Geopolitics

New Paris Terror Suspect, Anti-Islam Protests, "Ronald'Or"

Pro- and anti-Pegida protesters clashed Monday night in Leipzig
Pro- and anti-Pegida protesters clashed Monday night in Leipzig
Worldcrunch

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ANOTHER SUSPECT FOUND IN PARIS TERROR
A Frenchman of Haitian origin who is believed to have been in contact “several times” with one of the brothers responsible for the Charlie Hebdo killings will be extradited from Bulgaria, AFP reports. Fritz-Joly Joachin, 29, was arrested Jan. 1 as he tried to cross into Turkey with his 3-year-old son, whom he allegedly kidnapped.

Meanwhile, French authorities have begun cracking down on terrorist sympathizers. One man in northern France was sentenced to four years in jail for telling police who arrested him for drunk driving, “There should be more Kouachis. I hope you’ll be next,” Le Figaro reports.

Failure to prevent the attacks even though the perpetrators were known to the police and intelligence services has sparked a debate about whether France should adopt its own version of a Patriot Act. Here’s Le Monde’s story, In France, The Patriot Act Temptation.

This comes amid more threats against France from al-Qaeda-affiliated groups. A similar debate is happening in the UK and in Australia.

Simultaneous ceremonies were held in Paris for the three dead policemen and in Jerusalem for the four Jewish victims, who will be laid to rest in Israel.

See Charlie Hebdo’s latest cover and read 7 Things To Know About The Survivors' Issue.

24%
Japan’s emergency police number received more than two million calls that were not emergencies last year, a recent survey shows. More than 24% of those who dialed 110 did so because, among other unusual reasons, they had a blocked toilet at home or hadn’t received the correct change from a vending machine.

PRO AND ANTI-PEGIDA PROTESTS GROW
A weekly march against the “Islamization of the West” by Germany’s Pegida group gathered at least 25,000 people yesterday in the eastern city of Dresden, its biggest turnout yet 12 weeks after the marches began, Deutsche Welle reports. The movement has been invoking the Paris terror attacks, saying that “Islamists showed France that they are not capable of democracy.” Some protesters were carrying French flags and signs reading “Je suis Charlie.” According to Der Spiegel, up to 100,000 people marched in opposition to the Pegida protesters yesterday, with the biggest rallies in Leipzig, Munich and Hannover. This comes ahead of a planned vigil for tolerance in Berlin later today, where Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of her cabinet will meet with representatives of Germany’s Muslim and Turkish communities.

ON THIS DAY

A deadly earthquake and a legendary Johnny Cash concert are just some of the events that happened on Jan. 13. Get your 57-second shot of history in our daily video feature.

MUBARAK’S JAIL TERM OVERTURNED
Egypt’s high court has overturned a three-year jail sentence for embezzlement against former leader Hosni Mubarak. It was the only conviction that remained for him, so the move paves the way for his release from a military hospital, where he has been detained since being toppled in 2011. A retrial has been ordered. The former president also faces a third and final trial over his alleged involvement in the death of hundreds of demonstrators. Read more from Reuters.

MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD


AIRASIA’S SECOND BLACK BOX RECOVERED
Divers have retrieved the AirAsia flight QZ8501 cockpit voice recorder, which holds the last two hours of conversation between the pilots and air traffic controllers. Together with the flight data recorder found yesterday, the device should help investigators identify what caused the Dec. 28 crash with 162 people on board.

SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS HACKED
A group calling itself Cyber Caliphate hacked the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. Central Command for about 30 minutes yesterday and posted what it claimed to be sensitive and confidential data. The documents, though, had already been made public. “We view this as little more than a prank, a Pentagon official said, adding that “no systems or computers were compromised.” The group’s assertion that it’s affiliated with ISIS is probably false.

POPE VISITS SRI LANKA AND PHILIPPINES
Pope Francis was given a warm welcome as he arrived in the mostly Buddhist Sri Lanka for a six-day Asian trip that will also take him to the Philippines. Speaking on the tarmac of Colombo's international airport, Pope Francis gave a short speech focused on the need for peace amid rising religious violence, the importance of human dignity and the “pursuit of truth” with regards to the brutal civil war that ended in 2009. Read more from the BBC.

RONALD’OR
Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for the Spanish team Real Madrid, has been awarded the Ballon d’Or, crowning him the best player in the world for the third time, ahead of rival Lionel Messi. The 29-year-old’s unusual celebration has already fallen prey to Internet memes.

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Preparing a COVID-19 vaccine booster in Huzhou, China.

Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Ciao!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Brazil's senate backs "crimes against humanity" charges against Jair Bolsonaro, the UN has a grim new climate report and Dune gets a sequel. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt explores "Xi Jinping Thought," which is now being made part of Chinese schools' curriculum.

[*Italian]

🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Senators back Bolsonaro criminal charges: A Brazilian Senate panel has backed a report that supports charging President Jair Bolsonaro with crimes against humanity, for his alleged responsibility in the country's 600,000-plus COVID-19 deaths.

• Gas crisis in Moldova following Russian retaliation: Moldova, one of Europe's poorest countries, has for the first time challenged Russia's Gazprom following a price increase and failed contract negotiations, purchasing instead from Poland. In response, Russia has threatened to halt sales to the Eastern European country, which has previously acquired all of its gas from Gazprom.

• New UN climate report finds planned emission cuts fall short: The Emissions Gap Report 2021 concludes that country pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions aren't large enough to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 °C degrees this century. The UN Environment Program predicts a 2.7 °C increase, with significant environmental impacts, but there is still hope that longer term net-zero goals will curtail some temperature rise.

• COVID update: As part of its long-awaited reopening, Australia will officially allow its citizens to travel abroad without a government waiver for the first time in more than 18 months. Bulgaria, meanwhile, hits record daily high COVID-19 cases as the Eastern European's hotel and restaurant association is planning protests over the implementation of the vaccination "green pass." In the U.S., a panel of government medical advisors backed the use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for five to 11-year-olds.

• U.S. appeals decision to block Julian Assange extradition: The United States said it was "extremely disappointed" in a UK judge's ruling that Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, would be a suicide risk of he traveled across the Atlantic. In the U.S., he faces 18 charges related to the 2010 release of 500,000 secret files related to U.S. military activity.

• Deposed Sudan prime minister released: Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been released from custody, though remains under heavy guard after Sudan's military coup. Protests against the coup have continued in the capital Khartoum, as Hamdok has called for the release of other detained governmental officials.

Dune Part 2 confirmed: The world will get to see Timothée Chalamet ride a sandworm: The second installment of the sci-fi epic and global box office hit has officially been greenlit, set to hit the screens in 2023.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Front page of the National Post's October 27 front page

Canadian daily National Post reports on the nomination of Steven Guilbeault, a former Greenpeace activist, as the country's new Environment minister. He had been arrested in 2001 for scaling Toronto's CN Tower to unfurl a banner for Greenpeace, which he left in 2008.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Chinese students now required to learn to think like Xi Jinping

"Xi Jinping Thought" ideas on socialism have been spreading across the country since 2017. But now, Beijing is going one step further by making them part of the curriculum, from the elementary level all the way up to university, reports Maximilian Kalkhof in German daily Die Welt.

🇨🇳 It's important to strengthen the "determination to listen to and follow the party." Also, teaching materials should "cultivate patriotic feelings." So say the new guidelines issued by the Chinese Ministry of Education. The goal is to help Chinese students develop more "Marxist beliefs," and for that, the government wants its national curriculum to include "Xi Jinping Thought," the ideas, namely, of China's current leader. Behind this word jam is a plan to consolidate the power of the nation, the party and Xi himself.

📚 Starting in September, the country's 300 million students have had to study the doctrine, from elementary school into university. And in some cities, even that doesn't seem to be enough. Shanghai announced that its students from third to fifth grade would only take final exams in mathematics and Chinese, de facto deleting English as an examination subject. Beijing, in the meantime, announced that it would ban the use of unauthorized foreign textbooks in elementary and middle schools.

⚠️ But how does a country that enchants its youth with socialist ideology and personality cults rise to become a world power? Isn't giving up English as a global language the quickest way into isolation? The educational reform comes at a time when Beijing is brutally disciplining many areas of public life, from tech giants to the entertainment industry. It has made it difficult for Chinese technology companies to go public abroad, and some media have reported that a blanket ban on IPOs in the United States is on the cards in the next few years.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

"I'm a footballer and I'm gay."

— Australian soccer player Josh Cavallo said in a video accompanying a tweet in which he revealed his homosexuality, becoming the first top-flight male professional player in the world to do so. The 21-year-old said he was tired of living "this double life" and hoped his decision to come out would help other "players living in silence."

🇸🇩💥  IN OTHER NEWS

Why this Sudan coup d'état is different

Three days since the military coup was set in motion in Sudan, the situation on the ground continues to be fluid. Reuters reports this morning that workers at the state petroleum company Sudapet are joining a nationwide civil disobedience movement called by trade unions in response to the generals' overthrow of the government. Doctors have also announced a strike.

Generals in suits At the same time, the military appears firmly in control, with deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok allowed to return home today after being held by the coup leaders. How did we get here? That's the question that David E. Kiwuwa, a professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham, takes on in The Conversation:

"Since the revolution that deposed Omar el-Bashir in 2019, the military have fancied themselves as generals in suits. They have continued to wield enough power to almost run a parallel government in tension with the prime minister. This was evident when the military continued to have the say on security and foreign affairs.

Economy as alibi For their part, civilian officials concentrated on rejuvenating the economy and mobilizing international support for the transitional council. This didn't stop the military from accusing the civilian leadership of failing to resuscitate the country's ailing economy.

True, the economy has continued to struggle from high inflation, low industrial output and dwindling foreign direct investment. As in all economies, conditions have been exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19. Sudan's weakened economy is, however, not sufficient reason for the military intervention. Clearly this is merely an excuse."

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

471 million euros

Rome's Casino di Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi, better known as Villa Aurora, will be put up for auction in January for 471 million euros ($547 million). The over-the-top price tag is thanks to the villa having the only known ceiling painting by Renaissance master Caravaggio.

✍️ Newsletter by Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

Who wants to start the bidding on the Caravaggio villa? Otherwise, let us know what the news looks like from your corner of the world! info@worldcrunch.com!

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