Reading Obama, Rising Oil, Doubting David

SPOTLIGHT: SHOULD OBAMA APOLOGIZE IN HIROSHIMA?

When Barack Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima tomorrow, the ceremony will include hibakusha, survivors of history's only nuclear attacks. No doubt, each victim of the 1945 bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will have their own expectations of the American president, and depart with their own feelings. Obama, for his part, has already made it clear to the Japanese he wouldn't make a direct apology.


But why not? The U.S. president who vowed soon after his election to strive for a world without nuclear weapons could find the words to turn the tragedy of the past into a permanent reminder for the future. Still, as The New York Times writes, Obama's primary concern is a more present American realpolitik. While an apology would likely be welcome in Japan, it could also be misinterpreted in other Asian countries for which Hiroshima and Nagasaki represent not just the end of World War II, but also the close of years of brutal Japanese rule.


"Apologies tend to be the exception and non-apologies the rule," Adam Taylor writes in The Washington Post, explaining that the logic behind this "is not moral but rather political." It should be noted that this is the case for most countries, with the notable exceptions of … Germany and Japan. Or perhaps, the unwritten rule of history is simply that only the losers must apologize.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY

  • G7 world leaders in Japan discuss the global economy, amid security and Brexit fears. Follow live updates from The Guardian.

    Photo: Elysée's official photographer François Lafite via Instagram

  • President Pranab Mukherjee of India meets with President Xi Jinping of China, hoping to spur more Chinese investment in South Asia's biggest nation.


STRIKES BRING FRANCE TO A STANDSTILL

The wave of protest against a controversial labor reform in France is looking increasingly like a general strike, as all of the 19 nuclear power plants join the country's oil refineries, which stopped work days ago, rising fears of a potential power shortage, L'Obs reports.


— ON THIS DAY

From Dracula to Michael Jackson, here is your 57-second shot of history!


$50

The price of a barrel of Brent crude rose above $50 today for the first time in seven months, up from a 13-year low in February when it went below $28.


CLINTON'S EMAIL SCANDAL WON'T GO AWAY

Hillary Clinton broke State Department rules when she used her private email server while Secretary of State, making sensitive material vulnerable to hackers, an audit has found. Read more from USA Today.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Exhausted by almost three years of shortages and inflation, the Venezuelan population lets its impatience pour out with ever more violence, rekindling familiar fears, Samy Adghirni writes for Folha de S. Paulo: "Looting has taken place across the country, including in Caracas, the capital. Everyday, social media are filled with new images of people invading markets and warehouses, or attacking food trucks. This week, one video even showed people attacking fishermen as they were about to unload sardines they'd just caught off Margarita Island."

Read the full article, In Real Life, Venezuela Is A Ticking Time Bomb.


UNICEF SLAMS CHILD EXPLOITATION IN PARIS

Hundreds of foreign minors are being exploited in prostitution, begging and stealing in Paris and its region, according to UNICEF and local associations. The report, published in Le Monde, also mentions cases of forced labor.


INDONESIA TOUGHENS CHILD RAPE PUNISHMENT

In a presidential decree signed yesterday by Joko Widodo, Indonesia approved the use of chemical castration for child rapists and the maximum sentence for such crime now includes death penalty, The Jakarta Post reports. The decision came one month after the brutal gang-rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl on her way home from school.


— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Back In The Saddle — Copenhagen, 1976


CAMERON IS REALLY IN FAVOR OF BREXIT, SAYS FRIEND

Despite a public stance to the contrary, British Prime Minister David Cameron is privately in favor the UK leaving the European Union. Or at least, that's what a former adviser and close friend of his claims in The Times.


— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH

OBAMA'S NEXT HOME

It's no White House, but the Obamas' next home, a nine-bedroom mansion in the upscale Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, looks cosy enough.

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Future

The Metaverse Will Make All That's Bad With The Internet Worse

The change of Facebook's name to Meta is a hint to the general public of where social media and digital sovereignty risks taking us in a future "virtual" world.

Creating a digital avatar in the metaverse

Raphaël Suire

-OpEd-

PARIS — The first bricks of the internet emerged in post-World War II California at the crossroads of a double ideology: military and libertarian, based on the virtues of decentralization. It was all about inventing a network infrastructure that was resilient to targeted attacks. It also allowed for individuals to be emancipated through a new set of capabilities, including in communication, interaction and learning, facilitated through a microcomputer.

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