CRUZ AND KASICH TEAM UP AGAINST TRUMP
U.S. Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich have announced their plan to team up against rival Donald Trump in order to prevent him from gathering the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination outright, The Washington Post reports. Sen. Cruz (Texas) is set to stop campaigning in Oregon and New Mexico to help Kasich, while the governor of Ohio will give Cruz a â€œclear pathâ€ in Indiana. Trump described the move as â€œdesperate.â€
OBAMA, MERKEL PUSH FOR TRANSATLANTIC DEAL
Photo: Zhang Fan/Xinhua/ZUMA
During a visit in Hanover, Germany yesterday, U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a vibrant plea in favor of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), saying it would be positive for employment in both the U.S. and the E.U, Die Welt reports. He also praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel, stating she was on the â€œright side of historyâ€ and insisted on the important role Germany has has played in the world in recent years. A new round of TTIP talks is opening today in New York between the European Commission and the Obama administration. Meanwhile, French President François Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will join Obama and Merkel in Hanover today for more general talks.
AUSTRIAN FAR RIGHT THRIVES
Austriaâ€™s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) won the first round of presidential votes yesterday, the Austrian daily Kurier reports. The partyâ€™s candidate, Norbert Hofer, received 36.4% of the votes. He is followed by the Green-backed independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, with 20.4% of the votes. For the first time since World War II, Austriaâ€™s main parties, the Social Democrats and the Peopleâ€™s Party, did not make it to the second round, which will take place in May. In Austria, the role of the president is essentially ceremonial, but he is still head of the army, appoints the chancellor and can, in certain circumstances, dissolve the parliament.
â€" ON THIS DAY
Say â€œhappy birthdayâ€ to my little friendâ€¦! That, and more, in todayâ€™s 57-second shot of history.
800 AL-QAEDA FIGHTERS KILLED IN YEMEN OFFENSIVE
More than 800 presumed al-Qaeda fighters were killed in southern Yemen yesterday in a military offensive carried out by Yemeni forces and backed by a Saudi-led coalition, the AFP quotes an official Saudi statement as saying. The Arab coalition has managed to retake the city of Mukalla, previously an al-Qaeda stronghold. This major offensive was part of a wider military campaign aimed at recovering parts of the war-torn country from al-Qaeda and Houthi rebels. The death toll could not be independently confirmed and no indication was given of civilian casualties.
Marches took place in more than 40 cities across Mexico yesterday, in the countryâ€™s first national march against gender violence. See how La Prensa, a Mexico City daily, covered the protests.
â€œOf course the PKK will escalate the war,â€ Cemil Bayik, leader of the Kurdistan Workersâ€™ Party (PKK), said in an interview with the BBC published today. He blamed Ankara for the deepening conflict between Kurdish armed forces and the Turkish army. â€œThe Kurds will defend themselves to the end, so long as this is the Turkish approach,â€ Bayik said. Meanwhile, Turkish presidential adviser Ilnur Cevik accused the PKK of â€œtrying to create a separate state in Turkey,â€ describing its actions as â€œoutright secession."
U.S. President Barack Obama is set to announce plans today to send 250 additional troops to Syria to work along local Syrian forces battling ISIS fighters, Reuters reports. The move will increase the number of American soldiers in the war-torn country to 300.
BOMBED BRUSSELS METRO STATION REOPENS
Brusselâ€™s Maelbeek metro station reopened this morning, just over a month after a terrorist suicide attack killed 16 people there on March 22. The Belgian television network RTBF reports a tribute wall was made in honor of the victims.
When it comes to relationships, â€œMillennialsâ€ are plagued by a constant feeling that somewhere out there is something better. â€œScientists have shown that there is universal desire for a classic, stable partnership. Only the expectations, and the idea of what it should represent, have changed dramatically over generations,â€ Fanny Jimenez writes in the German daily Die Welt. â€œPeople aren't in relationships anymore because it's comfortable. These days, it must have some added value. A partnership is something people invest in only if it's really worth it. Today's romantic relationships also suffer from a general mania about â€˜optimization.â€™ What do people want? The perfect partner. And the possibilities have become more than vast, thanks to the Internet.â€
Read the full article, No App For That, Millennials Struggle With Love And Commitment.
SERBIAN PRO-EU PM CLAIMS GENERAL ELECTION VICTORY
Serbiaâ€™s pro-E.U. Prime Minister Aleksandar VuÄiÄ‡ and hi Progressive Party claimed a landslide victory in general elections, winning 48.25% of the votes, the Serbian daily Politika reports. â€œI'm almost certain we'll carry on our E.U. integration process,â€ Vucic said after returns showed his victory. Vojislav Šešelj and his far-right Radical Party finished in third place behind the Socialist Party of Serbia. The result means that Šešelj could return to parliament after just being acquitted of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1990s Balkan conflict.
LARGE-SCALE â€œMODERN SLAVERYâ€ IN UK EXPOSED
Al Jazeera has carried out an investigation exposing slave masters and human smugglers in the United Kingdom, revealing a â€œmodern slave tradeâ€ in which foreign workers live in squalid conditions, are sometimes paid $50 (less than half the legal minimum wage) for 12-hour shifts and regularly suffer physical and verbal abuse.
â€" MY GRAND-PEREâ€™S WORLD
No Carnival Today â€" Rio de Janeiro, 1992
BILLY PAUL DIES
Philadelphia-born soul singer Billy Paul, a Grammy Award winner best known for his hit "Me and Mrs. Jones" and his cover of Elton Johnâ€™s "Your Song," died yesterday from pancreatic cancer. He was 81.
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A dinosaur, a hotdog, a rhinoceros, a giant ear, a Stormtrooper â€¦ Because running the London Marathon apparently isnâ€™t hard enough if you dress normally.
Welcome to Wednesday, where Brazil's senate backs "crimes against humanity" charges against Jair Bolsonaro, the UN has a grim new climate report and Dune gets a sequel. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt explores "Xi Jinping Thought," which is now being made part of Chinese schools' curriculum.
• Senators back Bolsonaro criminal charges: A Brazilian Senate panel has backed a report that supports charging President Jair Bolsonaro with crimes against humanity, for his alleged responsibility in the country's 600,000-plus COVID-19 deaths.
• Gas crisis in Moldova following Russian retaliation: Moldova, one of Europe's poorest countries, has for the first time challenged Russia's Gazprom following a price increase and failed contract negotiations, purchasing instead from Poland. In response, Russia has threatened to halt sales to the Eastern European country, which has previously acquired all of its gas from Gazprom.
• New UN climate report finds planned emission cuts fall short: The Emissions Gap Report 2021 concludes that country pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions aren't large enough to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 °C degrees this century. The UN Environment Program predicts a 2.7 °C increase, with significant environmental impacts, but there is still hope that longer term net-zero goals will curtail some temperature rise.
• COVID update: As part of its long-awaited reopening, Australia will officially allow its citizens to travel abroad without a government waiver for the first time in more than 18 months. Bulgaria, meanwhile, hits record daily high COVID-19 cases as the Eastern European's hotel and restaurant association is planning protests over the implementation of the vaccination "green pass." In the U.S., a panel of government medical advisors backed the use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for five to 11-year-olds.
• U.S. appeals decision to block Julian Assange extradition: The United States said it was "extremely disappointed" in a UK judge's ruling that Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, would be a suicide risk of he traveled across the Atlantic. In the U.S., he faces 18 charges related to the 2010 release of 500,000 secret files related to U.S. military activity.
• Deposed Sudan prime minister released: Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been released from custody, though remains under heavy guard after Sudan's military coup. Protests against the coup have continued in the capital Khartoum, as Hamdok has called for the release of other detained governmental officials.
• Dune Part 2 confirmed: The world will get to see Timothée Chalamet ride a sandworm: The second installment of the sci-fi epic and global box office hit has officially been greenlit, set to hit the screens in 2023.
Canadian daily National Post reports on the nomination of Steven Guilbeault, a former Greenpeace activist, as the country's new Environment minister. He had been arrested in 2001 for scaling Toronto's CN Tower to unfurl a banner for Greenpeace, which he left in 2008.
Chinese students now required to learn to think like Xi Jinping
"Xi Jinping Thought" ideas on socialism have been spreading across the country since 2017. But now, Beijing is going one step further by making them part of the curriculum, from the elementary level all the way up to university, reports Maximilian Kalkhof in German daily Die Welt.
🇨🇳 It's important to strengthen the "determination to listen to and follow the party." Also, teaching materials should "cultivate patriotic feelings." So say the new guidelines issued by the Chinese Ministry of Education. The goal is to help Chinese students develop more "Marxist beliefs," and for that, the government wants its national curriculum to include "Xi Jinping Thought," the ideas, namely, of China's current leader. Behind this word jam is a plan to consolidate the power of the nation, the party and Xi himself.
📚 Starting in September, the country's 300 million students have had to study the doctrine, from elementary school into university. And in some cities, even that doesn't seem to be enough. Shanghai announced that its students from third to fifth grade would only take final exams in mathematics and Chinese, de facto deleting English as an examination subject. Beijing, in the meantime, announced that it would ban the use of unauthorized foreign textbooks in elementary and middle schools.
⚠️ But how does a country that enchants its youth with socialist ideology and personality cults rise to become a world power? Isn't giving up English as a global language the quickest way into isolation? The educational reform comes at a time when Beijing is brutally disciplining many areas of public life, from tech giants to the entertainment industry. It has made it difficult for Chinese technology companies to go public abroad, and some media have reported that a blanket ban on IPOs in the United States is on the cards in the next few years.
➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com
"I'm a footballer and I'm gay."
— Australian soccer player Josh Cavallo said in a video accompanying a tweet in which he revealed his homosexuality, becoming the first top-flight male professional player in the world to do so. The 21-year-old said he was tired of living "this double life" and hoped his decision to come out would help other "players living in silence."
Why this Sudan coup d'état is different
Three days since the military coup was set in motion in Sudan, the situation on the ground continues to be fluid. Reuters reports this morning that workers at the state petroleum company Sudapet are joining a nationwide civil disobedience movement called by trade unions in response to the generals' overthrow of the government. Doctors have also announced a strike.
Generals in suits At the same time, the military appears firmly in control, with deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok allowed to return home today after being held by the coup leaders. How did we get here? That's the question that David E. Kiwuwa, a professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham, takes on in The Conversation:
"Since the revolution that deposed Omar el-Bashir in 2019, the military have fancied themselves as generals in suits. They have continued to wield enough power to almost run a parallel government in tension with the prime minister. This was evident when the military continued to have the say on security and foreign affairs.
Economy as alibi For their part, civilian officials concentrated on rejuvenating the economy and mobilizing international support for the transitional council. This didn't stop the military from accusing the civilian leadership of failing to resuscitate the country's ailing economy.
True, the economy has continued to struggle from high inflation, low industrial output and dwindling foreign direct investment. As in all economies, conditions have been exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19. Sudan's weakened economy is, however, not sufficient reason for the military intervention. Clearly this is merely an excuse."
➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com
471 million euros
Rome's Casino di Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi, better known as Villa Aurora, will be put up for auction in January for 471 million euros ($547 million). The over-the-top price tag is thanks to the villa having the only known ceiling painting by Renaissance master Caravaggio.
✍️ Newsletter by Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger
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