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Beyond the Middle America stump speeches and coast-to-coast pancake breakfast stops, a U.S. presidential elections is also very much a global event. All the talk of the decline of the economic, political and cultural might of the American empire starts sounding a bit premature every four years, as November approaches. So this morning, it's no surprise to see Hillary Clinton's return to the campaign trail, after a much-talked about near-fainting episode, on the front pages of newspapers in Spain and Italy, Greece and Chile.


The Democratic candidate's recent stumbles have brought closer the prospect of victory by her rival, Donald Trump — a man the world has watched call for a ban on Muslims, a wall to keep out Mexicans and a cold shoulder to NATO allies. German weekly Der Spiegel writes that this is "Trump's Hour." Left-leaning Israeli daily Haaretz summed up much of the sentiment abroad with this morning's headline: "A Trump Victory Suddenly Seems Possible, Though Still Unthinkable."


Egypt's Al-Ahram daily felt it even needed to reassure its readers that Trump's often shocking policy statements about Muslims and the Middle East won't necessarily come to pass. Stands taken by candidates for the White House "do not always get implemented on the ground after they take office."


Meanwhile, the real attraction of this year's race may not be policy, so much as the psychodrama. Swedish magazine Modern Psykologi takes a look at both the Clinton and Trump presidential campaigns on a psychological level, putting the Donald on its cover under the headline "In Trump's head." The Republican candidate is surrounded by words like "ego", "fear of dying", "us & them", "nationalism" and "terrorist threats." This is how the American Empire may start to look to the rest of the world.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY (& WEEKEND)

  • Apple's iPhone 7 goes on sale.
  • Mexico celebrates independence day.
  • Bill Murray will be bartending in Brooklyn (today and Saturday).


FIRST POST-BREXIT EU SUMMIT TO TACKLE SECURITY

European Union leaders are gathering today in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava at a special summit focused on security. It will be the first full EU summit since Britain passed a referendum to pull out of the Union, and British leaders will not be in attendance.


FORMER ITALIAN PRESIDENT DIES

Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who was Italy's prime minister from 1993 to 1994 and president from 1999 to 2006, has died in Rome at age 95.


— ON THIS DAY

Happy birthday to U.S. comedian and writer Amy Poehler, who turns 45 today. That, and more, in your 57-second shot of history.


BRAZIL ACTOR DROWNS ON SET OF SOAP OPERA

TV star Domingos Montagner who starred in Velho Chico, Brazil's most popular telenovela, drowned yesterday in the Sao Francisco river in the northeastern state of Sergipe. The 54-year-old had been swimming with actress Camila Pintanga following a day of shooting when was dragged away by the river's strong currents. Pitanga reportedly cried for help but locals failed to act initially as they believed it was a scene in the soap opera, the BBC reports.


1.9 MILLION

Automaker Fiat-Chrysler announced yesterday the recall of 1.9 million vehicles (including several Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models) after an airbag defect was linked to three deaths and five injuries, Reuters reports.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Whatever the hopes for Cuba, the country's regime seems keen to follow the profit model for the economy to shore up its political grip. Just like China and Russia. For Latin American daily Clarin, Ricardo Kirschbaum writes: "What Cuba is doing is broadening the horizon for its reforms without ditching its central idea, as it seeks to emulate similar regimes elsewhere. The Communist Party recognized the market principle in its April congress, though within "the functioning of the socialist economy," and the regime looks set to follow the principle of most other systems of its ilk (bar North Korea), which firmly maintain single party rule. We know that while the free market can increase political liberties to some extent, this, as Russia shows, is not inevitable."

Read the full article, Cuba Embraces Free Market, China-Style.


DOUBTS ABOUT 2010 POLISH PLANE CRASH RESURFACE

Polish investigators are suggesting that evidence on the site of the 2010 plane crash that killed then Polish President Lech Kaczynski in Smolensk, Russia, was tampered with — rekindling theories according to which Kaczynski was assassinated.

Russia's Director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova has criticized Polish authorities for their ""irresponsible and provocative statements," Russian daily Kommersant reports.


— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Rembrandt In Ecuador — Otavalo, 1993


BRITISH TROOPS CONDEMNED OVER DEATH OF IRAQI BOY

The British Ministry of Defence has said it is "extremely sorry" for the death of an Iraqi teenager who drowned after being forced into a Basra canal by four British soldiers in 2003. Read more in The Guardian.


MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH

COVER YOUR WEBCAM NOW!

According to FBI Director James Comey, covering up your personal webcam is a common-sense security measure, The Hill reports. "You do that so that people who don't have authority don't look at you … I think people ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security," he explained at a conference in Washington.

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Geopolitics

How South American Oceans Can Sway The U.S.-China Showdown

As global rivalries and over-fishing impact the seas around South America, countries there must find a common strategy to protect their maritime backyards.

RIMPAC 2022

Juan Gabriel Tokatlian

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — As the U.S.-China rivalry gathers pace, oceans matter more than ever. This is evident just looking at the declarations and initiatives enacted concerning the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Yet there is very little debate in South America on the Sino-American confrontation and its impact on seas around South America, specifically the South-Eastern Pacific (SEP) and South-Western Atlantic (SWA). These have long ceased to be empty spaces — and their importance to the world's superpowers can only grow.

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