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Staff Picks, Our 15 Best Stories Of 2019

Staff Picks, Our 15 Best Stories Of 2019

LES ECHOS

France's Yellow Vests And The Problem With Post-Truth Economics

Opinion shapers have a habit these days of disregarding facts, be they scientific or economic. Opinions matter, of course, but shouldn't supersede well-founded knowledge.


SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG

RoboJudge: When Laws Are Transformed Into Computer Code

Laws take time to catch up with reality. Could we program them into binary systems? It is tempting, but it is also dangerous.


DIE WELT

Lagos Postcard: When EU Pushes Migrants To Go Back Home

Nigerian painter Isaac sold everything and left Lagos, in the hope to make it to Germany. After barely surviving in Libya, he gave it all up and went back.


LE MONDE

J'Accuse, Me Too: France And The Polanski Morality Play

New sexual assault accusations surfaced in France before the release of Roman Polanski's new film (titled "J'Accuse" in French) about the Dreyfus affair of a false accusation against a French-Jewish army officer. Who is accusing who here?


RUE AMELOT

My 17th-Century Aunt And Killing The "Witch Hunt" Metaphor


DIE WELT

Short-Term Thinking, The Ruin Of Today's Politics

Democratic systems offer little incentive for long-term thinking. But unless we can implement true, forward-looking policies, problems like climate change will only multiply.


EL ESPECTADOR

In Colombia, When Your 7-Year-Old Is Transgender

In Bogotá, a transgender girl and her family are, with their openness, helping similar people take their rightful place in society.


LES ECHOS

Thou Shalt Never Be Polite To Robots

Google and Amazon are trying to force us to speak politely to their AI-driven personal assistants. But giving souls to our technology is a dangerous return to the past.


CLARIN

Christchurch To Sao Paulo: Our Age Of Nihilistic Terrorism

The white supremacist who killed 50 at New Zealand mosques is like other mass killers attached to myths of ideological identity that lack any real political horizon.


THE INITIUM

In A Beijing Park, The Cold Calculations Of Senior Dating

Loneliness, sex and economics rule among aging singles in the Chinese capital.


CUMHURIYET

Istanbul's Opposition Mayor And Hopes For Turkish Democracy


LIVY BEREG

Just The Two Of Us: Why Belarus' Lukashenko Is Betting On Putin


ONESHOT

Watch: Cinq — Lorenzo Tugnoli, Yemen Humanitarian Crisis


LE MONDE

End Times And Ecology: Finding Meaning With Our Planet In Peril

Can the possibility of the end of the world give meaning to life? A French philosopher (and mother of young children) fears the worst but tries to live the best she can.


RUE AMELOT

Racism And Soccer In The Time Of Salvini, A Napoli Homecoming

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Geopolitics

How A Drone Strike Inside Iran Exposes The Regime's Vulnerability — On All Fronts

It is still not clear what was the exact target of an attack by three armed drones Saturday night on an arms factory in central Iran. But it comes as Tehran authorities appear increasingly vulnerable to both its foreign and domestic enemies, with more attacks increasingly likely.

Screenshot of one of the Saturday drone attacks arms factory in Isfahan, central Iran

One of the Saturday drone attacks arms factory in Isfahan, central Iran

Screenshot
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — It's the kind of incident that momentarily reveals the shadow wars that are part of the Middle East. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack by three armed drones Saturday night on an arms factory complex north of Isfahan in central Iran.

But the explosion was so strong that it set off a small earthquake. Iranian authorities have played down the damage, as we might expect, and claim to have shot down the drones.

Nevertheless, three armed drones reaching the center of Iran, buzzing right up to weapons factories, is anything but ordinary in light of recent events. Iran is at the crossroads of several crises: from the war in Ukraine where it's been supplying drones to Russia to its nuclear development arriving at the moment of truth; from regional wars of influence to the anti-government uprising of Iranian youth.

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That leaves us spoiled for choice when it comes to possible interpretations of this act of war against Iran, which likely is a precursor to plenty of others to follow.

Iranian authorities, in their comments, blame the United States and Israel for the aggression. These are the two usual suspects for Tehran, and it is not surprising that they are at the top of the list.

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