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German Train Crash, Nikkei Plunges, Carnival Tinkles

German Train Crash, Nikkei Plunges, Carnival Tinkles


At least eight people were killed and more than 150 injured this morning when two passenger trains collided near the southern German town of Bad Aibling, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. According to the train operator Meridian, both trains had partially derailed. Emergency teams reportedly freed all casualties by midday. "The accident is a huge shock for us. We are doing everything we can to help the travelers, relatives and workers," said Bernd Rosenbach, managing director of the train operator.


Hong Kong police resorted to firing warning shots during angry protests in the working-class Mong Kok neighborhood last night, Reuters reports. At least 48 police officers were injured and 24 protestors arrested during the demonstrations, which erupted after authorities tried to shutter illegal street stalls set up for Chinese New Year celebrations. Protesters reportedly hurled bricks at the riot police and set fire to trash bins in what is already being labeled the "fishball revolution," in reference to the delicacies sold by Hong Kong street vendors. Thousands more people are expected to gather tonight for additional New Year celebrations, according to the South China Morning Post.


The number of people killed in Saturday's Taiwan earthquake rose to 41 this morning, as rescue workers continued to work the site of a toppled 16-story residential building in Tainan City's Yongkang District, Focus Taiwan reports. The South China Morning Postquoted Taiwan Mayor William Lai Ching-Te as saying that the death toll could exceed 100. The BBC reported that the developer of the Tainan Weiguan Jinlong apartment complex, one of the few buildings to have suffered serious damage, has been arrested. An investigation will seek to determine if shoddy construction contributed to the building's collapse.


Halley's Comet was last visible on this day in 1986. Find out when it will make its next appearance in today's video shot of history.


"I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters," former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a Financial Times interview published today, speaking about the U.S. presidential race. Adding that American voters deserved "a lot better," Bloomberg also said he was looking at "all options" when asked if he was considering a presidential bid. In January, the New York Times reported that the 73-year-old billionaire had "taken concrete steps toward a possible campaign" as an independent, in which he could spend $1 billion of his estimated $39 billion fortune.

  • The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump holds a "sizeable lead" on the Republican side for today's New Hampshire primary. He hopes to to do better than last week, when he finished second in Iowa to Ted Cruz. Democrat Bernie Sanders is expected to win today's primary against Hillary Clinton, who edged him only by a hair in Iowa.


The Japanese Nikkei plunged 5.4%, and the yield on benchmark government bonds dipped below zero for the first time this morning, CNN reports. This follows losses for U.S. and European indexes Monday.


Eleven children were among 27 migrants who drowned yesterday after their boat capsized near the Turkish coast while attempting to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, Hürriyetreports. Three people were rescued by Turkish coastguards and a fourth by a fisherman. The tragedy happened on the same day that German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara to discuss the migrant crisis.



A feeling has spread through the popular consciousness: The collapse is near, we're living on the edge of implosion. But there is another way to look at our complicated world, Roger-Pol Droit writes for Les Echos. "Of course, there's no shortage of real causes for concern! From ISIS to the melting of glaciers and ice caps, from peoples isolating themselves in conclaves to the everyday barbarism, not to mention the atony of political life and the boredom of our citizenry. The list of our legitimate worries is very real indeed. Sadly, we lack a counterweight to the catastrophist prophecies that risk becoming self-fulfilling. And yet, it's not necessarily naive, or illusory or foolish to imagine that the dark times we're living in could end in something entirely different from an implosion."

Read the full article, Doomsayers Be Damned, How Our Messy World Always Avoids The Abyss.


Photo: Rahel Patrasso/Xinhua/ZUMA

An incredible 1,282 people have been fined 510 reais ($130) in Rio de Janeiro for urinating in public spaces during the Carnival celebrations, Globo reports. And to break a stereotype, 176 of them were women.

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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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