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EU Migrant Meeting, VW Recall, Boorish Boris

EU Migrant Meeting, VW Recall, Boorish Boris


EU leaders are set to meet in Brussels today to discuss measures that could help stem the flow of refugees, with a focus on countries outside of Europe such as Turkey, Euronews reports. In a speech to German parliament this morning, Chancellor Angela Merkel said providing more support to Turkey could play a key role in the crisis. "Most war refugees that come to Europe travel via Turkey," she said. "We won't be able to order and stem the refugee movement without working together with Turkey."


Attacks continued in parts of Jerusalem yesterday after Israeli authorities created new checkpoints between Jewish and Palestinian neighborhoods. Police shot and killed a man who reportedly stabbed and injured a 70-year-old woman at the city's main bus station. Another Palestinian was shot dead as he tried to stab a police officer near the Old City, the BBC reports.

  • Meanwhile, the Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour said the situation was "very explosive" and that the Security Council had to find ways of "providing protection" to the Palestinians, Al Jazeera reports.
  • Suggestions by the U.S. State Department that Israel might be using "excessive force" to confront the wave of stabbing attacks by Palestinians drew sharp criticism from senior Israeli cabinet ministers today, Reuters reports.
  • In the past two weeks, 32 Palestinians and 7 Israelis have been killed in the violence.


In an exclusive interview with glossy French magazine Paris Match conducted at his modest apartment in the Vatican, Pope Francis bemoaned greed and the "idolatry of money" that's driving the world to ruin. Read more in Le Blog.


President Barack Obama will keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office in 2017, according to senior administration officials, casting aside his promise to end the war on his watch and instead ensuring he hands the conflict off to his successor, the AP reports.


"The reply we have had from Britain is that he can leave whenever he likes for any medical care he might need, but the European arrest warrant for Assange is still valid. In other words, ‘he can leave — and we will put him in jail,'" The Guardian quoted Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño as saying today. Ecuador had requested that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange be allowed "safe passage" out of its embassy in London so he could receive a medical examination for shoulder pain in a hospital. The website Justice for Assange said the 44-year-old needed an MRI that can only be done with equipment that cannot be brought to the embassy due to size and weight. This comes after the UK called off its 24-hour surveillance of the Ecuadorian embassy, where Assange has been living for 40 months.


Myanmar's government signed a ceasefire deal with eight ethnic minority rebel groups today in the capital Nay Pyi Taw, The Irrawaddy reports. It comes after two years of peace talks but is weakened by the absence of seven of the 15 groups involved in the negotiations, including the largest armed groups the United Wa State Army and the Kachin Independence Organisation. President Thein Sein, whose army-backed party will likely be swept from power in November, said that "even though the agreement is not nationwide yet, we will try harder to gain the agreement with other groups." Myanmar has been in state of civil war with various armed groups since it gained independence from Britain in 1948.


Photo: Arne Dedert/DPA/ZUMA

It took one minute and 12 seconds for 10,200 editions of the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records to fall Wednesday at the Frankfurt Book Fair, beating the world record for book dominoes.


Washington is set to deploy about 300 troops to Cameroon to help a multinational task force composed of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin counter the spread of Boko Haram in Western Africa, NBC News reports. President Barack Obama notified Congress that about 90 military personnel, backed by drones, began deploying Monday to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the region.


With writing and then printing, man had already externalized a part of his memory. But as Jacques Henno reports for Les Echos, those transformations pale, in both speed and breadth, in comparison to the current digital revolution. "A study conducted on 6,000 Europeans a few months ago by Kaspersky Lab, which specializes in cyber security, revealed that 43% of the respondents between 16 and 24 years old believe their smartphones contains practically everything they need to know or remember," Henno writes. "Some experts, like Nicholas Carr, author of Does the Internet Make You Dumber? or to a lesser extent, Betsy Sparrow, from the department of psychology at New York's Columbia University, believe that youth today suffer from ‘digital amnesia.'"

Read the full article, Will Technology Make Human Memory Obsolete?


Syrian troops backed by allied Russian jets launched an attack on rebel-held positions north of the government-held city of Homs today, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports. Russian warplanes reportedly carried out 15 raids in the area. Recapturing the area would help reassert Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's control over the main population centers of western Syria and secure territory linking Damascus to the coastal heartland of his minority Alawite sect, Reuters reports.



The German automotive watchdog KBA (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt) has ordered Volkswagen to recall 2.4 million cars in Germany as a result of the emissions falsification scandal revealed last month, Die Welt reports. The KBA reportedly also rejected a Volkswagen proposal that car owners be allowed to bring in their cars voluntarily for repair.


Our good old Gregorian calendar was introduced exactly 433 years ago today. This, and more, in your 57-second shot of history.


London Mayor Boris Johnson knocked expand=1] a 10-year-old Japanese schoolboy to the ground today while playing street rugby in Tokyo. Toki Sekiguchi, the victim, later said the encounter had been "enjoyable."

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Globalization Takes A New Turn, Away From China

China is still a manufacturing juggernaut and a growing power, but companies are looking for alternatives as Chinese labor costs continue to rise — as do geopolitical tensions with Beijing.

Photo of a woman working at a motorbike factory in China's Yunnan Province.

A woman works at a motorbike factory in China's Yunnan Province.

Pierre Haski


PARIS — What were the representatives of dozens of large American companies doing in Vietnam these past few days?

A few days earlier, a delegation of foreign company chiefs currently based in China were being welcomed by business and government leaders in Mexico.

Then there was Foxconn, Apple's Taiwanese subcontractor, which signed an investment deal in the Indian state of Telangana, enabling the creation of 100,000 jobs. You read that right: 100,000 jobs.

What these three examples have in common is the frantic search for production sites — other than China!

For the past quarter century, China has borne the crown of the "world's factory," manufacturing the parts and products that the rest of the planet needs. Billionaire Jack Ma's Alibaba.com platform is based on this principle: if you are a manufacturer and you are looking for cheap ball bearings, or if you are looking for the cheapest way to produce socks or computers, Alibaba will provide you with a solution among the jungle of factories in Shenzhen or Dongguan, in southern China.

All of this is still not over, but the ebb is well underway.

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