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NATO Condemns Russia, Literature Nobel, Bacon's Powers

NATO Condemns Russia, Literature Nobel, Bacon's Powers


NATO is prepared to send troops to Turkey to defend its ally against any threats along its southern border, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press conference before a meeting with defense ministers in Brussels today, Reuters reports. His comments come after Russian jets operating in Syria violated Turkey's airspace over the past week. "In Syria, we have seen a troubling escalation of Russian military activities," Stoltenberg said. "We will assess the latest developments and their implications for the security of the alliance. NATO has already responded by increasing our capacity, our ability, our preparedness to deploy forces, including to the south."

  • Turkey reported two Russian incursions into its airspace in two days, on Saturday and Sunday, which both NATO and Turkey condemned at the time.
  • Moscow fired missiles into Syria from the Caspian Sea for the first time yesterday. The Moscow Times quoted Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying that four Russian warships fired 26 rockets against ISIS.


Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/Xinhua/ZUMA

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has barred Israeli cabinet ministers and lawmakers from visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, also known as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City. The move applies to both Jewish and Arab members of the Knesset, Netanyahu clarified this morning, after mounting criticism suggested the ban only applied to Jewish representatives. The decision was presented as an attempt to reduce tensions between Palestinians and Israeli security forces after clashes erupted in the West Bank during the past week. Because there were several incidents yesterday, Israeli officials have also said security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority is ongoing to avoid an escalation of violence.


Svetlana Alexievich from Belarus has won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time."


International aid group Doctors Without Borders said Wednesday that the U.S. military issued no warning before Saturday's airstrike that killed 22 people and injured 37 at a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, thus violating its own rules of war, The Guardianreports. According to a Department of Defense law of war manual from June 2015, "protection for civilian hospitals may cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded." President Barack Obama called the aid group's head Joanne Liu Wednesday to apologize and offer his condolences for those killed.


As a border guard in 1989, Arpad Bella personally opened a portion of the Iron Curtain between Hungary and Austria to a crowd of East German refugees. Today, while migrants rush to the gates of Europe, he sadly watches history run backward, Doan Bui writes for L'Obs. "Bella has changed. He's aged and his hair has gone gray, his uniform now boxed away with mothballs," Bui writes. "He still lives in Sopron, at the border with Austria, the same border that refugees are desperately trying to reach to make it to the West. ‘Every evening, we watch the news with my wife,' he says. ‘These images that are shown over and over again haunt me. It's as if the past has suddenly returned.'"

Read the full article, Iron Curtain Border Guard Watches New Walls Rise.


Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff faces a serious impeachment threat after the Federal Accounts Court ruled that her government's accounting practices in last year's budget were illegal, Folha de S. Paulo reports. The court accused the government of illegally borrowing money from state-owned banks to make up budget shortfalls. Another judicial body, the electoral court known as the TSE, ruled in favor of probing alleged illegalities in Rousseff's re-election campaign last year. This means that the president, whose popularity is at a record low, could now face a legal battle to declare her re-election invalid and have her forced out of office.


"If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money," current 007 Daniel Craig told Time Out London. The 47-year-old English actor, who will be starring in the franchise's latest installment Spectre later this month, added, "Now? I'd rather break this glass and slash my wrists." In the strongly worded interview, he also offered guidance to his potential successor: "My advice to the next James Bond? Don't be shit!"


Michael Horn, chief of Volkswagen in the United States, admitted in testimony that he was aware of the car company's emissions cheating devices as early as the spring of 2014. His testimony is due to be presented today to a House committee investigating the scandal. He also says he was "told that there was a possible emissions non-compliance that could be remedied" after a study by West Virginia University was published. "I was informed that EPA Environmental Protection Agency regulations included various penalties for non-compliance with the emissions standards and that the agencies can conduct engineering tests which could include ‘defeat device' testing or analysis," Horn's testimony continues. "I was also informed that the company engineers would work with the agencies to resolve the issue."


Libération dedicated today's front page to an in-depth story about how the European Union has failed to restrict the use in everyday products of endocrine disruptors, which researchers say are responsible for cancers, diabetes and poor sperm quality. Read more in Le Blog.


FIFA'S ethics committee has provisionally suspended the soccer governing body's chief Sepp Blatter, Secretary General Jerome Valcke and Vice President Michel Platini for 90 days, Le Monde reports. The three men are being investigated for corruption.


It's been 10 years since the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that killed 87,351 people in Kashmir. That and more in today's shot of history.


Dell, the world's leading PC manufacturer, and data storage specialist EMC have had discussions that could lead to the biggest tech merger ever. The Wall Street Journal reports that a deal could be reached within a week.



Researchers from the Mannheim Institute for Public Health found that nearly one in 10 young smartphone users (8%) is facing what can be classified as an addiction to the devices. Read more on our blog.


According to Page Six, it's bacon. That its conclusion after visiting 116-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones, the world's oldest person, who eats the ambrosial food every day.

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Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023

Before heading to South Sudan to continue his highly anticipated trip to Africa, the pontiff was in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he delivered a powerful speech, in a country where 40 million Catholics live.

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023
Pierre Haski


PARIS — You may know the famous Joseph Stalin quote: “The Pope? How many divisions has he got?” Pope Francis still has no military divisions to his name, but he uses his voice, and he does so wisely — sometimes speaking up when no one else would dare.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Belgian Congo, a region plundered and martyred, before and after its independence in 1960), Francis has chosen to speak loudly. Congo is a country with 110 million inhabitants, immensely rich in minerals, but populated by poor people and victims of brutal wars.

That land is essential to the planetary ecosystem, and yet for too long, the world has not seen it for its true value.

The words of this 86-year-old pope, who now moves around in a wheelchair, deserve our attention. He undoubtedly said what a billion Africans are thinking: "Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: It is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered!"

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