A team of Chilean and French researchers says they found a series of underwater caves that could hold scientific clues. Sarah Toms reports.
In this animated video, Forum for the Future founder Jonathon Porritt shares his excitement at how upbeat and dynamic the world could be in 2050, if we play our cards right.
Highlights from the opening ceremonies of Russia’s Winter Games in Sochi.
Amateur video captures a crane collapse in Sao Paulo’s World Cup stadium.
Drone technology helps to clear debris and locate bodies in typhoon-struck Philippines, but critics say it could infringe upon privacy rights.
Japan’s coast guard film an undersea volcano as it erupts to form a new island. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
World Wrap: November 14, 2013
Moscow fears return of militants from Syria, Bangladeshi workers get a raise but protests go on, and Philippines president blasted over typhoon reaction. Today is Thursday, November 14, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.
Russian militants fight in Syria, raise fears back home
Local resident Dzhabrail Magomedov, who studied at a religious school in Damascus, looks on in Novosasitli village in the Dagestan region, September 28, 2013. REUTERS/Ilyas Hajji
Militants’ return. Russian officials fear that locally-born Islamist militants, fighting in Syria alongside rebel troops, may return home to join a violent movement for an independent Islamic state. Deadly clashes between militants and law enforcement are a near-daily occurrence in the North Caucasus region, where some residents abide by Sharia law. Moscow reports that hundreds of Russians are now fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a long-time Russian ally. Some Russian militants who joined troops in Syria fought for Chechen independence in the 1990s, repurposing their training for a new battle:
Since Putin rose to power 13 years ago and crushed a Chechen separatist revolt, he has said he would not allow the Caucasus provinces to split from Russia. But the nationalist cause that inspired Chechens to revolt after collapse of the Soviet Union has mutated into an Islamic one that spread to nearby Caucasus mountain lands. Defeated in Chechnya, rebels now launch near-daily attacks in Ingushetia, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria. Today, the ranks of fighters are filled by youths disillusioned by police brutality, joblessness, corruption and the perceived persecution of religious conservatives.
Russia will host the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014, and has renewed anti-terrorism lawsin preparation for the event. This summer, insurgent leader Doku Umarov called for “maximum force” during the Olympics. Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed plans for a stalled peace conference and the country’s chemical weapons disarmament process with Assad. The opposition has insisted Assad’s removal be a prerequisite for peace negotiations.
A view of a cemetery, where people including militants killed by security forces are buried, on the suburbs of Makhachkala, October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Ilyas Hajji
Wage war. Bangladeshi garment workers protested on Thursday, saying the 77 percent minimum raise proposed by their employers was not enough. The hike would increase the monthly minimum wage from $38 to $68, a figure that would keep Bangladesh’s minimum wage the lowest in the world.
A policeman loads his gun during a clash with garment factory workers in Ashulia, November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj
Violent protests have shuttered more than 100 clothing factories this week. Bangladesh’s lucrative garment industry was put under an international spotlight following the death of 1,130 people, mostly women, killed in the April collapse of a building housing several garment factories.
Aquino under fire. Philippines President Benigno Aquino faces criticism over his response to – and preparation for – the typhoon that devastated his country over the weekend, as foreign aircraft begin to deliver aid and ravaged towns start to bury their dead.
Remnants of a wall that was once part of a building of the Philippine Air Force is seen damaged in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan at the Tacloban airport, November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
Aquino said casualties were avoided by evacuations, but victims report they did not receive sufficient warning of the tsunami-like wall of water. Philippines officiasl report 2,357 confirmed deaths, but aid workers expect the number of casualties to rise. According to the United Nations, 544,600 people were displaced by the storm and nearly 12 percent of the population was affected. Click through for an interactive chart showing the damage, and information on how to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.
Nota Bene: Disgraced German ex-president Christian Wulff stands trial for corruption.
Duke of Conehead - Glasgow saves a beloved statue. (The Atlantic Cities)
Book city - Krakow earns its literary accolades. (The Guardian)
Rock record - Pink Star diamond sets the record for most expensive gem. (BBC)
Prayer pair - Jews and Muslims may share Israel’s al-Aqsa Mosque. (Al Jazeera)
Oh, Canada - Canadians are not interested in a merger with the U.S. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Check out more from World Wrap at Reuters dot com.
World Wrap: November 12, 2013
Khamenei’s corporation eased sanctions strain, Iran blames nuclear impasse on Western leaders, and China’s meager Philippines aid could further harm ties with Southeast Asia. Today is Tuesday, November 12, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.
Ayatollah’s assets protected him from sanctions squeeze
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attends a meeting with high-ranking officials in Tehran, August 31, 2011. REUTERS/www.khamenei.ir/Handout
Spotlight: Iran → Sanctions sidestep. A six-month Reuters investigation found that Setad, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Ayatollah Khamenei’s land-grab firm, has provided the leader with the economic backing needed to remain in control. Setad has also been key in allowing Iran tomaintain independence despite tough Western sanctions, and has managed to avoid restrictions:
In July 2010, the European Union issued a 12-page list of Iranian individuals and entities it was sanctioning. Among them: Mohammad Mokhber, president of Setad, which the EU described as “an investment fund linked to Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader.” Mokhber and the others were cited for alleged links to Iran’s nuclear or missile programs, but the EU gave no further details. The action didn’t target Setad itself. The broader sanctions effort grew tougher. That same month, Washington enacted its strictest measures so far, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, which targeted Iran’s oil and gas sector. The Act, and a series of EU and U.S. sanctions over the following two years, increased pressure on Iran, in particular its energy exports and its banks. Growth slowed to 3 percent in 2011, and the economy shrank 1.9 percent in 2012. Oil exports have fallen by around 60 percent in the past two years as European and most Asian buyers reduced imports because of U.S. and EU sanctions. Iran now earns around $100 million from oil sales a day, down from $250 million two years ago. Setad itself, however, managed to evade the tightening noose. In October 2012, without any explanation, the EU removed Mokhber from its sanctions list.
In June of last year, the U.S. sanctioned Setad and several companies it oversees. Though an official from the U.S. Treasury department told a Senate committee that Khamenei controls Setad, the Ayatollah was not specifically targeted because the U.S. did not want to be seen as motivated by regime change. Explore Setad’s corporate holdings in an interactive chart, and click through forparts one and two of the special report on the Ayatollah’s assets. Stay tuned for part three tomorrow.
Spotlight: Iran → Geneva flop. Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed Western leaders for the impasse during last week’s nuclear negotiations in Geneva, contradicting Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that Iran held up proceedings. On Monday, Kerry said that major powers had drafted a proposal over the weekend: “There was unity, but Iran couldn’t take it at particular moment.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves after a news conference following nuclear talks in Geneva, November 10, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
On Twitter, Zarif responded: “Mr. Secretary, was it Iran that gutted over half of U.S. draft Thursday night?” Russia agreed that it was not Iran’s fault that representatives from France, the U.S., the U.K., Germany, China, and Russia could not agree over the future of Iran’s disputed nuclear program with representatives from that country. Hopes were high for the Geneva meeting, which followed a warming of ties between Tehran and Washington.
Beijing backlash. China’s relatively meager offering of aid to the super typhoon Haiyan-devastated Philippines could harm any chance of goodwill between Beijing and Southeast Asia, long engaged in a dispute over claims to the South China Sea.
Residents cover their noses as they walk past devastated houses after super typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban city, central Philippines, November 11, 2013. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco. See more images here.
China has promised $100,000 in aid to the Philippines – a paltry commitment compared to Japan’s $10 million and relief team, or Australia’s $9.6 million donation. Manila and Beijing have sparred over access to the energy-rich region. Click here for up-to-date information on the aftermath of the storm that left an estimated 10,000 people dead, and here to learn how to help Haiyan’s survivors.
Nota Bene: The Japanese government is completing plans to borrow another $30 billion towards cleaning up Fukushima.
“Let’s get it on” - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford prepares to face motion urging him to take a leave. (The Star)
Fructose fallacy - Mexican Coke is more American than you may think. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Dope drive - The leader of Liberia’s presidential motorcade is arrested for smuggling 654 pounds of marijuana in an official vehicle. (BBC)
Bridesmaid brigade - Sri Lankan couple breaks record for most bridesmaids in a wedding party. (Huffington Post)
Rice regrets - Thailand admits its rice subsidy program may have been a mistake. (Quartz)
Check out more from World Wrap at Reuters dot com.
The death toll from the massive typhoon that hit the Philippines is likely closer to 2,000 or 2,500 people and not the previously reported figure of 10,000, President Benigno Aquino told CNN in an interview on Tuesday.
"The figure right now I have is about 2,000, but this might still get higher," Aquino told CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour in an interview was posted on CNN’s website. "Ten thousand, I think, is too much," he told CNN. "There was emotional drama involved with that particular estimate."
Photo: A town devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in Samar, Philippines on November 11, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro