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 â€œstrikes from the air or direct action on the ground,â€ 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. Itâ€™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-PÈREâ€™S WORLD
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseffâ€™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 Brazilâ€™s current political crisis, we offer this Worldcrunch piece, Can Game-Of-Thrones Politics Save Dilmaâ€™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 â€œan indication of how far they still have to go before relations between them are normal.â€ 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, â€œWe can only judge based on facts,â€ adding there has been â€œno tangible, substantial modificationâ€ so far. The U.S. delegation initially considered abstaining on the vote, but later decided against it, saying the resolution failed to reflect the â€œspirit of engagement President Obama has championed.â€
â€œNo 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,â€ Germanyâ€™s Food and Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt said in reaction to the World Health Organizationâ€™s report that processed meat causes cancer. And if Twitter hashtags are any reference, Germans werenâ€™t the only ones deeply affected by yesterdayâ€™s news.
CHINA ANGRY OVER U.S. TERRITORIAL CHALLENGE
A â€œwar of wordsâ€ 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 â€œprovocation,â€ the South China Morning Post reports. An unnamed U.S. official told AFP yesterday that it plans to â€œdo it again,â€ prompting Beijing to summon the U.S. ambassador. In an article published in English, news agency Xinhua writes that Washington â€œmay have stepped out of lineâ€ and described the move as â€œcounterproductive to the solution.â€
Photo: Marcelo Sayao/EFE/ZUMA
The sun sets Tuesday behind the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Rioâ€™s Corcovado peak, one of the main tourist sites in the Brazilian city.
AUSTRIA TO BUILD SLOVENIA BORDER FENCE
Austriaâ€™s Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner has announced plans to build a fence along the countryâ€™s border with Slovenia to help â€œcontrol the influxâ€ 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 Sloveniaâ€™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. VWâ€™s new CEO Matthias Müller warned in a statement that profits for 2015 would be â€œdown significantly year-on-year.â€
Aspiring writers who don't have an inside track welcome Amazonâ€™s latest advances, such as awarding independent authors, but defenders of traditional publishing say itâ€™s all a scam to destroy the publishing system and create a new one, Le Mondeâ€™s Florence Aubenas reports.
Read the full article, How Amazon Seduces Franceâ€™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 Modiâ€™s government to limit the practice to childless Indian couples, The New Indian Express reports. For more on this topic, we offer this Lâ€™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 todayâ€™s 57-second shot of history.
A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.
A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."
The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.
Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021
Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?
The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.
The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.
The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."
The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."
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