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An orangutan hugs its caretaker at a Christmas party in a zoo in Malabon, Philippines
An orangutan hugs its caretaker at a Christmas party in a zoo in Malabon, Philippines
Worldcrunch

December 19, 2014

KURDS BEAT ISIS ON MOUNT SINJAR
Kurdish forces have broken a months-long ISIS siege on Mount Sinjar after a two-day offensive backed by U.S. airstrikes. The BBC describes it as the Kurds’ “biggest victory yet” against the terrorist group. Thousands of displaced people had been trapped on the mountain in northwestern Iraq since August. Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced that three ISIS military leaders had been killed in airstrikes over the past few weeks.

FOUR ARRESTED FOR PESHAWAR MASSACRE
Pakistan authorities have intensified their crackdown on Taliban insurgents after Wednesday’s Peshawar school massacre that killed 141 people, most of them children. At least four suspects, including a woman, were arrested this morning over their possible complicity in planning the attack, Dawn reports. Meanwhile, a military campaign near the border with Afghanistan continues, with at least 67 Taliban fighters killed since late yesterday.

CIA REPORT: DRONE STRIKES COUNTERPRODUCTIVE
Drone strikes and others means used in the U.S. “high-value targeting” campaign could actually “increase support for the insurgents” and terrorist groups, according to a secret 2009 CIA report published by WikiLeaks. An article in The Sydney Morning Herald notes that the report acknowledges the campaign’s mixed results in Afghanistan and Iraq. But figures from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism show that drone killings nevertheless increased dramatically the year after the report was written. Also reporting on the leak, Süddeutsche Zeitung observes that the language used in the report dehumanizes the people, referring to them only as “targets.” Wikileaks announced this was the first in a new series of leaked secret documents from the CIA.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
As Les Echos’ Anais Moutot writes, the French may never abandon the notion of mealtime as sacred, but it seems they love their crumpets and chips. France is now the second-largest importer for British food products. “It mostly the snack products for which the English have a real savoir-faire that have found their place in supermarkets, says John Gleave, head of the UK Trade and Investment's French food department. Tyrrells chips, for instance, are massively popular. Launched in 2002 by a farmer in Herefordshire, a county that borders Wales, the brand has been exporting to France for two years, and it hasn't changed its packaging at all. The inscriptions are in English and the packaging, with retro photos, are humorous. David Milner, the company's general manager, says it's thanks to this ‘100% British positioning’ that the chips are successful. Their sales in France are growing on average 25% a year, he says.”
Read the full article, Bon Appetit, And Pass The Crumpets! British Food Invasion In France.

EU SANCTIONS AGAINST CRIMEA
The EU should adopt a long-term strategy on Russia if it wants to challenge “Russia's approach not only to Ukraine but also to Europe,” Donald Tusk, the new president of the European Council, said yesterday. This came as the European bloc announced new sanctions, this time targeting Crimea by barring European and EU-based companies from making any investment there. European cruise ships are also banned from Crimean ports. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the sanctions were “unacceptable.”

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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