When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Russia

Rising Markets, Khodorkovsky Pardon, Surfin' Santa

Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2001
Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2001
Worldcrunch

PUTIN TO PARDON KHODORKOVSKY
After his annual press conference, Vladimir Putin stunned reporters by saying he will sign a pardon for jailed ex-Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky “in the nearest time,” RT reports.

MARKETS ON THE RISE AFTER FED’S STIMULUS REDUCTION
European and Asian stocks were on the rise this morning after the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would reduce its $85 billion monthly stimulus to $75 billion, Bloomberg reports. The price of gold and some Asian currencies were dropping.

EU MOVES CLOSER TO BANKING UNION

  • The Finance Ministers of the European Union have reached an agreement on further banking integration, ahead of a two-day summit of EU heads of state, The Daily Telegraph reports. This complex pact will have to be validated by the leaders.

  • According to a BBC correspondent, the deal also represents “the biggest centralization of power in the European Union since the launch of the euro.”

  • For French newspaperLe Figaro, the pact is a victory for Germany and a defeat for French leadership as it was signed on Angela Merkel’s terms.

SOUTH SUDAN REBELS SEIZE MAJOR TOWN
Army defectors in South Sudan have taken control of Bor, a key town in the center of the country, as the fighting continues between rival army factions after Sunday’s alleged coup attempt, Sudan Tribune reports.

PALESTINIANS KILLED IN ISRAELI MILITARY OPERATION
Two Palestinians were killed in separate arrest raids by the Israeli army early this morning, Al Jazeera reports. One of the victims was a member of the Palestinian security forces and a known gunman who had fired first on Israeli soldiers according to an official statement, though locals quoted by news agency Ma’an said the man was shot “in cold blood.”

11 PILGRIMS DEAD IN SUICIDE ATTACK IN IRAQ
At least 11 Shiite pilgrims were killed in a suicide attack in Baghdad, as they were on their way to the holy city of Karbala, south of the capital, AP reports. Police officials said that 22 people were also injured in the attack.

MAN SETS HIMSELF ON FIRE ON ST PETER’S SQUARE
A 51-year-old man poured gasoline over himself and set himself on fire this morning on St Peter’s Square in Vatican City, Italian news agency ANSA reports. The man was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. Authorities don’t yet know the motive of the act.

JEALOUSY, MOSCOW-STYLE
During his annual press conference, Vladimir Putin made a stunning revelation: He envies Barack Obama. Find out what for.

FOTO

Surf’s up for Australian Santa!

ARNIE’S KILL COUNT
Ever wondered how many people Arnold Schwarzenegger has shot down, strangled or freeze-lasered in his acting career? This YouTuber did the math.

CRIME INT’L
The owner of a popular Japanese dumpling restaurant chain was shot dead outside his company’s headquarters.

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.

Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

Keep reading...Show less

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.

The latest