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Merkel's Refugee U-Turn, Jerusalem Clashes, First F-Bomb

GERMANY REINSTATES BORDER CONTROLS

In an unexpected reversal of Germany refugee policy, the country has introduced temporary controls on its border with Austria and halted all cross-border train traffic with its neighbor. The decision to temporarily exit the Schengen open-border system comes after German regions said they could no longer cope with a record influx that saw at least 63,000 migrants arriving in the southern city of Munich alone since the end of August, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. And earlier predictions that Germany would welcome 800,000 migrants may be a gross underestimation, as Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said this morning that the figure could in fact reach one million.

  • In an interview with Germany's state broadcaster ARD, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said the measure's aim was "to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country," adding that it was "urgently necessary for security reasons." He also insisted on the need to know who comes in the country, amid reports that fake Syrian passports are in wide circulation. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters the border checks would probably last a few weeks and stressed that "many who are not real refugees are on their way." An alleged ISIS terrorist from Morocco, posing as a Syrian refugee, was recently arrested in the city of Stuttgart. Read more about Germany's policy reversal in our Extra! feature.
  • The Czech Republic also announced it would beef up security along the border with Austria, and Vienna said it would send the army to its border with Hungary to bolster checks.
  • EU interior ministers are meeting today in Brussels to discuss the refugee crisis. The Guardian says it could turn into "a bitter showdown" as eastern European countries refuse to accept compulsory quotas. According to AFP, the group decided to take action against boats used to smuggle people across the Mediterranean from Libya, including to destroy them.
  • This comes after another tragic accident in the Mediterranean Sunday, in which 34 people drowned, including four babies and 11 young children, as their boat capsized on the way to Greek islands.
  • France has suspended an honorary consul in the Turkish town of Bodrum, where thousands of people depart to reach Greek islands, after secret footage broadcast on France 2 revealed she was selling inflatable dinghies to migrants. She admitted this was fueling human trafficking but said that if she stopped selling them at her store, then somebody else would.
  • An Iranian woman who was traveling on the same boat as Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian boy whose dead body washed up on Bodrum's beach almost two weeks ago, claimed on Australian television that the boy's father was in fact a "people smuggler" and asked her to stay quiet about it. She also said he was responsible for the accident that killed his and her family, saying he had been driving the boat much too fast. The father denied the accusations. Read more from The Daily Telegraph.

MEXICAN TOURISTS MISTAKENLY KILLED IN EGYPT

Egypt's security forces have killed 12 people, including Mexican tourists and their Egyptian guides, by mistake during an operation targeting terrorists, Mada Masr reports, citing Interior Ministry sources. The victims were traveling as part of a convoy in the Western Desert when they came under attack. Another 10 people were injured. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto demanded "a thorough investigation."


SNAPSHOT

Photo: Qin Lang/Xinhua/ZUMA

The world's No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic won his second U.S. Open singles title Sunday — and a 10th Grand Slam singles title — by defeating Roger Federer 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in New York.


VERBATIM

"It doesn't have to be unfair. Poverty isn't inevitable. Things can, and they will, change," Britain's new Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a victory speech that highlighted his strong anti-austerity stance. The 66-year-old, who was a 200-1 outsider when the leadership contest began three months ago, was elected with almost 60% of more than 400,000 votes cast by party members, a victory that dwarfs even that of Tony Blair in 1994. Corbyn said his party would re-nationalize railways and energy companies and scrap Britain's nuclear weapons, prompting Prime Minister David Cameron to call Labour "a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family's security."


TALIBAN RAIDS AFGHAN JAIL

Hundreds of prisoners who were held in central Afghanistan's city of Ghazni have escaped after the Taliban raided the facility, killing at least four police guards, Al Jazeera reports. According to the Interior Ministry, 355 of the prison's 436 inmates escaped. Most were charged with crimes against national security.


ON THIS DAY


Grace Kelly, who became Princess Grace when she married Monaco's Prince Rainier III, died on this day in 1982, after a stroke caused her to crash her car. That and more in today's shot of history.


CLASHES ERUPT AT AL-AQSA MOSQUE

Israeli forces and Palestinians clashed for a second day this morning after police stormed Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, allegedly to remove a group of young Palestinians who attacked security forces and barricaded themselves inside the compound, Haaretz reports. According to the Israeli police, Palestinians were planning to disrupt the commemorations of the Jewish New Year.


879 DAYS

At 57 years old, Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has become the the world's most experienced space flier after spending 879 days in orbit. Padalka was greeted by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev after his descent capsule landed in Kazakhstan Saturday. "You've spent so much time in space, but you look great," the president told Padalka.


CALIFORNIA DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency yesterday in Lake and Napa counties after two massive fires burned more than 115,000 acres in Northern California, The Los Angeles Times reports. According to experts, the fire in Lake County was one of the fastest-spreading in recent history, scorching 40,000 acres in fewer than 12 hours.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Some adults between 45 and 55 years old act more like they're 25 or 30. And at least one sociologist says they may be onto something, Marie-Pierre Genecand writes for Le Temps. "The so-called quincado is a ‘50-year-old teen.' The French portmanteau designation appeared in 2013 to describe people of a certain age and socio cultural background living with, well, a particular zest," the journalist writes. "Men have been having midlife crises forever, so this term mostly applies to women. The quincado is a baby boomer who grew up in the 1960s or 1970s and prefers freedom over authority, parties over chores, a chosen profession over suffered labor, improvised trips over organized holidays."

Read the full article, In Praise Of The "50-Year-Old Teen."


GREECE ELECTION DEBATE

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras and his most serious opponent for Greece's top job, New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis, will face each other for a second and final televised debate ahead of next Sunday's general election. The latest polls show the radical-left and center-right parties in a dead heat.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



FIRST F-BOMB DISCOVERED

A British historian has found what he believes to be the earliest recorded use of the F-word in English — in court documents from Dec. 8, 1310, referring to a defendant nicknamed "Roger Fuckebythenavele." "Either this refers to an inexperienced copulator, referring to someone trying to have sex with the navel, or it's a rather extravagant explanation for a dimwit, someone so stupid they think this that is the way to have sex." Paul Booth told Mail Online.

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Geopolitics

Patronage Or Politics? What's Driving Qatar And Egypt Grand Rapprochement

For Cairo, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil,” with anger directed at Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, and others critical of Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood ouster. But the vitriol is now gone, with the first ever visit by Egyptian President al-Sisi to Doha.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with the Emir of Qatar in June 2022 in Cairo

Beesan Kassab, Daniel O'Connell, Ehsan Salah, Hazem Tharwat and Najih Dawoud

For the first time since coming to power in 2014, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi traveled to Doha last month on an official visit, a capstone in a steadily building rapprochement between the two countries in the last year.

Not long ago, however, the photo-op capturing the two heads of state smiling at one another in Doha would have seemed impossible. In the wake of the Armed Forces’ ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, Qatar and Egypt traded barbs.

In the lexicon of the intelligence-controlled Egyptian press landscape, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil” working to undermine Egypt’s stability. Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, was banned from Egypt, but, from its social media accounts and television broadcast, it regularly published salacious and insulting details about the Egyptian administration.

But all of that vitriol is now gone.

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