Carlos Ghosn flees from Japan to Lebanon
The former Nissan president has returned to Lebanon, apparently after fleeing Japan, where he was expected to be tried next year on charges of financial irregularities. It is another dramatic turn in the story of a man who was once a senior automotive executive.
A Lebanese newspaper reported that Ghosn arrived in Lebanon in a private plane from Turkey. In a statement, published this morning, he said "he would no longer be held hostage by a manipulated Japanese justice system."
"I have not fled from justice, I have escaped injustice and political persecution," he added.
The circumstances under which he left Japan were unclear. He had paid a bail of $ 9 million, he had been asked to hand over his passport and the authorities watched him closely.
Background: Mr. Ghosn, the architect of Nissan's alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, has been accused by the Japanese authorities of not reporting their compensation and transferring personal financial losses to Nissan. He has firmly maintained his innocence.
Whats Next: Mr. Ghosn is a citizen of Lebanon, where he is legally protected from extradition, as well as from France and Brazil. He said in his statement that he could now "communicate freely with the media,quot; and that he hoped "to start next week."
Will Brexit bring the conflict to Northern Ireland?
When a 1998 peace agreement ended decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland, one of the factors that brought Irish nationalists to the negotiating table was economic: both Britain and Ireland had joined the European Union, an agreement that ensured uninhibited trade through their mutual borders.
While Britain is preparing to leave the European Union before January 31, Northern Ireland has become a "unique and treacherous obstacle,quot; to any agreement on the terms of divorce, according to a writer at The New York Times. Anger over Brexit there, and in Scotland, can still contribute to the breakup of the United Kingdom itself.
The question is how Britain can "regain control,quot; of its borders without hardening the Irish border and jeopardize the 1998 agreement, as well as whether paramilitary groups on opposite sides of the long division of Northern Ireland: the "unionists,quot; "Protestants, who identify as British, and Catholic,quot; nationalists, "who identify as Irish, would resort to violence again.
"The war is not over," said a former paramilitary fighter in Belfast. "Far from there."
The gloomy city that Russians love to go out
Somehow, Magadán, Russia, is a loose analogue of the gold rush cities that attracted American and Canadian miners in the 19th century. But the Russians who passed through this gloomy and cold port in the 1920s did not come to make a fortune; They were dragged there to work in nearby gold mines as forced workers.
Today, the young people of Magadan rush towards the exits, causing a serious shortage of workers without disabilities. And even though the city is trying to rename itself as the "golden heart of Russia," a local sociologist has diagnosed him with "delayed life syndrome," in which the hopes and ambitions of the inhabitants of his current life are They are affected in the future. .
On a trip to Magadan, our head of the Moscow office, Andrew Higgins, explored how the end of the Soviet Union shattered the city's economy and why the federal government under the presidency of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has been investing in this and other remote northern posts (track). : natural resources under snow).
Reach: Andrew also analyzed why Russia is on a roll under Putin's leadership, despite its stuttering economy.
If you have some time, it's worth it
Our best offices of 2019
This year, the Times reporters presented 125 "offices," our abbreviation for features that offer unconventional cultural perceptions, from 44 countries on six continents. It's hard to choose favorites, but we tried.
Our list of the top 12 includes stories about young battle horse enthusiasts in Finland, above; an offensive against smuggling pasta in Italy; threats to an old Polish forest; and the inspiring story of a veteran foreign correspondent who was struck by a brain tumor during a trip to India.
This is what else is happening.
Ukraine: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev on Friday, the State Department said. That would make him the first cabinet official to meet with Zelensky since the beginning of the political trial investigation into President Trump's dealings with Ukraine.
US airstrikes: In the wake of Sunday's airstrikes that targeted the Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq and Syria, anti-Iranian sentiments in Iraq have given way to anti-Americans. That is convenient for Iran, which has faced a setback in the region and riots at home.
Austria: The right-wing Popular Party seems to be close to a coalition agreement with the Green Party. A final round of talks is planned for New Year's Day, and the result could make Sebastian Kurz, a 33-year-old former chancellor, the youngest acting head of state in the world.
When do 2020 begin (seriously)? For some people, the next decade begins at midnight tonight. For others, it will not begin until January 1, 2021. Our reporter breaks the debate.
What we are reading: This essay of a Navy SEAL through Medium. Steven Erlanger, our chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe, recommends the "slightly embarrassed testimony of a 52-year-old Purple Heart, now a freshman at Yale, about the respect he discovered for young university students he might have rejected once like "snowflakes. "
Now, a break from the news
The idea of the fall of the New Year's ball came from our former editor Adolph S. Ochs. First, he persuaded the city in 1904 to change the name of Longacre Square to The New York Times, as the newspaper moved to the area from the center.
Then, on December 31, 1904, some 200,000 people celebrated New Year's Eve with a firework show in the 24-story Times Tower for the first time.
But Mr. Ochs wanted to overcome that. So the Times chief electrician made a giant ball of wood and iron and equipped it with 100 25-watt bulbs. He got off the flagpole of 70 feet above the building in late 1907.
The Times has relocated close twice, but the Christmas tradition has remained.
But the 1907 celebration was not the first time he got up and dropped a giant ball. Since the early nineteenth century, the so-called the balls of time were used in the ports, falling every day at noon so that the sailors could see them through telescopes and configure the clocks of their ships.
That's all for this informative session.
We are leaving tomorrow for New Year's Day, but we will return on Thursday.
To Mark Josephson and Raillan Brooks for the break from the news. Today's backstory comes from Adeel Hassan's reports. You can contact the team at [email protected]
• We are listening to "The Daily,quot;. Our last episode speaks with a Times critic who fought this year with allegations of abuse against Michael Jackson.
• Here is today's Mini Crossword Puzzle and a clue: the most popular salad dressing in the United States, according to a 2017 study (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Burger King Whopper buns, President Trump's wives and confusing measures were the subject of some of the most memorable corrections of the 2019 Times.