When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Brussels Raids, Pope's Foot Washing, Permission To Pee

POLICE RAIDS NAB BRUSSELS, PARIS SUSPECTS

Brussels police launched a series of raids overnight after Tuesday's deadly terror attacks, detaining at least six people — three of them in a vehicle right outside the prosecutor's office, Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported. Two people were taken into custody in Brussels' Jette neighborhood, and another was detained in a different part of the Belgian capital. There were even more arrests during a raid this morning in the Forest neighborhood of Brussels, CNN reports.

  • Reda Kriket, who French police arrested outside Paris last night, had been wanted since January and is reportedly connected to the suspected ringleader of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, The Localreports. Police found explosives and "an arsenal" during their search of Cricket's home. Authorities describe him as "extremely dangerous" and say he is suspected of preparing an attack on France. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve characterized those plans at an "advanced stage" before his arrest.
  • New names of victims have been made official this morning, Le Soirreports.

POPE FRANCIS WASHES THE FEET OF REFUGEES

Photo: Osservatore Romano/Eidon Press/ZUMA

"We are brothers," Pope Francis said yesterday as he washed and kissed the feet of Muslim, Christian and Hindu refugees in Italy. As AP reports, the holy rite ahead of Easter Sunday re-enacts the foot-washing ritual Jesus performed on his apostles before being crucified, and is meant as a gesture of service.


KOREAN-AMERICAN HELD IN NORTH KOREA

The news agency KCNA announced this morning that a Korean-American man detained in North Korea has confessed to stealing military secrets and plotting subversion with South Koreans, Reuters reports. Kim Dong Chul, a naturalized American citizen with ties to Virginia, was arrested in North Korea in October, admitted to committing "unpardonable espionage" under the direction of the U.S. and South Korean governments and apologizing for his crimes. The confession comes weeks after another American, Otto Warmbier, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal a propaganda banner.


KARADZIC CONVICTED OF GENOCIDE

Former Bosnian Serb politician Radovan Karadzic will appeal yesterday's genocide conviction by the UN court in The Hague, Dutch daily De Telegraaf reports. Karadzic was also found guilty of nine other charges and sentenced to 40 years in prison for orchestrating Serb atrocities throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war that left 100,000 people dead.


CONGO'S PRESIDENT ACCUSED OF FRAUD

Opposition parties in Congo are accusing the re-elected president of fraud and calling for civil disobedience, The New York Times reports. After yesterday's election results were announced — in which President Denis Sassou-Nguesso won 60% of the vote, extending his 32-year reign — a coalition of five opposition candidates said that their own results showed Sassou-Nguesso headed for defeat. It was expected to provide its own vote tally today.


U.S. AIDS IRAQI TROOPS

As part of what the AP characterizes as an "expanding" U.S. combat role in Iraq, U.S. Marines are supporting Iraqi troops in efforts to retake Mosul from ISIS. It reports that about 200 marines provided targeting assistance and artillery fire as Iraqi troops took control of several villages on the outskirts of Makhmour, southeast of Mosul.


ON THIS DAY


From Venice to Elton John, here's your 57-second shot of history.


FAREWELL JOHAN CRUYFF

"J.C. Superstar," the front page of Dutch-language daily nrc.next reads today, as it pays tribute to 68-year-old soccer legend Johan Cruyff, who died yesterday in Barcelona after a long battle with cancer. Read more about him on Le Blog.


PARIS LABOR PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT

Protests against new labor laws in Paris are intensifying with some demonstrators burning vehicles and attacking police, Le Monde reports. Dozens of people have been detained, and several officials have been injured during interventions in turbulent neighborhoods.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

As part of our Rue Amelot essay series, contributor Alidad Vassigh reflects on how to grieve for Brussels. "For life's problems your first stop may be the psychology supermarket available online," he writes. "But in time, you may move on toward spiritual guidance, and if I may use the word, religion (as Francois Mitterrand once said, ‘let us not fear words'). Ultimately, I find that the solutions to life's turmoil lie in the wide and surprisingly flexible sphere of religion, or religiosity, not in therapy or coaching."

Read the full article, Faraway Brussels: How We Do And Don't Grieve For Others.


12 DEAD IN FRENCH BUS ACCIDENT

A minibus crash in central France this morning claimed the lives of 12 Portuguese travelers, including a 7-year-old girl, Le Figaro reports. The bus bound for Portugal crashed into a truck going the opposite direction near the small town of Montbeugny, 300 kilometers from Paris. Officials are still investigating.


MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD



PERMISSION TO PEE

Workers at a call center in Blagnac, France, were told they had to email their bosses for permission every time they needed a pee break, Le Parisien reports.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

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.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ