TIME

This Weekend’s Foreign Policy Must-Reads

A roundup of the most intelligent takes on global affairs this week

The Greek Warrior – New Yorker

Varoufakis, a mathematical economist with a modest academic reputation, had become a popular writer in Greece. When the snap election was called, he interrupted his professorship at the University of Texas, flew home to Greece, and launched a ten-day election campaign whose sole expense was the cost of gas for his motorcycle…Varoufakis was elected with a larger share of the vote than any other candidate, and he was named the finance minister.

Greece’s controversial former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says he will miss his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble, whom he calls a “man of principle.” Does Schäuble feels the same for Varoufakis? Someone ask him. Please.

Pope Francis Against the World – The New Republic

The mistake made by the media all along has been to conclude that because Pope Francis can speak morally to a variety of issues we tend to think of as detached from moral reasoning (like economics, inequality, and property) that his authority is less limited than it really is. The truth is that Francis’s greatest ability outside the Church is his capacity to inspire, especially in those who don’t normally look to Catholic moral theology for their inspiration.

The general lack of international leadership and the number of current crises around the world offer an opening for a charismatic leader with the backing of a large flock. Yet, political leaders of both the left and right are confused about how (and whether) to engage him.

How to Smuggle $1,000 into North Korea – Politico EU

The smuggler will strap the items in a waterproof sack, swim across the river and bribe the guards on the North Korean border to let him pass into North Korea. These are guards that the smuggler has carefully built relationships with over time. Smuggling goods is highly punishable, and letting people pass through the North Korean border, rather than shooting them, could get the border guards killed instantly. But North Korea has become a country where money can solve any problem and can save lives.

And the cracks widen to let in a little more light. One day, North Korea will go from forgotten story to biggest story in the world in a matter of hours. And then one of the largest long-term humanitarian reclamation projects in history will have to begin.

“Death to America” and the Iran Deal – New Yorker

I talked to Iranians in Tehran from across the political spectrum about “Death to America!” I pointed out that, throughout the decades of tension, no American has been recorded going into a church and shouting “Death to Iran!” Some Iranians downplayed the revolutionary mantra’s importance; others insisted it still has strong symbolic merit. But all of them—particularly senior Iranian officials educated in the United States—seemed befuddled about why it would ever impact the fate of the nuclear deal.

When two countries refuse to talk to one another for 36 years, it takes time to find a common language. That process has only just begun, and there’s no guarantee that the two governments, or their citizens, will find much to say to one another anytime soon.

Why Greece’s Lenders Need to Suffer – New York Times Magazine

A world of bonds works only when the investors who buy the bonds are extremely nervous and wildly cautious…The bailout represented a transfer of wealth from the rest of the economy into the bond market — precisely the opposite of what is supposed to happen. Now, in the moral hand-wringing over Greece and its failure to pay, we see that bondholders expect to be bailed out constantly, even when they were obviously culpable in failing to manage their own risk.

Just as short-sided lenders helped inflate the housing bubble in the US, so Greece’s lenders helped fuel the destructive patterns of that country’s long-dysfunctional government. Another timely reminder that short-attention-span media simplifies too many stories when reality isn’t so clean.

TIME celebrities

Snoop Dogg Stopped by Italian Customs With $422,000 in Cash

snoop dog england
Ollie Millington—Getty Images Snoop Dogg performs onstage during his headline show at the end of day one of Y Not Festival at Pikehall on July 31, 2015 in Matlock, England.

Half the money was taken by authorities

(MILAN)—Snoop Dogg has had another run-in with European authorities.

Italian financial police said they stopped the rapper at the Lamezia Terme airport in Calabria on Saturday with $422,000 in cash, well above the limit that can legally be transported across EU borders undeclared. The incident comes less than a week after Snoop Dogg was briefly stopped in Sweden on suspicion of drug use after a concert near Stockholm.

Financial police confirmed a report by the Italian news agency ANSA that half of the cash was impounded under Italian anti-money laundering codes. In such cases, the balance is returned minus any fine set by magistrates.

Travelers within the European Union are required to declare 10,000 euros ($11,000) or more in cash.

Snoop Dogg played in Calabria Friday night, and is scheduled to perform Sunday at the Kendal Calling Festival in England.

Last weekend in Sweden, the rapper was questioned and tested for suspected drug use north of the capital. Authorities said test results would not be available for some time.

TIME myanmar

Angelina Jolie Visits Female Factory Workers in Myanmar

She is on a four-day visit to the Southeast Asian nation

(YANGON, Myanmar)—Angelina Jolie has joined Myanmar’s opposition leader and democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, in sitting down with female workers to learn more about their dire conditions.

Jolie, who is a special envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, is on a four-day visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

Angelina Jolie myanmar refugee camp
Hkun Lat—APActress Angelina Jolie Pitt, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees special envoy and co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative walks with her son Pax as they visit Jan Mai Kaung refugee camp in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar on July 30, 2015.

During her meeting with the factory workers on the outskirts of an industrial zone in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, Jolie and Suu Kyi witnessed first-hand the conditions the women live in, mostly low-cost hostels. Jolie also toured inside the factory.

She traveled to Kachin state earlier this week, home to more than 10,000 displaced people since a cease-fire between Myanmar’s government and ethnic rebels has broken down in 2011.

According to her trip details, it is unlikely that Jolie will be able to travel to western Rakhine State, where more than 100,000 Muslim minority Rohingya live in apartheid-like conditons in camps.

It is Jolie’s first visit to Myanmar, which only recently emerged from decades of military rule. More than a dozen ethnic minority groups, mostly in Myanmar’s border areas, have been fighting for greater autonomy since the country attained independence from Britain 67 years ago.

Recently, the world attention has turned to the plight of stateless Rohingya Muslims who have been trafficked from Myanmar and Bangladesh aboard overcrowded boats. Dozens of graves as well as pens likely used as cages for Rohingya have been found in abandoned jungle camps on both sides of the Thailand-Malaysian border.

TIME France

Possible Malaysia Airlines Plane Debris Arrives in France

French authorities have imposed extraordinary secrecy over the wing piece

(BALMA, France) — A wing flap suspected to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 arrived at a French military testing facility Saturday where it will be analyzed by experts.

A truck brought the roughly 8-foot (2.44-meter) component known as a flaperon to the DGA TA aeronautical testing site near Toulouse, accompanied by police motorcycles and a police car.

French aviation experts will try to establish whether the wreckage that was found on the Indian Ocean island Reunion was part of the Boeing 777 which disappeared March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.

The experts, including a legal expert, will start their inquiry on Wednesday, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. On Monday, an investigating judge will meet with Malaysian authorities and representatives of the French aviation investigative agency, known as the BEA, according to a statement late Friday.

Air safety investigators, including one from Boeing, have identified the component as a flaperon from the trailing edge of a Boeing 777 wing, a U.S. official said. The official wasn’t authorized to be publicly identified.

Flight 370 is the only missing 777.

Under a microscope and expert eyes, the wing fragment that washed up on the beach of the volcanic island could yield clues not just to its path through the Indian Ocean, but also to what happened to the airplane.

Analysts at the French aviation laboratory hope to glean details from metal stress to see what caused the flap to break off, spot explosive or other chemical traces, and study the sea life that made its home on the wing to pinpoint where it came from.

Even if the piece is confirmed to be wreckage from Flight 370, there’s no guarantee that investigators can find the plane’s vital black box recorders or other debris. A multinational search effort has so far come up empty.

TIME U.K.

Bin Laden Family Members Killed in Plane Crash

A Saudi ambassador offered condolences to the wealthy bin Laden family

(LONDON)—Family members of the late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden were among four people killed in a private jet crash in southern England, a Saudi ambassador said, but did not further identify the dead.

Prince Mohammed Bin Nawaf Bin Abdel-Aziz, the Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, offered his condolences to the wealthy bin Laden family, which owns a major construction company in Saudi Arabia.

“The embassy will follow up on the incident and its circumstances with the concerned British authorities and work on speeding up the handover of the bodies of the victims to the kingdom for prayer and burial,” the ambassador said in a statement tweeted by the embassy late Friday.

Police say a pilot and three passengers died when an executive jet crashed into a parking lot and burst into flames while trying to land at Blackbushe Airport in southern England Friday afternoon. The plane had been flying from Malpensa Airport in Milan.

No one on the ground was hurt. Police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch launched a joint investigation.

Blackbushe Airport said the Embraer Phenom 300 jet crashed near the end of the runway while trying to land at the airfield about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of London, which is used by private planes and flying clubs.

Andrew Thomas, who was at a car auction sales center based at the airport, told the BBC that “the plane nosedived into the cars and exploded on impact.” He said he saw the plane and several cars in flames.

The official Saudi Press Agency earlier identified the plane as Saudi-owned without mentioning the bin Ladens. It said a Saudi official would work with British authorities in investigating the crash.

The bin Laden family disowned Osama in 1994 when Saudi Arabia stripped him of his citizenship because of his militant activities. The al-Qaida leader was killed by U.S. special forces in Pakistan in 2011.

The family is a large and wealthy one. Osama bin Laden’s billionaire father Mohammed had more than 50 children and founded the Binladen Group, a sprawling construction conglomerate awarded many major building contracts in the Sunni kingdom.

Mohammed bin Laden died in a plane crash in Saudi Arabia in 1967. One of his sons, Salem, was killed when his ultralight aircraft flew into power lines in San Antonio, Texas, in 1988.

TIME migrants

Inside Calais’s Deadly Migrant Crisis

Calais Migrants
Rob Stothard—Getty Images Gendarmerie attempt to prevent people from entering the Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles in Calais, France, on July 30, 2015.

The desperate conditions that are driving migrants to risk their lives to make it to the U.K.

It was late on Thursday night in the French port city of Calais when the mood shifted. In a field awash with silvery moonlight, some 50 illegal migrants—mainly Syrians—sat down and turned their backs on the 20 French policemen who had formed a barricade across the field to prevent them from returning towards the entrance of the railway terminal linking England and France. There had been scuffles earlier that night when groups of migrants had faced off against the local gendarmerie as they tried to get near to the fencing surrounding the tunnel. But this was something different: a peaceful demonstration against the riot police that had been dispatched to this city to bolster security.

“Let us cross,” a voice in the crowd cried. “We are Syrians. We have a war in our country. Why all of this police just for us? We are just trying to cross for a safe place.”

The voice belonged to a 27-year old man who gave his name only as Adam. He had arrived in Calais four months ago, fleeing the sectarian conflict raging in his hometown of Idlib in northern Syria, part of a civil war that has caused some 4 million Syrians to escape their country. His pleas went unheard – the police continued to usher the migrants away from the railway complex – but Adam gave voice to the anguish felt by the growing number of migrants attempting to cross into the U.K. every night from France, men and women who have traveled thousands of miles in search of safety and prosperity.

2015 has been the year of the migrant in Europe, which has struggled to absorb the 137,000 asylum-seekers who have arrived on its shores in the first half of 2015 alone—an 83% increase from the same period last year. So far that impact has largely been borne by the countries of southern Europe, whose proximity to the Middle East and Africa has made them de facto destinations for migrants attempting to cross into the Mediterranean.

But though Calais’s 3,000 migrants may represent only a fraction of those seeking asylum in Europe, the city – already struggling with an unemployment rate of 13%, well above the national average – says it can no longer cope with the additional economic and security challenges of hosting so many migrants. A sharp surge in violence in the French port has now brought the crisis into the very heart of the continent.

In Calais, the dream of a better future literally shimmers on the horizon. The strait between England and the European continent is at its narrowest here, and on a clear day the white cliffs of Dover can be seen just 21 miles away. For those like Adam, who have left behind everything and traveled thousands of miles to flee conflict and persecution back home, that last distance seems like nothing. Indeed, migrants have been trying to cross into the U.K. from Calais ever since the Kosovo War in the late 1990s. Many speak English or have relatives in the U.K., where they believe jobs are more plentiful than in continental Europe. In the past, migrants often tried to leave by stowing away in lorries that crossed the sea by ferry. With increased security around the port, the focus has shifted recently to the undersea Channel Tunnel, where migrants try to hide on international freight trains and Eurotunnel Shuttles carrying vehicles.

These days, those living in ‘The Jungle’, as the squalid encampments on the edge of Calais are known, come from conflicts that rage beyond Europe’s borders. With the world witnessing the worst refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War, these makeshift camps are a snapshot of a global phenomenon, housing large numbers of Syrians, Sudanese, Eritreans and Afghans who have been forcibly displaced by violence back home.

Calais Migrants
Rob Stothard—Getty ImagesA man sits outside tents in at a make shift camp near the port of Calais in Calais, France, on July 31, 2015.

As the number of migrants has grown, the final leg of the journey to the U.K. has become increasingly perilous. British border controls were effectively moved to Calais as part of deals in 1994 and 2003 with France that meant immigration checkpoints take place before departure (by train or ferry) rather than upon disembarkation. As Cameron noted Thursday, the agreement means Britain’s natural sea border is strengthened by having border controls on the French side – though now senior French politicians are questioning the effectiveness of such a system, which they say places too much of a burden on France.

Years after those deals were made, Calais has come to resemble a fortress, with towering chain-link fences and coils of barbed wire running for miles around the port and Eurotunnel complex.

Ruben Andersson, a migration expert at the London School of Economics, says the increased fortification of land borders in Calais is a “disproportionate” response that fails to acknowledge the negative effects of similar policies at borders in other parts of the world—and which has failed to stop the migrants. “What we’ve seen in Calais over many years is that the more you fortify a border, all you do is displace routes across relatively safe borders to much riskier crossings,” he says.

Calais Migrants
Rob Stothard—Getty ImagesPeople help a young man squeeze through a gap in a fence near the Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles in Calais, France, on July 30, 2015.

As the British and French authorities crack down on the more direct routes to reach England, migrants in Calais are trying more dangerous methods. Over the past six weeks, at least nine people have died in attempts to reach England, falling from trains as they tried to hang on, killed by lorries on the motorway, and even drowning in a canal at the tunnel entrance. That compares to a total of 15 migrant deaths for all of 2014.

More than 39,000 attempts to cross the Channel illegally were prevented in 2014 to 2015 – more than double the previous year. British Home Secretary Theresa May said that between June 21 and July 11, the French and British authorities successfully blocked over 8,000 attempts by illegal migrants to enter ports in France. Eurotunnel, the company that runs the shuttles through the Channel Tunnel, said that since January it had prevented 37,000 attempts, describing “nightly incursions” of hundreds of migrants trying to storm security forces at once, in the hope that a lucky few will make it to the other side.

On the night of July 28 alone, a few hundred migrants made over 2,000 attempts to breach the entrance of the Channel Tunnel, the railway line that links France and England. One young Sudanese man died, most likely crushed by a truck exiting one of the shuttles.

Later that week, Prime Minister David Cameron promised that Britain would not become a “safe haven” for illegal immigrants, pledging more fencing and sniffer dogs to crack down on illegal border crossings. Accused of being lax by British politicians, France quickly dispatched 150 extra riot police to Calais. As dusk fell on July 30, the police began patrolling the 14-mile perimeter of the Eurotunnel complex, blocking roads previously open to the public.

Calais Migrants
Rob Stothard—Getty ImagesMen walk through a field near the Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles in Calais, France, on July 30, 2015.

But the residents of ‘The Jungle’ were unfazed. That evening a steady parade of more than a hundred people could be seen walking across the city’s bridges and fields, silhouetted against the sunset as they headed towards the railway terminal. They told hopeful stories of friends and family who had reached England. Rumors floated in the crowd that in one night recently, as many as 60 migrants had made it to Dover in the U.K. (The British government has acknowledged that some successfully make it across to the U.K., but has declined to confirm exact numbers.) The real possibility of death did little to discourage migrants who had already faced worse.

“Back home, you could wake up in the morning and go to work and die. You could die every day, any day,” says Tahir Dlil, a 26-year-old radiology graduate who fled the turmoil in Sudan a year ago and has been in Calais for more than four months. “Would we have come if there was peace? Why would we want to live like animals in the jungle? No. We just want to live, to work, that’s all.”

While some of his friends have sought asylum in France, Dlil is confident his year-long quest will eventually end in England. He spends his nights making the nine-mile walk from the camp to the railway terminal, displaying cuts from barbed wire and bruises from clashes with the police. When asked how he usually spends his days in Calais, he breaks into a wide smile.

“England,” he grins. “I dream about England all day.”

TIME Afghanistan

New Afghan Taliban Leader Vows to Continue Insurgency

He replaces former leader Mullah Mohammad Omar

(KABUL, Afghanistan)—The new leader of the Afghan Taliban vowed to continue his group’s bloody, nearly 14-year insurgency in an audio message released Saturday, urging his fighters to remain unified after the death of their longtime leader.

The audio message purportedly from Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor also included comments about peace talks, though it wasn’t immediately clear whether he supported them or not.

Mansoor took over the Taliban after the group on Thursday confirmed that former leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had died and said they elected Mansoor as his successor. Afghan government announced Wednesday that the reclusive mullah had been dead since April 2013.

“We should keep our unity, we must be united, our enemy will be happy in our separation,” Mansoor purportedly said in the message. “This is a big responsibly on us. This is not the work of one, two or three people. This is all our responsibility to carry on jihad until we establish the Islamic state.”

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid sent the audio to journalists and others Saturday. The Associated Press could not independently verify the man speaking in the roughly 30-minute audio clip, though the Taliban spokesman is in charge of all communications for the group.

Mullah Omar was the one-eyed, secretive head of the Taliban, whose group hosted Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaida in the years leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He had not been seen in public since fleeing over the border into Pakistan after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.

The new leader of the Taliban is seen as close to Pakistan, which is believed to have sheltered and supported the insurgents through the war. Whether he’ll be keen to sit down for peace talks with the Afghan government remains in question. The Taliban pulled out of talks scheduled for Friday in Pakistan after Mullah Omar’s death became public.

Taliban attacks against Afghan officials and forces have intensified with their annual warm-weather offensive. Local security forces increasingly find themselves under attack as NATO and U.S. troops ended their combat mission in the country at the end of last year.

TIME Australia

Another Australian Surfer Fends Off Shark Attack

Great white shark
Getty Images

The 52-year-old sustained bites to his leg and arm

Despite Shark Week having ended weeks ago, the sea-bound predators seem reluctant to give up the spotlight. On July 19, a great white was caught on live television going after Australian surfing champ Mick Fanning. The 34-year-old was able fend of the shark without injury, but the incident seems to have done little to diminish the enthusiasm of its fellow great whites.

Craig Ison was attacked by a shark off the New South Wales coast early Friday. The 52-year-old Australian surfer (and former boxer, according to media reports) was able to rebuff the shark with a few blows, but didn’t prove quite as fortunate as Fanning, sustaining bites his leg and left arm.

The shark, believed to be a great white, left a 16-inch bite-mark on Ison’s leg and board. He was taken to a nearby hospital for surgery.

[CNN]

TIME weather

This Is the World’s Hottest City Today

Displaced Iraqis carry donated food at al-Takia refugee camp in Baghdad on July 30, 2015.
Khalid Mohammed—AP Displaced Iraqis carry donated food at al-Takia refugee camp in Baghdad on July 30, 2015.

The mercury hit 120 degrees Fahrenheit in Baghdad, and it feels even hotter

Tens of millions of Americans have been suffering under a blistering heatwave this week, with temperatures reaching into the high 90s. But they won’t get any sympathy from the people of Baghdad.

The Iraqi capital was the hottest city on the planet Friday — with the mercury hitting an unbearable 120 degrees Fahrenheit, according to The Weather Channel. And it has felt as hot as 159 degrees.

While many in the U.S. would not tolerate the summer season without air conditioning, people in the Iraqi capital say they have to put up with as little as six hours of electricity per day…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME United Kingdom

U.K. Government Grants Ai Weiwei 6-Month Visa

GERMANY- CHINA-RIGHTS-ART-AI
Christof Stache–AFP/Getty Images Chinese artist Ai Weiwei leaves the Franz-Josef-Strauss airport in Munich, southern Germany, after his arrival from China on July 30, 2015.

The British government reportedly apologized to Ai in writing "for the inconvenience caused"

(LONDON) — Britain says it is granting dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei a six-month visa, apologizing for rejecting his application over an alleged criminal conviction.

On Thursday Ai disclosed that the British embassy in Beijing had turned down his request for a business visa, saying he had failed to disclose a criminal conviction. It gave him a visit for 20 days instead.

Ai was jailed for almost three months in 2011 amid a crackdown on dissent. His company was later accused of tax evasion and ordered to pay $2.4 million. Ai’s lawyer said that was not a criminal case.

Britain’s Home Office said Friday that Home Secretary Theresa May had told officials to grant the six-month visa. It said it had written to Ai “apologizing for the inconvenience caused.”

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com