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China Market Dive, Korean Tensions Ease, 3-D Printed Beak

China Market Dive, Korean Tensions Ease, 3-D Printed Beak


The Chinese stock market continued to crumble today, with the Shanghai Composite index closing down 7.6% at 2,964.97 points. Japan also saw more sharp falls with Tokyo's Nikkei index falling 4%, Reuters reports.

  • In an attempt to tackle the crisis, China's central bank cut interest rates by 0.25% today, The Guardian reports.But Chinese newspapers are urging the government not to intervene in the market. "The authorities should slowly step out of the policy of rescuing the stock market," Xinhua's Economic Information Daily writes. "The purpose of the government's intervention is to control financial risks and not to lift up the equity market."
  • Meanwhile, other markets in Asia and Europe jumped back up. In the U.S., a higher opening is expected on Wall Street today, after the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed down nearly 4% Monday, The New York Timesreports.

  • Even as it dominates headlines around the world, the Chinese stock market crash is getting notably scant coverage at home. Read more in our Extra! feature.


Photo: Yuan Jing/Xinhua/ZUMA

Typhoon Goni has made landfall on Japan's main island of Kyushu, causing blackouts and disrupting air traffic and train services, the Japan Times reports. The storm is weakening but not before leaving a trail of destruction, triggering landslides and floods that reportedly killed 10 in the northern Philippines.


Spanish and Moroccan authorities arrested 14 people in a joint operation targeting suspected ISIS recruiters today in the outskirts of Madrid and in the Moroccan cities of Fez, Casablanca, Nador, Al Hoceima and Driouch, El País reports. The aim of the operation was to break up a network that sends people to Syria or Iraq to join the terror group. The Spanish Ministry of Interior said the operation would continue.


A 12-year-old Taiwanese boy damaged a 350-year-old painting by Paolo Porpora at an exhibition in Taipei last weekend when he tripped and smashed a fist-sized hole in the $1.5 million still life in an attempt to break his fall, Focus Taiwan reports. The organizers of the exhibition say they won't ask the boy's family to pay for the damage.


After two days of talks, North and South Korea agreed early today to ease tensions at their shared border, putting an end to a military standoff sparked by an exchange of artillery fire last week, Reuters reports. South Korea has agreed to halt its anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts at the border, and North Korea has expressed regret over two South Korean soldiers being wounded in a landmine blast earlier this month and ended the "semi-state of war" it had declared. The two sides also began pulling back troops at the border. Although South Korea said it would maintain its "defense posture," the BBC quoted South Korean President Park Guen-hye as saying that this agreement "could serve as an occasion to resolve all inter-Korean issues through trust."


On this day in 2012, NASA's Voyager 1 became the first human-made object to enter interstellar space. That and more in today's shot of history.


At least three people were killed and several others injured in clashes between rival armed groups in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon Monday. The casualties were reportedly members of the Fatah movement, which clashed with the jihadist Jund al-Sham group, Al Jazeera reports. There has been violence between the two groups over the past few months. Two Fatah members were killed Saturday when the Jund al-Sham group attempted to kill a Fatah official. Ain al-Hilweh, home to more than 100,000 people living in squalid conditions, is Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp. The Lebanese army doesn't enter the camp, and security is left to Palestinian factions.



In a joint statement in Berlin yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande called for a unified European response to the migrant crisis. "We must put in place a unified system for the right to asylum," Radio France Internationale quoted the French head of state as saying, describing the crisis as "an exceptional situation that will last for some time."

  • Merkel stressed all European countries would have to implement this right to asylum as soon as possible, and also issued a strong condemnation of anti-migrant protests that erupted in eastern Germany over the weekend. "It is vile for far-right extremists and neo-Nazis to try to spread their hollow, hateful propaganda, but it is just as shameful for citizens including families with children to join them," the AFP quoted her as saying

  • A record 2,093 potential asylum seekers crossed from Serbia to Hungary Monday, local authorities reported. Hungary said it would complete the construction of a border fence with Serbia by Aug. 31, as part of tough anti-migrant government measures.


Paris-based big data whiz Rand Hindi wants to put his technology savvy to work to free us from our growing enslavement to the digital masters. "In Hindi's ideal world," writes Le Monde's Jean-Baptiste Jacquin, "technology won't disappear per se. But it will stop being something we constantly need to think about. ‘When connected objects are smart enough not to be invasive, we can add as many as we want,' he says. He thinks we're 10 years away from the inflection point between growing enslavement to technology and the liberation it will provide."

Read the full article, One Tech Founder's Quest To Make Technology Disappear.


Brazilian Planning Minister Nelson Barbosa said Monday the government will cut 10 of its 39 ministries in a move to show wary markets President Dilma Rousseff's commitment to an unpopular austerity plan, Reuters reports. It's not yet clear which ministries will be affected and what the cost savings will be, but the Brazilian government said more details will be revealed in early September.


A Brazilian toucan missing half of its upper beak recently received a 3D-printed prosthesis designed by researchers in Rio de Janeiro. As CNN reports, it took the bird just three days to get used to its new beak.

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What's Spoiling The Kids: The Big Tech v. Bad Parenting Debate

Without an extended family network, modern parents have sought to raise happy kids in a "hostile" world. It's a tall order, when youngsters absorb the fears (and devices) around them like a sponge.

Image of a kid wearing a blue striped sweater, using an ipad.

Children exposed to technology at a very young age are prominent today.

Julián de Zubiría Samper


BOGOTÁ — A 2021 report from the United States (the Youth Risk Behavior Survey) found that 42% of the country's high-school students persistently felt sad and 22% had thought about suicide. In other words, almost half of the country's young people are living in despair and a fifth of them have thought about killing themselves.

Such chilling figures are unprecedented in history. Many have suggested that this might be the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but sadly, we can see depression has deeper causes, and the pandemic merely illustrated its complexity.

I have written before on possible links between severe depression and the time young people spend on social media. But this is just one aspect of the problem. Today, young people suffer frequent and intense emotional crises, and not just for all the hours spent staring at a screen. Another, possibly more important cause may lie in changes to the family composition and authority patterns at home.

Firstly: Families today have fewer members, who communicate less among themselves.

Young people marry at a later age, have fewer children and many opt for personal projects and pets instead of having children. Families are more diverse and flexible. In many countries, the number of children per woman is close to or less than one (Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong among others).

In Colombia, women have on average 1.9 children, compared to 7.6 in 1970. Worldwide, women aged 15 to 49 years have on average 2.4 children, or half the average figure for 1970. The changes are much more pronounced in cities and among middle and upper-income groups.

Of further concern today is the decline in communication time at home, notably between parents and children. This is difficult to quantify, but reasons may include fewer household members, pervasive use of screens, mothers going to work, microwave ovens that have eliminated family cooking and meals and, thanks to new technologies, an increase in time spent on work, even at home. Our society is addicted to work and devotes little time to minors.

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