Here are today’s headlines:
Francois Hollande will not stand for re-election
Hollande has become the first French President not to run for re-election. He has been deemed the least popular leader in France since the war. Hollande admitted that he simply did not have the support to succeed in the future election. In October, his approval rating had dropped as low as 4%, and even now surveys show only 7.5% of the electorate would vote for him in future. Meanwhile, it is shown that 23% of the electorate would vote for the leader of the Front National, Marine le Pen. The Front National is associated with the extreme-right. Hollande claimed his decision was particularly to avoid a split within his socialist party, not simply because of his low approval ratings. Hollande decided to list some of his achievements during the speech, including the legalisation of gay marriage and hosting a historic climate change conference in Paris. Le Monde newspaper criticised Hollande, saying he had given little meaning to his term in office, and had had little authority in his post. Read more in The Telegraph, BBC News, or the FT.
Russia says Aleppo is about to fall
Syrian rebels are currently in talks with Russian officials in order to end the bloodshed in Aleppo. The city has run out of food, and Russia believes it won’t be long until they will recapture it. A vast number of civilians have been killed during this conflict, with thousands attempting to flee the assault. Checks are being carried out on those trying to leave, and since 2011 thousands of men have been taken into custody in the process. Figures suggest that approximately 300-500 were taken into custody only yesterday morning. Many refugees fled to the rebel-held territory, only to be gunned down by shellfire. One of the many sad stories within this assault was that the “Clown of Aleppo”, a man who worked as a clown in order to comfort children in the rebel-held territory, was also killed in the air strikes. Sourced from LexisNexis. Read more here.
Nokia Pinning its Future on Smartphones in 2017
Having sold out to Microsoft in 2013, Nokia will be returning to the market. The company HMD Global consists of previous Nokia employees. This company has licensed the Nokia brand name for the next decade, and has also partnered with Foxconn, the manufacturer, to create a new Nokia smartphone. The company will be relying on the nostalgia and loyalty of previous customers in order to succeed. Like past Nokia phones, the company has said its focus will be on functionality, like long battery life. HMD will have a great challenge trying to amend the decline of Nokia within the market, as by 2013 they only dominated 3% of the market. Read more in The Times, The Guardian or Reuters.