Reuters photo of the day
Not our president
Hunkering down on a West Bank hilltop
On a hilltop in the occupied West Bank, Israeli teenagers are preparing for a confrontation with Israeli security forces. The devoutly religious young men see themselves as a last line of defense for Amona, a collection of pre-fabricated homes perched high in the West Bank. It is considered an illegal "outpost" under Israeli law and the Supreme Court has ruled it must be demolished by Dec. 25. As the deadline approaches, Amona’s supporters in Israel's parliament are pushing for a new law that would legalize the community and dozens of other outposts.
Remember the Plaza
Parallels between Donald Trump's U.S. economic plan and early 1980s Reaganomics have supercharged the dollar, reminding some that its rampant gains 30 years ago eventually required intervention to reverse them. The greenback's surge under then-president Ronald Reagan was so powerful that by 1985 it required a rare international accord between the world's five leading economic powers and their central banks to weaken the currency – the so-called Plaza Accord, named after the New York hotel where the deal was inked.
Paying the price for opposing Maduro
A hundred or so opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have been detained on accusations or formal charges of plotting to overthrow his socialist government. Their fate is high on the agenda of Vatican-brokered talks between the government and opposition, intended to halt unrest and prevent further bloodshed in the deeply divided country in the midst of a crippling recession.
Stress test reinforces class division between UK banks
Britain's latest stress test has sorted the country's banks into good, bad and ugly, writes Breakingviews columnist George Hay. HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group comfortably passed the Bank of England's annual exam on Nov. 30, while Barclays and Standard Chartered did relatively poorly. Royal Bank of Scotland was at the bottom of the class. Even though its 2015 capital ratio of 15.5 percent was the highest of Britain's major banks, it was unable to reach the required 7.1 percent in the stress test. But the drama of failure shouldn't lead to concerns about the sector overall.
Commentary: In Kazakhstan, Trump could find the key to fighting Islamic State
Global security expert Theodore Karasik argues that President-elect Donald Trump needs to woo the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan in order to stay one step ahead in the fight against religious extremism. The Central Asian nation is at the intersection of political and economic interests not only for Washington but also Moscow, Beijing and Tehran. As Trump articulates a new vision for the United States, the issue is simple: Kazakhstan’s crucial geo-strategic position requires American attention.