When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.


Greek Banks Reopen, Cuba-U.S. Thaw, Searching For Aliens

Greek Banks Reopen, Cuba-U.S. Thaw, Searching For Aliens


Photo: Marios Lolos/Xinhua/ZUMA

Greek banks reopened today for the first time in three weeks, marking the return of some semblance of normalcy for the bankrupt country.

  • The withdrawal limit of 60 euros per day has been changed to a maximum of 420 euros per week, potentially meaning the end of interminable queues at ATMs all over the country.
  • The BBC reports that many restrictions remain, including a block on money transfers abroad. Greeks also still face rising prices, with an increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods.
  • Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested Sunday in an interview for Germany's ARD TV channel that she was open to discussing reduced interest rates and extended maturity dates — though she again ruled against "a classic haircut," i.e. writing off part of Greece's huge debt.
  • European markets reacted well to both the reopening of Greek banks and Germany's flexibility, with stocks opening higher this morning (0.4% higher for the pan-European Stoxx 600, 0.3% for Britain's FTSE 100, 0.7% for the French CAC, 0.6% for the German DAX).


"The conditions of the agreement, however, are positively alarming for those who still believe in the future of Europe," former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn wrote on his blog about the agreement Greece reached last week with its creditors, which calls for pension and tax reforms. "Without entering into detail about whether the measures imposed on Greece were welcome, legitimate, effective, appropriate, what I want to underline here is that the context in which this diktat was issued has created a crippling situation."


It's the end of 54 years of Cold War enmity: The U.S. and Cuba have formally restored full diplomatic relations by reopening their respective embassies in Havana and Washington — a crucial step in the rapprochement initiated by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro last year. Diplomatic ties were severed in 1961 after Fidel Castro's revolutionary coup.

"It's a historic moment," Cuban diplomat and analyst Carlos Alzugaray told AP, though there are still lingering difficulties such as restrictions on Americans wanting to travel to Cuba, mutual claims for economic reparations, the resolution of the decades-long trade embargo on Cuba as well as calls for Havana to improve human rights and democracy.


Today marks 64 years since Jordan's King Abdullah was assassinated and, more encouragingly, 46 years since Neil Armstrong's "giant leap for mankind." Time now for your 57-second shot of history.


An explosion has killed at least 27 people at a cultural center in Suruc, southern Turkey, near the Syrian border. According to Turkish daily Hürriyet, the attack is believed to be an ISIS suicide bombing. More than 40 were wounded in the blast in the garden of the Amara Cultural Center close to the Syrian town of Kobane, a battleground between ISIS militants and Kurdish fighters, France TV Info with AFP report. About 300 delegates from youth associations were reportedly staying at the center.


From launching new air routes to studying Mandarin, Egypt's tourism industry isn't just standing idly by while post-revolution problems keep American and European visitors away. As Mada Masr"s Edmund Bower reports, the only market for cultural tourism in Egypt that hasn't shrunk is the Chinese market. Far from decreasing, the number of Chinese visitors is expected to double from pre-revolution levels. "It's not just the government that has been working to attract Chinese tourists," he writes. "Individual tour guides have also been marketing themselves to this new group of visitors. Like so many in Egypt, 40-year-old Hani Hamid has worked most of his life in tourism. He has been a tour guide for the past 28 years. The problems Egypt has faced since 2011 have really damaged his work. ‘I earn a quarter of what I used to, and I have a family of four,' he says. ‘I need to find a new market.'"

Read the full article, Egypt Taps Chinese Tourists As Western Visitors Stay Away



The trial of former Chad President Hissene Habré for crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes is due to open today in the Senegalese capital Dakar. Nicknamed "the African Pinochet," Habré is accused of carrying out thousands of executions during his eight-year rule from 1982 to 1990. According to Human Rights Watch, a 1992 Chadian Truth Commission accused his government of systematic torture and 40,000 political murders.


Yuri Milner, a Russian entrepreneur, announced today in London that he would spend a whopping $100 million in the next decade to search for signals from alien civilizations. Read more about it in the New York Times.


At least eight Afghan troops have been killed in a NATO airstrike in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan, according to security officials. Five other soldiers were also reportedly wounded as an army checkpoint was hit in the latest case of friendly fire in the region, Al Jazeera reports.


Three-time winner of the World Surf League Mick Fanning had a lucky escape after he had to fend off a shark in the middle of Sunday's final in South Africa. Today's front-page story in the South African daily Cape Times includes pictures of the 34-year-old Australian swimming away after he was knocked off his board. Read more in our Extra! feature.


This year's Miss Réunion beauty pageant opened in slippery style. Check out the video here.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


It's A Golden Era For Russia-Turkey Relations — Just Look At The Numbers

On the diplomatic and political level, no world leader speaks more regularly with Vladimir Putin than his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But the growing closeness of Russia and Turkey can also be measured in the economic data. And the 2022 numbers are stunning.

Photo of Erdogan and Putin walking out of a door

Erdogan and Putin last summer in Sochi, Russia

Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS via ZUMA
Aytug Özçolak


ISTANBUL — As Russia has become increasingly isolated since the invasion of Ukraine, the virtual pariah state has drawn notably closer to one of its remaining partners: Turkey.

Ankara has committed billions of dollars to buy the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system, and contracted to Russia to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant. The countries’ foreign policies are also becoming increasingly aligned.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

But the depth of this relationship goes much further. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin more than any other leader: 16 times in 2022, and 11 times in 2021. Erdoğan has visited Russia 14 times since 2016, compared to his 10 visits to the U.S. in the same time period (half of which were in 2016 and 2017).

But no less important is the way the two countries are increasingly tied together by commerce.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest