When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Temporary Ukraine Truce, Petrobras Scandal, Pope On Spanking

WARRING UKRAINE PARTIES CALL TRUCE
Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine have reached agreement with government forces on a humanitarian corridor to allow the evacuation of civilians out of Debaltseve, a key railway hub in the heart of the latest fighting, AP reports. A rebel spokesman said 1,000 civilians would be evacuated today, though it’s not clear where they’ll go.

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande are due to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow following their meeting yesterday with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Merkel and Hollande are eager to broker a lasting peace deal, which Le Monde characterizes as a “last chance” to end the conflict. Their peace plan is said to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity but also to offer some autonomy for separatist-held areas. Pictured: Night shelling over Donetsk.
  • European leaders are wary of an all-out war in eastern Europe and have repeatedly opposed sending weapons to Kiev. But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was also in Kiev yesterday, said that President Barack Obama was “reviewing all his options” amid mounting calls to send military aid.
  • Putin’s spokesman reacted angrily to news that a 2008 Pentagon report claimed the Russian president suffered from Asperger’s syndrome. “That is stupidity not worthy of comment,” he said. Read more from AFP.

$200 MILLION
A former head at Brazil’s Petrobras oil giant alleged yesterday that the governing Workers’ Party had received between $150 million and $200 million in kickbacks from 90 of the biggest contracts Petrobras signed with major companies from 2003 until 2013, O Globo reports. This tops a difficult week for the government and the state-owned company, which saw its boss and five senior executives resign. Read more and see the newspaper’s front page in our feature Extra!

JORDAN EXPANDS ISIS STRIKES
Jordan continued to strike ISIS positions, including training centers and weapons storage sites, yesterday and characterized it as “only the beginning” of retaliation after the brutal ISIS murder of a Jordanian pilot, Al Jazeera reports. According to The Independent, some of the missiles carried messages written in chalk. One read, “For you, the enemies of Islam.”

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
[rebelmouse-image 27088616 alt="""" original_size="610x450" expand=1]
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner graced us with yet another verbal woopsie Wednesday when she mocked Chinese pronunciation of Ls and Rs in a tweet — while on a state visit to China seeking investment, no less. It’s not the first time she’s launched inappropriate zingers and WTF remarks. For a little trip down blunder lane, we’ve compiled a list of other notable Kirchner faux pas.

Read the full story, Cristina Kirchner’s 11 Worst Gaffes Ever.

MASS UK SURVEILLANCE UNLAWFUL
A secret court in Britain ruled that mass Internet surveillance by the country’s intelligence agency GCHQ was unlawful before December and breached human rights law, The Independent reports. It’s the first time that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, set up in 2000, has ruled against intelligence agencies. The legal challenge was brought by several associations, including Amnesty International and Privacy International. Privacy International’s deputy director praised the ruling, saying that “for far too long, intelligence agencies like GCHQ and NSA have acted like they are above the law.”

VERBATIM
“One time, I heard a father say, ‘At times I have to hit my children a bit, but never in the face so as not to humiliate them.’ That's great. He had a sense of dignity. He should punish, do the right thing, and then move on,” Pope Francis said about corporal punishment during his Wednesday general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

FAILED ENGINES CAUSED TRANSASIA CRASH
Taiwanese officials have concluded that the TransAsia plane crash in a Taipei river was caused by the failure of both engines to produce enough thrust at takeoff, moments before the crash, Reuters reports. After pilots signaled a problem with the first engine, the crew apparently turned off the second and restarted it in an attempt to gain power, but it failed. The dead pilot was hailed as a hero yesterday for having managed to avoid buildings. His body was found with his hand still clutching the aircraft’s joystick. At least 35 people are now known to have died. Eight people are still missing.

MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
[rebelmouse-image 27088617 alt="""" original_size="610x600" expand=1]


JAPAN TO ENFORCE VACATION TIME
There’s a Japanese word for working literally to death, “karoshi.” With an estimated 200 such deaths every year, the Japanese government is reportedly planning to introduce legislation that will make it the legal responsibility of employers to ensure workers take their holidays. According to AP, the average Japanese workers barely take half of their vacation days, preferring to keep them in case of illness and fearing resentment from co-workers.

ON THIS DAY

On this day in 1945, Bob Marley was born. Time for your 57-second shot of history.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

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.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ