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Pakistani Christians in Lahore praying for the victims of the Peshawar school massacre.
Pakistani Christians in Lahore praying for the victims of the Peshawar school massacre.
Worldcrunch

Monday, December 22, 2014

SOUTH KOREA NUCLEAR PLANTS THREATENED
South Korea’s nuclear plant operator has launched a two-day drill to check the safety of the country’s four power plants after a hacker leaked non-critical data and threatened further leaks yesterday, news agency Yonhap reports. It’s unclear whether it was connected to North Korea and the Sony Pictures hacking.

North Korea, meanwhile, reacted angrily to accusations that it was behind the Sony hacking and to President Barack Obama’s vow to “respond proportionally” to it. A long statement published by the official Korean Central News Agency once more denied responsibility for the cyber attacks and threatened unspecified attacks against “the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland,” describing it as “the cesspool of terrorism.”

Commenting on the attacks and the movie The Interview, a Chinese official said the country condemned cyber attacks but that was no proof North Korea is to blame.

PAKISTAN RESUMES TERRORIST EXECUTIONS
Pakistan officials targeting Taliban militants have arrested five more people, including a key commander, Dawn reports. This comes after the country resumed executions of convicted terrorists by lifting a 2008 moratorium in the aftermath of last week’s massacre that killed 141 people, 132 of them children. Six people have already been hanged, but a senior government official told AFP this morning that Pakistan is planning to execute about 500 militants in the coming weeks.

POLICE MURDERS CREATE WIDER NY DIVISION
New details of the Saturday murders of two New York police officers indicate that the gunman told onlookers moments before the attack to “watch what I'm going to do,” the police department's chief of detectives, Robert Boyce, said. The shooter, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had a lengthy rap sheet, with at least 19 arrests, and said on social media that the attack was in retaliation for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of the police. He turned the gun on himself moments after killing the policemen. “There is no more important job ahead for Mayor de Blasio than to lead and unite the city,” The New York Times wrote in an editorial. “He cannot allow it to fracture into opposing camps of those who support outraged protesters and those who stand with aggrieved cops. Never has his ‘one city’ promise been so urgently and so sorely tested.” Meanwhile, the president of the officers’ union accused City Hall of having “blood on their hands.”

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
As Die Welt’s Julia Friese writes, so-called “mermaiding” is now something very real for enchanted girls and women who can don tails and dive in. But some are better at it than others. “This is no time for second thoughts,” Friese writes. “So I keep that monofin going, sending water splashing everywhere, getting wetter and wetter. In the pool's aluminum-covered ceiling I can see blurry images of us mermaids. Pushing off with our hands from the pool rim, we plunge below water, colorful, graceful (in theory), our hair flowing. The fascination with mermaids — aside from the fact that they are half fish, half human — is that they are bewitchingly beautiful but unable to engage in any sort of heavy eroticism. They are teases personified.”
Read the full article, Yes, Mermaiding Is A Thing.

ISLAMIST ATTACKS RAISE FEAR IN FRANCE
Police officers shot and killed a 20-year-old man Saturday in the French town of Joué-lès-Tours after he attacked a police station with a large knife while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”). Three police officers were injured, two of them seriously, but their lives are no longer in danger, La Nouvelle République reports. The man, a French national born in Burundi who recently converted to Islam before turning to radicalism, was known to the police for common law crimes but was not on the radar of French intelligence services. His Facebook page apparently displayed an Islamic State flag before the attack.

There was another attack Sunday evening in the city of Dijon when a man in his forties deliberately ran down pedestrians in his car, injuring 11 people, two seriously. Some witnesses say he also shouted “Allahu Akbar,” although others say they simply heard a shout. The man, said to be unbalanced and to have been placed in mental health hospitals, including very recently, was arrested after targeting pedestrians in five different parts of the city. His motives remain unclear for now, but a source told Le Monde he mentioned the “Islamic war” and the “children of Palestine.”

MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



SPANISH PRINCESS CRISTINA TO APPEAR IN COURT
Cristina de Borbon, the sister of Spain’s monarch Felipe VI, will stand trial for tax fraud as part of an investigation into her husband’s business dealings, El País reports. A former Olympic handball player, Inaki Urdangarin is accused of embezzling millions of euros in public funds through his non-profit organization. The pair have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. It will be the first time in the country’s history for a member of the royal family to face trial. Read more in English from the BBC.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION DISPUTE IN TUNISIA
The two candidates in the second round of Tunisia’s first free presidential election have both claimed victory ahead of today’s release of official results, Le Monde reports. Beji Caid Essebsi and his secular alliance, which also won the country’s general election in October, announced his victory minutes after the polling stations closed. His opponent, incumbent President Moncef Marzouki, rejected the claim. On its front page, newspaper La Presse de Tunisie writes that yesterday’s vote was one for “pride, ambition and hope” as the country makes its last step towards full democracy four years after an uprising that ousted authoritarian leader Ben Ali and paved the way for the “Arab Spring”.

ORANGUTAN GRANTED BARE RIGHTS NECESSITIES
An Argentine court has ruled that a 20-year-old orangutan held in a zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary, recognizing it as a “non-human person” with the right to freedom.

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Society

Papá, Papá, On Repeat: Are We Men Ready For Fatherhood To Change Our Lives?

There is a moment on Saturday or Sunday, after having spent ten hours with my kids, that I get a little exasperated, I lose my patience. I find it hard to identify the emotion, I definitely feel some guilt too. I know that time alone with them improves our relationship... but I get bored! Yes, I feel bored. I want some time in the car for them to talk to each other while I can talk about the stupid things we adults talk about.

A baby builds stack of blocks

Ignacio Pereyra*

This is what a friend tells me. He tends to spend several weekends alone with his two children and prefers to make plans with other people instead of being alone with them. As I listened to him, I immediately remembered my long days with Lorenzo, my son, now three-and-a-half years old. I thought especially of the first two-and-a-half years of his life, when he hardly went to daycare (thanks, COVID!) and we’d spend the whole day together.

It also reminded me of a question I often ask myself in moments of boredom — which I had virtually ignored in my life before becoming a father: how willing are we men to let fatherhood change our lives?

It is clear that the routines and habits of a couple change completely when they have children, although we also know that this rarely happens equally.

With the arrival of a child, men continue to work as much or more than before, while women face a different reality: either they double their working day — maintaining a paid job but adding household and care tasks — or they are forced to abandon all or part of their paid work to devote themselves to caregiving.

In other words, "the arrival of a child tends to strengthen the role of economic provider in men (...), while women reinforce their role as caregivers," says an extensive Equimundo report on Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighting a trend that repeats itself in most Western countries.

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