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SPOTLIGHT: PALESTINIAN PRISON LETTER

"My release is bound to happen, sooner or later ... "

The most charismatic living Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, who has been in an Israeli prison since 2002, offered a rare written exchange recently with Le Monde. Some see the 56-year-old, who was sentenced to five life imprisonments in 2004 for directing suicide bombings during the second Intifada, as the only figure who can unite the Palestinians — and then, the thinking follows, forge peace with Israel. A sort of "Mandela of the Middle East" is the dreamy hope: A Hebrew-speaking visionary with street cred in Gaza could not only bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but could in turn reverse the spiral of violence across the entire Arab world, and make those in the West safer in the process.


Middle East dreamers, however, are a vanishing breed. Not only are heels dug in deep in both Jerusalem and Ramallah, but few still hold onto the illusion that the conflicts burning within the Muslim world can be tamed in one fell swoop by the achievement of Palestinian statehood. That, of course, is no reason not to seek it more urgently than ever.

Check out the English edition of the Le Monde story, Marwan Barghouti, A Palestinian Mandela Or Israel's Worst Nightmare?



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



RUSSIAN HACKERS

Two groups of Russian hackers working for government intelligence agencies managed to gain access to the Democratic National Committee network for about a year, before being kicked out earlier this month. According to The Washington Post, the intruders targeted emails and files about presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.


ORLANDO SHOOTER'S WIFE COULD BE CHARGED

The wife of Omar Mateen, the terrorist who killed 49 people at an Orlando gay club, is believed to have had knowledge of her husband's plans and she could soon be charged, CNN reports. The couple has been married since 2011 and have a three-year-old son.


— ON THIS DAY

Twenty-two years ago on this day, we were introduced to "Hakuna matata." That, and more, in today's 57-second shot of History.


VERBATIM

"More innocents will die," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told radio station France Inter this morning in reaction to the killing of married police department employees at their home on Monday night by an Islamist terrorist. The fight against terrorism in France could last "at least 10 or 20 years," he added.


FRENCH PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT, AGAIN

At least 40 people were wounded, including 29 police officers, during a new day of protests against a labor reform in France yesterday, France 24 reports. A small group of protesters attacked a children's hospital in Paris, smashing some of its windows. The three-year-old child of the couple killed on Monday night was there.


MORE HOOLIGAN CLASHES IN LILLE

France's northern city of Lille is in a "state of siege," daily Libération writes to describe the measures taken there to avoid the fights between Russian and English hooligans witnessed in Marseille days ago. But fights nonetheless started yesterday between groups of supporters. Russia is playing against Slovakia later today, while England and Wales will face each other tomorrow in the nearby city of Lens.


MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Cameo Car — Monastir, 1970


1,500 YEARS

Alien life is out there, but we might not make contact with it until 1,500 years from now, two scientists believe.


ALLIGATOR DRAGS CHILD INTO LAKE AT DISNEY WORLD

A search and rescue operation is underway at Disney World in Orlando after an alligator dragged a two-year-old boy into the water, despite his father's efforts to protect him. Read more from the Orlando Sentinel.


— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH

NO MORE PIPING HOT DRINKS

It's not what you drink, but rather how hot it is, that can cause cancer, according to a new report by the UN's International Agency for Research on Cancer.

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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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