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Bangkok Bombing, Arctic Drilling, Dylan's Bed

Bangkok Bombing, Arctic Drilling, Dylan's Bed

MANHUNT FOR BANGKOK BOMBER

Photo: Jack Kurtz/ZUMA

Thailand's junta government has launched a manhunt for the suspect believed responsible for bombing a tourist-packed shrine in Bangkok yesterday, which Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha characterized as the "worst-ever attack" on the country. At least 20 people were killed and 125 injured in the explosion, The Bangkok Post reports. It's still unclear whether anti-government groups or Islamist insurgents are behind the attack, which comes more than a year after the Thai military overthrew the elected government. The local police chief warned that the investigation would be difficult given the extensive destruction at the site. There was another, smaller, explosion in the Thai capital today, but there were no injuries.


650,000

Germany is expecting at least 650,000 refugees to enter the country this year, up from 450,000 in 2014, the country's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere plans to announce later today.


TIANJIN MOURNS BLAST VICTIMS

The Chinese port city of Tianjin held services in memory of the 114 people who died in last Wednesday's warehouse explosions, which also left 700 people injured and damaged thousands of homes. According to the South China Morning Post, Tianjin's vice mayor has admitted that sodium cyanide has spread as far as a kilometer from the site of the blasts, amid fears that the chemical could react with the rain forecast for the next days. An investigation is focusing on the company that operated the warehouse after revelations that it had handled hazardous chemical products without a licence. Read more from Xinhua.


ON THIS DAY


It was 95 years ago today that the United States ratified the Constitution's 19th Amendment, finally giving women the right to vote. That and more in today's shot of history.


WAR CRIMES IN YEMEN

The killing of scores of civilians by warring parties in Yemen could represent war crimes, Amnesty International says in a new report. Pro and anti-Houthi fighters on the ground are implicated, but much of the blame is being laid at the feet of Saudi Arabia and the coalition of Sunni Muslim states that have been conducting airstrikes in Yemen for months. "The evidence gathered reveals a pattern of strikes targeting heavily populated areas, including civilian homes, a school, a market and a mosque," the organization writes. "In the majority of cases, no military target could be located nearby." More than 4,000 are believed to have died in the conflict, half of them civilians.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Geneva native Marie-Laure Canosa says an eight-day fast at a world-renowned Russian treatment center was transformational. Many researchers seem to agree, as withholding food can heal the body of chronic diseases, Marie-Pierre Genecand writes for Le Temps. "The process is supervised by doctors with daily consultations, and personal care (massages and mud baths) is provided every day along with assistance to the eventual return to eating. The mother of three says last year's experience during the Easter holidays profoundly changed her. ‘I'm never tired anymore, and I feel stronger, more relaxed.' But it was a detox that went well beyond the physical."

Read the full article, The Siberian Fasting Cleanse For Body And Mind.


BATMAN DIES

Leonard B. Robinson, a 51-year-old man beloved for visiting children in hospitals dressed as Batman, was killed Sunday after his "Batmobile," a custom Lamborghini, broke down and was struck by another car in Maryland.


SHELL TO DRILL IN THE ARCTIC

The U.S. government has given the final green light to energy giant Royal Dutch Shell to drill below the Arctic Ocean's floor for oil and natural gas, a decision that has angered environmentalists, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Anglo-Dutch company, which plans to spend over $1 billion on the Arctic project this year alone, has been pursuing the rights for eight years, and it will now be able to drill under the Chukchi Sea, which is believed to contain some 15 billion barrels of oil.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



GIVE BOB A BED

To thank Bob Dylan for 50 years of great music, ClickHole (the sister site of satirical website The Onion) sent the musician a $1,500 adjustable bed — as well as a Bob Dylan duvet cover and a personalized "Hi Bob" remote — through crowdfunding.

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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