Thursday, November 20, 2014
IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS STALL
As talks on Iran’s nuclear program continue in Vienna ahead of a Nov. 24 deadline to reach an agreement, Iran’s nuclear chief told reporters that his delegation saw “no more room for further negotiations” on the design of its controversial Arak nuclear reactor, AFP reports. This reactor, which the West fears could provide Iran with weapons-grade plutonium, is a thorny issue that almost derailed initial negotiations last year. Iran insists that the Arak reactor is for research purposes only.
A resident of Alden, New York, shovels snow from atop his car. Up to six feet of the white stuff fell on the region Tuesday, stranding dozens of motorists on roadways and causing at least seven deaths.
FARC AGREES TO RELEASE GENERAL
Colombia’s rebel group FARC has agreed to release an army general and four other people abducted over the weekend “as soon as possible” after reaching common ground with Colombian government representatives, El Espectador reports. Peace talks between the faction and the government, which started two years ago, are also likely to resume in the Cuban capital of Havana. For more on the five-decade-long conflict, we offer this El Espectador/Worldcrunch op-ed, FARC Understands Nothing About The "People" Of Colombia.
An average of 13 people a day have been killed in conflict-torn Ukraine since the Sept. 5 ceasefire agreement, a UN official revealed Thursday.
Observers deployed in eastern Ukraine by Europe’s Organization for Security and Co-operation said they had been shot at by “military personnel” in a government-controlled area west of the embattled city of Donetsk. As AFP reports, both sides have criticized the mission and have questioned its impartiality. Observers have been accused of revealing the positions of fighters from both sides.
MORSI TO FACE DEATH PENALTY
Egyptian prosecutors have asked the Cairo Criminal Court to impose a death sentence for toppled President Mohamed Morsi and 35 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders when the case resumes Nov. 26.
As Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Florian Fuchs and Sven Loerzer report, a bizarre case of a Munich woman who refused to bury her mother, instead keeping her mummified body in her home for five and a half years, is raising a series of practical and legal questions. “According to Süddeutsche Zeitung sources, the 55-year-old daughter had a career as an engineer, but had taken early retirement. When her mother was still alive, the divorced woman tried to commit suicide and was thus known to the police.”
Read the full article, She Lived For Five Years With Her Mummified Mom.
N. KOREA THREATENS NUCLEAR TESTS
North Korea responded aggressively to yesterday’s UN resolution, which could pave the way for the country to be referred to the International Criminal Court. The country threatened to beef up its military deterrence in an “unlimited manner” and to conduct a fourth nuclear test, AP reports. In return, South Korea warned its neighbor that it would be faced with a resolute response from the international community if it went ahead with another nuclear test, and instead urged North Korea to take "specific and actual" measures to improve its human rights situation. North Korea has so far rejected accusations of human rights violations.
“He is getting better, but everything is relative.” Former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher, who suffered brain injuries in a ski accident last December, is paralyzed, can't speak and has memory problems, his friend Philippe Streiff told French radio.
FAR-LEFT VICTORY IN GERMANY
Left and center-left parties in east Germany’s state of Thuringia have reached a landmark agreement that will see the far-left party Die Linke head the regional government for the first time since the fall of Communism, Deutsche Welle reports. Under the deal, which comes two months after the state’s elections and just days after anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bodo Ramelow will likely become Thuringia’s state premier, though his nomination will be subject to a Dec. 5 vote. The idea of a regional government led by the far-left has caused heated debate in Germany, and yesterday’s announcement is likely to stir trouble in the federal government, where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party is in coalition with the center-left.
SOUTH KOREA FERRY CEO JAILED
The head of the company that operated the South Korean ferry that sank in April, killing more than 300 people, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, news agency Yonhap reports. Kim Han-sik was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, violating maritime safety laws, embezzlement and corruption.
Who knew pollution could be so beautiful? National Geographic and NASA teamed up to create a striking visualization of how carbon dioxide flows around the world. Check out the mesmerizing video here.