Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


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. 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


While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011
  • Japanese engineers have begun releasing radioactive water into the sea, in an attempt to create more storage capacity for even more radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. They’re also planning on building a silt fence in the ocean to stop the spread of radioactive material, though construction of the barrier could take “several days,” according to Hidehiko Nishiyama, Japan’s spokesman on nuclear safety.
  • Southwest Airlines says it will cancel 100 additional flights today, after discovering “small, subsurface cracks” in two jets. Yesterday, the airline cancelled 300 flights, or 9-percent of its schedule, after finding cracks in three planes. Southwest began inspecting its fleet after a plane’s fuselage ripped open in mid-flight, on Friday. The company expects the inspections to wrap up by Tuesday.
  • Protests in Yemen are raging on, today, with some 90,000 demonstrators gathering in the city of Taiz. CNN is reporting that eleven people have been killed, and more than 500 have sustained injuries. Medical field teams say they were attacked by the government’s central security forces and the Republican Guard. Much like all the other protesters in the region, Yemen’s demonstrators have major issues with their national leader, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who, according to Reuters, is being pressured by the U.S. to step down.
  • Barack Obama kicks off his 2012 re-election campaign today, with a video posted to his website. He’s also blasting everyone’s inboxes with e-mails, urging his grassroots supporters to get up and start “talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends” (about Obama, presumably). In a cute little twist, today’s announcement from the 44th President comes on the fourth day of the fourth month of this year.

While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011
  • Italy has begun moving more than 1,700 North African migrants to a temporary camp in the Puglia region. The country estimates that 20,000 migrants have arrived on its shores, on the heels of the recent turmoil in Libya and Tunisia. On Wednesday, however, residents in Manduria called for the camp’s closure, arguing that many migrants had already escaped.
  • Japan is looking to bail out Tokyo Electric Power Co., owner of the country’s faltering nuclear plant. The government plans to support the company with public funds, but confirmed that it will not take more than a 50-percent stake in TEPCO. “TEPCO has been operating as a private company,” Japanese Prime Minster Naoto Kan told reporters. “We would need to support them, but what I would basically like is for TEPCO to work hard as a private company.”
  • Bouzeid Dorda, Libya’s chief of intelligence, is denying rumors that he has abandoned Moammar Gadhafi. Two members of Gadhafi’s inner circle have already severed ties with the embattled leader, but Dorda insists that he will not “betray the people or the leader.” Meanwhile, pro-Gadhafi forces are ramping up their efforts to maintain control over the country

While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31, 2011

produced by Worldcrunch

NATO TAKES SOLE COMMAND OF LIBYAN AIR OPERATIONS On the ground, CIA operatives work to connect with rebel fighters who have seen their surge toward Tripoli impeded. (CNN)

UK REFUSES IMMUNITY TO DEFECTING LIBYAN FOREIGN MINISTER Britain refuses to offer Moussa Koussa immunity from prosecution after his apparent defection, but said his departure would hearten rebels fighting to topple Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. (AP)

IVORY COAST: GBAGBO LOSES KEY PORT CITY Forces loyal to one of Ivory Coast’s rival presidents, Alassane Ouattara, have captured the key cocoa-exporting port of San Pedro. (BBC)

SARKOZY IN JAPAN CALLS FOR GLOBAL NUCLEAR REFORM French President makes call for new global nuclear standards by the end of the year during a first visit by a foreign leader to Japan since the earthquake and tsunami that triggered its atomic disaster. (Reuters)

from Worldcrunch…

‘Mad Max’ Brigade: Libyan Rebels, More Enthusiastic Than Effective


Gaddafi, Fashion Icon: The Power Politics Behind Extravagant Couture




While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Friday, March 25, 2011

March 25, 2011

produced by Worldcrunch

NEW BREACH FEARED AT JAPANESE NUCLEAR PLANT Damage to all-important containment vessel of the No. 3 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could raise risk of a large-scale release of radiation. (CNN)

WESTERN AIR ATTACK CONTINUES IN LIBYA, TRYING TO CRIPPLE GADDAFI TANK POWER Also, western-led operations to enforce a no fly zone won more Arab support when the United Arab Emirates said it would take part, but France cautioned the conflict could take weeks, or months. (Reuters)

RIVAL RALLIES IN YEMEN AS PROTESTERS DEMAND PRESIDENT’S RESIGNATION Mass rallies in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, come a week after some 50 people were shot dead at a protest. (BBC)

QUAKE HITS MYANMAR, AT LEAST 70 DEAD Powerful earthquake topples homes in northeastern Myanmar. Death toll could rise significantly. (AP)

UNITED STATES GDP GROWTH REVISED UPWARD Commerce Department revises fourth quarter growth to an increase of 3.1% annualized from the earlier estimate of a 2.8% rise. (MarketWatch)


The Streets Of Paris: Who To Target, The Prostitute Or Pimp?