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Combat-Ready N. Korea, Greek Reshuffle, Dismaland

Combat-Ready N. Korea, Greek Reshuffle, Dismaland

NORTH KOREAN ARMY COMBAT READY

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered full combat readiness for the army after declaring a "quasi-state of war" with South Korea following yesterday's exchange of fire between the two countries, Yonhap reports. Meanwhile, South Korean President Park Geun-hye has issued orders for the military to retaliate to any provocation from Pyongyang, which still demands that South Korea cease anti-North propaganda. Technically, the two countries have been at war since they signed an armistice at the end of the Korean war, in 1953.


MACEDONIA FACES MIGRANT CRISIS

The Macedonian government has declared a state of emergency on the country's northern and southern borders, with Serbia and Greece, respectively, deploying troops and riot police to these areas to stem the flow of migrants trying to enter the country illegally, Reuters reports. Interior Minister Ivo Kotevski said yesterday that the southern border "was unprotected by the Greek authorities and the migrants were allowed to cross illegally. In many instances, we witnessed their organized transportation to the border," he explained, calling on the European Union to find a solution. Amid clashes this morning, the riot police fired tear gas at thousands of migrants.

Today's issue of Libération includes a 16-page feature about the European migrant crisis, analyzing the human and financial cost of policies implemented in France, Germany and the European Union as a whole. Read more in our Extra! feature.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



85 MILLION

France is expected to remain the world's most visited country this year with a record 85 million foreign tourists, the country's Foreign Ministry announced yesterday.


GREEK SYRIZA MEMBERS LEAVE PARTY

A group of 25 Syriza lawmakers in Greece who are opposed to austerity and the third bailout agreement reached Wednesday have announced plans to leave the ruling party to form their own party, Popular Unity, Greek Reporter reports. This comes after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced yesterday he would resign, a move designed to trigger new elections since he's lost support from much of his party. He will stand again in a new general election to be held Sept. 20.

  • The new party will be led by former Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, who has been one of Tsipras' most vocal critics. Popular Unity will "put the country on a new path of national independence, sovereignty, recovery and a new progressive course," Lafazanis said in a statement. Parliament Speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou is expected to join the party. It's unclear whether former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will also join.
  • According to Kathimerini, the creation of this new, radical-left party may allow Tsipras to move what remains of Syriza closer to the political center. "The people will have to decide again," he said in his televised address. "You will have to decide whether we represented you with courage. We have done everything in our power to save Greece."
  • But opposition parties from the center and the right may be trying to form a minority government without an election. The Greek Constitution allows them three days to come up with a viable agreement.

VERBATIM

"It is past time that Labour apologized to the British people for taking them into the Iraq war on the basis of deception, and to the Iraqi people for the suffering we have helped cause. Under our Labour, we will make this apology," Jeremy Corbyn, one of Britain's Labour Party leadership candidates, told The Guardian. The media has cast Corbyn as the most left-wing of the candidates. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has urged Labour supporters not to choose Corbyn, regarded as the favorite to succeed Ed Miliband.


ASIA SHARES CONTINUE FREEFALL

Asian shares slumped further today, with Japan's stock market falling by 3% and South Korea's by 2.2%, after similar results yesterday in U.S. and European markets, the BBC reports. China's Shanghai composite index plunged 4.3%, bringing its weekly losses to 11%, after new data showed Chinese manufacturing falling to its lowest level since 2009, another alarming sign that the country's economy is slowing. According to The Daily Telegraph, the succession of bad news means European shares today are poised for what could be this year's worst weekly decline


ON THIS DAY


It would take two years to recover the Mona Lisa after a Louvre employee stole Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece on this day in 1911. Check out today's shot of history.


ISRAEL STRIKES SYRIA AFTER ROCKET FIRE

Israeli Defense Forces hit a Syrian military building in the Golan Heights this morning, killing one soldier, in retaliation for rocket fire on a northern Israeli village, The Jerusalem Post reports. Israeli authorities believe the rockets were fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and were "facilitated" by an Iranian man.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Humans aren't the only living beings able to perceive the emotions of others and respond to them. When it comes to empathy, animals and people are more alike than not, Le Temps' Pascaline Minet writes. "Experiencing emotions because of others is one thing, but adapting one's actions accordingly is another. Animals such as primates, elephants, horses and crows also demonstrate such behavior — especially to comfort. They have the desire to satisfy the needs of another in appropriate and specific ways. Orangutan mothers, for example, understand that their young is stuck in a tree when they hear their baby crying a certain way."

Read the full article, Empathy, The Emotion Humans And Animals Share.


MANDELA GRANDSON FACES RAPE CHARGE

A grandson of late South African President Nelson Mandela is expected to appear in a Johannesburg court today after being charged with raping a 15-year-old girl, News24 reports. Earlier this week, it was reported that Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had sent a bodyguard pretending to be a policeman to the young girl's home to convince her family to drop the charges.


BANKSY'S IDEA OF FUN

Photo: dismalandofficial via Instagram

British artist Banksy unveiled his latest project yesterday titled Dismaland, describing it as "a family theme park unsuitable for small children." Among the creations on display in Weston-super-Mare, southwest England, is a carousel with a figure making lasagne from the horses, while one of the shops "offers" children money at an interest rate of 5,000%.

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Ideas

Making It Political Already? Why Turkey's Earthquake Is Not Just A Natural Disaster

The government in Ankara doesn't want to question the cause of the high death toll in the earthquake that struck along the Turkey-Syria border. But one Turkish writer says it's time to assign responsibility right now.

photo of Erdogan at the earthquake site

President Erdogan surveys the damage on Wednesday

Office of the Turkish Presidency
Dağhan Irak

-OpEd-

ISTANBUL — We have a saying in Turkey: “don’t make it political” and I am having a hard time finding the right words to describe how evil that mindset is. It's as if politics is isolated from society, somehow not connected to how we live and the consequences of choices taken.

Allow me to translate for you the “don’t make it political” saying's real meaning: “we don’t want to be held accountable, hands off.”

It means preventing the public from looking after their interests and preserving the superiority of a certain type of individual, group and social class.

In order to understand the extent of the worst disaster in more than 20 years, we need to look back at that disaster: the İzmit-Düzce earthquakes of 1999.

Because we have before us a regime that does not care about anything but its own interests; has no plan but to save itself in times of danger; does not believe such planning is even necessary (even as it may tinker with the concept in case there is something to gain from it); gets more mafioso as it grows more partisan — and more deadly as it gets more mafioso.

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