When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

blog

That Darker Paris Reality

SPOTLIGHT: A DARKER REALITY IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS

Paris has always had a dark side.

Uprisings, demonstrations, even revolution...the streets of Paris have been awash in blood time and again over the centuries. In far more recent months, terror attacks, floods and strikes have stamped the City of Light as the standing capital of tumult.

Now, a bit of that dark side has arrived in the reality TV world of the Kardashian clan. Kim Kardashian West, one of the most recognizable faces on the internet and wife of rapper Kanya West, was robbed at gunpoint in the early hours Monday at a luxury residence in central Paris. The thieves, disguised as policemen, stole a reported 10 million euros worth of jewelry from the star.

As paparazzi descend on Paris, no doubt someone will warn that even the high-end neighborhood where the reality TV star was robbed has become a "no-go zone." Tourism is the city's lifeblood, and though still the world's most visited destination, Paris has lost some 750 million euros in tourism revenue from the first half of this year alone, following the November 2015 terror attacks.

Paris has long glittered bright in the world's collective imagination, which has made it both a symbol and a target for those with nefarious intentions. When its darker side surfaces, the shadow extends far beyond the internet.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY


COLOMBIANS REJECT FARC PEACE ACCORD

Most people thought the hardest part of putting an end to more than 50 years of war was done when the Colombian government and the FARC rebels reached a peace agreement, but a narrow majority of voters (50.22%) rejected the deal in a surprise upset, El Espectador reports. Turnout was also at a 22-year-low, with just 37,4% of voters taking part in the referendum. Senator and former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez, who campaigned for the "No," said that the result expressed a wish for a renegotiation. "Nobody wants violence," he said.

— ON THIS DAY

Which American football player was acquitted of two murders 21 years ago? Your 57-second shot of history has the answer, and more.

LOW TURNOUT DERAILS HUNGARY REFERENDUM

Only 43% of Hungarian voters cast their ballot in yesterday's referendum on mandatory EU migrant quotas, falling short of the required minimum of 50% to be valid. But with close to 98% of those who voted opposing the quotas, the Hungarian government argued the outcome was "politically and legally" binding anyway. Read more from the BBC.

NOBEL PRIZE WEEK BEGINS WITH JAPANESE WINNER

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016 was awarded to Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi for his "discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy."

VERBATIM

"Let's show the country we mean business," British Prime Minister Theresa May told the Conservative party conference yesterday, in a speech outlining her Brexit strategy. May said Britain would trigger the process by March 2017, meaning that the country will have left the European Union by mid-2019.

$500 MILLION

The Pentagon allegedly paid a controversial British PR firm $500 million to secretly produce a propaganda campaign in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Sunday Times revealed. Part of the company's mission was to produce fake al-Qaeda propaganda films.

TALIBAN ATTACK KUNDUZ

Taliban fighters have entered the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan after launching a coordinated attack from four different directions, in an apparent repeat of the assault that briefly gave them control over the city a year ago, Al Jazeera reports.

INDIAN TROOPS TARGETED IN ANOTHER KASHMIR ATTACK

Insurgents attacked an Indian army camp in the garrison town of Baramulla, in northern Kashmir, killing one soldier in the second such attack in two weeks, The Hindustan Times reports. India has accused Pakistan of supporting the militants, claims that Islamabad rejects.

— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Palm Color — Elche, Aug. 1958

VIRTUAL ANIMALITY

Ever wondered what life's like for a "doomed cow" or a "piece of coral"? Well, now you can (sort of) experience it.

— Crunched by Marc Alves and Sruthi Gottipati

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.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Wagner's MIA Convicts: Where Do Deserting Russian Mercenaries Go?

Tens of thousands of Russian prisoners who've been recruited by the Wagner Group mercenary outfit have escaped from the frontlines after volunteering in exchange for freedom. Some appear to be seeking political asylum in Europe thanks to a "cleared" criminal record.

Picture of a soldier wearing the Wagner Group Logo on their uniform.

Soldier wearing the paramilitary Wagner Group Logo on their uniform.

Source: Sky over Ukraine via Facebook
Anna Akage

Of the about 50,000 Russian convicts who signed up to fight in Ukraine with the Wagner Group, just 10,000 are reportedly still at the front. An unknown number have been killed in action — but among those would-be casualties are also a certain number of coffins that are actually empty.

To hide the number of soldiers who have deserted or defected to Ukraine, Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin is reportedly adding them to the lists of the dead and missing.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Some Wagner fighters have surrendered through the Ukrainian government's "I Want To Live" hotline, says Olga Romanova, director and founder of the Russia Behind Bars foundation.

"Relatives of the convicts enlisted in the Wagner Group are not allowed to open the coffins," explains Romanova.

Keep reading...Show less

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.

The latest