All World stories

Russia and China are friends with benefits

In case you’re wondering what Vladimir Putin got up to during his state visit to China this week, it included a stop in “Little Moscow,” visiting a Soviet soldier memorial, and dreaming up plans to launch a rival singing contest to Eurovision (which banned Russia in 2022).

Most importantly, Putin was looking to firm up ties with the nation that threw Russia a lifeline after it invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Why is a small French island territory revolting?

You know protests have gotten out of hand when the government bans both TikTok and alcohol sales — which is exactly what happened this week in New Caledonia. 

Driving the news: France has imposed a state of emergency on the Indo-Pacific island territory of New Caledonia after days of rioting killed five and injured at least 300 people. A thousand police reinforcements were sent in to “regain control” of certain areas. 

Panama’s accidental prez renews Canadian mining hopes

In an inspiring story for last-minute planners everywhere, José Raúl Mulino won the Panamanian presidential election despite being on the ballot for only two months.

Driving the news: Originally the running mate of Ricardo Martinelli — Panama’s president from 2009 to 2014 — Mulino stepped up after Martinelli was barred from running due to a money laundering conviction. Despite this, Mulino won the race with ~34% of the vote. 

Israel-Hamas negotiations escalate

Critical negotiations for a ceasefire and hostage releases between Israel and Hamas are back on as Israel moves further into the southern Gaza city of Rafah. 

What happened: Delegations from both sides headed to Cairo to negotiate a ceasefire and hostage releases hours after Israel said its military forces took control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing connecting to Egypt, where 1.4 million people are thought to be sheltering. 

This Dutch city wants to pay off poor families' debts

One city in the Netherlands is trying out one weird trick to alleviate the debt of its downtrodden citizens: paying it off for them. 

Driving the news: The Dutch city of Arnhem is launching an unorthodox debt cancellation pilot. Over the next two years, four different charities will cover the debts of 40 to 60 of the city’s poorest families, no strings attached, with the government only paying for project costs.

Houthi rebels extend their attacks

Don’t look now, but the Houthi rebels are at it again.

Driving the news: Iran-backed Yemeni Houthis conducted what appears to be their first attack on a cargo vessel sailing through the deep ocean and not in and around their stronghold near the Red Sea — stoking fears about increased capabilities from the group. 

AI-powered weapons stoke new fears

Remember the Transformers movies? Experts from around the world are looking for ways (aside from hiring Shia LaBeouf) to keep it from becoming a reality. 

What happened: Civilian, military, and technology leaders from more than 140 countries met in Vienna yesterday to discuss how to check the growing risks associated with autonomous and AI-powered weapons. 

The yen is in free fall

Now might be a good time to book that trip to Japan you’ve been dreaming of because your loonie is going to go a lot further than it used to.

What happened: The value of the Japanese yen fell to a 34-year low after the Bank of Japan said it would keep interest rates at a target of zero percent to 0.1%. 

Venice looks to unclog its canals from day trippers

As travel season shifts into high gear, Venice is asking visitors to cough up some extra cash before hopping on any gondolas.

What happened: Venice’s pilot for the first-of-its-kind ticketing system for day trippers began this week. For 29 high-traffic days this year, tourists visiting but not staying overnight must buy a €5 ticket to enter

Swiss neutrality faces new tests

Switzerland is famous for keeping its nose out of the business of other countries, but some citizens are worried it’s starting to pick sides. 

What happened: Swiss parliament voted against joining an international task force to enforce sanctions against Russia. The decision comes as lawmakers and citizens grapple with what it means to be a neutral country in an increasingly tense Europe.