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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 Postreports. 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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Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Women in Italy are living longer than ever. But severe economic and social inequality and loneliness mean that they urgently need a new model for community living – one that replaces the "one person, one house, one caregiver" narrative we have grown accustomed to.

Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones.

Barbara Leda Kenny

ROMENina Ercolani is the oldest person in Italy. She is 112 years old. According to newspaper interviews, she enjoys eating sweets and yogurt. Mrs. Nina is not alone: over the past three years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of centenarians in Italy. With over 20,000 people who've surpassed the age of 100, Italy is in fact the country with the highest number of centenarians in Europe.

Life expectancy at the national level is already high. Experts say it can be even higher for those who cultivate their own gardens, live away from major sources of pollution, and preferably in small towns near the sea. Years of sunsets and tomatoes with a view of the sea – it used to be a romantic fantasy but is now becoming increasingly plausible.

Centenarians occupy the forefront of a transformation taking place in a country where living a long life means being among the oldest of the old. Italy is the second oldest country in the world, and it ranks first in the number of people over eighty. In simple terms, this means that Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones: those over 65 make up almost one in four, while children (under 14) account for just over one in 10. The elderly population will continue to grow in the coming years, as the baby boomer generation, born between 1961 and 1976, is the country's largest age group.

But there is one important data set to consider when discussing our demographics: in general, women make up a slight majority of the population, but from the age of sixty onwards, the gap progressively widens. Every single Italian over 110 years old is a woman.

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