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Nigeria

Gunmen Kill 106 In Nigeria, Italy's New PM, Curtain Rod World Record

Following Enrico Letta's resignation, Italy’s Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi received a mandate to form a new government
Following Enrico Letta's resignation, Italy’s Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi received a mandate to form a new government
Worldcrunch

ISLAMIST GROUP KILLS 106 IN NIGERIA
Fighters with the Islamist group Boko Haram killed 106 people over the weekend in a small Christian village in northeastern Nigeria, bringing the death toll over the last few weeks close to 300, newspaper Punch reports. According to witnesses, the gunmen gathered a group of men and shot them before going after the rest of the villagers.

VENEZUELA EXPELS THREE U.S. OFFICIALS
Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro has expelled three officials from the U.S. embassy, accusing them of conspiring with opponents against his government, ahead of new announced protests tomorrow in Venezuela. In a televised address, Maduro reiterated in strong terms his country’s independence from Washington. Read what he said.

GERMANY TO RESUME COUNTER-ESPIONAGE AGAINST U.S.
Germany is considering resuming its counter-espionage program against Western allies, including the United States, according to a report by magazine Der Spiegel. The measures being debated are said to include a “basic observation” of the U.S. and British embassies. Read more in English from Deutsche Welle.

NEPAL PLANE CRASH LEAVES NO SURVIVORS
All 18 people aboard a small plane that crashed yesterday amid bad weather conditions in central Nepal were found dead, website eKantipur reports officials as saying. According to The Himalayan newspaper, the bodies of the victims have been taken to the capital of Kathmandu to be identified.

FOTO

French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, who broke Sergey Bubka's 1993 world record Saturday, got an early start in the sport with a curtain rod. A family photo of a then-4-year-old Lavillenie has been making rounds on the Internet.

COPILOT HIJACKS ETHIOPIAN PLANE
The copilot of an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Rome hijacked the plane this morning and landed in Geneva in order to seek asylum, euronews reports. After landing, the man reportedly left the aircraft through a cockpit window using a rope and was arrested. None of the passengers were hurt.

RENZI TO BE SWORN IN AS NEW ITALIAN PM
Italy’s Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi received a mandate this morning from President Giorgio Napolitano to form a new government, following Enrico Letta’s resignation, news agency ANSA reports. But according to an Ipsos poll, only 31% of those surveyed believe Renzi is a good replacement to Letta. For more about the man who forced out his PM, we offer this La Stampa/Worldcrunch piece: How Matteo Renzi Broke Every Rule Of Italian Politics.

BY THE NUMBERS
Just two weeks after the first “baby hatch” was established in the south China city of Guangzhou, nearly 80 abandoned infants have been collected from the safe place.

CRIME INT’L
An Estonian truck driver in Sweden was cited twice in the same day for drunk driving.

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD

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Geopolitics

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. But as he approaches his highly contested reelection bid at home, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to use the issue to his advantage.

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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