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Captain Arrested, Morsi Sentenced, AC/DC Drummer Pleads

Captain Arrested, Morsi Sentenced, AC/DC Drummer Pleads

MIGRANT BOAT CAPTAIN ARRESTED

Italian authorities in the port of Catania said Tuesday they arrested the Tunisian captain of the boat that capsized off the Libyan coast Sunday, killing around 800 people, Rome daily La Repubblica reports. He has been charged with multiple homicide. The captain was arrested along with a Syrian man believed to be part of the same smuggling gang. They were part of 27 survivors of the disaster. “The remaining 25 migrants are free. They will be identified following immediate care and are expected to request asylum,” Italian prosecutor Giovanni Salvi was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

  • Meanwhile, the EU is set to launch military operations against human trafficking networks in Libya, an emergency meeting between interior and foreign ministers decided in Luxembourg on Monday, Le Monde reports.
  • The operations will include destroying smuggler ships and dismantling trafficking gangs.
  • The UNHCR said the death toll was likely to rise above 800, including children aged between 10 and 12. Early accounts said 700 people had died.
  • So far this year, at least 1,600 refugees and migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, the UN says.
  • The EU has also called for more cooperation with Libya’s neighboring countries Egypt, Tunisia and Niger.
  • A summit of EU leaders is to take place in Brussels Thursday for more detailed measures.

MORSI SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON

Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Cairo court Tuesday for inciting the killing of protesters during clashes outside the presidential palace in December 2012 that led to the death of 11 people, the BBC reports. This is the first ruling Morsi has faced since he was ousted by the army in July 2013 following mass street protests. The former Islamist president faces serious charges in three other upcoming trials, according to Al Jazeera. On Monday, 22 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were sentenced to death by a Cairo court for attacking a police station near the Egyptian capital in 2013. In an ongoing crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, 1,212 people, including the head of the organization Mohamed Badie, have been sentenced to death since the start of 2014.


ON THIS DAY


Happy 68th, Iggy — and happy 2768th, Rome! Get ready for your 57-second shot of history.


YEMEN AIR STRIKE KILLS 25, CEASEFIRE HOPES

At least 25 people were killed and some 400 wounded in a huge explosion triggered by a Saudi-led coalition air strike on a missile base Monday in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital, the Yemeni state news agency Saba — controlled by the Houthi — reports. According to Reuters, “the number could not be immediately verified, but medical sources said at least 15 people had been killed and scores wounded.

  • Meanwhile, the Iranian deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted as saying Tuesday by the Iranian Tasmin news agency that a ceasefire in Yemen could be announced very soon. “We are optimistic that in the coming hours, after many efforts, we will see a halt to military attacks in Yemen,” he said.

EXTRA!

A rare case of school violence in Spain as a Barcelona student stabbed a teacher to death. See Tuesday’s coverage from the city’s leading daily La Vanguardia.


"ONCE-IN-DECADE" STORM IN AUSTRALIA

Two men and one woman have been found dead in the Australian town of Dungog, in New South Wales, as a powerful storm and floods hit the southeastern state, The Australian reports. As weather conditions are expected to worsen, local authorities have sent emergency alerts to thousands of people in the region. More than 200,000 homes and businesses were without power Tuesday and winds of up to 135 km/h (85 mph) were recorded in some areas. The Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said it was expected to be a “once-in-a-decade storm.”


ACCOUNTANT OF AUSCHWITZ TRIAL

The trial of Oskar Groening, a former SS guard referred to as “the accountant of Auschwitz” and charged with at least 300,000 counts of accessory to murder in the Nazi death camp during World War II, will start Tuesday in the northern Germany city of Lueneburg, Deutsche Welle reports. The 93-year-old is not actually accused of committing murders, but he has admitted witnessing the mass killings of Jews between May and July 1944. Groening, who has also denied being an “accomplice,” faces 15 years in prison if convicted. This trial against a former Nazi officer is expected to be one of the last of its kind.


SNAPSHOT

Photo: Stringer/Xinhua/ZUMA

India launched its new destroyer INS Visakhapatnam into the water for the first time Monday at Mazagon Dock in Mumbai. The brand new warship — the Indian Navy's most powerful and lethal — will be able to operate in nuclear, biological and chemical atmosphere.


603

After already setting a new record speed last week, a Japanese magnetic levitation train beat its record again Tuesday, reaching 603 km/h (374 mph) in a test run near Mount Fuji, The Japan Times reports.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Mara Delius, a writer and culture editor at Die Welt, suggests that the conversation around feminism has taken a terribly wrong turn. First you must ask the right questions: “When I first started in this editorial department, a long-serving editor welcomed me by calling me "blondie" (I thought that was amusing). Later on, a globally renowned philosopher grabbed my breast after I interviewed him (I thought that was disgusting). Nowadays, there's not a single female editor in a position of responsibility (which I find old-fashioned and very surprising). The most recent survey of wages in Germany found that women earn on average 22% less than men for the exact same jobs. Why is that the case? I would like a clear and objective answer, please. Perhaps more people should be asking that question rather than prodding me incessantly about whether I'm a feminist.”

Read the full article, Don't Ask If I'm A Feminist, Ask Why Women Earn 22% Less.


MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD



AC/DC DRUMMER PLEADS GUILTY

Phil Rudd, the drummer of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, pleaded guilty on charges of threatening to commit murder and possession of cannabis and methamphetamine Tuesday in a court in Tauranga, New Zealand, The New Zealand Herald reports. The plea comes as a surprise as the 60-year-old had previously denied all charges. He is accused of telling an associate he wanted a former employee “taken out,” after his solo album failed to perform well.

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Geopolitics

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. And as he approaches an election at home, Turkish President Erdogan is playing the game to his advantage.

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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