Geopolitics

Sochi Games Begin, Al-Sisi's Future, In Praise Of "Camelatte"

Australian Scotty James during a qualifying run at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Australian Scotty James during a qualifying run at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

U.S. WARNS OF BOMB THREAT ON SOCHI

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned airline companies to watch out for explosive materials that could be hidden in cosmetic tubes, including toothpaste, CNN reports. Republican Congressman Michael McCaul said that according to the bulletin, the explosives could be used during flights to or in Sochi, where qualifying events for the Winter Olympics began today.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calls for an “Olympic truce” around the world during the Sochi Games.

As journalists arrived in Sochi, they shared with Twitter followers the often funny, though sometimes disgusting, reality of their hotel rooms, suggesting that Sochi was unprepared.

This comes amid reports that hundreds of stray dogs have been killed by the authorities, who have said the animals can be wild and dangerous. There is also a movement afoot to save the remaining animals. Read more from The New York Times.

Check out the air that Australian snowboarder Scotty James managed during a qualifying run today.

MYSTERY CONTINUES AROUND AL-SISI’S FUTURE
It is still unclear whether Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will run for president in the election later this year. Reports in a Kuwaiti newspaper of al-Sisi saying he would be a candidate were dismissed as having been “misinterpreted.” Should he decide to run for president, his popularity and lack of opposition would likely give him an easy victory. Read more from the BBC. For more on the Egyptian army leader, we offer this Le Temps/Worldcrunch portrait.

DEADLY ACCIDENT IN S. AFRICAN GOLD MINE
Rescuers in South Africa have recovered eight bodies from a gold mine near Johannesburg after a fire broke out, apparently triggered by a small earthquake, news agency SAPA reports. Nine miners were rescued yesterday evening, but one remains missing.

POST-FIRE MOURNING IN ARGENTINA
The Argentine government declared two days of mourning following the deaths of nine emergency services workers in a warehouse fire in southern Buenos Aires, Infobae reports. The warehouse belongs to a U.S. based company called Iron Mountain, specializing in documents and data management. An investigation is ongoing to find out what caused the fire.

SONY TO CUT 5,000 JOBS
Technology giant Sony announced it would cut 5,000 jobs as it revised its growth forecast from an initial $295 million profit to a loss of over $1 billion for the financial year ending in March, Bloomberg reports. The Japanese firm will also sell its Vaio PC unit and split its television division.

BY THE NUMBERS
Hookahs are being banned in establishments in Jordan, where the practice of smoking from the water pipes has been a staple of the culture since the days of the Ottoman Empire.

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD

IN PRAISE OF … ‘CAMELATTE’
If you’re looking for an alternative to cow’s milk that’s both rich in Vitamin C and low in fat, maybe you should try camel milk.
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Society

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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