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  2. A big clue into why Pope Francis was named Time's Person of the Year? This:

    Time’s Person of the Year is the perfect choice for the Upworthy era

     

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  4. Nowhere else in the world are so many weapons in circulation as in the US. In no other country are citizens as well armed. The U.S. Constitution guarantees every American the right to move about in public as though he or she is John Wayne in person. One can see it as a national tradition. But this martial approach to liberty is also a relic of the past and one that is out of step with the times.
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    Germany’s Stuttgarter Zeitung.

    If you’re wondering what the rest of the world has to say about the Newtown massacre, or our lax gun laws, here’s a list of what newspapers across the world are saying.

     

  5. Cartoon of the day: Solving Egypt’s future 
    TOM TOLES © 2012 Universal Press Syndicate

    More cartoons

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  6. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hastily dispatched to the Mideast on Nov. 20 to help end a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants. While a potential cease-fire is in the works, many people continue to report via Twitter that explosions are ongoing.

    10 incredibly moving images from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  7. An Israeli missile from the Iron Dome defense system is launched to intercept incoming rocket fire from Gaza on Nov. 17 in Tel Aviv. Photo: Uriel Sanai/Getty Images

    "The significance of rockets fired on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem should not be underestimated," says Amir Oren with Israel’s Haaretz. "The imaginary barrier has been breached, and in a war of attrition, psychology is considered very important, especially in a population hovering between hope and despair." 

    More…

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  8. Models parade with sheep down London’s Oxford Street in support of The Campaign for Wool’s “Wool Week,” an initiative to encourage people to donate unwanted woolen items to be reused, recycled, or resold.

    More strange photos in this week’s weird news photo quiz

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  9. Greek voters went to the polls on Sunday to decide the make-up of their next government and, in many ways, the fate of Europe’s single currency, the euro. The result of the closely fought election: A ”knife-edge” victory for the center-right New Democracy party, which supports enacting EU-backed austerity measures that Greece must observe to remain a member of the eurozone, narrowly beating the leftist Syriza party, which ran on a strong anti-austerity platform. The 30 percent to 27 percent edge gives New Democracy (ND) 129 of the 300 seats in parliament, and ND leader Antonis Samaras is expected to form a government with the once-dominant centrist Socialists (Pasok). Syriza head Alexis Tsipras vowed to keep his party in opposition, pushing for stimulus spending and against austerity. Where does this leave Greece, Europe, and the global economy? Here, four takeaways:

    1. Greece will stay in the eurozone for now…
    "This is the outcome that markets have most wanted to see," says Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider. If New Democracy and Pasok form a workable coalition — which seems likely — the Greeks will accept austerity and at least temporarily avert a disaster for the euro, Europe, and the rest of the world. But Syriza won more than one-fourth of the vote, proving that “a large segment of the population despises the EU-imposed austerity measures,” says André Gerolymatos in Canada’s Globe and Mail. But a loss is a loss, and in the end, “the Greeks came to edge of the precipice but at the last minute stepped back.”

    2. …But may still exit later
    The fact that “the Status Quo party” beat the “the Stop the Austerity Party” should “give a financial markets a brief breather,” with the emphasis on “brief,” says James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute. Even if ND and Pasok can form a pro-euro coalition, Greece’s “economy is just too sickly to met the bailout requirements,” even if Germany loosens them a bit. The bottom line: Uncertainty about Greece’s financial stability, even with these austerity measures, will “drive the EU into a deeper recesssion,” meaning “Greece is still likely headed for the exits this year.”

    3. This is a Pyrrhic victory for the pro-euro side
    New Democracy essentially won the right “to continue pursuing an unworkable policy,” says Paul Krugman at The New York Times. “Yay!” And the scuttlebutt in Greece is that “Syriza didn’t really want to win,” since one more (inevitable) failure on the ND’s part will completely discredit “the entire Greek center,” leaving Tsipras to pick up the pieces.

    4. Germany will decide Greece’s fate
    If you want to know Greece’s future, look to Berlin, says The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. New Democracy’s Samaras will almost certainly ask Germany’s Angela Merkel to relax the terms of the bailout, and “would the German chancellor dare to say no, thus becoming the proximate cause of a first euro exit?” She “might have preferred a Syriza victory,” since it would have given her “an excuse to cut Greece out of the eurozone.” Perhaps, but while Greece is “not without sin,” its problems are largely due to “other people’s hubris,” says Krugman in The New York Times. “The only way the euro might — might — be saved is if the Germans and the European Central Bank realize that they’re the ones who need to change their behavior.”

     

  10. At least a dozen young Iraqis have been stoned to death in recent weeks in an apparent campaign by Shiite Muslim religious extremists to punish youths sporting Western-style “emo” clothes and haircuts. Though the government is not directly implicated, the violence began after the Interior Ministry issued a statement branding the country’s growing “emo” subculture as subversive, and vowing to eliminate it.

    • Who exactly is being targeted?
      Human rights activists say the victims — including those killed, and others merely beaten as a warning — are young gay men, or teenagers who dress in the “emo” style. Emo — short for “emotional hardcore” — is a genre of music and an aesthetic that originated in the U.S. punk scene of the 1980s. In fashion terms, it typically translates to tight T-shirts, skinny jeans, and long side-swept black hair. In Iraq, the term is used more loosely to describe “a uniquely Iraqi collage of hipster, punk, emo, and goth fashions,” says Jack Healy in The New York Times. The look has grown in popularity as war faded and Iraqis began enjoying greater social freedoms. 
    • Why are these “emo” kids being singled out?
      The stonings began after the Interior Ministry branded the “phenomenon of emo” as Satanic last month. The ministry said the rebellious fashion statements, which include dark clothes and skull-print T-shirts, are symbols of the devil, and it dispatched its Social Police to go into Baghdad schools to investigate “the emo” and “eliminate them.” Shiite extremists, who conflate emo style with being gay, which they forbid, began posting flyers warning the “emo” youth to “stop being gay, or face deadly consequences.” The flyers included a hit list with the names or nicknames of 33 people, along with their home addresses.

    More on these brutal killings, which have young people living in fear

     

  11. The children of Syria’s revolution: The Red Cross is still shut out of Homs’ Bab Amro district — which was a rebel stronghold before a ruthless crackdown — and the latest reports from inside tell grisly tales of the military targeting boys for execution. Nevertheless, across the country, Syrians of all ages continue to protest President Bashar al-Assads’ violent reign. More photos available here

     

  12. To no one’s surprise, Vladimir Putin easily won Russia’s presidential election on Sunday, securing another six years at the country’s helm. Thousands gathered today for a massive rally, challenging the legitimacy of the vote. Even so, a recent New York Times article noted that many Russians credit Putin with pulling Russia out of the chaos that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lawrence Solomon at The Financial Times argues that Putin is, in fact, Russia’s “greatest leader.” Despite his faults, has Putin actually been a good leader for Russia?

     

  13. Thailand’s historic floods: The monsoon season often wreaks havoc on Thailand, but this year, the East Asian nation has experienced its worst flooding in over a half century.

    More photos