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Shimon Peres, whose six decades of public service included stints as both Israel's prime minister and president, has died at the age of 93, two weeks after suffering a stroke. The joint 1994 Nobel Peace Prize laureate played a defining role for Israel since its founding in 1948, serving as an aide to the first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and later working secretly with the French to establish Israel as a nuclear power, recalls Le Monde.


But it was a negotiated peace in the war-torn region that drove the second half of Peres' career, most notably as one of the architects of the Oslo Accords that earned him the Nobel alongside fellow Israeli Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.


Writing in Haaretz, New Jersey-based rabbi, writer and teacher Eric H. Yoffie reminds us that Peres "made it clear, publicly and privately, that he did not expect peace tomorrow or the next day," but that he was nonetheless "an optimist not blinded by messianism."


As world leaders prepare to fly to Israel for Peres' funeral, it is worth noting that it was another September day, 23 years ago, that Peres, Rabin and Arafat were joined together on the White House lawn by President Bill Clinton for a momentous gesture. Just this week, Israel's current leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, met with the two major candidates seeking the White House. He may have spoken to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump about addressing the endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But for now, it's only words. Rest in peace.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



AMNESTY SLAMS THAILAND'S "CULTURE OF TORTURE"

The military governing Thailand since a 2014 coup has allowed "a culture of torture and other ill-treatment to flourish across the country," Amnesty International said in a report published today. Bangkok's authorities threatened activists with arrests to stop the launch of the report, the watchdog said.


— ON THIS DAY

From William the Conqueror to Brigitte Bardot, here's your 57-second shot of history!


VERBATIM

"We want to make Mars seem possible in our lifetimes," Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk said yesterday as he unveiled his ambitious vision for the future of manned expeditions to the red planet, which could begin as early as 2022.


FIRST PAY CUT FOR SAUDI OFFICIALS

Lawmakers in Saudi Arabia are taking a 20% pay cut, a first in the country as it grapples with low oil prices, the Financial Times reports. Austerity measures are expected to affect all parts of the public sector, which employs two-thirds of working Saudis.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Italy is, still, a deeply sexist country. A recent murder and suicide remind one mother why part of her shuddered at the thought of having a baby girl. As part of Worldcrunch's exclusive Rue Amelot collection of international essays, Italian journalist Barbara Sgarzi writes: "I can't help but notice that an entire Italian town, faced with the horrific, repeated rape of a young girl, says that she was asking for it. I can't help but see that a man whose lover has left him can turn into a killer because, from his perspective, his partner is nothing more than an object that cannot and must not free itself from his possession.

There are countless numbers, statistics, red shoe demonstrations, another woman murdered, it goes on and on. I can't ignore that Tiziana Cantone killed herself because someone, betraying her trust, put sex videos online, and so popular wisdom has it that if you're a woman who likes having sex freely, you're a slut who deserves to be pilloried, whereas if you're a man you're cool, we'll have T-shirts printed with your face on them."

Read the full article, Sexism, Italian-Style: Bad News For My Eight-Year-Old Daughter.


$60 MILLION

Wells Fargo is clawing back $60 million — $41 million from chief executive John Stumpf and $19 million from former retail banking head Carrie Tolstedt, the company announced yesterday amid an investigation into the bank's sales practices. The division run by Tolstedt created more than 2 million sham accounts to meet sales targets. Customers had been charged overdraft fees as a result.


BABY WITH DNA OF THREE PARENTS

A recent and controversial technique that combines the DNA of three people has given a couple from Jordan a baby boy, the first birth using this procedure, New Scientist reports.


— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

That's Advertisement — Digby, 2001


JAPAN PROPOSES VENUE CHANGES TO CUT OLYMPICS COSTS

A Tokyo government panel reviewing the cost of organizing the 2020 Summer Olympics is set to propose three major venue changes in a bid to bring down what Japan Today describes as "ballooning costs." The rowing and canoeing events could be moved some 400 kilometers from the capital as a result.


MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH

DISPUTE-DAY

An argument between a Spanish spy and his homesick wife came close to ruining World War II's D-Day, previously secret MI5 files reveal.

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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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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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