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Refugee Quota, Pope & Xi In U.S., Ginger Plot

EU PUSHES THROUGH REFUGEE QUOTA DEAL

The European Union has approved a controversial plan to relocate 120,000 migrants from Italy and Greece over two years. EU governments forced the deal through despite the opposition of four Eastern European states, using a rule that bypasses the usually required unanimity. Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia all voted against the measure, and Finland abstained, while Poland, a country strongly opposed to binding quotas, eventually sided with Germany, France and the other member countries. "As long as I am prime minister, mandatory quotas will not be implemented on Slovak territory," Slovakia's Robert Fico said, vowing to defy the ruling. EU Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans retorted this morning that under EU rules, "a decision is a decision regardless of the way you voted."


THE POPE IS IN THE (WHITE) HOUSE

Having ended his Cuba visit, Pope Francis has arrived in the U.S., where he visits the White House and the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. Other events in the coming days include an address to a joint session of Congress, a visit to Ground Zero and the United Nations, and two days in Philadelphia.


XI JINPING BEGINS U.S. VISIT

China's Xi Jinping also arrived in the U.S. yesterday, albeit with lesser pomp and circumstance than the Pope, for a seven-day visit that will take him to the White House on Friday. After his arrival, Xi vowed to work with the United States in the fight against cybercrime, insisting that the Chinese government would never "engage in commercial theft or encourage or support such attempts by anyone." See how the People's Daily covered the story and read more in our Extra! feature.


MORE BAD BUSINESS NEWS FROM BEIJING

The Chinese President's visit comes amid more bad signs for his country's economy, with the manufacturing index falling to a six-year-low and indicating contraction for the seventh month in a row, the Financial Times reports. The news sent oil prices and Asian marketplaces tumbling.


VERBATIM

"Millions of people across the world trust our brands, our cars and our technologies. I am endlessly sorry that we have disappointed this trust," Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said in a video statement, as the scandal over diesel emissions of the German car manufacturer shows no sign of abating. VW admitted Tuesday that as many as 11 million cars worldwide could be involved in the crisis, which has wiped away $26 billion of the company's market value in just two days.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Le Monde's Alain Frachon connects the political dots, from Greece to Spain, UK to US, as a wave of unapologetic leftists have burst onto the world stage over the past year. "What's attracting voters, however, may be less about ideology itself and more the people promoting it. Despite the differences in ages and careers, Sanders, Corbyn, Iglesias and Tsipras all share a bonafide dose of sincerity and authenticity. None is dependent on any economic lobbies or pushed to compromise their beliefs. They've had the same political views all their lives, and they don't betray their creed, unlike the more traditional politicians who are used to being in power and to abandoning certain principles and campaign promises once they take over the reigns of government."

Read the full article, Tsipras, Corbyn, Sanders: Rise Of The Pull-No-Punches Left.


BURKINA FASO'S DEPOSED PRESIDENT RETURNS TO OFFICE

An agreement has been reached between the leaders of Burkina Faso's recent coup and the army loyal to interim President Michel Kafando to return the deposed leader to office as early as today, Radio France Internationale reports. Under the deal, the presidential guard responsible for the coup accepted to return to its barracks, and the loyalist army is expected to withdraw from the capital Ouagadougou.


ON THIS DAY


Guess who was "born in the U.S.A." 66 years ago? This, and more, in your 57-second shot of history.


SYRIA INTENSIFIES PALMYRA RAIDS

The Syrian army has intensified its airstrikes against ISIS militants controlling the ancient city of Palmyra, in an operation that has killed 70 terrorists and 33 civilians since Friday, AFP reports, citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. This comes amid a rapid Russian military build-up in Syria that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday said "represents basically force protection," as he urged Russia and Iran to play a positive role and help work towards government transition.

  • The Daily Telegraph meanwhile reports that a group of rebels branded as "moderate" and trained by the U.S. have handed over their weapons to the Syrian al-Qaeda branch, the al-Nusra Front, immediately after entering Syria a few days ago.
  • According to Reuters, the war in Syria has prompted the first withdrawal of seeds from a "Doomsday vault" built in the Arctic to protected the world's food crops.

U.S. TO STORE 20 MORE NUKES IN GERMANY

The United States will store 20 new nuclear bombs in Germany, each of which is four times more destructive than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, German broadcaster ZDF has reported. The report notes that this contradicts a March 2010 decision from Germany's Parliament to demand the withdrawal of American nuclear weapons from the country. Observers say the move will be seen in Russia as a provocation.


QUAKE VICTIMS OR RUGBY?

A senator in Chile is under fire for what may be a new low for politicians thinking of themselves over their constituents. Santiago daily La Tercera has the story.


5 IN 9

Photo: Philippe Ruiz/Xinhua/ZUMA

8 minutes and 59 seconds is all it took Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski to score an astonishing five goals Tuesday evening, a record in professional German soccer. The Polish player kicked off his goal-fest in the 51st minute of the game against Wolfsburg, just six minutes after coming off the bench at half-time. "I don't know how fast it was, but it was fast," Lewandowski told reporters after the game. For the record, Wolfsburg club belongs to the Volkswagen auto company. Bad week indeed for VW.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



GINGER REVOLT

A 37-year-old redhead in Britain was found guilty of plotting to kill Prince Charles and his eldest son Prince William to make Charles and Diana's second son Harry — a fellow "ginger" — the heir to the throne.

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Society

When Friends "Break Up" — The Psychological Damage After Friendships End

Society sees friendships as far less important than love and life partnerships. But psychologists warn that the end of a close friendship can leave the "grieving" side in need of therapy.

The end of friendships can lead to heartbreak and grief like with any other relationship.

Paula Galinsky

BUENOS AIRES — It was Wednesday and Sofía, a 31-year-old woman living in Buenos Aires, was having a good day. She'd had a productive work meeting in the morning and her usual gym class in the afternoon. But as she walked home listening to music in her earphones, she felt an acute pain, first in her chest, then throat.

It wasn't a heart attack, but she panicked and began to cry. What prompted the reaction, she realized later, was the music she had just heard: a song that brought back teenage memories of a former friend. Sofía told her therapist the next day that the end of the friendship had upset her greatly, and until that moment had suppressed the grief.

The friend hadn't died, there had been no fight or exchange of ugly words, but the two had drifted apart, irreversibly, Sofía felt. None of this, she told the psychologist, made it any less troubling or hurtful.

The song that had triggered her anxiety was 11 y 6 by Argentine Fito Páez. It took Sofía back to her 16th birthday, which she spent with her friend. That girl "was" her teenage years, she explained and without her "a big part of what we lived together now is gone."

The end of a strong friendship causes bona fide grief, even if it is often ignored. More and more specialists believe that it needs to be processed, and perhaps treated, like one would the end of a love affair or partnership.

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