(Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Getty Images)
Dozens of anti-austerity protesters were arrested after violent clashes in Spain on Tuesday and riot police were on standby in Greece as workers walked off their jobs on Wednesday over the European Union’s policy of imposing austerity on countries mired in debt.
Spanish police told The Associated Press that 38 people were arrested and 64 people injured when officers clashed with protesters demonstrating against cutbacks and tax hikes.
Greek ADEDY labor group member Despoina Spanou makes this sound like a long-term protest: “We call on everyone to take part in the strike and resist the austerity measures that hurt Greek people and the economy. This strike is only the beginning in our fight.”
Frontpage: Monday, June 18th
1. Obama and Putin to Meet: World leaders talked in Mexico Sunday as a meeting of the G20 nations that will focus on the world economy got underway. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Monday.
2. Markets Rally, Settle After Greece: Investors in Europe sighed and then got back to business after a crucial Greek vote Sunday. Markets showed an early advance Monday, but soon receded as Spanish bond yields topped 7 percent and anxiety over the future of the euro zone continued unabated.
3. Attack on Israel-Egypt Border: At least one Israeli civilian was killed in what officials say was a cross-border attack by gunmen who crossed from Egypt. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called it a “disturbing deterioration.”
4. Iran Nuke Talks Begin: There’s not much hope, officials say. World leaders will nonetheless begin two days of meetings with the government of Iran on Monday to try to break the tension surrounding the country’s nuclear program.
5. Egyptian Generals Flex After Vote: No one voted for them. But Egyptian military leaders gave themselves wide-ranging new powers Sunday after the Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory in the country’s presidential election.
Photo by Aaron Jackson / AP Photos:
Empty shelves at the closed Borders bookstore at Penn Plaza in New York in September 2011.
Frontpage: Wednesday, June 6th
- Walker Wins Recall in WI: As numbers continue to be tallied, Gov. Scott Walker has been declared the projected winner in the Wisconsin recall election Tuesday night, beating out Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, whom he had defeated in the 2010 race.
- Greece: We’re Almost Broke: Greek officials said on Wednesday that despite the most recent bailout, they could run out of money as soon as July—shortly after the country’s pivotal elections.
- NATO Strike Kills Afghan Civilians: A local Afghan official said Wednesday that 17 civilians were killed in a NATO airstrike, although NATO officials said there were only two light injuries to civilians. The airstrike also reportedly killed six Taliban fighters.
- Clinton Backs Bush Tax-Cut Expansion: As if Democrats didn’t have a bad enough night, Bill Clinton gave the party some more headaches. The former president said on Tuesday he supports the extension of his successor’s tax cuts—a major break from President Obama’s position.
- Egyptian Protestors Return: Egyptian protesters returned to Tahrir Square on Tuesday night to protest the presidential candidacy of Ahmed Shafiq, former president Hosni Mubarak’s appointed prime minister during last year’s military crackdown.
Photo via shortformblog:
R.I.P. Ray Bradbury: The “Fahrenheit 451” author, who wrote numerous other literary classics in his day, died Wednesday at 91. ”If I had to make any statement, it would be how much I love and miss him, and I look forward to hearing everyone’s memories about him,” Danny Karapetian, Bradbury’s son, said to io9. Sad news.
Frontpage: Thursday, May 24th
- Inquiry Grills Murdoch Lobbyist: News Corp. lobbyist Frédéric Michel appeared before the Leveson Inquiry into the ethics of the British press on Thursday to answer allegations that he communicated with an adviser to the British culture minister, who was overseeing News Corp.’s $12 billion bid to take over the cable company BSkyB. Michel admitted to exchanging phone calls, texts, and email messages with Adam Smith, the government aide, though he denied knowledge that Smith was feeding his communications to the culture minister.
- Egypt Votes for Second Day: Egyptians returned to the polls on Thursday for the second day of voting in the country’s first free election since ousting former President Hosni Mubarak last year. Lines at the polls were not as long as Wednesday, although Egyptian authorities proclaimed Thursday a holiday to allow public-sector employees access to vote.
- Zimmerman Criticized Cops in 2011: George Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood watch volunteer who has been charged with shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, apparently criticized Sanford police last year after he went on a 12-hour ride-along, according to recordings from an open city forum. “What I saw was disgusting,” Zimmerman told mayor-elect Jeff Triplett, who held the forum following a scandal that ousted former police chief Brian Tooley.
- Europe to Greece: Stay in the Euro: It’s been a tumultuous few weeks in Europe. And now that it looks like Greece might leave the euro zone, other European leaders are planning for what could be explosive markets to follow. Most countries agreed that they should issue bonds to help members in financial turmoil, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Greece would have to “uphold the commitments it has made.”
- Suspect Confesses to Strangling Etan Patz: A New Jersey man reportedly confessed to police that he strangled Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who disappeared in 1979, and hid his body in a box, officials told The New York Times on Thursday.
Photo via picturedept:
Photographer Jon Lowenstein took this wonderful photo of last weekend’s anti-NATO demonstrations in Chicago. Lowenstein, who recently received a Guggenheim fellowship, has spent a decade photographing the people and neighborhoods in the South Side of Chicago. Last month, on assignment for Newsweek/Daily Beast, he photographed South Side neighborhoods hit by a dramatic rise in crime and gang violence. View that work here. And you can see many more of Jon’s photographs here.
Frontpage: Wednesday, May 16th
- Mladic War Crimes Trial Begins: The trial of Ratko Mladic, the man accused of being responsible for the bloodiest genocide in Europe since World War II, began on Wednesday at The Hague, 17 years after the Bosnian conflict ended. Mladic is charged with 11 counts, including two counts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity during the Bosnian conflict, including the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica.
- Greeks Pulling Funds From Banks: Greeks are withdrawing euros from banks over fear of the country exiting the single currency and the rapid devaluation they would suffer as a result. In a meeting between Greek President Karolos Papoulias and political leaders, Papoulias spoke of the “fear that could develop into panic” at the country’s banks as the political parties failed to form a coalition government and a new election was announced.
- Romney Wins Nebraska, Oregon Primaries: And the winner is … Mitt Romney! The former Massachusetts governor had no problem running to victory in both Nebraska and Oregon on Tuesday night, winning nearly 70 percent of the vote in the Cornhusker State with three quarters of precincts reporting.
- Facebook IPO Could Top $16B: Facebook will increase the size of its initial public offering by 25 percent, a source told Reuters on Wednesday—meaning the company could raise as much as $16 billion before its shares go public on Friday. If the IPO is increased, it will be the third-largest initial share sale in history, after Visa and General Motors.
- Russian Cops Break Up Protest Camp: Russian police ousted political protesters from a campsite in Moscow early Wednesday morning, a day after a judge ordered the site be cleared because of complaints from neighborhood residents. Police had initially said they wouldn’t move in until noon against “OccupyAbai,” named after the statue of a 19th-century Kazakh writer in Chistye Prudy park, but instead swooped at 5:30 a.m.
Photo: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon attends a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 27, 2011. (Vincent Kessler / Landov) Read: “Dimon’s Unshakbale Hubris.”
Frontpage: Tuesday, May 15th
- Colorado Civil Union Bill Killed: A bill that would have allowed same-sex couples equal rights as married couples was killed on Monday night in a special legislative session. Although the bill had been likely to pass the state’s House of Representatives, Republicans rejected it, claiming the Democrats are trying to use it as an issue before the November elections.
- Poll: Romney Leads Over Obama: Mitt Romney lept ahead of President Obama in a new nationwide poll Monday. The New York Times/CBS poll showed Romney at 46 percent and Obama at 43 percent. Last month the poll had found the two tied at 46 percent.
- Rebekah Brooks Charged: Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch’s onetime deputy, as chief of News International, was officially charged on Tuesday with “perverting justice” in the wide-reaching phone-hacking scandal. Also charged was her husband, Charlie Brooks; the two issued a statement calling the charges a “weak and unjust decision.”
- Greece to Hold New Elections: Greece will hold a new election at some point in the near future, a spokesperson for President Karolos Papoulias said Tuesday—just nine days after an inconclusive vote. Politicians have failed to form a government, and the uncertainty only prolongs the political crisis that could push the country closer to bankruptcy.
- France’s Hollande Sworn In: François Hollande was sworn in Tuesday morning as the president of France, becoming the first Socialist to hold the office in 17 years. Hollande asked that the inauguration ceremony remain as low-key as possible, and neither his children nor those of his partner, Valérie Trierweiler, were there.
Photo: Tyra Banks, photographed in, from left, New York in 2012 and 2003, and Los Angeles in 1992, (Evan Agostini / AP; KMazur / WireImage-Getty Images; Stephen Jerrome / PI-Landov). She penned an open letter to models re: Vogue’s decision not to run anorexic images.
Frontpage: Monday, May 14th
- Majority Supports Same-Sex Unions: A week after President Obama announced his personal support for same-sex marriage rights, a new CBS/New York Times poll shows that 38 percent of Americans believe gay couples should be allowed to marry, while another 24 percent support same-sex civil unions. Thirty-three percent of Americans feel there should be no legal recognition available for gay couples at all.
- Plane Crash in Nepal Kills 15: A plane carrying 21 people, most of them Indian nationals, crashed into a hillside Monday as it descended to land at a Nepalese airport. Many of the passengers were en route to the Muktinath temple, a religious site in the mountainous region.
- Ina Drew Out at JPMorgan: Masters of the universe, perhaps not. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ina Drew, the top-earning chief investment officer at JPMorgan Chase who put her stamp on the trades that went bust, resigned Monday. CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement that Drew’s “vast contributions to our company should not be overshadowed by these events.”
- Papoulias Prepares Final Appeal: Greek President Karolos Papoulias prepared for another meeting with leaders of the country’s main political parties Monday in a final effort to forge a unity government that may stave off Greece’s exit from the euro. His chances of success, however, looked slim.
- Obama Knocks Mitt’s Bain Record: Barack Obama’s camp takes aim at Romney’s corporate experience with a 2-minute ad out Monday, and as tales of corporate bloodsucking go, this one could have been penned by Bram Stoker. The ad revisits the closure of a plant owned by GST Steel, which was acquired by Romney and Bain Capital and then shut down. “They made as much money off it as they could and they closed it down, they filed for bankruptcy, without any concern for the families or the communities,” says former steelworker Joe Soptic in the ad.
Photo: Roy Lichenstein’s “Ohhh…Alright…” (1964) More of Lichtenstein’s gallery, or watch Blake Gopnik, our art critic, discuss his work.
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago
Frontpage: Wednesday, May 9th
- Saudi Likely Created Underwear Bomb: A Saudi bomb maker is believed to be responsible for creating the “underwear bomb” that was a central part of an al Qaeda plot foiled by a CIA double agent, security experts and officials told Reuters.
- Obama ‘Disappointed’ in N.C. Vote: President Obama issued a statement late Tuesday that he is “disappointed” that North Carolina passed Amendment One, which will add a line to the state’s Constitution declaring that marriage between a man and a woman is the “only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized.”
- Shareholder: News Corp. Takes a Hit: The second-largest shareholder in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. admitted on Tuesday that the company’s reputation has been harmed by the hacking investigation and that he “really hopes” the scandal is “behind us.”
- Greek Far-Left Leader Vows Unity: The leader of the Greek far left, who has been tasked with forming the country’s government, said that although he finds the European Union’s bailout terms “barbaric,” he will meet with pro-bailout parties on Wednesday. If the two sides fail to come to an agreement, Greece could have fresh elections in a few weeks.
- Inmate Garners Votes Versus Obama: President Obama was dealt a stinging blow on Tuesday when he lost about 40 percent of the vote in West Virginia’s Democratic primary to a Texas inmate. Keith Judd, who is serving time at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institute, didn’t get much campaigning done, but he was still able to win a significant chunk of the vote.
Photo: Supporters of North Carolina’s proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions demonstrated in Raleigh on April 20. John Avlon reports. (Allen Breed / AP Photo)
Frontpage: Thursday, April 5th
- Romney Surges in Pennsylvania: Things aren’t looking good for Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney’s campaign moved to Pennsylvania on Wednesday, and a poll already shows him leading Santorum in his home state by five percentage points.
- Greek Suicide Prompts Protest: Reports of a 77-year-old Greek pensioner killing himself in Athens’s Syntagma Square have galvanized austerity protesters. Greek media identified the man as Dimitris Christoulas, a retired pharmacist, who allegedly shot himself after leaving a note protesting austerity measures. “I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance,” the note read. People marched in the square and left flowers and notes at the site of Christoulas’s death, but by evening the demonstrations had devolved into violent clashes with riot police.
- Sky News Admits Hacking Email: A senior executive from Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News admitted on Thursday that he had authorized a journalist to hack into email on two separate occasions, and justified the hacking by saying it was “in the public interest.”
- Paul Ryan in Campaign Spotlight: Representative Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney have been saying such flattering things about each other over the last few days and it’s prompted speculation of a vice presidential nomination.
- Syria Attacks Damascus Suburb: Syrian forces launched what activists called one of its most violent assaults yet on a Damascus suburb Thursday, shelling residential areas with tanks. According to Mohammed Saeed, an activist based in the suburb, they used troops as human shields as they marched into the area’s main square.
Frontpage: Friday, Mar 2nd
- Poll: Romney Ahead in Virginia: After sweeping Tuesday’s primaries in Arizona and Michigan, Romney holds a strong lead in the big prize of Virginia, despite voter skepticism in the Super Tuesday state.
- Activists Allege Executions in Homs: Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are engaging in scorched earth tactics, staging executions and destroying buildings in Homs, according to Syrian activists. The UN puts the death count at 7,500, but activists say it’s significantly higher.
- Iranians Vote for New Parliament: Iranians went to the polls Friday in a new parliamentary vote, the first in the country since the disputed 2009 reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mass protests and crackdown that ensued. More than 48 million people are eligible at the 47,000 polling stations set up, but some of Ahmadinejad’s supporters are reportedly asking voters to stay away.
- EU Signs Fiscal Treaty: All but two of the European Union’s leaders met in Brussels on Friday to sign a new fiscal treaty in an attempt to prevent the region from running up huge debts like those that prompted bailouts in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal.
- Obama: ‘I Don’t Bluff’ on Iran: Days before his upcoming talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama warned that the U.S. could take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. “I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” Obama said in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg.
Photo: ”At 33 years old, St. Ford is a former member a gang. Though nearly impossible to leave a gang, occassionally deals are made.” Part of an amazing series of photos from Port-au-Prince by Paolo Marchetti, taken in in August of 2010— seven months after the terrible earthquake. More from Haiti here.
But there are growing signs that Greece, like some drug-addicted relative who lies endlessly, spends recklessly and endangers people foolishly, has worn out its welcome in the euro zone family. And the family has been moving to defend itself. The threat that a financial implosion in Greece would spread instantly to the weak economies of little Portugal and Ireland, then the big economies of Spain and Italy until the whole euro zone and Europe went up in financial flames spreading outward to the feebly reviving American economy and even the slowed-down Asian ones—well, that’s still possible. But it’s less likely.
Christopher Dickey says that Europe is getting fed up with Greece.
Frontpage: Monday, Feb 13th
- Israel Stops Sharing Iran Intel With U.S.: At the beginning of the Obama administration, Obama approved U.S.-Israel joint covert operations aimed at disrupting Iran’s nuclear program. Newsweek has found, though, that Israel has stopped sharing some key planning information on Iran.
- Obama’s Budget Targets Rich: The document is expected to propose raising taxes on millionaires while seeking billions of dollars for infrastructure projects and job-training programs.
- Riots Rock Athens: Greek lawmakers passed an unpopular bailout deal Sunday, as protesters took to the streets in outrage, attacking police with fire bombs and stones.
- Romney Hires Army of Lobbyists: For a campaign running against Washington insiders, Mitt Romney’s team contains a lot of lobbyists. Romney’s kitchen cabinet includes a lobbyist for Walmart and AT&T, a representative of Pfizer, and a managing partner for Clark & Weinstock. Almost 300 lobbyists have donated at least $401,000 to Romney’s campaigns.
- Report: Whitney Death Due to Drugs: The day after Whitney Houston was at the center of an outpouring of grief and love at the Grammys, the Los Angeles coroner’s office has reportedly told her family that she died not of drowning but from a mix of prescription drugs and alcohol.
Photo: Protesters run by a burning building during demonstrations against austerity plans being debated by lawmakers. (Louisa Gouliamaki, AFP / Getty Images)
Frontpage: Friday, Feb 10th
- Rep. Bachus in Ethics Probe: The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama over possible insider-trading violations, the Associated Press reported.
- Bombs Kill 25 in Syria: In the worst violence to hit the northern city of Aleppo yet, twin bomb blasts stuck Syrian military and security compounds on Friday, killing 25 people and wounding 175. No one has claimed responsibility.
- Obama Backs Down on Contraception: According to the Associated Press, the administration has backed down from a fight over requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide birth control for women free of charge under its health care plan.
- Santorum Clarifies ‘Emotions’ Comment: Rick Santorum attempted to clarify yet another controversial remark he made Thursday on CNN, this time saying that he had “concerns” about women serving in combat because of “other types of emotions that are involved,” after the Pentagon announced that frontline roles will be available to both sexes.
- Greeks Start 48-Hour Strike: Just as the European Union breathed a sigh of relief that Greek politicians reached a deal to pass austerity measures needed for an EU bailout and avoid default in March, angry Greek workers on Friday kicked off a protest against new measures in a 48-hour-long general strike all across the country.
Photo: Because it’s Friday (via).
Frontpage: Thursday, Feb. 9th
- Obama’s Economic Approval Rises: Just last summer President Obama’s economic approval rating was a very low 26 percent. Obama must be doing something right, or at least it must appear that way to more people, because now 38 percent of Americans are happy with the way he’s handling the economy.
- Greek Leaders Strike Deal on Cuts: Greek leaders on Thursday reached a deal for deep austerity cuts, a government official has confirmed. By enacting austerity cuts, Greece is now eligible to receive bailout funds from the European Union—and thus will avoid defaulting on its debt.
- U.S. to Approve New Nuke Plants: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is set to approve two new nuclear reactors, to be built in Georgia.
- U.N. Mulls Syria Observer Mission: The U.N. is expected to consider an Arab League proposal for a joint monitoring mission in Syria, while the U.S., Turkey, and other countries are creating a “Friends of Democratic Syria” as a way to support the opposition.
- States Reach $26 Billion Mortgage Deal: The five largest banks in the U.S. agreed to a $26 billion settlement for the roles they played in the mortgage meltdown.
Photo: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men take part in a feast on arbor day in Jerusalem. (Bernat Armangue / AP Photo)
Frontpage: Wednesday, Feb. 8th
- Santorum Sweeps Three Primaries: Do GOP voters have a new favorite non-Romney? Rick Santorum won a stunning three-state victory last night, beating his rivals in the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and in a nonbinding primary in Missouri.
- Homs Shelling Redoubles: So much for the Russian envoy. Bashar al-Assad’s forces redoubled their shelling of the Syrian city of Homs, killing at least 40 people, according to activists. Residents say it’s the heaviest bombardment yet. EXTRA: Shocking Photos & Video From Syria.
- Ron Paul Takes Second in Minnesota: Last night was a good one for Rick Santorum, but Ron Paul also got a bump, beating out Mitt Romney to come in second place in Minnesota. Paul got 27 percent of the vote in Minnesota, 10 points more than Romney.
- Earmarks Linked to Family Ties: More than a dozen members of Congress send earmarks to organizations affiliated with members of their immediate family, according to a Washington Post investigation.
- Greece Meets to Avoid Default: After yesterday’s “crunch meeting” was postponed because of missing paperwork, Greece is meeting again in an attempt to agree on reform that would save the country from default.
Watch: John Avlon asks, Can Santorum Upset Romney? in the latest installment of Campaign Chronicles.
Photo: Jyoti Amge, 18, the world’s ‘shortest woman living (mobile),’ sits in a car while campaigning for a local right-wing political party. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP / Getty Images)