When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Satoshi Nakamoto, the man Newsweek claims invented Bitcoin
Satoshi Nakamoto, the man Newsweek claims invented Bitcoin

OBAMA-PUTIN PHONE CALL, EU SANCTIONS
During a one-hour phone conversation, President Barack Obama told Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he had violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity by sending troops into Crimea, The Daily Telegraph reports. Putin in turn told Obama that the new Kiev government had imposed “absolutely illegitimate decisions on the eastern, southeastern and Crimea regions,” Reuters quoted a Kremlin statement as saying. According to the statement, Putin “stressed the paramount importance of Russian-American relations to ensure stability and security in the world. These relations should not be sacrificed for individual differences, albeit very important ones, over international problems.”

European Union leaders decided yesterday to suspend negotiations with Russia on investment and visa-free travel but warned Moscow that a second round of sanctions, which could include freezing assets and travel bans, was possible if it “jeopardizes the Ukrainian sovereignty,” Euronews quotes French President Francois Hollande saying. At the same time, Brussels also agreed to sign an association agreement that includes free trade with Ukraine. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry urged all parties to “avoid further deterioration” and appeared to criticize the threat of sanctions, Itar-Tass reports.

Meanwhile, the speaker of Russia’s upper House of Parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, said there will be no war with Ukraine. “It’s complete nonsense, it absolutely does not reflect our intentions, the feelings of empathy and the pain we feel for the Ukrainian people,” ITV reports. Matviyenko also said that the Parliament would support the referendum in Crimea if voters decide to join Russia. In Kiev, however, interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk declared that no one in the civilized world would recognize the “so-called referendum,” echoing Obama’s words that the vote was “illegal.”

Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets claims that former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych has been taken to a Moscow hospital after a heart attack and that his condition is “grave.”

The situation in Ukraine is likely to affect the Paralympic Games set to begin today in Sochi, two weeks after the end of the Winter Olympics. This morning, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told radio station France Info that no officials would travel there, as their presence would be “inappropriate.” Similarly, the U.S., Britain and Germany will not send representatives to Sochi. But Ukraine announced that its athletes would take part in the games, the BBC reports.

BITCOIN IN THE NEWS
This week’s issue of Newsweek features a story about the Japanese-American man it says is behind the virtual currency Bitcoin. Is this him?

Meanwhile, the Japanese government said today that transactions in the virtual unit could be subject to taxation, even though it doesn’t recognize it as a currency, The Japan Timesreports. This comes one week after the collapse of Mt. Gox, an exchange based in Tokyo. For more on Bitcoin, we offer this America Economia/Worldcrunch piece: Bitcoin Cometh: Why Digital Money Is Bound To Take Over.

TWO DEAD IN VENEZUELA PROTESTS
An officer from the National Guard and a civilian were shot dead yesterday in Caracas after clashes erupted over a barricade removal, bringing the number of deaths since the beginning of the demonstrations to 20, El Universalreports. According to Al Jazeera, witnesses say the shots came from a crowd of protesters, while Diosdado Cabello, the president of the country’s National Assembly, blamed "snipers" positioned on top of a nearby building. In the meantime, President Nicolás Maduro gave 48 hours to Panamanian ambassador Pedro Roberto Pereira and three of his fellow diplomats to leave the country, one day after severing ties with Panama, which he accused of conspiring against Venezuela.

MALARIA SPREADING WITH WARMER TEMPERATURES
A recent study shows that the malaria virus risks spreading among populations that live in the South American highlands and Africa due to warmer temperatures, the BBC reports.

VERBATIM
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to ban YouTube and Facebook after damning audio recordings of him and his son have fueled a corruption scandal against him.

BY THE NUMBERS
A new poll shows that 71% of American Catholics think Pope Francis represents a “major change in direction.” Read more fromThe New York Times.

And Argentine officials have found the remains of a Spanish ship that sank in 1765.

MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD

IN OTHER NOSE...
Meet the world’s fastest man at … typing on a keyboard with his nose.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Economy

Abenomics Revisited: Why Japan Hasn't Attacked The Wealth Divide

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promised to tackle wealth inequality and help struggling workers. But a year after he came to power, financial traders are once again the winners.

Japanese workers will still have to wait for the distribution of wealth promised by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Yann Rousseau

-Analysis-

TOKYO — Panic on the Nikkei, the Japanese stock market. Almost a year ago, at the end of September 2021, traders went into a panic in Tokyo. On Sept. 29, Fumio Kishida had just won the general election for the country's main conservative party, the Liberal Democratic Party. He was about to be named Prime Minister, succeeding Yoshide Suga, who'd grown too unpopular in the polls.

Kishida had won through a rather original reform program, which was in stark contrast with years of conservative pro-market politics. In his speeches, he had promised to generate a “new capitalism”. A phrase that makes investors shudder.

While he did not completely renounce his predecessors’ strategy called “Abenomics” — named after free-market stalwart Shinzo Abe, who was killed last July — Kishida declared that the government needed to tackle the issue of the redistribution of wealth in the island nation.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

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.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ