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Indonesia Executions, Nigerian Hostages Rescued, Tanking Twitter

NEPAL ADMITS POST-QUAKE MISTAKES

Nepal officials are acknowledging that the response to Saturday’s devastating earthquake that took at least 5,000 lives has been too slow for survivors in remote villages, who are still waiting for aid to reach them, Sky News reports.

  • Meanwhile, riots have erupted in the capital Kathmandu as thousands of residents express angry at the lack of buses to leave the city, despite government announcements that more services would be deployed. “We have been waiting since dawn,” a student told AFP. “They told us that there would be 250 buses coming, but we haven't seen any of them.” According to The Guardian, more than 100,000 people have already fled the city amid threats of lawlessness and diseases, and officials believe up to 300,000 could leave.
  • A survivor rescued by a French team after spending 82 hours next to three decomposing corpses under the rubble told reporters he survived by drinking his own urine. “I had some hope, but by yesterday I’d given up. My nails went all white and my lips cracked. I was sure no one was coming for me. I was certain I was going to die.” Read his story here.

INDONESIA EXECUTIONS SPARK ANGER

Photo: Sijori Images/ZUMA

Australia has recalled its ambassador to Indonesia after the country executed eight people, including two Australians, by firing squad early today as part of what Indonesia’s attorney general described as “a war against horrible drug crimes,” ABC reports. Among the others killed were four Nigerians, one Indonesian and a Brazilian. According to O Globo, the Brazil government denounced the execution of its citizen as a “grave development in the relationship” between the two countries and said it would “assess” its important economic partnership with Indonesia after presidential calls to spare the convict’s life were ignored. A ninth prisoner, a Filipino woman, was granted a last-minute reprieve after a woman admitted to having tricked her into carrying drugs into Indonesia.


$1.6 TRILLION

A first-of-its-kind World Health Organization study in Europe revealed that air pollution cost the continent a staggering $1.6 trillion, a tenth of its GDP, in 2010. According to the report, outdoor and indoor pollution causes 600,000 deaths a year in the European region in addition to many diseases.


BOKO HARAM HOSTAGES RESCUED

Nigerian troops fighting the Islamist group Boko Haram announced yesterday they had rescued 293 girls and women the jihadists were holding hostage, newspaper Vanguard reports. It appears that those rescued did not include the 200 girls abducted in a school in Chibok in April 2014. The army also said it had cleared “four key terrorist camps” and seized weapons. “Our gallant troops have been making progress in the desired aim of ridding the nation of terrorists and their sanctuaries,” an official statement read.


TWITTER SHARES FALL

One tweet is all it took for Twitter’s shares to plummet by more than 18% yesterday after financial intelligence service Selerity reported the company had lower-than-expected revenues.


BALTIMORE CURFEW ENFORCED

Officials characterized the situation in Baltimore as largely “stable” last night after violent riots erupted Monday over the alleged police killing of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. According to The Baltimore Sun, the police clashed with small groups of people and fired tear gas and pepper spray in an effort to enforce a citywide curfew. Ten people were arrested, most of them for violating the curfew. Speaking from the White House, President Barack Obama said the nation must “do some soul searching.”


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

As Calcalist’s Tamara Wolman writes, bags, pouches and purses are among the world's oldest fashion items, used through the ages for carrying seeds, weapons and eyeliner. Over the course of centuries, it has been an indispensable accessory. “Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, even argued that women’s purses subconsciously represent their genitals and their relation to them,” Wolman writes. “But even without going as far as the subconscious, the handbag has always concealed secrets and significances, a mirror of both the person and their approach to their property and image. And the more society, culture, technology and objects have evolved, the more image has become precious — an asset, perhaps even more valuable than material ones. Accordingly, the handbag has become an object that bears the tension between the functional, containing, concealing and the ostentatious, visible and representative.”

Read the full article, Handbags, The Accessory That's Carried On Through The Ages.


SAUDI KING NAMES NEW HEIR

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has named his nephew, Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, as the new crown prince, replacing King Salman’s half-brother who reportedly expressed “his desire to be relieved from the position,” an official statement said. Read more from AFP.

  • Meanwhile, aid flights to Yemen have been suspended after the Saudi-led coalition destroyed the airport’s runway in the capital Sana’a to prevent an Iranian plane from landing, Reuters reports. After one month of airstrikes on the Houthi Shia rebels there, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross says the humanitarian situation “was difficult enough before, but now there are just no words for how bad it’s gotten.”

GAZPROM PROFITS DROP SEVENFOLD

International sanctions and the ruble’s collapse in value have hit Russia’s gas giant Gazprom badly, with the company reporting net profits for 2014 seven times smaller than the previous year.


MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD



VENEZUELA TO CUT ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION

Public sector workers will work shorter days in Venezuela as part of what the country’s vice president described as “preventive measures” to reduce energy consumption as a significant heat wave drives demand, El Universal reports. By limiting work days to six hours, the government hopes to save 20% in energy. It’s urging the private sector to improve efficiency and citizens to reduce consumption during peak times.


ON THIS DAY


Happy 4th wedding anniversary to Prince William And Kate Middleton. Time for today's 57-second shot of history.

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Geopolitics

It's Not About Mussolini, Searching For The Real Giorgia Meloni

As the right-wing coalition tops Italian elections, far-right leader of the Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, is set to become Italy's next prime minister. Both her autobiography and the just concluded campaign help fill in the holes in someone whose roots are in Italy's post-fascist political parties.

Giorgia Meloni at a political rally in Palermo on Sept. 20.

Alessandro Calvi

-Analysis-

ROME — After Sunday’s national election results, Italy is set to have its first ever woman prime minister. But Giorgia Meloni has been drawing extra attention both inside and outside of the country because of her ideology, not her gender.

Her far-right pedigree in a country that invented fascism a century ago has had commentators rummaging through the past of Meloni and her colleagues in the Brothers of Italy party in search of references to Benito Mussolini.

But even as her victory speech spoke of uniting the country, it is far more useful to listen to what she herself has said since entering politics to understand the vision the 45-year-old lifelong politician has for Italy’s future.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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