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Yuan Devalued Again, Kos Migrant Crisis, EU Food Waste

Yuan Devalued Again, Kos Migrant Crisis, EU Food Waste


China's central bank stunned global markets by cutting the yuan's value against the dollar for a second day in a row, this time by 1.6% after deciding on a 1.9% devaluation Tuesday. It's yet more evidence that the country's economy may be in a worse state than the government claims. As The New York Times notes, the devaluation will in theory boost exports and create jobs in China, and it suggests that the country is moving closer to letting market forces determine the currency's value.


"Migrants have beaten policemen, and they kill each other. There is no more law and order on the island," said Giorgos Kyritsis, the mayor of Kos, a Greek island where hundreds of migrants arrive everyday from Turkey. The situation on the island is spiraling out of control with migrants clashing with police yesterday, a day after a police officer was suspended for slapping one man while brandishing a knife. With more than 7,500 migrants already believed to be on Kos, a municipality of just 33,000 residents, Kyritsis requested help from Athens and extra riot police units. According to the United Nations refugee agency, at least 124,000 people have reached Greek shores this year alone.

For more on migrants in Kos, we offer this L'Obs/Worldcrunch article, Kos, When Tourists And Migrants Land On The Same Greek Island.


Photo: Facebook page

White House hopeful Hillary Clinton has agreed to hand over to the FBI the private server that stored her email between 2009 and 2012, when she was U.S. Secretary of State, The Washington Post reports. The former First Lady had until now provided the FBI only with selected emails, despite an investigation into the security of the system, with critics believing that government secrets might have been at risk. At least two emails regarding the 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi included classified material and were categorized as "Top Secret."


Severe floods in the Buenos Aires province killed three people and prompted more than 11,000 to be evacuated. Read more about it in our Extra! feature here.


A 48-hour ceasefire has begun in the southwestern Syrian town of Zabadani and in two other towns in Idlib province after the al-Nusra Front and Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia organization supporting the Syrian government, reached an agreement to allow the delivery of aid to civilians, Al Jazeera reports.


Slow food, slow journalism, slow photography. Just when the world seemed to be getting too fast-paced and chaotic, some folks decided to cool things down. The Italians were the first to put on the brakes in 1986 when a protest against the opening of a McDonald's in Rome morphed into the Slow Food movement. It's about doing things at the right pace, favoring quality over quantity. Since then, the deceleration trend has spread, touching on everything from traveling to money, technology and education. The past few years have seen the development of even more surprising slow concepts.

Read the full article, Gardening, Sex And Other Stuff Best Done Slowly.


Large-scale military exercises by the Russian armed forces and NATO over the past year-and-a-half — as both sides seemed to prepare for a potential conflict over Ukraine — have made the risk of a clash more likely with several near-miss incidents, a new think tank report says. "The changed profile of exercises is a fact, and it does play a role in sustaining the current climate of tensions in Europe," reads the report from European Leadership Network, which urges both sides to talk more to each other and to sign a treaty limiting weapon deployments along borders.



Amnesty International members meeting in Dublin yesterday for a biennial meeting voted to adopt a policy calling for the "decriminalization of all aspects of consensual sex work" in a bid to protect "the human rights of sex workers," the organization announced. The controversial move has sparked intense criticism, even among usual supporters of the group's work.


Happy 66th birthday to British musician Mark Knopfler, of Dire Straits fame. More in today's 57-second shot of history.


About 22 million tons of food are wasted every year in the European Union, a new study claims. The biggest offender? Britain, where the average household wastes close to 6 kilos of food every week.

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Joshimath, The Sinking Indian City Has Also Become A Hotbed Of Government Censorship

The Indian authorities' decision to hide factual reports on the land subsidence in Joshimath only furthers a sense of paranoia.

Photo of people standing next to a cracked road in Joshimath, India

Cracked road in Joshimath

@IndianCongressO via Twitter
Rohan Banerjee*

MUMBAI — Midway through the movie Don’t Look Up (2021), the outspoken PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is bundled into a car, a bag over her head. The White House, we are told, wants her “off the grid”. She is taken to a warehouse – the sort of place where CIA and FBI agents seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in Hollywood movies – and charged with violating national security secrets.

The Hobson’s choice offered to her is to either face prosecution or suspend “all public media appearances and incendiary language relating to Comet Dibiasky”, an interstellar object on a collision course with earth. Exasperated, she acquiesces to the gag order.

Don’t Look Upis a satirical take on the collective apathy towards climate change; only, the slow burn of fossil fuel is replaced by the more imminent threat of a comet crashing into our planet. As a couple of scientists try to warn humanity about its potential extinction, they discover a media, an administration, and indeed, a society that is not just unwilling to face the truth but would even deny it.

This premise and the caricatured characters border on the farcical, with plot devices designed to produce absurd scenarios that would be inconceivable in the real world we inhabit. After all, would any government dealing with a natural disaster, issue an edict prohibiting researchers and scientists from talking about the event? Surely not. Right?

On January 11, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), one of the centers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), issued a preliminary report on the land subsidence issue occurring in Joshimath, the mountainside city in the Himalayas.

The word ‘subsidence’ entered the public lexicon at the turn of the year as disturbing images of cracked roads and tilted buildings began to emanate from Joshimath.

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