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London Mayor, Aleppo Truce, End Of "Bin Laden" Bills

Alberta fires
Alberta fires


It's Super Thursday in the UK, with voters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland choosing their next parliaments. But it's the British capital, which is set to replace maverick Boris Johnson as mayor, that has eyeballs from around the world. Frontrunner Sadiq Khan, if elected, would be London's first-ever Muslim mayor, which could have global ramifications and shake up the political machinations in Britain.

  • The final poll published in The London Evening Standardsuggests that Khan, the Labour candidate, is on course to defeat Tory's Zac Goldsmith.
  • The campaign has been marred by anti-Semitism accusationsagainst Labour figures, notably former mayor Ken Livingston. Khan has been quick to distance himself from those linked to the accusations.
  • The Guardian has endorsed Khan, and featured a powerful and personal essay by Ugandan-born British writer Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, entitled "Electing Sadiq Khan as mayor of London would be the terrorists' worst nightmare."
  • The Scottish Parliamentary elections will be dissected for the current strength of the independence movement. Read more from The Telegraph.


The Canadian province of Alberta declared a state of emergency yesterday, as frantic efforts to contain the fire devastating the outskirts of the oil sands city of Fort McMurray proved unsuccessful, amid worsening weather conditions, CBC reports.


"I am an innocent victim," Dilma Rousseff told the BBC. The Brazilian president has been accused of obstructing justice in the ongoing corruption investigation around Petrobras, and is likely to be impeached by the Senate next week, which would suspend her from office for 180 days. In the interview, she described the impeachment as "illegitimate" that is "ultimately based on a lie."


Did you know that Chanel No. 5 was introduced on 05/05, 95 years ago? That, and more, in today's 57-second shot of history.


After John Kasich threw in the towel yesterday, Donald Trump takes the reins of a Republican party grappling "with an identity crisis deeper than anything it has seen in half a century," The Washington Post writes. The billionaire's "improbable coup" has "demolished just about every pillar of Republican philosophy," and party members now have to decide whether to support a divisive Trump. In one notable case, neither of the Presidents Bush, father or son, will endorse him.


Autonomous vacuum cleaners are just the beginning. As time goes by, artificially intelligent machines will play ever greater roles in our lives. ForLe Monde, Laurence Devillers (not a robot) starts asking some important questions: "Thanks to brain imaging, researchers know that humans can feel empathy towards mistreated robots, albeit without the same intensity as they do for mistreated humans.

This kind of emotional and social interaction between humans and robots gives rise to several ethical questions. How humanlike should developers be allowed to make robots? How autonomous should the machines be with regards to decision making? What about the ‘six-million-dollar-man' scenario? Should there be limits on the use of robot technology to repair or enhance human beings? For now, few studies have attempted to answer those questions."

Read the full article, The Robot Revolution Is Underway, But Are We Ready?


The United States and Russia reached an agreement to extend a fragile ceasefire in Syria to the city of Aleppo, after days of intense fighting that killed dozens, Reuters reports.


Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is holding a press conference today on his possible resignation after months of growing tension with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Istanbul-based daily Milliyet, a paper reportedly close to Erdogan, welcomed the news on the front page of its Thursday edition.


The Lion Guards — Tunis, 1970


The National Electoral Board of Venezuela has begun a verification process of the 1.85 million signatures presented by the opposition to demand a referendum on President Nicolas Maduro's future. The collapse of Venezuela's economy, with inflation predicted to hit 700% this year, cost Hugo Chavez's successor dearly. A recent poll shows Maduro's approval rating at just 26.8%. Still, it's more than double than French PresidentHollande's 13%. For more, here's a Clarin piece on Maduro clinging to power.



The European Central Bank announced yesterday it would stop printing the 500-euro-bill at the end of 2018, according to French daily Les Échos." Often dubbed the "Bin Laden," the banknote is a favorite among criminals. Others see the move as a major step towards a cashless economy.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

After Abbas: Here Are The Three Frontrunners To Be The Next Palestinian Leader

Israel and the West have often asked: Where is the Palestinian Mandela? The divided regimes between Gaza and the West Bank continues to make it difficult to imagine the future Palestinian leader. Still, these three names are worth considering.

Photo of Mahmoud Abbas speaking into microphone

Abbas is 88, and has been the leading Palestinian political figure since 2005

Thaer Ganaim/APA Images via ZUMA
Elias Kassem

Updated Dec. 5, 2023 at 12:05 a.m.

Israel has set two goals for its Gaza war: destroying Hamas and releasing hostages.

But it has no answer to, nor is even asking the question: What comes next?

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the return of the current Palestinian Authority to govern post-war Gaza. That stance seems opposed to the U.S. Administration’s call to revitalize the Palestinian Authority (PA) to assume power in the coastal enclave.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

But neither Israel nor the U.S. put a detailed plan for a governing body in post-war Gaza, let alone offering a vision for a bonafide Palestinian state that would also encompass the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority, which administers much of the occupied West Bank, was created in1994 as part of the Oslo Accords peace agreement. It’s now led by President Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2005. Over the past few years, the question of who would succeed Abbas, now 88 years old, has largely dominated internal Palestinian politics.

But that question has gained new urgency — and was fundamentally altered — with the war in Gaza.

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