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The World Tunes In To Vegas


It's a favorite trope in U.S. presidential campaign coverage to say "the world is watching." In this campaign, it comes with a heavy dose of close-the-shades embarrassment, between Donald Trump's treatment of women and Hillary Clinton's treatment of her emails. But as the two candidates prepare for what promises to be a fiery final debate, tonight in Las Vegas, it's worth remembering that specific things will change for countries and people far away when a new tenant arrives at the White House:

  • Starting, of course, with Mexicans. As economist Fernando Chavez noted in a piece for América Economia (translated here by Worldcrunch), their contribution to the U.S. economy is huge. But a Trump president is determined to deport scores to the other side of a wall Mexico will be asked to pay for. For Muslims, it's a matter of whether they'll be banned from entering the U.S. (or is it "extremely vetted"?).
  • Which side China is on is anybody's guess, but perhaps the correct answer is: none. From Beijing's perspective, they're either faced with someone who threatened to "ring China with missile defense" and increase U.S. presence in the South China Sea, or with someone who threatens to unleash an all-out trade war.
  • In Europe, a quiet but diffused preference for Clinton is countered by those who are clearly rooting for Trump, hoping that his victory will spell a wave of anti-establishment successes across the continent. With crucial elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany next year, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders and the Alternative für Deutschland party respectively, all see Trump as a model to emulate. His victory, on top of the Brexit referendum, would put wind in all sails heading sharply to the right.
  • Perhaps the foreign leader with the most at stake in this election is Vladimir Putin. Between Clinton, an interventionist who saves her toughest words for Russian foreign policy, and Trump, an isolationist who boasts that he can work together with the Kremlin, the choice appears quite clear for the Russian president. For further proof of where Putin stands, one need only look at the number of reports in the Russian media about risks of nuclear war between Moscow and Washington if Clinton wins.


  • Las Vegas hosts the third and final U.S. presidential debate.
  • Yemen 72-hour ceasefire goes into effect at midnight.
  • The European Space Agency's Schiaparelli spacecraft to land on Mars.
  • Tesla unveils mysterious new product.


Fighting is intensifying around the Iraqi city of Mosul, as Iraqi forces have made key progress in the battle to retake the city from ISIS. But despite widespread shows of confidence that the offensive will succeed, a brigadier general of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces told CNN that it would take two weeks to enter Mosul, and two months to liberate the city, warning that bad weather could delay the process. The UN refugee agency said that 900 civilians had fled Mosul to cross into Syria. Many jihadists have followed the same itinerary over the past few weeks and days, and some fear they may wind up in Europe.


Ecuador's Foreign Ministry has confirmed that the government had decided to "temporarily" restrict Julian Assange's Internet access at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in the wake of the WikiLeaks release of documents from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The statement said that the leaks have had a "major impact" on the U.S. presidential elections, which contradicted Ecuador's "principles of nonintervention in the affairs of other nations." Assange sought refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid questioning in Sweden linked to rape allegations, which the WikiLeaks founder denies. Read more from The Washington Post.


Any John le Carré fans out there? Time for your 57-second shot of history!


"Chemical castration, if we enforce it consistently, will reduce sex crimes and wipe them out over time," Indonesian President Joko Widodo told the BBC, justifying legislation passed earlier this month that allows chemical castration for pedophiles.


China's economic growth remained stable and on target in the third quarter with the country's GDP rising 6.7% from last year. But the Financial Times reports that several analysts are worried over the levels of debt and the housing bubble fueling the growth.


Versailles, the German Pavilion in Barcelona, Phillip Johnson's Glass House … More and more famous buildings around the world are hosting so-called "ephemeral art exhibitions" in a bid to "reboot" their significance. For Argentine daily Clarin, Norberto Feal writes: "Such interventions on architectural landmarks risk becoming more and more common, as artists and curators are finding museums and public spaces too restricted for their shows now. And so some of the world's finest building are subject to these kinds of ‘reboots.' ... Why are masterpieces of architecture treated this way? One wonders, what would happen if Velásquez's Las Meninas in the Prado were covered with Kusama's polkadots?"

Read the full article, When Art Tarnishes A Masterpiece Of Architecture.


Buddhist Birdhouse? — Bangkok, 1993


The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which was supposed to be completed by the end of this year, will be delayed by at least two months due to bad weather in the Indian Ocean, Reuters reports. Investigators have already searched 42,500 of the 46,000 square-mile designated area.



You can grab a pork-less halal hot dog on the streets of Muslim-majority Malaysia. But the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, a religious government body, wants to change the name — to avoid "confusion." Director Sirajuddin Suhaimee explains: "In Islam, dogs are considered unclean and the name cannot be related to halal certification." We'll take two hot cows, hold the mustard.

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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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