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SPOTLIGHT: PRIVATE LIVES, PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

A little Internet brush fire is spreading in China after a Beijing state-run newspaper published a long article saying that Taiwan's new president Tsai Ing-wen is unfit for office because she is neither married nor a mother. Here's a sample: "As a single female politician, she does not have the emotional responsibilities of love, of ‘family' or children. So her political style and strategy tend to be emotional, personalized and extreme..." Millions (not just in Taiwan, and not just single women) will no doubt be personally offended by such public comments about the private life of an elected leader. Indeed, in mainland China, which has some surprising pockets of (mostly online) free speech, publishing such opinions is not without consequences for the party leadership, which values public consensus.


Meanwhile, in a country with historically more open debate, the U.S. presidential election is moving into its next phase of the likely head-to-head showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And now Trump, who has already redefined standards of public and political discourse in disposing of his Republican rivals, has made it clear that old sex-related accusations against Clinton's husband are fair game for his campaign. No matter who is setting or breaking the rules, there are fewer places to hide for those who step into public life. But it is also true that pointing a finger at a leader's personal choices is playing with fire. Privacy always hits home for us all.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY

  • U.S. President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe meet ahead of G7 summit.
  • European regulators are expected to announce a new plan that would require video streaming companies like Amazon and Netflix to include at least 20% local programming.


— ON THIS DAY

Oscar Wilde and Austin Powers show up in our May 25th video "Shot of history."


TALIBAN NAMES NEW LEADER

After Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed in a recent U.S. drone strike, the armed Afghan group named Haibatullah Akhunzada as his successor.. A photo of the new leader is circulating online this morning.


TRUMP PROTEST TURNS UGLY

A demonstration against U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump erupted in violence last night in New Mexico. Fires burned and rocks were thrown, but there were no reports of serious injuries. CNN has video footage.


CHARLESTON CHURCH SHOOTER FACES DEATH PENALTY

The U.S. Justice Department will seek the death penalty against Dylann Roof, accused of killing nine black parishioners last June in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Read more from the AP.


EUROPEAN STOCKS RALLY AFTER GREECE DEAL

European markets welcomed news of yesterday's breakthrough 10.3 billion euro Greek bailout deal. Read more from Bloomberg.


ASSANGE LOSES IN SWEDISH COURT

A Swedish court this morning upheld a four-year-old arrest warrant against Julian Assange on rape allegations. The Wikileaks founder, who remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, denies the charges.Reuters has more.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

The Indonesia-based KBR news network reports on Kim Gee-yang, a South Korean model who doesn't fit traditional catwalk standards. "At 1.66 meters (5 ft 5) tall and about 70 kilograms (154 lbs), she is average height and, well, curvy compared to many other South Korean women in their 20s. Gee-yang got her break in modeling after sending her photos to the 2010 Los Angeles Full Figure Fashion Week. "When I was in LA, I was too skinny to do plus-size modeling, but in Korea, I am just a fat woman, yeah," she told me." Read the full article: All-Natural Model Defies South Korean Plastic Surgery Obsession


— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH


PARKING PROBLEM IN FLORENCE

An apparent water-pipe burst early this morning in the scenic capital of Tuscany caused a pavement collapse by the Lungarno river. That sent a long line of cars parked near the Ponte Vecchio into the water… under the bridge. Here's footage via La Stampa.


— Crunched by Cynthia Martens

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Celebrating Ukraine's Independence Day in Rome.

Irene Caselli and Jeff Israely

September 23-24

  • Burning hijabs in Iran
  • Elizabeth II’s life in magazine covers
  • One big “flying” sea turtle
  • … and much more.
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