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

Big Palestinian News Doesn't Even Make Front Page Nowadays

At a rally in Gaza City
At a rally in Gaza City
Jillian Deutsch

The most charismatic living Palestinian leader launches a massive hunger strike from his prison cell and the pages of The New York Times: In another time, it would have been front-page news around the world.

Deutsche Welle reports that between 1,100 and 1,500 Palestinian prisoners began Sunday to forgo food to demand access to phones, improved medical services and extended visiting rights for families. Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti called for the movement in an op-ed in the New York Times, in which he called Israel's prisons — which hold about 6,500 Palestinians — "the cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination."

"This new hunger strike will demonstrate once more that the prisoners' movement is the compass that guides our struggle, the struggle for Freedom and Dignity, the name we have chosen for this new step in our long walk to freedom," writes Barghouti, who is serving a life sentence in for his role in the Second Intifada. Considered a hardened terrorist by the Israelis, many Palestinians consider him their people's Nelson Mandela.

marwan barghouti wall palestine

Portrait of Barghouti on the West Bank wall — Photo: Eman

Though the story looks bound to mushroom in the region, four months into 2017, this latest chapter in the eternal Israeli-Palestinian struggle is merely background noise to other huge — once unthinkable — news stories. Take, for example, the U.S. dropping the "mother of all bombs' in Afghanistan last week.

And then there's the daily updates of Israel's neighbor Syria being decimated by the nation's civil war, bringing us "scenes of a world devoid of rules: children killed by poisonous gas, the bodies of prisoners who were tortured or burned alive and a multitude of national armies and rebel groups that hack each other to pieces," as one one Süddeutsche Zeitung writer put it.

In Europe, meanwhile, nationalism is sweeping the ballot boxes, as it apparently did in Turkey's referendum Sunday as well. Oh, and thanks to the rising tensions between the U.S. and both Russia and North Korea, there's suddenly the return of worrying about a real threat of nuclear war.

"I don't wish to alarm you," Paul Mason from the Guardian writes, "but right now the majority of the world's nuclear warheads are in the hands of men for whom the idea of using them is becoming thinkable."

Yes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict merits our attention. But don't blame us for being distracted.

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