Leo Tilmont

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Geopolitics

All Aboard A French Frigate Fighting Pirates In The Gulf Of Guinea

GULF OF GUINEA - In the dark of night, dozens of oil wells are spitting orange flames. They are the only things to be seen on this jet-black sea. This area south of Nigeria is one of the largest offshore oil fields in the world.

There are no lights on the deck of the Latouche-Treville either. The French frigate is silently patrolling the ocean. On this June night, in the deep waters off Port Harcourt, the battleship is patrolling a 200 square kilometers area. The area is rigged with traps: abandoned derricks, secondary platforms, primary platforms and pipelines binding them together like a spider web, over thousands of kilometers. On the navy maps, the wells of French oil company Total look like big coins.

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Future

Reprogramming Brain Cells: A Breakthrough For New Kinds Of Therapy?

GENEVA – For a long time, the brain was considered a kind of black box, whose internal workings were largely a mystery. But recently, this special organ has started yielding its secrets, thanks in part to the progress made in the field of genetics.

Neuroscientists from the University of Geneva have achieved a breakthrough that could open great medical perspectives in “fixing” damaged brains. The researchers opened the cranium of mice – which remained alive throughout – and “reprogrammed” some of its brain's neurons. In other words, they changed the original function of the mice’s brain cells!

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Economy

On Cyber-Security And Big Brother, From An Internet Founding Father

You probably have never heard of French engineer Louis Pouzin. But you might not be reading this website without him. At 82, he offers a unique perspective on Edward Snowden, and us all.

PARIS - The French engineer who is credited with inventing the precursor to the Internet has been voicing concern about lack of privacy and Internet security for years now.

Under the roof of Buckingham Palace, in front of the British prime minister and from the hands of the Queen herself, Louis Pouzin received the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering last month. Louis who, you say? Pouzin, an 82-year-old French-born and educated engineer and polytechnician (from the famed École Polytechnique).

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blog

Hit It! What's No. 1 On World's Music Charts

Here are the songs topping the charts from some music hot spots around world.


First, warm up with the Worldcrunch pick of the week:

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Geopolitics

Egypt In His Hands? Snapshot Of General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi

The Egyptian Army Chief and Defense Minister had ordered the ultimatum to President Morsi, and then followed through. A portrait of Egypt's strongest strong man.

“Morsi isn't our president any more. Sisi is with us!”

These were the public cries for the unlikely new hero of Egyptian revolutionaries: General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, chief of the Egyptian Army and Defense Minister, gave off quite a stiff impression in his tight outfit, as he took his first steps on the international stage.

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Future

Signs Of Times: Chinese Society Seen Through Microblogs

BEIJING - An article last month in the Beijing Evening News declared that: “one-third of news going viral on microblogs are rumors.” Referring to a survey called China New Media Development Report, 2013, the article cited the "chaos" of China's microblogging platforms. Since then, this form of media has received a wave of mainstream attention in China.

There are two points in particular worth noting. First, the production and dissemination of rumors is mentioned specifically in the report. No matter what one's stance may be on a particular subject, we can all agree that a rumor is a bad thing, typically spread by people with ulterior motives conspiring to sabotage and disrupt social stability.

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food / travel

Top 10 Outrageous Dishes From Around The World

Some like to travel for the breathtaking sights, some want to discover exotic new cultures. But the real adventure often comes delivered on your plate.

We know our classics, here at Worldcrunch: the French eat frogs and the Cambodians eat bugs. We went a bit further than that. Way further.

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Geopolitics

Croatia Makes It 28! But An Ever-Expanding EU Comes With Big Risks

PARIS - More than decade after the end of the Balkan wars, Croatia has become the 28th member of the European Union as of Monday, July 1, 2013. This is undoubtedly a positive sign for Europe as the old continent faces a new wave of euro-skepticism.

Europe remains attractive despite the rise of individual nationalisms. This new membership, following Slovenia, is also another way to offer closure after Europe's failure to end the terrible massacres in the former Yugoslavia without the decisive intervention of the United States.

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Geopolitics

Why Real Reform In China Can No Longer Wait

BEIJING- Not long ago, I raised the question of why 35 years after China began to open up its political and economic system, the task of reform seems harder than ever. Why, in other words, is it so difficult to change a system? Wouldn't it be better to just proclaim that China has built a brand new system so reform is no longer needed?

After much deliberation, the answer is a clear "No", because without true reform, even bigger trouble will be waiting.

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Geopolitics

An American Judge Accused Of Setting War Criminals Free

After a string of acquittals by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, some accuse Judge Theodor Meron, a Polish-born American citizen, of having a political agenda.

THE HAGUE - Is the authority of international justice going wobbly?

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the body responsible for trying those accused of the most atrocious crimes committed in the 1990s, has delivered several judgments recently that surprised some of its closest observers.

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Society

As Tour De France Begins, Interview With A Defiant Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong hasn’t told “the whole story” yet. Ever since his long-awaited January confession with Oprah Winfrey, the high priestess of American talk shows, the now former seven-time winner of the Tour de France hasn’t uttered a word, just a rare tweet from time to time to his four million followers on Twitter.

So when we proposed to him three months ago to “tell his tale” in the pages of this newspaper, he –- in his own words -- first thought about telling us to “f*#k off.” That was before he realized that it was in fact “a damn great idea.”

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eyes on the U.S.

Apocalypse Now? American Survivalists Ready With Gas, Guns And Protein Bars

They were shocked by 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and they firmly believe the world is coming to an end. To cope with the imminent disaster, some of these preparation enthusiasts (or "preppers") turn their SUVs into armored fortresses while others buy fancy bunkers. Julie Zaugg met one of those so-called "survivalists."

NEW YORK - His name is Tommy DiLallo, and he avoids garbage cans at all cost. "There might be a bomb in it," says the fortysomething, who at this moment is slaloming between commuters to reach the end of the platform. "I always get in the first wagon: I’ve studied train wrecks, and you have a better chance of getting out alive if you are in the first or last wagons," says the former Marine, now working in computer sciences. He is about to return to his home on Long Island, where he dedicates all his free time to manifesting his paranoia.

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