Istanbul Contrasts, FARC Referendum, Melania Mimics


Taksim Square is both symbolic and convenient: Flat in the middle of the bustle of Istanbul, it can serve as a meeting point for locals and tourists â€" and protesters. It is where many of the most ardent supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gathered after tanks took control of the streets Friday night, and where they even found secularists normally opposed to Erdogan’s Islamist rule standing with them against the coup attempt.

But this alliance of convenience is bound not to last. Writing in left-wing Istanbul daily Sozcu, Bekir Coskun notes the contrast between Erdogan’s crowd that took to the streets to celebrate “the victory for democracy” and the crowd that three summers ago demanded Erdogan’s resignation during the Gezi Park protests, just off of Taksim Square. “Neither your ‘uprising’ nor your ‘democratic victory’ makes sense,” Coskun writes. “Because there is no room for bullets in our ‘uprising.’ Instead, there are songs, poems, humor and flowers.”

How this weekend’s failed coup plays out for Erdogan and the future of Turkey remains to be seen. But the initial burst of unity is indeed quickly fading, notes Turkish scholar Kutlu Yildizhan in the Istanbul daily Cumhuriyet: “To be opposed to the Islamist government for any reason or to criticize them or to even suggest an alternative to their way of governance has become enough to be labeled a traitor.” For leaders who are eager to talk about values, it seems the value that matters most in Turkey right now is loyalty.


  • IOC meets to decide on Russian Olympic sanctions.
  • Michigan funeral for Michael Krol, one of the slain Dallas police officers.


At least 26 people, including 24 from mainland China and two from Taiwan, were killed today when a tour bus caught fire in Taiwan’s Taoyuan city, Focus Taiwan reports. The fire broke out after the vehicle crashed into a road barrier while on its way to the airport.


A 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker injured four people from Hong Kong, including two seriously, when he attacked passengers last night on a train with an axe in Wurzburg, in southern Germany, Die Welt reports. The attacker was shot dead by police as he tried to flee. A hand-painted ISIS flag was later found in the room of the teenager.


For Turkish daily Hürriyet, Melis Alphan recounts and reflects on Friday night’s failed coup, and the mob mentality left in its wake: "So we survived the coup attempt, but so quickly an atmosphere of lynching and its Islamic formations scare me. I’m afraid how mob psychology can take over the law and ethics of civic life, and how this is being tolerated. While I celebrate the failure of the coup attempt for the sake of democracy, I’m shocked in the face of those who are not saddened by this flourishing lynching culture."

Read the full article, Turkey’s Failed Coup And The Rise Of A “Lynching Culture”.


North Korea fired three new ballistic missiles into the sea off its eastern coast early this morning, the South Korean Yonhap news agency quotes officials as saying. This comes less than two weeks after U.S. and South Korean forces announced they would deploy an advanced anti-missile system to counter Pyongyang threats.


Speaking the Republican Convention, Donald Trump’s wife Melania has been accused of plagiarizing a speech delivered by current First Lady Michelle Obama to the Democratic National Convention in 2008. CNN reports that entire sentences, about the importance of working hard, respect and dignity can be found almost word-for-word in both speeches.


The Colombian Constitutional Court has approved a measure to hold a national referendum on the peace agreement that was recently signed between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), after four years of talks and a half-century of civil war. See how Colombian daily El Espectador featured the news on today’s front page.


The six richest countries (the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom), hosted only 9% of the world’s refugees last year, a report published by the international human rights organization Oxfam yesterday says. These same countries make up more than half of the global economy.


Corsican Siesta â€" Bonifacio, 1969


A Baltimore judge acquitted yesterday the highest-ranking police officer involved in last year’s death of Freddie Gray, a black detainee who died after suffering a broken neck in the back of a police van, The Baltimore Sun reports. Prosecutors have failed to secure a conviction in the trials of four officers involved in the death of the 25-year-old.


From the Paris Metro to Mad Men, here’s your 57-second shot of History!


“AIDS is still the number two cause of death for those aged 10-19 globally â€" and number one in Africa,” the Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Anthony Lake said in a speech on the opening day of the international conference on the virus yesterday in Durban, South Africa. “Despite remarkable global progress in tackling the HIV/AIDS pandemic, much work remains to be done to protect children and adolescents from infection, sickness and death,” he also said, according to Jeune Afrique.



Need space for all those upcoming selfies on the beach? Dutch researchers say they have created an atomic hard drive that can store 500 times more data than current hard drives.

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Spencer Tunick Nude Installation in Israel

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Salam!*

Welcome to Monday, where the UK pays homage to slain MP David Amess, Myanmar frees thousands of prisoners, and Facebook gets ready to build its "metaverse." Please fasten your seatbelts: Worldcrunch also takes stock of the long-lasting effects — good and bad — the pandemic has had on the air travel industry.

[*Azeri - Azerbaijan]


Myanmar to free political prisoners: Myanmar's junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has announced the release of 5,636 prisoners who had been jailed for protesting the coup that ousted the civilian government in February 2021.

• Powerful Haiti gang behind the kidnapping of U.S. missionaries: The notorious 400 Mawozo gang is believed to be behind the kidnapping in Haiti of a group of Christian missionaries, including 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian. The brazen kidnapping on Saturday comes as crime is spiking since the killing of President Jovenel Moise in July.

• UK to pay tribute to David Amess: British lawmakers will pay homage in parliament to colleague David Amess, who was stabbed to death Friday in what was described by the police as a "terrorist incident." Officers arrested a 25-year-old suspect whose father, Harbi Ali Kullane, worked as a media adviser to a former prime minister of Somalia.

• COVID update: Russia has registered more than 34,000 cases of new infections in the past 24 hours, a new record since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, police in the northeast Italian city of Trieste used water cannons to clear striking dockworkers protesting Italy's new requirements that all employees be vaccinated.

• At least 26 killed in floods in India: Torrential rain has triggered floods and landslides in India's southern coastal state of Kerala, killing at least 26 people.

• Facebook to hire 10,000 in EU to develop "metaverse": The U.S. social media giant plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to build a "metaverse," a virtual reality version of the internet that the company touts as the future.

Punishing parents for children's bad behavior: After limiting gaming hours for minors, China is now considering legislation to reprimand parents if their children exhibit "very bad behavior" or commit crimes.


Colombian daily El Espectador dedicates its front page to Alex Saab, "owner of the secrets" of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The Colombian businessman, wanted by U.S. authorities for allegedly laundering money on behalf of Venezuela's government, has been extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. where he is scheduled to appear in court today.



China's economy registered its slowest pace in a year as the country faces a looming energy crisis with power shortages and increasing pressure on its property sector. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the period between July-September rose 4.9%, the weakest numbers since the third quarter of 2020 and significantly lower than forecasts. The world's second-largest economy faces a debt crisis linked to the China Evergrande Group debt crisis, while energy shortfalls have dropped factory output to its weakest since early 2020, when heavy COVID-19 curbs were in place.


7 ways the pandemic may change the airline industry for good

Will flying be greener? More comfortable? Less frequent? As the world eyes a post-COVID reality, we look at ways the airline industry has been changing through a pandemic that has devastated air travel.

⛽ Cleaner aviation fuel: With air travel responsible for roughly 12% of all CO2 emissions from transport, and stricter international regulation on the horizon, the industry is increasingly seeking sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based fuel. In Germany, state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports that the world's first factory producing CO2-neutral kerosene recently started operations in the town of Wertle, in Lower Saxony. The plant, for which Lufthansa is set to become the pilot customer, will produce CO2-neutral kerosene through a circular production cycle incorporating sustainable and green energy sources and raw materials

.🛃 Smoother check-in: The pandemic has also accelerated the shift towards contactless traveling, with more airports harnessing the power of biometrics — such as facial recognition or fever screening — to reduce touchpoints and human contact. Similar technology can also be used to more efficiently scan physical objects, such as explosive detection. Ultimately, passengers will be able to "check-in" and go through a security screening anywhere at the airports, removing queues and bottlenecks.

✈️ The billion-dollar question: Will we fly less? At the end of the day, even with all these (mostly positive) changes that we've seen take shape over the past 18 months, the industry faces major uncertainty about whether air travel will ever return to the pre-COVID levels. Not only are people wary about being in crowded and closed airplanes, but the worth of long-distance business travel, in particular, is being questioned as many have seen that meetings can function remotely, via Zoom and other online apps.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


"The crimes committed that night are unforgivable for the Republic."

— Emmanuel Macron became the first French president to commemorate the killing of as many as 200 Algerian independence protesters by Parisian police in 1961. For 40 years, French officials ignored the massacre, which took place a year before Algeria gained its independence from France after an eight-year war. In 2012, French President François Hollande acknowledged the killings for the first time on a visit to Algeria, and Macron took it further by attending Sunday's commemoration at the site where the events happened in the French capital. Still, many had hoped the French President would go further and take responsibility for a "state massacre," for a crime many historians consider the most violent repression of a peaceful demonstration in post-War Europe.


​Low trust, high risk: The global rise of violence targeting politicians

The deadly stabbing of British Parliament Member David Amess confirms an ongoing study on trust and governance in democracies around the world: It's bad. In The Conversation, James Weinberg — the study's author and a lecturer in Political Behavior at the University of Sheffield — writes:

⏪ The assassination of Amess, who was stabbed to death in his constituency on Friday, is a tragic moment for democracy. What makes it even more devastating is that such a catastrophic failure is not without precedent or predictability. Labour MP Jo Cox was shot at her constituency surgery in 2016. Before her, another Labour MP, Stephen Timms, survived a stabbing in 2010. And Andrew Pennington, a Gloucestershire county councilor, died in a frenzied attack in 2001 while trying to protect local Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones.

☝️ Beyond these critical junctures in the public debate about politicians' safety, elected representatives must live with an increasingly insidious level of popular cynicism that threatens violence on an almost daily basis.

🇬🇧🇳🇿🇿🇦 Not only are these experiences of abuse or threats of physical violence felt across both sides of the political aisle in the UK — they also appear to be growing more common in other democratic contexts where the climate of politics has been presumed to be both calmer and more volatile, from New Zealand to South Africa.

Read the full piece from The Conversation, now on Worldcrunch.com

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

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