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Demonstrations go on in Caracas as Venezuela marks Chavez' death one-year anniversary
Demonstrations go on in Caracas as Venezuela marks Chavez' death one-year anniversary
Worldcrunch

CAN U.S. AND RUSSIA START DIALOGUE ON UKRAINE?
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov are meeting today in Paris with other world leaders, on the sidelines of a long-planned conference on Lebanon. The encounter will be an attempt “to ease mounting tensions,” according to France24. It comes after Kerry’s threats yesterday to isolate Russia “politically, diplomatically and economically” if the standoff continues over the contested Crimea region of Ukraine. A Russian senator said any sanctions imposed on Russia “should be reciprocal,” as the upper house of the Russian Parliament is looking into ways to freeze European and American assets, Itar-Tass reports.

  • Speaking earlier at a press conference with Spain’s Foreign Minister, Lavrov expressed concern over the situation in Ukraine, which he said was “a multi-faceted problem” and could eventually become "contagious," the BBC reports. Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu told journalists that groups described by Russia as self-defense organizations are not linked with the Russian army. This comes as a diplomatic source told AFP that a military observation mission from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe would be sent to Ukraine.

  • Riot police in the eastern city of Donetsk, hometown of deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, evacuated a government building occupied by pro-Russian demonstrators after reports of a bomb in the building. Read more from ITV. Meanwhile, Interfax news agency quoted a Ukrainian military source as saying that Russian forces had seized two Ukrainian missile defense battalions, but the Ukrainian Defense Ministry did not confirm the report, according to Reuters.

  • Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of far-right group Right Sector, which took part in the Maidan protests, was put on the international wanted list, Itar-Tass quotes the spokesperson for Russia’s Investigative Committee as saying. For more on the Ukrainian far-right, read this report from Britain’s Channel 4 news: How the far-right took top posts in Ukraine's power vacuum.

  • The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso announced the EU would provide 11 billion euros ($15 billion) of financial aid to Ukraine over the next two years, following the U.S. pledge Tuesday to give Ukraine $1 billion. The new government in Kiev said last week it would need $35 billion over the next two years. According to AFP, documents from the central bank show that Russia sold a record $11.3 billion in foreign currency to support the ruble and limit the scale of the currency’s fall on Monday.

  • To better grasp the historical and cultural differences between Ukraine’s west and east, here is a Le Monde/Worldcrunch analysis: Ukraine: Buried By History, Lost In Translation.

CHAVEZ ANNIVERSARY
Anti-government protestors in Venezuela vow to return to the streets on the first anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s death.

DEADLY GUNFIGHT IN SOUTH SUDAN CAPITAL
Witnesses in the South Sudan capital of Juba have told AFP that several people died early this morning following heavy gunfighting, although there has still been no official confirmation of the number of victims. According to local radio station Tamazuj, the fighting started after an argument between soldiers and a military pay committee.

ISRAELI ARMY SHOOTS TWO HEZBOLLAH FIGHTERS
Israeli soldiers shot two Hezbollah fighters who allegedly tried to plant a bomb on the fence separating the Golan Heights (a Syrian territory occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967) and Syrian-held territory, website Ynet news quoted the army as saying. The army spokeswoman did not confirm the condition of the two fighters. This comes as the situation between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah is growing increasingly tense, after last week’s air strike by the Israeli army for which Hezbollah vowed to retaliate.

TRIAL OF AL-JAZEERA JOURNALISTS RESUMES IN EGYPT
The trial of three al-Jazeera journalists accused of spreading false news and of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood is to resume today in Egypt. The three men and the news organization deny the charges brought against them. According to the BBC, the trial is “a test of Egypt's army-backed government and its attitude to freedom of the press”.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
Tel Aviv-based Calcalist visits an upscale neighborhood of the city where personal security has become a virtual obsession:
"After a few visits here, you realize that beneath the sleepy surface, layers on top of layers of security have been constructed. At first, security tools and personnel were meant to protect the residents and their belongings — but it has evolved into a service aimed at sweeping out all those who “do not belong,” as they are referred to.
No fewer than 150 security cameras are installed throughout the neighborhood. Most of them are visible to all and installed on fences or attached to the houses they surround. According to Goldberg, the visibility of cameras serves as a deterrence."
Read the full article:
In Upscale Tel Aviv, Where Uber-Security Mentality Reigns.

BLAST KILLS THREE SOLDIERS IN PAKISTAN
At least three soldiers from the Pakistani army were killed by a roadside bomb near the northwestern town of Hangu, Reuters reports. The blast comes two days after an attack in a court that killed 11 people despite a ceasefire between the government and the Taliban.

MIDDLE-EAST ENVOYS TO QATAR RECALLED
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have recalled their envoys to Qatar, saying the move is an attempt “to protect their security and stability,” Al Arabiya reports.

MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD

EMBARRASSING DSK POLL
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is gone but not forgotten from French politics. This poll was so surprising, Le Parisien newspaper didn’t even publish it ...

SELFIE-O-MATIC
Wish you had been part of the greatest selfie of all time? It’s not too late, thanks to this Oscars 2014 selfie generator.

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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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