As Syria’s government presses a fierce assault on eastern Aleppo, its siege is making life ever harder for civilians who are being forced to sift through garbage for food and scavenge firewood from bombed-out buildings. “There are people today in Aleppo who are eating out of the trash,” said Mustafa Hamami, who lost two of his children and four other relatives when a six-storey apartment building was destroyed this week.
Residents in embattled Mosul are paying a high price as Iraqi forces try to recapture the city from Islamic State. Civilians wounded in neighborhoods taken back from IS say the militant group is deliberately targeting them because it now sees them as apostates.
Trump souvenirs are flying off the shelves at the gift store in the U.S. president-elect’s Trump Tower. Hot items include a $35 stuffed beagle modeled on the pet dog of Donald Trump’s son Eric and, of course, those “Make America Great Again” red hats. Unfortunately for other retailers in the neighborhood, increased security around the tower means their own stores are losing foot traffic.
In Zimbabwe, where worthless $100 trillion notes serve as reminders of the perils of hyperinflation, 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe is printing a new currency that jeopardizes not just the economy but his own long grip on power. The plan has already caused a run on the banks as skeptical Zimbabweans empty their accounts of hard currency. Internal intelligence briefings seen by Reuters raise the possibility that the bond notes could end Mugabe’s 36 years in charge of the southern African nation.
Financial markets are having a retro moment, writes Breakingviews’ columnist Swaha Pattanaik. Investors have drawn parallels with the 1980s as the prospect of big tax cuts and higher interest rates in the United States have given government bond yields and the dollar a boost. But that doesn’t necessarily mean asset prices will mimic the past, writes Pattanaik.