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Turkey

Istanbul Aftermath, Scotland's Brexit, Toyota Recall

SPOTLIGHT: AIRPORT TERROR, BRUSSELS TO ISTANBUL

After a week of Brexit uncertainty and anxiety, outright horror has returned to the top of the news. The wail of sirens and scenes of panic are back on our screens after last night's terrorist attack at Istanbul's airport killed dozens of people. Yet it is not too much of a stretch to connect the bloodshed in Turkey's largest city with the administrative-cum-existential angst spreading from London to Brussels. Not only does basic world geography tell us that Istanbul's Ataturk Airport is firmly on the European continent, but only a few years ago Turkey itself appeared pointed toward European Union membership that many hailed as a bridge between East and West.


There may also be much more literal, and recent, connections. Quoted this morning in the Brussels-based daily Le Soir, Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders pointed to similarities between yesterday's attack in Istanbul and the one at the Brussels' airport in March, in both the operational tactics and the targeting of the international terminal. As we know, the attack on the Belgian (and EU) capital was carried out by the terrorist group ISIS. And now Turkish authorities indicate ISIS is the likely culprit in Istanbul as well. These days, no matter what the politicians might say or how the people might vote, the Bosphorus and English Channel seem closer than ever.

  • Witnesses say three attackers used assault weapons and bombs to carry out the attack on one of the world's busiest airports.
  • The latest toll has risen to 41 dead and 239 wounded
  • The attack, the latest in a long series to hit Turkey this year, took place hours after Turkey mended ties with Israel and Russia, Hürriyet reports. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences after the attack and AFP reports that him and Erdogan held their first phone conversation since Ankara downed one of Moscow's jets in Syria last year.
  • See how Turkish daily Hürriyet "curses" the attackers on its front page.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



BREXIT: DAY 2 OF EU CRISIS SUMMIT

A summit of European Union leaders in Brussels continues for a second day, without Britain, as the 27 members discuss the Union's future after Brexit, the BBC reports. Yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron bid farewell to the other leaders, and later said the tone of the meeting was of "sadness and regret," according to Politico. EU leaders are pushing for Britain to initiate the exit procedures quickly, but it's still unclear whether Cameron himself will do it or leave it to his successor.

  • British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn lost a vote a confidence among Labour party MPs yesterday, meaning that both Labour, as well as Cameron's ruling Conservatives, will have to choose a new leader ahead of a potential general election, The Guardian reports. Corbyn refused to resign saying that doing so would betray party members and supporters who "democratically elected" him last year.
  • Asian shares rose today, following similar trends in the U.S. and Europe yesterday after a $3 trillion post-Brexit global rout.

TOYOTA RECALLS 3.37 MILLION CARS

Japanese carmaker Toyota has recalled 3.37 million vehicles worldwide over possible problems with airbags and emissions control units, Reuters reports.


— ON THIS DAY

From Marilyn Monroe to ISIS, here's what happened today in History, in 57 seconds.


CALIFORNIA GETS A VOTE ON MARIJUANA

Voters in California will choose whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana from the age of 21, after an initiative garnered enough signatures to trigger a vote. The "Adult Use of Marijuana Act" would also allow growing up to six pot plants for personal use. Read more from NBC.


EU TO EXTEND GLYPHOSATE LICENSE

The European Commission will extend by 18 months the license for controversial weed-killer glyphosate, despite fears it might provoke cancer, Deutsche Welle reports.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

How I Became the Most German Jew in the World is a title that might surprise someone browsing the bookstore shelves. But its author, Shahak Shapira, is a surprising kind of Jew — and German: "Recounting his story recently to the German news agency DPA, Shapira tells about how one of his grandfathers escaped Auschwitz, while the other was murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. In spite of that, his mother decided to move from Israel to a small German town with her German boyfriend when Shapira was 14. The town also happened to be a stronghold for neo-Nazi groups, and so insults such as ‘Jewish pig' were a part of his growing up, Shapira recalls. ... This personal history has led him to a rather simple conclusion: Racism against anyone, of any background, is ‘stupid.' He sums it up this way: ‘No religion in this world orders you to be an asshole,' he says. ‘That is a decision that each and every person is allowed to make themselves.'"

Read the full item on Worldcrunch's Le Blog, "The World's Most German Jew" Takes On Neo-Nazis And Tinder Love.


TRIAL OF UBER FOUNDER IN SOUTH KOREA DELAYED

Uber's co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick was supposed to appear in court in Seoul today for illegally continuing to operate the service after it was banned, but asked again for it to be postponed. Read more from Yonhap.


MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Horse-Drawn Time Machine — Peć, 1966


VERBATIM

"I wasn't the iceberg. I did not drown 2,000 people." Actor Billy Zane, most famous for his role of Cal in Titanic said yesterday he believed Rose (Kate Winslet) should have ended up with his character. "He was a little misunderstood," Zane said.


— MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH

DISSECTING LENIN

A smartphone game that lets you perform an autopsy on Communist leader Lenin has sparked a controversy in Russia.

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Future

Hey ChatGPT, Are You A Google Killer? That's The Wrong Prompt People

Reports that the new AI natural-language chatbot is a threat to Google's search business fails to see that the two machines serve very different functions.

Photo of bubbles exploding

Mind blowing power

DeepMind
Tristan Greene

Since OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT to the world last November, people have wasted little time finding imaginative uses for the eerily human-like chatbot. They have used it to generate code, create Dungeons & Dragons adventures and converse on a seemingly infinite array of topics.

Now some in Silicon Valley are speculating that the masses might come to adopt the ChatGPT-style bots as an alternative to traditional internet searches.

Microsoft, which made an early $1 billion investment in OpenAI, plans to release an implementation of its Bing search engine that incorporates ChatGPT before the end of March. According to a recent article in The New York Times, Google has declared “code red” over fears ChatGPT could pose a significant threat to its $149-billion-dollar-a-year search business.

Could ChatGPT really be on the verge of disrupting the global search engine industry?

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