTON WINS PUERTO RICO

Hillary Clinton has moved closer to the Democratic nomination with important wins in the Virgin Islands on Saturday and in Puerto Rico yesterday, putting her less than 30 delegates away from becoming the party's official White House candidate, AP reports. This comes ahead of the final round of primaries in New Jersey, California and four other states.


INSURGENT LEADING ROME MAYORAL RACE

Virginia Raggi of Italy's anti-establishment Five Star Movement, won the first round of a mayoral election in Rome, with the party also making important gains in other cities, La Stampa reports. Raggi, who campaigned hard against endemic corruption, could become the first female mayor of the Eternal City if she wins the runoff vote on June 19.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Are you familiar with the designations mipster, hijabista or turbanista? Writing for Lausanne-based daily Le Temps, Nic Ulmi introduces us to the so-called "mipster" phenomenon — a trendy niche at the crossroads between the worlds of fashion and Islam: "For pious Islam, it's a dilution of faith into consumerism. For the identity concerns of a part of the Western opinion, the ‘chic hijab' trend is, instead, ‘re-Islamization' of formerly secularized Muslim populations, or even an Islamization project of the world in general.

In the eyes of those in touch with the reality on the ground, the phenomenon is taking root simultaneously in two movements: a revival of religious practices and the assumption of the Western liberal-consumerist culture. This converging momentum leads to new hybrid identities, with varying elements of both religion and consumption."

Read the full article, Muslim And Hipster, Why "Mipster" Fashion Is Trending.


VERBATIM

"Muhammad Ali was The Greatest. Period." This is how U.S. President Barack Obama led the tributes to the world champion boxer, who passed away on Friday evening, at the age of 74.


U.S. REPORTER KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN

NPR journalist David P. Gilkey was killed yesterday in Afghanistan while on assignment with an Afghan army unit. NPR's Afghan interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna and an Afghan soldier were also killed when grenades hit their vehicle.


SWITZERLAND SAYS NO TO BASIC INCOME FOR ALL

Close to 77% of Swiss voters have rejected proposed legislation for an unconditional income for all adults that supporters had suggested could be as high as 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,560). But according to Le Temps, the people behind the initiative are "confident their time will come."


RELIC OF JOHN PAUL II STOLEN FROM COLOGNE CATHEDRAL

A cloth with a drop of blood from canonized Pope John Paul II was stolen from the Cologne Cathedral, Der Spiegel reports. The relic is believed to have been taken between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.


MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Helping The Spanish Miracle — Toledo, 1963


8

Novak Djokovic became the eighth tennis player in history to have won all four Grand Slam titles in his career, after defeating Andy Murray yesterday to win the French Open. He's also the first since Rod Laver in 1969 to have won all four titles in a row, having won the last Australian, U.S. Open and Wimbledon titles.


DEADLY STORM IN AUSTRALIA

The Australian East Coast was battered over the weekend by a massive storm that devastated some of Sydney's beaches and coastline homes. At least three people have been reported dead and two are missing.


NORWAY COMMITS TO ZERO DEFORESTATION

The Norwegian government has pledged to stop contributing to the deforestation of the rainforest. It's the world's first country to make such a commitment.


— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH


SUNKEN AIRPLANE

Turkey has a new project to attract summer tourists, and it involves sending a jumbo jet to the bottom of the sea. Read more here.

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Geopolitics

The New Iraq, Signs Of Hope Amid The Rubble And Reconstruction

How do you rebuild a country decimated by four decades of war and embargoes? Following the withdrawal of the U.S. military, Iraq faces many challenges, from oil revenues captured by the militias and endemic corruption to religious segregation. However, there are glimmers of hope for the country's future.

Street scene in Erbil, Iraq

Théophile Simon

BAGHDAD — With a vast office located at the top of a tower fiercely guarded by the army and a bell to call the staff, Khalid Hamza Abbas is obviously a powerful character, decked out in an impeccable suit. Abbas runs the Basra Oil Company (BOC), the national company responsible for the exploitation of the oil fields in the province of Basra, in the very south of Iraq, from which four million barrels of crude oil flow daily. It’s the equivalent of 4% of world demand and 65% of central government revenue concentrated in a region of only four million inhabitants.

As he explains the profit-sharing scheme between the world’s major oil companies and his public enterprise, the 50-year-old with thin glasses is suddenly stopped dead in his tracks by the ringing of his telephone. He tries a joke to mask his suddenly worried face: "I'm going to ask you to leave my office for a few moments. If I haven't called you back in 10 minutes, call the police."

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