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Rising Ukraine Casualties, Pegida's Future, "Mammary Lapse"

Rising Ukraine Casualties, Pegida's Future, "Mammary Lapse"

At least 13 people died after a Donetsk city bus was hit by a shell this morning amid ongoing fights between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists. It takes the death toll in the Ukrainian conflict to more than 5,000. The attack, during which many more were injured, appears to have been carried out from a minibus. The rebels have blamed it on Ukraine military forces, Pravda reports. It came after the Ukrainian army admitted it had lost control of the Donetsk airport. Hours before, Ukrainian and Russian diplomats in Berlin had agreed to force fighters to pull back heavy weapons from the front line. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has asked for a new bailout from the International Monetary Fund, arguing the country might need an extra $15 billion on top of an already agreed rescue package worth $27 billion. Read more from AFP.

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Get your 57-second shot of history in our daily video feature — today featuring 1973’s landmark abortion case Roe vs. Wade.

The European Central Bank is widely expected to announce its first ever quantitative easing program as it hopes to kickstart a stagnant economy and to bolster its stocks. According to theFinancial Times, the ECB will print 50 billion euros every month to buy government bonds for at least a year, possibly two, representing a total purchase of 600 billion euros ($700 billion) per year. French business daily Les Echos describes the move as an “historic offensive,” though the Eurozone’s biggest economy, Germany, is fiercely opposed to it, fearing it could reproduce the hyperinflation it faced in the early 1920s. Berlin officials believe the move will reduce its partners’ urgency to reform their economies.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's used his first "domestic inspection tour" of 2015 to try to boost the economy in the impoverished Yunnan Province in southwest China, People’s Daily reports. Some 92 million people in China live in poverty.
Read the full article, Extra! People's Daily On Xi Jinping's War On Poverty.

With less than 24 hours to go until an ISIS-imposed deadline for Tokyo to pay $200 million in exchange for two hostages, officials said they were trying to open a line of communication with the terrorist group but had so far failed to make contact, The New York Times reports. According to Japanese news agency Kyodo, the government has turned to regional allies Jordan and Turkey to help negotiate with ISIS. This comes amid reports from broadcaster Radio France Internationale that 10 former French troops, including explosive experts, are among foreign jihadists fighting with ISIS.


Germany’s anti-Islamization movement Pegida faces a difficult challenge after its controversial founder Lutz Bachmann’s resignation yesterday. It came after a picture of him posing as Hitler emerged in the press. It will be a blow to movement sympathizers and people who participated in marches in Dresden and other German cities who have repeatedly said their were not xenophobic or Nazi supporters. Anti-Pegida protests have also grown in recent weeks. According to Deutsche Welle, a rival movement called Legida has emerged in the city of Leipzig, where protesters clashed and journalists and the police were attacked.

A new poll shows that 70% of Argentinians believe that Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who was found dead after accusing President Cristina Kirchner and Iran of covering up a 1994 terrorist attack, was murdered. More worrying for Buenos Aires is the fact that 57% of those who think he was murdered believe the government is behind the killing.

Microsoft unveiled its future operating system Windows 10 yesterday, saying it would be available for free for a year for PCs, phones and gaming consoles. But the announcement that really grabbed the tech world’s attention is a new device called HoloLens.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a 15% rise in government wages and pensions yesterday amid inflation of 64% and food shortages, AFP reports. The Venezuelan economy has been badly hit by falling oil prices, but Maduro dismissed talk of devaluation. Instead, he renewed accusations that his opponents were sabotaging the country’s economy.

As Calcalist’s Omer Kabir writes, Israeli David Placek has coined the names for everything from the PowerBook to Blackberry to your kitchen mop. And there's a method to his magic. “‘The name of a company, a service or a particular product is very valuable,’ explains the 61-year-old branding maven. It is the only thing that remains. Products change, campaigns change, but the name stays. When I tell this to clients, it gets their attention, because people don’t necessarily think that the name is permanent and that they will probably never change it.”
Read the full article, The Brand Man, How David Placek Names Things You Want To Buy.

Just when nearly everyone was praising Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun for scrapping its topless “Page 3,” the British tabloid resurrected it, citing a “mammary lapse.”

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

And If Ukraine's Fate Was In The Hands Of Republican Senators And Viktor Orban?

In the U.S., Republican senators called on to approve military aid to Kyiv are blackmailing the Biden administration on an unrelated matter. In Europe, French President Macron will be dining with the Hungarian Prime Minister, who has threatened to block aid to Ukraine as well.

photo of viktor orban walking into a room

Orban will play all his cards

Sergei Savostyanov/TASS via ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — Make no mistake: military aid to Ukraine is at risk. And to understand why, just take a look at the name of French President Emmanuel Macron’s dinner guest Thursday at the Elysée palace in Paris: Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister, and Europe’s No. 1 troublemaker.

Orban is threatening to veto a new 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine at a European Council meeting next week. He could also block Ukraine’s negotiations to enter the European Union, an important issue that has provided some hope for this war-torn country. These are votes on which the unanimity of the "27" EU member states is required.

But this is not the only obstacle in the path of Western aid: the United States is also immersed in a political psychodrama, of which Ukraine is the victim. A new $60 billion aid package from the Biden administration has stalled in Congress: Republicans are demanding legislation to shut down the border with Mexico to stop immigration.

What does this have to do with Ukraine? Nothing, besides legislative blackmail.

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