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China Shipwreck, Greek Debt Talks, Bye-Bye Love Locks

HUNDREDS MISSING AFTER CHINA SHIPWRECK

At least 400 people were missing this morning after a Chinese ship carrying 458 passengers and crew was hit by an apparent cyclone and sank in the Yangtze River late yesterday, Chinese news agency Xinhua reports. So far, there are only 15 to 18 survivors, and just five bodies recovered, as rescuers battle poor weather conditions. Xinhua reported that rescuers could hear people calling for help from inside the ship’s hull, and television news showed it being cut through with an angle grinder. The ship’s captain and chief engineer are reportedly among the survivors and are being detained by authorities. No distress call was issued from the ship, which reportedly sunk in just two minutes.


VERBATIM

“It’s not enough,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said today during an anti-ISIS conference in Paris, complaining about a lack of support from the international coalition fighting the terrorist organization. “Air support is not enough. There is too little surveillance. ISIS is mobile and moves in very small groups,” Reuters quoted him as saying. About 4,000 airstrikes have been carried out against the Islamist group in the past 10 months, Le Monde reports. But the jihadists have made significant progress recently in both Ramadi, Iraq, and Palmyra, Syria. The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq has recognized the need to increase its military engagement in the region, including additional airstrikes and the military training of Iraqi and local Sunni forces. Iraq’s prime minister is also expected to outline his government’s plan to recapture Ramadi and the region from ISIS.


FIFA SECRETARY GENERAL MAY BE NEXT

Jérôme Valcke, FIFA secretary general and right-hand man of the soccer organization’s president Sepp Blatter, could be the “high-ranking FIFA official” that U.S. authorities believe is the source of a 2008 $10 million embezzlement, The New York Times reports. “The revelation puts the money trail closer to Mr. Blatter, FIFA’s president, than had been previously known,” the newspaper reported. Last week, an indictment accused Jack Warner, FIFA’s then-vice president, of receiving a bribe for helping South Africa become the host country for the 2010 World Cup. But in an email to The New York Times, Valcke claimed he had not authorized the payment and “did not have the power to do so.” So far, he hasn’t been charged with wrongdoing.


ON THIS DAY


It’s been 62 years to the day since Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England. Learn more June 2 facts in your 57-second shot of history.


FORMER UK LIB-DEM LEADER DIES

Charles Kennedy, former leader of the UK’s Liberal-Democrat party, died suddenly this morning at his home in Scotland at the age of 55, his family has announced. The cause of his death has yet to be confirmed, The Guardian reports. Kennedy led the party from 1999 to 2006, during which he was one of the few British political leaders to oppose the Iraq war. The political world has been paying tribute.


SNAPSHOT

Photo: Pascal Potier/Visual/ZUMA

Paris city officials have begun removing thousands of padlocks from the French capital’s main bridges. Attaching a “love lock” to the Pont des Arts (pictured here), for example, before throwing the key into the Seine below has become a tourist tradition in recent years, but some of the bridge’s railings collapsed under the weight last year. Close to a million locks weighing 45 tons are due to be removed over the next few days.


IMF AND ECB HEADS JOIN GREEK DEBT TALKS

The heads of the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank unexpectedly joined last night’s talks on the Greek debt crisis in Berlin. French President François Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who were scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, were joined by the IMF chief Christine Lagarde and ECB chief Mario Draghi, who flew to Berlin to try to help find a way out for Greece. Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says his government has submitted a draft proposal for an agreement, AP reports. Read more in our Extra! feature.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

In a Le Monde editorial, Tsipras issues an ultimatum to Eurozone partners and other negotiators as his country’s debt crisis reaches a critical hour. “Today, Europe has the opportunity to make decisions that will trigger a rapid recovery of the Greek and European economy by ending Grexit scenarios, scenarios that prevent the long-term stabilization of the European economy and may, at any given time, weaken the confidence of both citizens and investors in our common currency,” he writes. “Many claim that the Greek side is not cooperating to reach an agreement because it comes to the negotiations intransigent and without proposals. … I would like to take this opportunity to present the truth, and to responsibly inform the world’s public opinion about the real intentions and positions of Greece.”

Read the full Worldcrunch translation, Greece Will Not Cede Its Democracy.


AID WORKERS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN

Nine people, including seven aid workers, were killed when militants attacked a guesthouse in northern Afghanistan early this morning, AFP reports. Deputy provincial Police Chief Abdul Razaq Qaderi blamed the Taliban for the attack and said two guards were among those killed. The terror group has carried out several similar attacks on foreign workers recently.


MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD



TRIBESMEN KILL 18 HOUTHI FIGHTERS

Armed tribesmen killed 18 Houthi fighters in an ambush in Yemen's central province of Ibb today, Reuters quoted local residents as saying. The attack reportedly hit a convoy of militiamen and allied army troops while they were en route to the town of Taiz in southern Yemen. The region has been a flashpoint of violent clashes between Yemen’s dominant Houthis and armed backers of exiled president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.


HIGH COURT BACKS MUSLIM WOMAN DENIED JOB OVER HEADSCARF

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman who was denied a job in 2008 at age 17 by an Oklahoma Abercrombie & Fitch store because she wore a headscarf for religious reasons, Reuters reports. Samantha Elauf had been rejected under Abercrombie’s “look policy” for sales staff after she came to an interview wearing a black headscarf.


BETTER THAN OBAMA

Former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner set a new Twitter record after attracting a million followers just four hours after opening her account yesterday. That’s faster than @POTUS.

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Dottoré!

Sowing The Seeds Of Paranoia

"They must be dumping garbage — good, it makes for good fertilizer!"

"Slowly, we were the only ones left"

Mariateresa Fichele

"Dottoré, I know a lot of flags, and let me tell you why. I grew up in the province of Caserta, and — like everybody in those days — my parents owned a piece of land, and they would take me with them to farm it.

I remember there were other kids in the fields around us. But then, slowly, we were the only ones left because everybody was selling the land, making a lot of money off of it too.

Papà wouldn't listen to reason and he kept the land. But in the meantime, instead of farmers, trucks began to arrive. Many many trucks, unloading thousands of barrels and burying them into the ground.

Keep reading...Show less

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