ABDESLAM EXTRADITED TO FRANCE
Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the terrorist group that carried out the Paris attacks last November in which 130 people were killed, was extradited this morning from Belgium to France. He will be tried by French courts for participation in terrorist murder and the activities of a terrorist organization, Le Monde reports. The 26-year-old was arrested in Brussels during a police raid on March 18. The Belgian federal prosecutor said Salah Abdeslam had been "surrendered to the French authorities this morning." In an interview with another French daily, Libération, Abdeslam's Belgian lawyer Sven Mary described him as having "the intelligence of an empty ashtray." Mary said of his client: "He and his friends managed to make a whole religion seem unlikeable. I asked him if he had read the Koran and he told me he had read an interpretation online. For simple minds, the Internet is perfect, it's the maximum of what they can understand."
TRUMP, CLINTON BOOST LEADS
Photo: Ricky Fitchett/ZUMA
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the two favorites for the Democrat and Republicans presidential nominations, increased their respective leads after yesterday's five primaries in the northeastern states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Trump won all five states and now has 949 delegates, short of the 1,237 that would automatically make him the GOP candidate, The New York Times reports. Clinton, who needs 2,383 delegates to be the official Democrat candidate, has passed the 2,000 mark after winning four of the five states, while challenger Bernie Sanders took home Rhode Island.
— ON THIS DAY
Good luck getting Beethoven's "Für Elise" out of your head after watching today's 57-second shot of history!
SPANISH PARLIAMENT DISSOLVED
King Felipe VI of Spain announced last night "there is no candidate with the necessary support" to replace Mariano Rajoy, leader of the Popular Party (PP) and caretaker prime minister since the country's two-party system came to an end last year, El País reports. In December 2015, general elections led to a fragmented, four-party parliament, with the conservative Popular Party, the Socialist Party, and the anti-austerity parties Podemos and Ciudadanos. After these parties failed to form a coalition in a final round of talks, Spain is set for new general elections in the hope to reach a parliamentary majority. The vote is scheduled to take place on June 26.
DOZENS KILLED IN ALEPPO FIGHTING
Violent clashes between Syrian government forces and rebel groups in the northern city of Aleppo and its outskirts yesterday killed at least 36 people, including eight children and five rescue workers, Al Jazeera reports. Rebel shelling reportedly killed 19 people and 11 people died in government airstrikes. The renewed clashes further undermine an already shaky ceasefire between the Syrian regime and rebel groups.
Trying to think about the world differently and developing a critical mindset are commendable undertakings. But to Les Echos' Jérôme Lecoq, we may have gotten just slightly ahead of ourselves with this newfound intellectual enthusiasm. For starters, it requires real training: "Why on Earth are we expecting to do with our thoughts something we'd never be asked to do with our bodies? We know full well that in order to learn, we need to practice, to train, to face the real world. Want to learn judo? Put on your kimono, step on the tatami and start by falling on your back without putting your arms out. Do that a thousand times and you'll begin to grasp the need for the rigor and learning this martial art requires. The same goes for philosophy."
Read the full article, Learning To Philosophize Is Like Learning To Swim.
"Sadly, crushing freedom of peaceful assembly and violating other rights is entirely in keeping with the Egyptian government's response to any kind of criticism," Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Magdalena Mughrabi said in a statement published yesterday. On Monday, Egyptian authorities carried out mass arrests — at least 238, including foreigners, activists and journalists, according to the human rights organization — to prevent protests against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
TWO-DAY WORK WEEK
Venezuelan public workers woke up this morning to newspaper headlines telling them to stay home. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced in a televised address yesterday that the government is slashing additional working hours for the country's 2.8 million public workers, in a bid to save energy. Read more in our "Extra!" feature.
— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
Not Nobel Yet — Oslo, 1960
American technology giant Apple reported its first ever drop in iPhone sales yesterday, Bloomberg reports. Its latest quarterly sales amounted to only $50.56 billion, down from $58 billion last year. Following the announcement, Apple shares fell 8%, after falling nearly 20% this past year. The iPhone however remains the most successful tech product in history.
— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH
- Egypt's Shady World Of Amateur Porn Videos — Mada Masr
- Nuclear Past, Radioactive Future: In Chernobyl, 30 Years Later — Le Monde
- Through Thick And Skin: In China, Rebellious Couples Say "I Do" To Naked Weddings — Oriental Daily News
An article published in Psychology Today indicates that hugging your dog raises its stress and anxiety levels. Try high-fiving Rex instead.