When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Spain's Elections, Oil Prices Plunge, An Ugly Miss-Take

A Podemos supporter watching poll results in Barcelona
A Podemos supporter watching poll results in Barcelona


Yesterday's national elections in Spain have left more questions than answers today, as two of the country's fledgling political movements made huge gains and the conservative Popular Party lost its majority. "Spain knocks down two-party system and leaves the government high and dry," the front page of conservative newspaper El Mundo reads today after Sunday's general election saw the expected rise of newcomers Podemos on the left and Ciudadanos on the right. It's a "messy" situation for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, one El Mundo columnist writes. Despite coming in first, Rajoy's ruling center-right Popular Party fell well short of securing a majority, meaning it will have to seek support from opponents if it wants to rule. Read more in our Extra! feature.


At least 91 people are missing after a mudslide that buried 33 buildings in an industrial park in southeastern China's Shenzhen City, Xinhua reports. The authorities are blaming the disaster on a man-made mountain of dirt, soil and construction waste piled atop a hill for the past two years. See the shocking aerial pictures of the site here.


The new Star Wars movie The Force Awakens has entered a galaxy of its own, far ahead of the rest of the holiday-release pack, after having the biggest opening weekend of all time, grossing at least $238 million in North America. Worldwide ticket sales earned Disney $517 million, behind record-holder Jurassic World ($524.9 million), though the latter Universal Pictures blockbuster had the advantage of being launched in China at the same time. J.J. Abrams' take on the George Lucas franchise won't open there until Jan. 9.


Toshiba has warned it expects to lose a record 550 billion yen ($4.53 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 2016, the result of a massive accounting scandal in which it overstated profits for years, Reuters reports. As part of a wide restructuring of the Japanese company, some 7,000 employees will lose their jobs.


The Pilgrims, Plymouth Rock and Samuel L. Jackson's birthday — all in today's shot of history.


Prices of brent oil, a type of crude that serves at a global benchmark, fell today to levels unseen since 2004, nearing the $35-dollar-per-barrel mark, The Wall Street Journal reports. Production continues to outpace demand, and major producers such as Saudi Arabia are continuing to boost their levels of production in a bid to preserve their market share, which are threatened by Russia and Iran as well as U.S. shale oil. According to Goldman Sachs, prices could drop even further, to $20 per barrel. Read more from Bloomberg.


Orphaned and forced to live on the streets at just 5 years old, Amporn Wathanavong had a miserable childhood, and was lured to fight in the jungles along the Cambodian border. But as Portal KBR reports, he ultimately got an education and founded an organization to help poor orphans avoid repeating his experience. "Wathanavong says that young poor children with no guidance can easily be recruited into the same kind of nightmare. ‘For these children, you know, it's very easy to lure them to the fighting. If they are in hardship and they have nothing to eat and they have no progress and no income. Society has to understand their situation.'"

Read the full article, How A Thai Orphan Went From Child Soldier To Humanitarian Leader.


Israeli warplanes hit targets in southern Lebanon last night, in response to rocket fire that Lebanese media blamed on the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, The Jerusalem Post reports. The exchange of fire came after news that Samir Kantar, a notorious Hezbollah commander who spent 19 years in an Israeli jail, was killed in an Israeli airstrike near the Syrian capital of Damascus. Lebanon's Shia group Hezbollah has been fighting alongside the Syrian government forces.


Yemen's warring parties failed to reach an understanding on Sunday, after six days of closed-door meetings aimed at bringing the nine-month conflict to an end, Al Jazeera reports. A ceasefire that was often violated will be extended for an additional seven days starting today. Both sides agreed however to meet again next month.



FIFA's ethics committee has decided to ban former president Sepp Blatter and wannabe-president Michel Platini from all soccer-related activities for eight years, The Guardian reports. The two are accused of having "abused" their position over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2 million) made by the Swiss to Platini. They are expected to appeal the decision, and Platini's hopes to become the next FIFA chairman appear dead in the water. Speaking at a press conference after the news, Blatter said he was "sorry that as president of FIFA I am a punching ball."


An overwhelming majority of Slovenian voters rejected gay marriage in a referendum, outvoting supporters by two-to-one, Slovenian news agency STA reports. But civil partnerships for same-sex couples will continue to be allowed.


"I'd like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia & Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible," Miss Universe host Steve Harvey wrote on Twitter after an awkward faux pas in which he wrongly crowned first runner-up Miss Colombia instead of the actual winner, Miss Philippines, at the end of Sunday's ceremony. As the pageant ended, a car crashed into a crowd near the Las Vegas hotel where it was taking place, killing one person and injuring 26. Police believe the crash may have been intentional.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


A Refuge From China's Rat Race: The Young People Flocking To Buddhist Monasteries

Unemployment, stress in the workplace, economic difficulties: more and more young Chinese graduates are flocking to monasteries to find "another school of life."

Photograph of a girl praying at a temple during Chinese Lunar New Year. She is burning incense.

Feb 20, 2015 - Huaibei, China - Chinese worshippers pray at a temple during the Lunar New Yeat

Frédéric Schaeffer

JIAXING — It's already dawn at Xianghai Temple when Lin, 26, goes to the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas for the 5:30 a.m. prayer.

Still half-asleep, the young woman joins the monks in chanting mantras and reciting sacred texts for an hour. Kneeling, she bows three times to Vairocana, also known as the Great Sun Buddha, who dominates the 42-meter-high hall representing the cosmos.

Before grabbing a vegetarian breakfast in the adjacent refectory, monks and devotees chant around the hall to the sound of drums and gongs.

"I resigned last October from the e-commerce company where I had been working for the past two years in Nanjing, and joined the temple in January, where I am now a volunteer in residence," explains the young woman, soberly dressed in black pants and a cream linen jacket.

Located in the city of Jiaxing, over a hundred kilometers from Shanghai, in eastern China, the Xianghai temple is home to some 20 permanent volunteers.

Unlike Lin, most of them only stay for a couple days or a few weeks. But for Lin, who spends most of her free time studying Buddhist texts in the temple library, the change in her life has been radical. "I used to do the same job every day, sometimes until very late at night, writing all kinds of reports for my boss. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I felt my life had no meaning," she says.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest