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G7 Wraps Up, HSBC Layoffs, French Kisses

G7 Wraps Up, HSBC Layoffs, French Kisses


"We don't yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis as well, about how recruitment takes place, how training takes place," President Barack Obama told the G7 summit yesterday, speaking of U.S. efforts to combat the ISIS terror organization. His comments come a year after ISIS captured Mosul, a key city in northern Iraq. "We've got more training capacity than we've got recruits. It's not happening as fast as it needs to," he added.

  • Obama also strongly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning that "additional steps" could be taken if Russia were to "double down" on its "aggressive behavior" in Ukraine. "Does he continue to wreck his country's economy and continue Russia's isolation in pursuit of a wrong-headed desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet empire? Or does he recognize that Russia's greatness does not depend on violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries?" The Guardian quoted the president as saying.
  • He also praised the U.S. investigation of 14 FIFA officials and marketing executives on corruption charges. "The United States, by the way, since we keep on getting better and better at each World Cup, we want to make sure that a sport that's gaining popularity is conducted in an upright manner."
  • Read more about the G7 summit in our Extra! feature.


Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, already at the center of the international soccer organization's corruption scandal, is the target of a new investigation by U.S. prosecutors over the disappearance of emergency funds destined for victims of Haiti's 2010 earthquake, the BBC reports. The 72-year-old Warner, now a Trinidad and Tobago politician, is accused of diverting $750,000 that FIFA and the Korea Football Organization donated for Haiti's recovery. The BBC quoted U.S. investigators as saying that the funds instead went towards Warner's "personal use" in bank accounts he controlled. The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation made similar claims in 2012. Warner has consistently denied the accusations, dismissing them as a conspiracy. He was arrested last month in Trinidad at the request of U.S. investigators and faces extradition to the U.S. on charges of corruption and money laundering.


It seems infinitely longer, but today marks two years since Edward Snowden leaked classified National Security Agency information to the media, triggering international criticism of U.S. spying tactics. Get your 57-second shot of history here.


Between 22,000 and 25,000 HSBC jobs, including about 8,000 in the United Kingdom, will be cut throughout the world by the end of 2017, the British bank revealed this morning as part of a drastic restructuring plan. In total, its current workforce will be reduced by 20%.


"This is a war that is being fought on the bodies of women," UN envoy Zainab Bangura said yesterday after visiting Iraq and Syria in April to investigate sexual violence that ISIS fighters are perpetrating on young girls and women. He said abducted teenage girls were being sold in slave markets "for as little as a pack of cigarettes,"Â AFPÂ reports. Bangura spoke to former ISIS captives, met with local religious and political leaders and visited refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. He said the terrorist organization wants "to build a society that reflects the 13th century."


Four people, two villagers and two police officers, were killed and five others were injured today in a mass shooting by a man armed with a double-barreled hunting gun in China's northern Hebei province, Xinhua state television reports. The attacker, identified as 55-year-old Liu Shuangrui, reportedly went on a rampage in his village before retreating to his home, where he was found dead early this morning. The exact cause of his death is unknown, but state television reports he was shot. Gun violence is rare in China, where firearms are strictly controlled.


Emergency services are battling the spread of a deadly fuel depot fire outside Kiev, the head of emergency services there said today. Three firemen were reported missing after the blaze triggered a powerful explosion, Reuters reports.


Those who believe that the FIFA scandal is an exceptional case among international organizations should think again, Die Welt's Clemens Wergen writes in an op-ed. In fact, global governance organizations are a problem in general. "The UN is just as morally corrupt as FIFA," Wergen writes. "Just consider the dysfunction of the UN General Assembly or the composition of its offshoots such as the Human Rights Council. There you will find such champions of human rights as Algeria, China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. … At the UN, it is a perversion of the organization's founding principles when countries like China or Cuba are voted onto the Human Rights Council or when a misogynistic country like Iran is voted onto the Women's Rights Council."

Read the full article, Outraged By FIFA? The UN Is Just As Corrupt.



United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's latest list of parties that kill or injure children in armed conflict doesn't include Israel, as some UN officials had recommended, AP reports. But in a report published yesterday, he made clear that the number of Palestinian children killed and injured in Gaza and the West Bank last year — in the thousands — was unacceptable.


Photo:Â Xinhua/ZUMA

A 68-year-old woman is the seventh person to die from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea, and eight new cases of the coronavirus were reported today, The Korea Times reports. This brings the total number of infected people to 95 since the first diagnosis was made on a man returning from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Health and Welfare Minister Moon Hyung-pyo said that the number of new cases appeared to be declining and targeted people whose health was already fragile. Macao and Hong Kong issued warnings today against traveling to South Korea, Al Jazeera reports.


Ever wondered how many pecks on the cheek you're expected to give when greeting people in France? It can be as many as five, and even the French are sometimes uncertain, as this map shows.

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In Northern Kenya, Where Climate Change Is Measured In Starving Children

The worst drought in 40 years, which has deepened from the effects of climate change, is hitting the young the hardest around the Horn of Africa. A close-up look at the victims, and attempts to save lives and limit lasting effects on an already fragile region in Kenya.

Photo of five mothers holding their malnourished children

At feeding time, nurses and aides encourage mothers to socialize their children and stimulate them to eat.

Georgina Gustin

KAKUMA — The words "Stabilization Ward" are painted in uneven black letters above the entrance, but everyone in this massive refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, calls it ya maziwa: The place of milk.

Rescue workers and doctors, mothers and fathers, have carried hundreds of starving children through the doors of this one-room hospital wing, which is sometimes so crowded that babies and toddlers have to share beds. A pediatric unit is only a few steps away, but malnourished children don’t go there. They need special care, and even that doesn’t always save them.

In an office of the International Rescue Committee nearby, Vincent Opinya sits behind a desk with figures on dry-erase boards and a map of the camp on the walls around him. “We’ve lost 45 children this year due to malnutrition,” he says, juggling emergencies, phone calls, and texts. “We’re seeing a significant increase in malnutrition cases as a result of the drought — the worst we’ve faced in 40 years.”

From January to June, the ward experienced an 800 percent rise in admissions of children under 5 who needed treatment for malnourishment — a surge that aid groups blame mostly on a climate change-fueled drought that has turned the region into a parched barren.

Opinya, the nutrition manager for the IRC here, has had to rattle off these statistics many times, but the reality of the numbers is starting to crack his professional armor. “It’s a very sad situation,” he says, wearily. And he believes it will only get worse. A third year of drought is likely on the way.

More children may die. But millions will survive malnutrition and hunger only to live through a compromised future, researchers say. The longer-term health effects of this drought — weakened immune systems, developmental problems — will persist for a generation or more, with consequences that will cascade into communities and societies for decades.

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