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

Biden In Kiev, Ferry Death Toll, Vatican Penthouse

Sad reality on Earth Day
Sad reality on Earth Day

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with Ukrainian leaders Tuesday in a show of support for the new government. Speaking in the capital’s Parliament building, Biden said the U.S. stood with Ukraine in the face of “humiliating threats,” the BBC reports. Earlier, a phone conversation between Biden and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, resulted in both sides blaming each other over the conflict, according to Russia’s RTnetwork.

  • Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government and the U.S. State Department have released photographs of soldiers in eastern Ukraine they claim are Russian special forces fighters. One photo allegedly shows a bearded Russian soldier in Georgia in 2008 and again in the Ukrainian cities of Kramatorsk and in Sloviansk in 2014. Read more from The New York Times.

  • Pro-Russian militants are still holding official buildings in at least nine towns around Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine. While the interim government in Kiev said it promised to meet some of the pro-Russian demands — decentralization of power and guarantees for the status of the Russian language — Le Monde reports that separatists are accelerating the organization of a referendum in eastern cities such as Luhansk.

As 21 additional bodies were retrieved Tuesday morning from the ferry that sank last Wednesday off the coast of South Korea, the death toll has risen to 108, the Korean news agency Yonhap reports. As search operations entered their seventh day, finally in more favorable weather conditions, the focus is now on decks of the ship, where most of the 190 missing passengers are believed to have been trapped. Out of the 476 people on board, only 174, including the ship captain and most of the crew, have been rescued. Families of the missing have pleaded with the rescue operation teams to wrap up the search before Thursday, before tidal waters and weather are expected to become fierce again, according to The Chosun Ilbo.

As the world celebrates Earth Day today, this picture reminds us, if need be, that the protection of the planet's environment and its people are intertwined.

U.S. President Barack Obama leaves for Japan Tuesday as part of a four-nation, eight-day trip in Asia. USA Today reports that he will “dine with the Japanese emperor, return some ancient seals to South Korea, tour a giant mosque in Malaysia and speak to American troops in the Philippines.” The visit comes amidst tensions in the region over both historical and territorial issues. Japan has angered both regional power China and fellow U.S. ally South Korea, which both accuse Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of wanting to whitewash Japanese war crimes of the past. Meanwhile, territorial disputes in the South China Sea remain unresolved.

Le Monde’s Tokyo correspondent Philippe Pons looks at the largely overlooked return by Japan to the global weapons trade. “Japan can now sell military gear — described in official documents as "defense supplies," another notable euphemism — to certain countries if it wishes, provided that they do not represent a threat to global peace and security and that the weapons are not resold to a third country. Japan, which produces ammunition, assault rifles, tanks, ships and the US-2 amphibious aircraft, is thus considering selling its gear to the Philippines and Vietnam, two countries that also have territorial disputes with China."
Read the full article:
Japan's Quiet Return To Global Weapons Market.

The U.S. claims to have indications that a new chemical attack, probably with chlorine, was carried out in Kfar Zeita, a village in Hama province located some 125 miles north of Damascus, according to Reuters. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said they were examining whether the Syrian government was responsible.

While Pope Francis lives in a modest apartment, former Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone is about to move into a massive penthouse next door. Check our "By The Numbers" feature here.

The United Nations has evacuated 93 Muslims from the Central African Republic capital Bangui to Bambarito “save their lives”, the AFP reports. A UN official said the evacuated Muslims had been “constantly attacked” in Bangui.

One year after terrorists struck the Boston Marathon, the 2014 running of the iconic race was completed without incident, though not without surprise: Meb Keflezighi, 38, crossed the finish line ahead of the pack, the first American man to win since 1983. Here is The Boston Globe’s photo collection from Monday’s race.


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