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Google Shakeup, Portugal's Raging Fires, Our Dying Universe

GOOGLE ANNOUNCES MAJOR SHAKEUP

Google, arguably the most recognizable company in the world, has announced a surprising rebranding in which all of its business entities will exist under a new parent company called Alphabet. As part of the restructuring, Google senior vice president Sundar Pichai will become CEO of Google, and company founder Larry Page will become chief executive of Alphabet. "Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable," Page said. "The whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands." Read more about the restructuring and Google's new chief from NBC.


ON THIS DAY


Alcatraz federal prison in San Francisco Bay received its first inmates on this day in 1934. Before it closed in 1963, it housed some of America's most ruthless criminals, including Al Capone and James "Whitey" Bulger. Get today's shot of history here.


EXTRA!

Forest fires have been raging in Portugal for several days now, with today's Público newspaper reporting that they have nine thousand hectares have been destroyed in the last 10 days. Read more in our Extra! feature.


FERGUSON VIOLENCE CONTINUES

Photo: Christian Gooden/TNS/ZUMA

Nearly two dozen people were arrested last night in Ferguson, Mo., during yet another night of demonstrations marking the anniversary of Michael Brown's death at the hands of officer Darren Wilson. St. Louis County has issued a state of emergency, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

On Sunday night, police officers in Ferguson shot and wounded a young man who reportedly fired his gun at them during an otherwise peaceful protest march.


VERBATIM

"All the natural resources are yours. Even Cecil the lion is yours. He is dead but yours to protect, and you failed to protect him," Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said yesterday in expand=1] a televised speech, saying Zimbabweans should protect what's theirs from "vandals who come from all over."


TURKISH AIRSTRIKES TARGET PKK

The Turkish military said today that overnight jets hit 17 targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Hakkari province, which borders Iran and Iraq, the AP reports. The fresh airstrikes on rebel positions come a day after nine people, including five police officers, were killed in Istanbul and in the southeastern Sirnak province. The attacks were blamed on the Kurdish forces.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

As Süddeutsche Zeitung reports, Til Schweiger may be Germany's most popular actor-director, but right now he's squarely in the middle of the real-life, hot-button political issue of the day: immigration. "It all started quite innocently: A 12-year-old girl asks a well-known actor/director to share an appeal for donations on his Facebook page. She asked, he delivered. But because the campaign was for a polarizing subject, immigration, and the man in question is named Til Schweiger and has 1.3 million followers on Facebook, it didn't take long for things to escalate. A racist debate unfolded on Schweiger's Facebook page and the star was forced to shoot down the racist trolls with unambiguous responses such as, ‘piss off of my page' and ‘you shouldn't unload all that hatred and stupidity on my page.'" Then he put his money where his mouth was.

Read the full article, How Racist Trolls Led A German Star To Build A Refugee Home.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



JAPAN RESTARTS NUCLEAR PLANT

Amid strong protests, Japan has restarted its first nuclear power plant since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Kyushu Electric Power Co. activated the No. 1 reactor at the Sendai nuclear power plant today, Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reports. The reactor is subject to new safety regulations instituted after the Fukushima disaster, the largest nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.


THE UNIVERSE IS DYING

There are still a few billion years left on the clock, but "the Universe has basically plonked itself down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and is about to nod off for an eternal doze."

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Future

Beyond Ukraine, How To Defend Against Drones As A Weapon-Of-Choice For Terrorists

The war in Ukraine has shown how civilian drones can be effectively used as weapons. Meanwhile in Paris, with preparations on to host the Olympics in 2024, the city is testing some unlikely solutions to make sure the devices can't be employed by terrorists.

​Five drones in the sky at sunset

Five drones in the sky at sunset

Jacques Henno

PARIS — Police in Paris are busy walking through the worst-case scenarios. One is a drone appearing out of nowhere, undetected because it flies low and emits no radio waves thanks to its autonomous navigation. The reason? They've been tasked with protecting two major events being organized in France: the Rugby World Cup in September and October 2023, and then the Olympic Games in July and August 2024.

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