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Obama/GOP Clash On Iran, Apple Watch, Senior Sprint

Obama/GOP Clash On Iran, Apple Watch, Senior Sprint

Republican senators appear determined to derail a possible deal with Iran on the country’s nuclear program, and their decision to send a letter signed by 47 senators to Tehran has worsened tensions between the GOP and the White House, The Washington Postreports. In the letter, the senators tell Iranian officials that the next U.S. president could revoke any deal “with the stroke of a pen” and that the Congress could also modify its terms. President Barack Obama mocked the move, saying Republicans were forming an “unusual coalition” with Iranian hard-liners, who also oppose an agreement. This comes just one week after Republican lawmakers invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress against a potential deal.

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On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell successfully tested his telephone — or was it Chuck Norris? Time for your 57-second shot of history.

At least 10 people, including three French Olympic athletes, died in a helicopter crash yesterday in Argentina, where the athletes were taking part in a new reality TV show, newspaper Le Parisien reports. The accident happened when two helicopters collided during the filming. The two Argentine pilots and the five French TV crew members are also among the victims. President François Hollande expressed his condolences to the families and honored the memory of athletes who “made France shine so bright.” Read more in English from CNN.


Photo above: Jini/Xinhua/ZUMA
“Those who are against us, there's nothing to be done. We need to pick up an ax and cut off his head. Otherwise we won't survive here,” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said of Israeli Arabs who are disloyal to the state. Read more from Haaretz.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order yesterday declaring oil-rich Venezuela a threat to national security and slapping seven officials with sanctions, raising already high tensions between the two countries, Reuters reports. This comes weeks after President Nicolas Maduro accused the U.S. of trying to topple him amid a worsening economic crisis fueled in part by falling oil prices. The country’s foreign minister said it would respond soon to the measures.

As America Economia’s Guillermo Leon Montoya writes, as unlikely as it may sound, many of the countries we closely associate with planning and foresight are turning their attention to Colombia for inspiration on how to address the parallel problems of industry pollution, energy production and food security. “The South American country boasts enviable geographical and climatic conditions, exceptional biodiversity and above all, a varied and preponderant farming sector,” Montoya writes. Together these factors are sparking talk about what some call the ‘new economy’ or ‘bioeconomy.’”
Read the full article, Imagining An Economy Built Around Plants, Not Plastic

Simone Gbagbo, Ivory Coast’s former first lady, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for undermining state security, disturbing public order and organizing armed gangs after her husband and his supporters rejected the 2010 presidential election result, Le Monde reports. About 3,000 people are believed to have died in the violence that followed the election, won by incumbent Alassane Ouattara. Laurent Gbagbo is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. The trial is expected to open in July.

Apple unveiled its Apple Watch yesterday, revealing that prices from the gadget range from $349 to an incredible $17,000, or as Time puts it, “an arm and a wrist.” The primo version features an 18-karat yellow gold case and is the most expensive product the company has ever offered. Yesterday’s event otherwise proved a timely occasion for the publication of more leaked documents from Edward Snowden, this time showing that the CIA has been trying for years to break the security of Apple products. Read more from The Intercept.

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In a televised address, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that pro-Russian rebels had withdrawn “a significant amount” of their heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine, the BBC reports. He added that Kiev had also pulled back “the lion's share of its rocket and heavy artillery systems.” Meanwhile, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin admitted yesterday that Moscow’s plan to “return Crimea” was initiated before a referendum on the region’s self-determination was held there, but after the Maidan revolution ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych.


With her laid-back attitude, angelic face and Jasmine revolution experience, Deena Abdelwahed carves a perfect image of a modern, forward-looking Tunisia. She will also make you dance. Read more about the DJ with Tunisia at her fingertips here.

Charles Eugster, an incredible 95-year-young retired dentist from the UK, set a new record for the 200-meter sprint in his age category and a fitness example for us all. Eugster broke the previous record by more than 2 seconds with an impressive 55.48 seconds. Watch his performance here.

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Why Every New Parent Should Travel Alone — Without Their Children

Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra travels to Italy alone to do some paperwork as his family stays behind. While he walks alone around Rome, he experiences mixed feelings: freedom, homesickness and nostalgia, and wonders what leads people to desire larger families.

Photo of a man sitting donw with his luggage at Athens' airport

Alone at Athens' international airport

Ignacio Pereyra

I realize it in the morning before leaving: I feel a certain level of excitement about traveling. It feels like enthusiasm, although it is confusing. I will go from Athens to Naples to see if I can finish the process for my Italian citizenship, which I started five years ago.

I started the process shortly after we left Buenos Aires, when my partner Irene and I had been married for two years and the idea of having children was on the vague but near horizon.

Now there are four of us and we have been living in Greece for more than two years. We arrived here in the middle of the pandemic, which left a mark on our lives, as in the lives of most of the people I know.

But now it is Sunday morning. I tell Lorenzo, my four-year-old son, that I am leaving for a few days: “No, no, Dad. You can’t go. Otherwise I’ll throw you into the sea.”

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