Tuesday, December 2, 2014
UKRAINE AND REBELS AGREE ON CEASEFIRE
Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russian rebels have “agreed in principle” on a “total ceasefire” in the eastern region of Luhansk, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe announced. According to the OSCE, heavy weapons will start being withdrawn from the region on Dec. 6. Such an agreement appears a long way off in Donetsk, where AFP explains that heavy fighting continues around the city’s devastated airport, although negotiations are expected today.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced yesterday that he would pull the plug on South Stream, a gas pipeline project that would have run under the Black Sea, providing a route outside Ukraine to feed southern Europe’s gas needs. The alternative, smaller pipeline will go through Turkey. Read more fromThe Washington Post.
A diver dressed as Santa Claus fed marine animals inside an oceanarium in Manila Tuesday.
ISIS LEADER’S WIFE AND SON DETAINED
Lebanese authorities have detained a wife and a 9-year-old son of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after they entered the country with fake identification cards 10 days ago, Reuters reports. According to Lebanese newspaper as-Safir, the pair, described as a “valuable catch,” were arrested in coordination with “foreign intelligence apparatus.” Meanwhile, the UN’s World Food Programme announced yesterday that it would suspend its aid scheme to Syrian refugees scattered across the Middle East because of lack of funds. More than 1.7 million Syrians will be affected.
As Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Michael Bauchmuller writes, this week’s 20th UN Climate Summit in Peru will discuss strategies to combat global warming. One sure way is for investors to steer clear of oil and gas and bet instead on clean energy. “Fortunately, the first pension funds and insurers are taking their money out of the oil business, which is in the best interests of their investors and the insured,” the journalist writes. “The World Bank and other large development financiers are no longer offering credit for new coal-driven power stations. It's absurd that in a country like Germany, which is in the process of changing its energy sources, there is currently serious discussion about whether a subsidiary of the KfW Development Bank can keep financing coal-driven power plants. It cannot, of course. The message must be: Forget fossil fuels.”
Read the full article, Fossil Fuels Must Go The Way Of The Dinosaurs, Now.
DEADLY AL-SHABAB ATTACK IN KENYA
At least 36 quarry workers in Kenya were killed in an attack by Somalia-based terrorist group Al-Shabab, the BBC reports. According to residents, the gunmen attacked while the workers were sleeping, separated Muslims from non-Muslims and executed those who were Christians. In a statement sent to AFP, the group claimed responsibility for the massacre and vowed to continue the campaign of violence in Kenya. Meanwhile, on the other side of Africa, Boko Haram attacked northern Nigeria yesterday, following the Friday bombing of a mosque that killed at least 120 people. Read more from The New York Times.
MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
HONG KONG PROTEST FOUNDERS TO SURRENDER
The three co-founders of Hong Kong’s Occupy Central pro-democracy protests announced they would surrender to police tomorrow afternoon and were “prepared for the consequences,” the South China Morning Post reports. The leaders also called on students to retreat from protest sites and instead “transform the movement to extend the spirit of the umbrella movement.”
N. KOREA ACCUSED OF HACKING SONY PICTURES
Amid mounting evidence, North Korea is not denying its alleged involvement in a cyber-attack that targeted Sony Pictures ahead of a comedy film release depicting a CIA plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong-un, Reuters reports. In a message sent to The Verge, the hackers took a similar stance as North Korea regarding Seth Rogen’s and James Franco’s The Interview, which they said is “harming regional peace and security and violating human rights for money.” The website writes, however, that it’s too early to be certain of exactly who is behind the cyber-attack and that “so far, all the North Korea connections are circumstantial.”
‘O LUNA MIA
Simon, our Italian astrologer, believes this will be a great week for the Taurus who could make a “wonderful discovery.” Find out what’s in store for you in our weekly ‘O Luna Mia horoscope.