Sharon Legacy, Bangkok Shutdown, Golden Globes

Anti-government rally Monday in Bangkok
Anti-government rally Monday in Bangkok

Anti-government demonstrators in Bangkok are blocking the main access points to Thailand’s capital as they try to shut down the city to increase pressure on the government and on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign. It comes just a few weeks ahead of a general election, The Bangkok Post reports. According to Reuters, 10,000 police officers and 8,000 soldiers have been deployed, but there are no reports of violence.
For more on the subject, we offer this Le Monde/Worldcrunch piece: Unrest In Bangkok Reveals Thailand's Deep Social Divide.


  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to prepare for the Syrian peace conference, dubbed Geneva 2, scheduled for Jan. 22. Yesterday, the 11 countries that form the “Friends of Syria” urged the Syrian opposition to attend next week’s conference and vowed to exclude Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from a potential transition government. Read more from AFP.

  • On the battleground, near the Turkish border, up to 100 Islamist fighters from the al-Nusra front are thought to have been executed by another al-Qaeda-linked group, the Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant, as infighting among different factions of the opposition continue, activists have said. Read the full story from RT.

Iran will begin implementing the nuclear deal it reached with the U.S. and five other powers on Jan. 20 in exchange for relief from some of the sanctions imposed on the country, The Washington Post reports. Under the agreement, Tehran will significantly curb its nuclear activities for six months at the end of which a final deal is to reached. The relief from oil sales is estimated to mean between $4.2 billion and $7 billion for Iran’s economy, according to AP.

One of Israel’s great statesman to some, and an unpunished war criminal to others, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is being buried today in the Negev desert. Several world leaders, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, traveled to Jerusalem to attend a ceremony at the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. Sharon’s coffin will then be taken to his farm in the Negev desert, Sycamore Ranch, where he will be buried.
Follow live updates on Haaretz, and read our exclusive coverage: Ariel Sharon's Legacy, Views From 10 Different Countries.

An Italian man killed his flatmate in Dublin after a late-night chess game turned ugly. The killer reportedly calmly told police over the phone that he had eaten his victim’s heart, but an exam found no damage to his heart. However, one lung is missing.

India soon will be officially recognized as polio-free, three years after its last reported case.

At the Golden Globe ceremony in Beverly Hills yesterday, Breaking Bad was honored with two awards (best drama series and best actor in TV series). But despite seven nominations, the crew behind 12 Years A Slave settled for a single award for best motion picture. Here’s the full list of winners and nominees.

The event also had its share of controversy, as people on Twitter, including Mia and Ronan Farrow, reacted with derision to Woody Allen being awarded the special Cecil B. DeMille award.

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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