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Dilma Detested, VW Posts Losses, In Defense Of Bratwurst

U.S. TO STEP UP ANTI-ISIS FIGHT

The United States may soon dramatically escalate its military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at a Senate hearing yesterday that the new policy could include more "strikes from the air or direct action on the ground," The Washington Post reports. The recommendations have yet to be officially approved by President Obama, but the newspaper reports that a decision could happen as early as this week.

  • Meanwhile, Iran has been invited to attend talks on Syria starting tomorrow in Vienna, Austria, The New York Times reports. Russia reportedly insisted on the presence of Iran, another ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the war. It's still unclear whether Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will join. The talks will begin tomorrow, with the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey attending.

EXPOSURE THREAT AFTER AFGHAN QUAKE

Those who lost their homes in the earthquake that hit Afghanistan and Pakistan Monday are at risk of exposure as temperatures start to dip, aid workers told the BBC. At least 360 people have died, but rescue operations are still underway, with many more people believed to be trapped under rubble.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



8.8%

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's approval ratings remain stuck in single digits, as a poll published yesterday in O Globo shows that only 8.8% of Brazilians still support the woman they reelected a year ago. Rousseff, who faces a growing threat of impeachment, and her government are viewed negatively by more than 70% of those polled, with tax hikes, the economic slump and widespread corruption the main concerns about her leadership.

For more on Brazil's current political crisis, we offer this Worldcrunch piece, Can Game-Of-Thrones Politics Save Dilma's Job?


UN DENOUNCES U.S. EMBARGO ON CUBA

The United States has voted against a UN resolution calling for the end of the embargo on Cuba, in what The Washington Post characterizes as "an indication of how far they still have to go before relations between them are normal." Only Israel voted with the U.S., while 191 countries supported the resolution, which Washington has rejected for the past 24 years. Speaking on the recent warming between Washington and Havana, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said, "We can only judge based on facts," adding there has been "no tangible, substantial modification" so far. The U.S. delegation initially considered abstaining on the vote, but later decided against it, saying the resolution failed to reflect the "spirit of engagement President Obama has championed."


VERBATIM

"No one should be afraid when eating a bratwurst. As with everything, what counts is the quantity: Too much of something is always bad for health," Germany's Food and Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt said in reaction to the World Health Organization's report that processed meat causes cancer. And if Twitter hashtags are any reference, Germans weren't the only ones deeply affected by yesterday's news.


CHINA ANGRY OVER U.S. TERRITORIAL CHALLENGE

A "war of words" has begun between the U.S. and China after the USS Lassen sailed close to an artificial Chinese island in disputed areas of the South China Sea, a move that Beijing described as "provocation," the South China Morning Post reports. An unnamed U.S. official told AFP yesterday that it plans to "do it again," prompting Beijing to summon the U.S. ambassador. In an article published in English, news agency Xinhua writes that Washington "may have stepped out of line" and described the move as "counterproductive to the solution."


SNAPSHOT

Photo: Marcelo Sayao/EFE/ZUMA

The sun sets Tuesday behind the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Rio's Corcovado peak, one of the main tourist sites in the Brazilian city.


AUSTRIA TO BUILD SLOVENIA BORDER FENCE

Austria's Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner has announced plans to build a fence along the country's border with Slovenia to help "control the influx" of refugees, newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten reports. According to the Financial Times, Slovenia is considering requesting EU military support to help its personnel on the ground, who overwhelmed by the number of people crossing the border. More than 8,000 refugees arrived in Slovenia between Monday evening and Tuesday morning, more than Slovenia's entire army, which puts the number of asylum seekers who have entered the country at 84,000 in the past 10 days alone.


VW POSTS FIRST QUARTERLY LOSS IN 15 YEARS

Scandal-engulfed Volkswagen this reported a third-quarter operating loss of $3.85 billion this morning, its first in 15 years, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. The loss is linked to the cost of recalling 11 million vehicles worldwide, after it emerged they were equipped with illegal software that duped diesel emission tests. VW's new CEO Matthias Müller warned in a statement that profits for 2015 would be "down significantly year-on-year."


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Aspiring writers who don't have an inside track welcome Amazon's latest advances, such as awarding independent authors, but defenders of traditional publishing say it's all a scam to destroy the publishing system and create a new one, Le Monde's Florence Aubenas reports.

Read the full article, How Amazon Seduces France's Self-Published Authors.


INDIA BANS SURROGACY FOR FOREIGNERS

Foreign wannabe-parents will no longer be able to use Indian surrogate mothers after a decision from Narendra Modi's government to limit the practice to childless Indian couples, The New Indian Express reports. For more on this topic, we offer this L'Obs/Worldcrunch piece, Brave New World: Inside India's First Bonafide Baby Factory.


ON THIS DAY


What do the Statue of Liberty, Mussolini and Julia Roberts have in common? Find out in today's 57-second shot of history.

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Geopolitics

Patronage Or Politics? What's Driving Qatar And Egypt Grand Rapprochement

For Cairo, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil,” with anger directed at Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, and others critical of Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood ouster. But the vitriol is now gone, with the first ever visit by Egyptian President al-Sisi to Doha.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with the Emir of Qatar in June 2022 in Cairo

Beesan Kassab, Daniel O'Connell, Ehsan Salah, Hazem Tharwat and Najih Dawoud

For the first time since coming to power in 2014, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi traveled to Doha last month on an official visit, a capstone in a steadily building rapprochement between the two countries in the last year.

Not long ago, however, the photo-op capturing the two heads of state smiling at one another in Doha would have seemed impossible. In the wake of the Armed Forces’ ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, Qatar and Egypt traded barbs.

In the lexicon of the intelligence-controlled Egyptian press landscape, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil” working to undermine Egypt’s stability. Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, was banned from Egypt, but, from its social media accounts and television broadcast, it regularly published salacious and insulting details about the Egyptian administration.

But all of that vitriol is now gone.

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