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Deadly New Warfare In Ukraine

DEADLY NEW WARFARE IN UKRAINE
Despite recent talk of a possible ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels in the embattled city of Donetsk, fighting has escalated following an army offensive, the BBC reports. Heavy shelling targeted rebel positions in the city, and the military said it had regained most of the territory around the airport. In addition to fighters, at least nine civilians were reportedly killed, including children.

40%
The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have given French President François Hollande, the most unpopular French leader in modern history, an unprecedented 21-point boost in approval ratings, according to a Paris Matchpoll. In a Le Monde interview, Hollande said that the deadly attacks had made France “stronger.” In a survey published in Journal du Dimanche, 42% of respondents, who were residents of France, said they believed Charlie Hebdo’s Muhammad caricatures were wrong and that their publication should be avoided.

YEMEN REBELS SEIZE MEDIA OFFICES
An already tense situation in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa has escalated after Shia Houthi rebels targeted the prime minister’s convoy with heavy gunfire and took over the country’s state television and news agency, Al Arabiya reports. Despite earlier reports of a ceasefire between the rebels and the government, fighting continued across the city and around the presidential residence. As the Arab world's poorest country, Yemen is also home to the al-Qaeda’s Sunni branch in the Arabian Peninsula, which the U.S. considers the most dangerous arm of the terror group, and which claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack.

ON THIS DAY

Get your 57-second shot of history in our daily video feature — today featuring Lucille Ball.

BOKO HARAM TAKES HOSTAGES
At least 80 villagers in Cameroon were kidnapped in an attack by suspected Boko Haram terrorists that left three people dead and two entire villages destroyed, Radio France Internationale reports. It’s the first time that the Nigerian Islamist terror group has targeted Cameroon villagers, though it has attacked the neighboring country’s army in recent months. This comes as Chad has been deploying its army in Cameroon in a joint effort to fight Boko Haram.

NSA PREPARES FOR DIGITAL WARS
The NSA’s role goes well beyond the mass collection of user data and mass surveillance of online communication. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden show that the agency is preparing for future digital wars, Der Spiegel reports. By developing a series of “D weapons” that target not only software but also hardware, and training interns into adopting an “attacker’s mindset,” the agency is readying itself for conflicts in which the Internet will enable them to paralyze an entire country’s infrastructures, including power and water supplies, and financial institutions.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
As Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Clemens Haug writes, two German entrepreneurs have seized on a business idea first founded in Dallas — a place where clients who want to dispense with their aggression can destroy set rooms with furniture otherwise destined for the landfill. “‘Hit your Way to Fitness,’ reads a sign by the entrance door,” the journalist writes. “Inside are two spaces that visitors can destroy. They’re equipped with furniture from the garbage dump, discarded TVs and computers. Old picture frames, vases and dishes round out the decor. For 89 euros, clients over 18 years of age can pulverize the lot. To do so, baseball bats and metal tools such as sledgehammers of different weights hang from the walls. Power tools like chainsaws are forbidden because the risk of injury is too high.”
Read the full article, The Business Of Destruction At Germany's Anger Room.

MYSTERIOUS DEATH IN ARGENTINA
An Argentine prosecutor who accused President Cristina Kirchner of covering up an alleged Iranian involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center, in which 85 were killed, died just hours before he was due at a congressional hearing Monday, La Nación reports. Alberto Nisman, 51, was found dead in his apartment with a gunshot wound to the head. Read more from AFP.

CHINESE STOCKS PLUNGE
Chinese shares lost 7.7% today, their biggest drop since 2008, after regulators cracked down on margin trading that they believed was a threat to stability, Bloomberg reports. European stocks, meanwhile, reached a seven-year high amid hopes that the European Central Bank will soon launch a quantitative easing program.

GERMAN PEGIDA MARCH BANNED
Police in Dresden, Germany, have issued a blanket ban on all demonstrations after reports of a “concrete threat” against the founding member of the anti-Islamization movement Pegida, Die Welt reports. This means that a weekly march that has been growing in numbers won’t happen tonight.

THE SMALL PRINT
Artist Florence Meunier has found a “hidden message” in the terms and conditions of Apple’s iCloud service, which demonstrates just important it is to read them.


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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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