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Satellite Images Show Nigeria Massacre


New satellite photographs released by Amnesty International today provide evidence of the scale of the Boko Haram attacks in northeastern Nigeria that are believed to have left hundreds dead earlier this month. Before and after images, taken on Jan. 2 and 7, show razed and burned structures in Doron Baga, a village 2.5 kilometers from Baga, where Boko Haram raids were reportedly carried out starting Jan. 3. Thousands of people are believed to have fled across or around the neighboring Lake Chad, but witnesses also report large numbers drowned in the lake or killed in the bush by jihadists. “These detailed images show devastation of catastrophic proportions in two towns, one of which was almost wiped off the map in the space of four days,” said Daniel Eyre, Amnesty’s Nigerian researcher. “Of all Boko Haram assaults analysed by Amnesty International, this is the largest and most destructive yet.”
For more information on the Boko Haram massacre in Nigeria, here’s a Worldcrunch roundup.

New copies of the Charlie Hebdo “survivors’ issue” published Wednesday have been issued today, both in France and globally. Newsstands are set to be restocked with the satirical magazine every day until Jan. 19. The print run for the lastest issue has also been increased from three million to five million to meet demand.

  • Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and journalists Georges Wolinski, Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac, Bernard Maris and Elsa Cayat are scheduled to be buried today, Le Monde reports. Jean Cabut (known as “Cabu”) and Michel Renaud, two cartoonists who were also killed in last week’s terrorist attacks, were buried Wednesday, while the other staff members and victims will be buried later this week. Most of the funerals have been private.
  • Meanwhile, French journalist Caroline Fourest was cut off during a live Sky News interview for showing the controversial Charlie Hebdo issue, which the station had explicitly decided not to show, Huffington Post reports. Sky News anchor Dharshini David quickly apologized to viewers. “As you know, here at Sky News we have taken the editorial decision not to show the cover of Charlie Hebdo.”
  • The cover is also causing controversy in Turkey, the only Muslim country where newspapers such as the daily Cumhuriyet published the cartoon image of the prophet Muhammad shedding a tear and holding a “Je suis Charlie” sign, Hürriyet reports. Turkish police raided the newspaper’s printing press Wednesday as the publication prepared to distribute the new issue in an act of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu compared his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to last week’s Islamist terrorists, and a Turkish court ordered a ban on web pages featuring front cover.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, the world’s second-richest person, has become the largest New York Times investor after boosting his stake to 16.8% of the company’s Class A shares, Bloomberg reports.

In a new ISIS propaganda video shot in Raqqa, Syria, a member of the terrorist organization calls for new attacks in European countries such as France, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany, as well as “everywhere in America,” 20 Minutes reports. The video also claims responsibility for last week’s Paris terrorist attacks and calls on jihadists to “terrorize” Europeans. Almost two million people marched in the French capital Sunday to demonstrate against terror.

As Le Monde’s David Revault d’Allonnes writes, French President François Hollande has seen a resounding reversal of political fortunes since the terror attacks that rocked Paris. “Denounced for his lack of authority and his inaptitude to make clear decisions, he has led the police operations with ‘composure and determination,’ according to an insider. Often criticized for his failure to embody the presidential function, he looked like he belonged at the center of Sunday's march with the other world leaders.”
Read the full article, Can Charlie Hebdo Save Francois Hollande's Presidency?

The FBI arrested a 20-year-old Ohio man Wednesday for allegedly plotting a bomb and gun attack on the U.S. Capitol. Christopher Cornell, who claimed to sympathize with the terrorist group ISIS, had purchased two semi-automatic rifles and about 600 pounds of ammunition, The Washington Post reports. The man, also known as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, confessed that he planned to “kill employees and officers working in and around the U.S. Capitol,” according to the FBI. Cornell doesn’t appear to have had any overseas training with jihadist groups.


Indonesian divers were searching for bodies this morning in the fuselage of the AirAsia jet that crashed into the Java Sea Dec. 28, killing all 162 people on board, Reuters reports. Only 50 bodies have been recovered so far, and searchers hope to find more victims, most of whom were Indonesian, in this section of the aircraft. They will also need to determine whether the fuselage can be lifted from the sea bottom using large balloons.

American mountaineers Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell made history Wednesday by successfully free climbing — with just their hands, feet and ropes — El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park, one of the world’s toughest of its kind, the Los Angeles Times reports. The two men began their climb Dec. 27 and shared their adventure online.


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Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski


PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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