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IL GIORNALE (Italy), WALL STREET JOURNAL (USA)

Worldcrunch

Italian daily newspaper Il Giornale chose a deeply provocative headline for Friday's front page: "Quarto Reich" - Fourth Reich, to comment on Germany's refusal to give the European Central Bank more leeway.

Il Giornale is a right-wing newspaper owned by Silvio Berlusconi"s brother Paolo. "Since yesterday, Italy is no longer in Europe, it is in the Fourth Reich," writes the newspaper's editor-in-chief, Alessandro Sallusti, who writes that Germany has won, but Italy, Europe and the euro have lost after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi .

Sallusti also says Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has been defeated, after being "led around for months by the Germans and their false promises." Meanwhile, Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank has lost, had to "bow to the will of Angela Merkel."

In the First Reich, writes Sallusti, "the German head of state also had the title of Emperor of Rome," while two world wars and millions of deaths were not enough to appease the German hegemonic ambitions in the next two Reichs. History repeats itself, "not with cannons, but with the euro." The Germans want Italians and other Europeans to give up and hand over power to the "new Kaiser, Angela Merkel."

"The problem," Sallusti concludes, is that nobody is reacting.

A somewhat more neutral commentator, Allen Mattich of the Wall Street Journal, instead sees Draghi's reaction Thursday as the best option in a tricky situation, "to buy the single currency two or three years; enough time for Europe's politicians to hammer out the fiscal union."

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Ideas

Iran: A Direct Link Between Killing Protesters And The Routine Of State Executions

Iran has long had a simple and prolific response to political opposition and the worst criminal offenses, namely death by shooting or hanging. Whether opening fire on the streets or leading the world in carrying out the death penalty, the regime insists that morality is on its side.

Protesters linked to the Iranian group Mojahedin-e Khalq demonstrate in Whitehall, London in 2018

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Editorial-

In early September, before Iran's latest bout of anti-government protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, there was another, quieter demonstration: Relatives of several prisoners sentenced to death staged a sit-in outside the judiciary headquarters in Tehran, urging the authorities to waive the sentences. The crowd, which doggedly refused to disperse, included the convicts' young children.

Executions have been a part and parcel of the Islamic Republic of Iran since its inception in 1979. The new authorities began shooting cadres of the fallen monarchy with unseemly zeal, usually after a summary trial. On Feb. 14, 1979, barely three days after the regime was installed, the first four of the Shah's generals were shot inside a secondary school in Tehran.

To this day, the regime continues to opt for death by firing squad for its political opponents; the execution method-of-choice for more socio-economic blights like drug trafficking has been death by hanging.

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