Note to Readers: whileUslept to be relaunched on worldcrunch

April 20, 2011

As you may know, whileUslept was originally launched in Feb. 2010 as part of a bigger online global news project…and four months ago, we went live with the first version of Worldcrunch.com, an innovative new source for top-rate international journalism that selects and translates into English the best foreign-language news brands. Read coverage about it HERE

Right now, we are flat in the middle of launching the official version of Worldrunch, which is consuming all of our attention. And so this note is to let you know that whileUslept will go, er, dormant for the next couple of weeks. When we wake it back up, we plan to also post it on Worldcrunch — and so we invite you to follow us there with any of the below links/options.




cheers! Jeff


While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 13, 2011
LIBYA STALEMATE Divisions appear at the international “contact group” meeting between Libyan rebels and foreign ministers in Qatar as Belgium rejects British call to beef up ground attacks on Gaddafi’s forces, Reuters reports.

MUBARAK DETAINED The BBC reports Egypt’s ex-President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons have been detained for 15 days, ahead of a corruption probe, just hours after the former dictator was taken to hospital with heart problems.

OBAMA TACKLES DEBT President Barack Obama is set to propose tax reform, defense savings and changes in government healthcare spending to curb budget deficit, The New York Times looks at what’s at stake.

CHINESE ARTIST Wife of renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, detained by Beijing authorities on April 3, tells the BBC she has “absolutely no idea” on what has happened to her husband. See how an exhibition on the Enlightenment at the new National Museum of China is raising eyebrows internationally amid the latest wave of repression at Le Monde/Worldcrunch.

ROYAL WEDDING The Telegraph reports Kate Middleton is having her engagement ring – the same sapphire and diamond band once worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales – made smaller to fit her finger better.


In Japansese Ghost Town, Last Holdouts Resigned To Radiation Risk

After Arab Spring, Cuban Dissidents Look For “Spark That Ignites The Whole Country”




While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 12, 2011

JAPAN CRANKS UP RADIATION ALERT Fukushima disaster now on par with Chernobyl, government says. Here’s a tour of what remains in the site of the 1986 disaster in the former Soviet Union, from Le Figaro/Worldcrunch.

AFTERMATH IN IVORY COAST President Alassane Ouattara called on all fighters to put down their arms following capture of longtime strongman Laurent Gbagbo. AP reports gunfire early Tuesday. CNN asks if France’s lead role in crises in Ivory coast and Libya is pushing US to take a back seat.

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN HOSNI MUBARAK? Reuters cites Egyptian sources saying deposed leader will appear in court.

CIA OUT Pakistan is demanding that Washington sharply reduced number of CIA agents, NYT reports.

BOB DYLAN & CHINA: THE REAL STORY Princeton professor and “Dylan Historian” Sean Wilentz posts on the New Yorker site a piece with the real dirt on the troubadour’s first ever appearance in Beijing.


Orphans Of The Dalai Lama


At Home With The Pope: Inside Benedict XVI’s Daily Life (And Menu)



While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

*FLASH: FRENCH FORCES NAB GBAGBO Reuters is reporting that French special forces seized incumbent Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo. Earlier in the day French ground troops went into battle for the first time in Abidjan, the country’s principal city, the BBC reported. Gbabgo, who had been bunkered down in his Abidjan residence, refused to cede power after losing an election last year to President Alassane Ouattara, recognized internationally as the Ivory Coast’s rightful president. Read an in-depth account of the past two weeks in the Ivory Coast from the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, in English via Worldcrunch.


STILL SHAKING Exactly one month after suffering a monster 9.0-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami, Japan was hit Monday (5:16 p.m. local time) by yet another powerful aftershock. The 6.6-magnitude temblor temporarily knocked out power at the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant, the site of an ongoing radiation emergency. Prime Minister Naoto Kan marked the one-month anniversary by thanking the world for its continued support of Japan.


BURQA BAN BEGINS French authorities on Monday began enforcing a controversial law that prohibits women from wearing full-face veils in public. Under the law, the first of its kind in Europe, people caught wearing Muslim niqabs or burqas can face fines of 150 euros, or be forced to take French citizen classes, Reuters reported. The ban resulted in at least two arrests, according to the Telegraph.


PERU PRESIDENTIAL VOTE SET FOR RUNOFF As expected, Ollanta Humala finished first in Sunday’s presidential election in Peru. The left-leaning former military officer garnered 31.6% of the vote, well ahead of the likely second place finisher, Keiko Fujimori (23%), the 35-year-old daughter of jailed ex President Alberto Fujimori, the Wall Street Journal reported. Assuming the results stand, the two will meet in a June 6 runoff.


More from Worldcrunch


BRACING FOR BURNOUT Working hard doesn’t always work, according to an article from France’s Le Monde. Mental health experts say that for highly driven professionals, “burnout” is a real and potentially dangerous problem.


LOVE IN A LOOPHOLE Unable to marry in socially conservative Italy, a gay couple from the town of Savona worked a legal loophole to gain official recognition for their same-sex relationship.  Municipal law allows the two men to be a “family unit,”  La Stampa explains.



While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Friday, April 8, 2011

April 8, 2011

NATO WON’T SAY SORRY Nato has refused to apologize for a “friendly fire” attack on anti-Gaddafi tanks in eastern Libya that killed at least four people Thursday. Rebel forces reacted angrily to the air-strike error, but commanders said it would not damage relations with the allied force, according to the BBC.

GAZA SET TO EXPLODE? AP reports Israeli aircraft and ground forces struck Gaza on Friday, killing two Hamas gunmen and three civilians in a surge of fighting sparked by a Palestinian rocket attack on an Israeli school bus the day before.

The UN says more than 100 bodies have been found in the West of the Ivory Coast in the last 24 hours, as rivals continue to battle for the presidency.  The standoff continues between the two camps backing rival presidential candidates.

CHINA CRACKS DOWN – Chinese avant-garde artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei fell victim to China’s crackdown on dissent when he was arrested on April 3, says a special report from CNN. The New York Times asks what crime Mr Ai has committed.

BUDGET CLOCK TICKING – White House and Congress negotiators are still scrambling to reach a deal on the budget. Without an agreement on spending for the next six months, money to operate the government runs out at midnight on Friday.


Why The Birthplace Of The Tunisian Revolution Has Turned Against The Family Of The Martyr Who Started It All


The Polar Bear Autopsy Of The Century


While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 6, 2011

produced by Worldcrunch

GBAGBO UNDER ASSAULT Opposition forces in the Ivory Coast launched an assault today to dislodge defiant strongman Laurent Gbagbo from his residence he has been holed up in for two days. The goal is “to seize Gbagbo physically,” the New York Times reports.

RADIATION REMEDY? The operator of Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant claims it has “plugged” a leak of highly radioactive water that had been flowing into the Pacific Ocean. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) stopped the flow with sodium silicate, also known as “water glass,” the BBC reports.

MIGRANTS MISSING A ship carrying approximately 200 North African migrants capsized overnight off the coast of Italy’s Lampedusa island. Italian rescue crews were able to save 48 of the passengers. The vessel’s other 150 migrants are still missing, according to the BBC.

CHINESE CRACKDOWN Uprisings in the Arab world have Chinese authorities on red alert. In recent weeks, police have arrested some 20 dissenters. Around 30 others have simply “disappeared” as a result of the secret crackdown, according to a Le Monde article published by Worldcrunch.

QUICKIE START TO BERLUSCONI SEX TRIAL A much anticipated trial over allegations Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi paid for sex with an underage prostitute got off to an anticlimactic start this morning. Proceedings lasted just seven minutes before being adjourned, the AP reports. The trial against the 74-year-old billionaire resumes May 31.


more from Worldcrunch

Yemen: In Southern City Of Aden, A Hotbed of Secessionist Revolt

Da Vinci Gravediggers? Looking For The Remains Of Mona Lisa


While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5, 2011

GBAGBO IN A BUNKER Troops in Ivory Coast loyal to UN-recognised President Alassane Ouattara say they have surrounded the compound of the defiant standing President Laurent Gbagbo. The BBC reports that Gbagbo is sheltering with his family in the basement of his surrounded Abidjan residence. Meanwhile, aid organizations are warning of an impending humanitarian crisis for tens of thousands of refugees who have arrived in Liberia after fleeing violence in Ivory Coast.

LIBYA IN LIMBO Airstrikes hit a convoy of Libyan military vehicles moving toward rebel lines outside the eastern oil port of Brega, as rebels say they have regrouped outside the city. The regime, meanwhile, insisted Moammar Gaddafi won’t step down but said it is ready to discuss changes in how the country is governed. A contrarian Time commentary argues that overthrowing Gaddafi is overrated.

“CONDOLENCE” CASH IN JAPAN Reuters reporting that the operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant had found water with 5 million times the legal limit of radioactivity as it struggles for a fourth week to contain the world’s biggest nuclear disaster in quarter of a century. The plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) has started to offer token “condolence” money to those affected in the Fukushima region where the plant is based.

SWEET MICKEY New York’s sizeable Haiti expat community offers decidedly mixed reviews for Haiti’s newly elected President Michel Martelly, in this NY Daily News piece. Known as “Sweet Micky,” the well-known singer and new president of their hard-pressed homeland is both loved and hated “intensely,” says one Haitian New Yorker.

FINAL ONE Hoops fans were watching to the final buzzer. But for others, here’s the score (and more) for water cooler sports talk today. Connecticut wins the NCAA title, beating Butler 53-41.


Beijing’s Secret Crackdown On Dissidents, Fears Of Arab Spillover

Barolo vs. Bordeaux: Latest Round To The Italian In Red