When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

blog

Italy's Perilous Fault Lines

As mourners gather today at a funeral for at least 200 of the 292 victims of the Aug. 24 quake in central Italy, the initial search for survivors has been replaced by the grim final task of recovering bodies and identifying the dead. As has happened in the wake of natural disasters in the past, local newspapers have begun turning their attention to how public money has been mismanaged in ways that may have added to the scale of death and destruction. A top prosecutor even spoke about organized crime bidding for reconstruction projects.


Corruption has long plagued Italy, adding an extra layer of vulnerability to a country home to several earthquake fault lines. The graft stands in marked contrast to public servants who tirelessly dig through the rubble with their bare hands in the search for survivors.


In the south, we have gotten used to witnessing a different kind of dramatic scene as another geographic vulnerability is exposed: Italy's 7,600 kilometers of coastline. The ongoing waves of desperate would-be immigrants trying to reach Italian shores has peaked in recent days. Reuters reports that the country's coast guard rescued as many as 6,500 migrants in the southern Mediterranean on Monday alone.


In the land they call the bel paese (beautiful country), locals know a natural disaster can strike at any time. A man-made one too. The good people, at least, will always be there to help.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



RUSSIANS HACKED U.S. VOTER DATABASES

Two recent attempts to breach voter registration databases in the American states of Arizona and Illinois were attributed to Russian spy agencies, "fueling concerns the Russian government may be trying to interfere in the U.S. presidential election," NBC News reports.


— ON THIS DAY

Happy birthday, Melbourne! Good luck blowing those 181 candles … That, and more, in your 57-second shot of History.


APPLE FACES MEGA EU TAX BILL

The European Union's antitrust regulator is set to announce a major tax ruling against Apple's tax dealings with the Irish government, the Financial Times reports. The company is said to have used complicated tax structures in Ireland, but also in Luxembourg, to reduce the amount of corporate tax they pay in other countries. Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, said they would "obviously appeal" the decision if his company does not "get a fair hearing in Europe." Apple may owe from $1 billion to $8 billion.


SUICIDE BOMBER ATTACKS CHINESE EMBASSY IN KYRGYZSTAN

A minivan driven by a suicide bomber exploded near the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan, killing the driver and injuring two security guards and three local embassy employees. China's foreign ministry condemned the attack, calling it an "extreme and violent attack," according to China Daily.


FRANCE ECONOMY MINISTER TO RESIGN

French Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron will hand in his resignation to President François Hollande later today, the French radio station France Info reports. A rising star, Macron, 38, may enter the fray for next year's presidential elections.


KIM DOTCOM TO LIVE STREAM HEARING

A New Zealand judge granted Kim Dotcom the right to live stream his appeal against extradition to the U.S. The 42-year-old founder of file-sharing website Megaupload stands accused of piracy and widespread copyright infringement. His appeal in Auckland high court is expected to last six to eight weeks. Watch Dotcom explain his decision to broadcast the appeal here.


— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Rhinoceros And Champagne — On the Zambezi, Oct. 1997


FAREWELL WILLY WONKA

Gene Wilder, the American actor most famous for his lead role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and who starred in other cult movies such as Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles and Young Frankensteindied yesterday at his home in Connecticut from complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 83.


50 MILLION EUROS

American businessman Frank McCourt, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, has bought French soccer club Olympique de Marseille for an estimated 50 million euros, according to French financial daily Les Echos.


WEINER SEXTING SCANDAL, PART 3

American politician and former Congressman Anthony Weiner and longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin announced that they are separating, after the New York Post reported that Weiner had sent suggestive pictures to yet another woman, including one photograph where his 4-year-old son can be seen, The New York Times reports.


MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH

NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE

What's that perfect geek gift for the Pope? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave Pope Francis a model of the "Aquila" drone that his company is developing to spread Internet accessibility throughout the world, as he and his wife Priscilla met the pontiff at the Vatican yesterday.

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.

Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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