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.
"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.
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
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.