When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Pakistan Mourns, Doctors And Ebola, "Stupid" Dalai Lama

Mourners attend the funeral of a student who was killed in Tuesday's attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar
Mourners attend the funeral of a student who was killed in Tuesday's attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A three-day period of mourning began today in Pakistan, with vigils held in the country’s major cities and funerals in Peshawar, after Tuesday’s Taliban attack on a school in the northwest city that killed 141 people, including 132 children.

The army began a series of massive air strikes early Wednesday against militants, while Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a moratorium on the death penalty for terrorism cases. The Taliban threatened to continue carrying out similar attacks.

Pakistani daily The Nation accused Sharif of having contributed “absolutely nothing towards building a narrative against extremism,” and says that “everyone, from the wider population to the civil and military leadership is responsible for the barbarity our children were subjected to.” The newspaper wrote that the motivation behind its strongly worded editorial was “not to berate or discourage, but to offer a reality check and prompt change of policy.”

The ruble resumed its slide, albeit at a slower pace, after a slight rebound in early trading following what experts are calling a “Black Tuesday” yesterday, when the Russian currency lost close to 20% of its value. A second emergency measure from the Finance Ministry, which said it had begun selling part of its $7 billion foreign exchange reserve failed to stop the trend, according to Bloomberg. The volatility of the currency even prompted Apple to stop online sales of its products in Russia. U.S. President Barack Obama meanwhile increased the pressure on Moscow, saying he would sign a new bill that imposes fresh sanctions on Russian industry and gives him authority to send lethal and non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine. Read more from The New York Times.

The World Health Organization has released its latest figures of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, showing that at least 6,841 people have been killed by the virus and a total of 18,464 have been infected. Liberia still has the highest number of casualties, but the situation is also deteriorating fast in Sierra Leone, where most of the recent cases have been reported. According to The Washington Post, nearly 10% of the country’s doctors have died since the epidemic started in March.

The General Court of the European Union, the EU’s second highest court, has ruled that the Palestinian organization Hamas must be removed from a list of terrorist organizations, The Jerusalem Post reports. The court argued that the decision to place Hamas on that list in 2001 had not been on sound legal judgments but on “factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet.” The ruling however did not lift travel bans or the freezing of the group’s assets. Israeli leaders reacted angrily to the decision and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected Hamas to be put back on the list “immediately.” This comes as a Palestinian delegation will today introduce a UN draft resolution setting a two-year deadline for Israel’s withdrawal from Palestinian territories, despite the U.S. warning that it will veto the text.

Writing in Tel Aviv-based Calcalist, Yoel Esteron looked ahead to the early elections called by Netanyahu, saying it was high time to get rid of the increasingly isolated longtime Prime Minister. “Nobody is trying to hide Bibi Netanyahu's paranoia. It can be felt in each one of his statements. And sadly, his advisors and others surrounding him cultivate it without shame. Bibi is good for Jews! Paranoia is good for Jews! It might even become a campaign slogan."
Read the full article: Leadership-By-Paranoia, Why Netanyahu Must Go.


His Holiness spoke with the BBC.

After Jeb Bush’s announcement yesterday that he would “actively explore” the possibility of running for the White House (which provoked mocking reactions on social media), The Washington Postlooks at the possibility of a new Bush vs. Clinton battle in 2016 and the “complicated” relationship between the two clans. While acknowledging that their last names are an “enormous advantage,” especially to gain access to “big money,” the newspaper notes that they also have their downsides and that only a good campaign can ensure them of being their respective parties’ candidates, as Hillary Clinton learned the hard way when she faced Obama.

Today marks the end of a three-year mourning period for North Korea’s former leader Kim Jong-iI, the father of Kim Jong-un who will now have more freedom “to put a more personal stamp on the way the country is run,” AP writes. This comes after an ongoing series of hacks at Sony Pictures escalated yesterday with hackers threatening 9/11-style attacks on theaters that would show the movie “The Interview.” The New York premiere, planned for tomorrow, has been canceled. In a bizarre twist, the comedy film, which is said to portray the death of Kim Jong-un, is inspiring news ways of protesting, with South Korea activists reportedly planning to drop DVDs on North Korea using hydrogen balloons. Read more from The Daily Telegraph.


A recently discovered species of deep sea snail has been named by scientists in honor of the Clash frontman Joe Strummer. Yes, you read that well.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Profound And Simple Reason That Negotiations Are Not An Option For Ukraine

The escalation of war in the Middle East and the stagnation of the Ukrainian counteroffensive have left many leaders in the West, who once supported Ukraine unequivocally, to look toward ceasefire talks with Russia. For Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Piotr Andrusieczko argues that Ukraine simply cannot afford this.

Photo of Ukrainian soldiers in winter gear, marching behind a tank in a snowy landscape

Ukrainian soldiers ploughing through the snow on the frontlines

Volodymyr Zelensky's official Facebook account
Piotr Andrusieczko


KYIVUkraine is fighting for its very existence, and the war will not end soon. What should be done in the face of this reality? How can Kyiv regain its advantage on the front lines?

It's hard to deny that pessimism has been spreading among supporters of the Ukrainian cause, with some even predicting ultimate defeat for Kyiv. It's difficult to agree with this, considering how this war began and what was at stake. Yes, Ukraine has not won yet, but Ukrainians have no choice for now but to continue fighting.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

These assessments are the result of statements by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, and an interview with him in the British weekly The Economist, where the General analyzes the causes of failures on the front, notes the transition of the war to the positional phase, and, critically, evaluates the prospects and possibilities of breaking the deadlock.

Earlier, an article appeared in the American weekly TIME analyzing the challenges facing President Volodymyr Zelensky. His responses indicate that he is disappointed with the attitude of Western partners, and at the same time remains so determined that, somewhat lying to himself, he unequivocally believes in victory.

Combined, these two publications sparked discussions about the future course of the conflict and whether Ukraine can win at all.

Some people outright predict that what has been known from the beginning will happen: Russia will ultimately win, and Ukraine has already failed.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest