When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

ARABICA: A Quick Shot Of What's Brewing In The Arab World

ARABICA: A Quick Shot Of What's Brewing In The Arab World

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

Though largely ignored by the English-language media, Bahrainis continue to press for revolution. Soldiers were brought in earlier this year from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other countries in an effort to keep the Sunni Al Khalifa family from overthrow. With an estimated 80 percent Shiite population, surrounding Sunni regimes consider the preservation of Al Khalifa rule a vital national interest. But Bahrainis are not giving up. Egyptian news channel ONTV aired a video clip making the rounds among Bahrainis preparing for a series of strikes and sit-ins on December 31st. Organizers are urging citizens to carry "portraits of martyrs and detainees' as "fiery revolutionary songs' are played.

An Egyptian court on Tuesday ordered an end to forced virginity tests on female protesters who are arrested, CNN Arabic reported. The court ruled that the armed forces are no longer allowed to conduct the tests, ostensibly "to protect individuals from claiming a possible rape by other detainees by resorting to acts violating the constitution." The tests "violated the women's privacy" and are "humiliating… with the intention of a deliberate insult," the court said in its ruling. An estimated 100 activists outside the courtroom cheered the verdict, as did the two activists, Samira Ibrahim and Maha Mohammed, who filed the lawsuit demanding an end to the forced tests.

*Here, a very conservative Islamist (Salafist) standing outside the courthouse holds a small banner reading: "I want rights for my sister."

*Egyptian Hazem Ghonim tweeted, "If not for a courageous girl named Samira Ibrahim, the issue of virginity tests would have been dismissed by pro-government agents as a rumor to discredit the Egyptian army."

Here, an album of beautiful black-and-white photographs by Randamali6 of the village of Luxor, home to the Valley of the Kings. The images show male and female villagers at home, and working the fields.

Jordan's best-known cartoonist, Imad Hajaj, published a cartoon of what look like two vending machines. The one of the left has a sign reading "Time for sale," as an Arab dictator dressed in military garb (and the words "Arab leaders' written on his back) empties his pockets, sweating and stuffing coins into the machine. The vending machine next to him is empty, with a sign reading "genuine reform."

Jordanian entrepreneur Samih Touqan says in a tweet, "It seems the task of Prime Minister Ain al-Khawasneh's government is not an easy one given the forces seeking to pull it in the opposite direction. I think the government needs support and encouragement and wish it luck."

Dec. 28, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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.


How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest