TURKEY BLAMES ISIS FOR DEADLIEST TERROR ATTACK
No group has claimed responsibility for Saturday's bombings in the Turkish capital of Ankara, the deadliest terror attack in the country's history, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the prime suspect is ISIS, Hürriyet reports. The attack is believed to have been executed by two suicide bombers outside the city's main railway station, where activists were gathering before a planned protest against the violence between the Turkish government and Kurdish groups. At least 97 people have died, though some sources say the number of victims stands at 128, with hundreds more wounded. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is hoping the upcoming Nov. 1 elections will restore his party's parliamentary majority, has already ruled out postponing the vote.
Read more about it on Le Blog here.
PUTIN DEFENDS SYRIA STRIKE CAMPAIGN
Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his country's airstrike campaign in support of the Syrian government, using an interview with state broadcaster Rossiya 1 TV to say that it's aimed at "stabilizing the legitimate authority in this country and creating conditions to look for political compromise." Putin, however, ruled out sending ground troops to the war-torn country. Syrian troops, meanwhile, continued to reclaim territory in central Syria, Al Jazeera reports.
- This comes after the U.S. announced it had ended its $500 million efforts to build up and train a rebel force inside Syria, The New York Times reported. Washington will instead focus on sending weapons to existing groups, but experts have been warning that between 60% and 80% of American weapons sent to Syria have ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda and its allies.
Angus Deaton, a British professor at Princeton University, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science "for his analysis of consumption, poverty and welfare."
MERKEL IN A PICKLE
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is becoming increasingly isolated inside her own party and coalition government, with more and more voices rising to criticize her stance on the refugee crisis and polls suggesting a shift in the German mood. Writing in the magazine Der Spiegel, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the Social Democratic Party warned that while the country should continue to help the asylum seekers fleeing war, it "will not be able to take in and integrate more than a million refugees every year." The two SPD leaders also called for increased cooperation with Russia in the Middle East and particularly in Syria. "We must prevent a situation in which state structures in Syria either implode or explode for good, leading even more people to head towards Europe," they wrote. Some believe that as many as 1.5 million refugees could reach Germany this year alone, and there are mounting fears that the country's infrastructures are insufficient to deal with the influx. A report in Der Spiegel illustrates the situation showing that a village of just 100 inhabitants will soon welcome 1,000 refugees.
MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
Facebook paid just 4,327 pounds sterling ($6,647) of corporate tax in the UK in 2014, The Guardian reports. This feat was made possible by an official accounting loss of 28.5 million pounds in the country, after the company paid out more than 35 million pounds to its 362 employees.
WASHINGTON POST JOURNO CONVICTED IN IRAN
Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter arrested in Iran in July 2014, has been convicted but details of the verdict are still unknown, AP reports. Rezaian has been accused of espionage, a charge the newspaper has repeatedly denied.
UN: BRAZIL POLICE MURDER FOR OLYMPIC "CLEAN UP"
The United Nations has denounced the Brazilian police for killing youths in an attempt to "clean up" Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, according to an exclusive report in O Estado de S. Paulo daily.
ON THIS DAY
Hugh Jackman and Oktoberfest. We've seen worse ways to start a week. This and more in your 57-second shot of history.
Food has so many hidden aspects and profound effects that need to be made visible, César Rodriguez Garavita writes for El Espectador. "What and how we eat determines how we are using the planet — and ultimately what its fate will be, Michael Pollan explained to us in The Omnivore's Dilemma. What goes into our mouths connects three worlds: agriculture, nutrition and the environment. Each has its political, social and fundamental, legal effects. There is a huge difference between farming single crops on a massive scale, on the one hand, and small-scale farming with a rotation of sustainable crops; between raising poultry in cramped warehouses and pumping livestock full of antibiotics, or raising animals in adequate conditions."
Read the full article, The Ultimate Political Act: Eating.
ISRAEL VIOLENCE CONTINUES
Tensions remain high in Israel and Palestinian territories after days of violent killings. An Arab assailant was shot dead this morning after he tried to stab an Israeli policeman, and four Israelis were stabbed yesterday, Haaretz reports. Israeli troops killed a 13-year-old Palestinian boy in Ramallah yesterday during a protest, while a woman and a child were reported dead after Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. At least 33 Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank this morning, according to The Jerusalem Post.
BELARUS PRESIDENT WINS FIFTH TERM
Photo: Lu Jinbo/Xinhua/ZUMA
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was reelected yesterday for a fifth term in office, winning 83.5% of the vote in an election that most of the opposition boycotted. The vote was monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the organization's report to be published later today could suggest the European Union lift sanctions against the country.
"Do you really think that this country is going to elect a black guy from the South Side of Chicago with a funny name to be president of the United States? That is crazy!" President Barack Obama joked after offering some "advice" to Kanye West, who announced he wanted to run for president in 2020.