Geopolitics

South Sudan Violence, Snowden And Brazil, Pope Birthday

South Sudan's presidential guard
South Sudan's presidential guard
Worldcrunch

GUNFIRE CONTINUES IN SOUTH SUDAN
Heavy gunfire continued last night and this morning in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, one day after President Salva Kiir announced he had defeated an attempted coup by military members loyal to one of his rivals, AFP reports. According to government officials, 26 people have died and another 140 have been injured in the fights since Sunday.

To learn more about the world’s youngest nation, we offer this Le Monde/Worldcrunch piece, South Sudan: A Hidden Tour Of Juba, The Newest World Capital

JAPAN TO BOOST DEFENSE AMID CHINA TENSIONS
The Japanese Cabinet approved a 5% increase to its defense budget over the next five years, amid growing tensions with China, news agency Kyodo reports. The new plan, which includes the purchase of drones, stealth fighters and submarines, will take Japan’s defense spending to $240 billion between 2014 and 2019.

SNOWDEN TO HELP BRAZIL IF GRANTED ASYLUM
Former NSA consultant Edward Snowden wrote an open letter to the Brazilian people in which he offers Brazilian authorities help investigating U.S. spying in return for permanent political asylum, Folha de S. Paulo reports. Snowden, who is still residing in Russia, explains in the letter that he was made stateless by Washington but that he’d “rather be without a state than without a voice.”

HEZBOLLAH TARGETED BY CAR BOMB
Lebanon’s Hezbollah was targeted by a car bomb last night in the eastern town of Sbouba that killed the car’s driver and injured two members of the militant group, The Daily Star reports, citing security sources. Earlier this month, one of the leaders of Hezbollah, Hassan Lakkis, was found dead near his home.

TURKISH POLICE DETAIN SONS OF MINISTERS IN FRAUD PROBE
Thirty-seven people, including the sons of three government ministers, were arrested this morning in Turkey as part of a probe into alleged bribery and fraud, the newspaper Hürriyet reports. The suspects are thought to have offered money in exchange for construction permits in protected areas.

FOTO

Indigenous people in traditional headdress were arrested in Brazil over the weekend as they
protested the demolition of the Indian Museum in Rio that was destroyed to make way for improvements ahead of the Brazil World Cup.

RECORD LOW APPROVAL RATING FOR OBAMA
A Washington Post-ABC poll shows that a record high of Americans — 55% — disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance. But he’s still much more popular than the country’s federally elected representatives, as 81% of Americans disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress does its job.

BY THE NUMBERS
Pope Francis turns 77 years old today. And we’ve made this photo montage for him.

CRIME INT’L
A Russian governor was assaulted, robbed and shot with an airgun in his French home over the weekend, as thieves stole more than $200,000 worth of jewels.

FRIENDS?
Actor and former drug-addict Matthew Perry, best known for his role as Chandler in Friends, had a heated debate with a British columnist on British television over drug courts and addiction. Watch the video here.

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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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