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Greek Cash Withdrawals, MERS In Thailand, Obama Slip <div></div>

Greek Cash Withdrawals, MERS In Thailand, Obama Slip


Photo: Curtis Compton/ZUMA

Mourners in Charleston, S.C., flooded the town's churches yesterday while prayers were held across the country in memory of the nine people killed at the Emanuel AME Church Wednesday night. Photos onThe Post And Courier's website show tearful people praying in front of the church, as mourners bring flowers to honor the victims.

  • President Barack Obama renewed calls for tougher gun laws, saying the massacre happened "because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun."
  • Federal authorities are investigating the shooting as a hate crime. Killer Dylann Roof's past suggests his support for white supremacist ideas, and the 21-year-old has a history of drug use, The Washington Postreports.


The Greek economy is degenerating by the day, with reports that citizens withdrew more than 1 billion eurosfrom their banks yesterday alone, and more than 2 billion euros over the past three days, Reuters reports. Capital flight has been ongoing for months but has dramatically picked up pace amid failure to reach a deal to avoid Greece defaulting on its debt and to spare the poor more austerity measures. Talks in Luxembourg ended yesterday without agreement and with IMF chief Christine Lagarde saying that negotiations required "adults in the room." A new "last chance meeting" is planned for Monday. Read more fromE Kathimerini.


China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has had its worst week since 2008, dropped by 13% today, fueling fears that a bubble may be about to burst.


Oil giants Saudi Arabia and Russia signed a series of energy agreements in Saint Petersburg yesterday, including "the peaceful use of nuclear technology," the Saudi-owned pan-Arab news channel Al Arabiyareports. The agreed legal framework might include the development of nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia, the RT reports. Meanwhile, the Gulf monarchy is trying to secure Moscow's backing in its war against Yemen's Houthi rebels, with the Saudi ambassador to Russia highlighting Moscow's "important" role in "maintaining stability and security in the world."


Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed 62 years ago today for treason after spying for the Soviet Union and passing on atomic secrets. Time foryour 57-second shot of history.


Islamist group al-Mourabitoun has denied reports from the exiled Libyan government that its leader, the infamous Mokhtar Belmokhtar, was killed in a U.S. airstrike last weekend. According to The New York Times, al-Qaeda's north African branch also released a statement denying Belmokhtar had been killed, saying he was "still alive and kicking and wandering the land of God." If true, the claims would mean that the man behind the deadly 2013 gas plant attack in Algeria has once again cheated death.


In Bijie, an impoverished rural area of Guizhou Province, children are dying, some in ghastly accidents, some by their own hand. "It's as if the place is cursed," Song Shinan reports for Caixin. "There is a Chinese nursery rhyme called ‘Our Motherland is a Garden.' For the left-behind children of Bijie, home is a wasteland, a place where they can be suffocated, crushed by vehicles, raped, or even kill themselves because they can no longer bear the loneliness and poverty."

Read the full article, China, Where The ‛Left-Behind Children‛ Turn To Suicide.


Thailand announced its first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the virus that has already killed 24 people in South Korea. The patient is a 75-year-old man who traveled from Oman Monday, and 59 other people are being monitored as potential carriers, The Bangkok Post reports. North Korea claimed today that it had developed a "strong immune activator" made of ginseng extracts that can prevent and cure MERS.



"The Losers' Triumph," today's headline in the Danish tabloid BT reads. Yesterday's elections demonstrate a shift to the right in the Scandinavian country. While the Social Democratic Party of current Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt won the most seats, her center-left coalition lost to the right-wing opposition.

Read more in our Extra! feature.


"Little slip of the tongue there," President Barack Obama told a laughing crowd at a Hollywood fundraiser hosted by Tyler Perry, after this Freudian slip: "We should be reforming our criminal justice system in such a way that we are not incarcerating non-violent offenders in ways that renders them incapable of getting a job after they leave office." Read more fromUSA Today.

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food / travel

Legalizing Moonshine, A Winning Political Stand In Poland

Moonshine, typically known as “bimber” in Poland, may soon be legalized by the incoming government. There is a mix of tradition, politics and economics that makes homemade booze a popular issue to campaign on.

Photo of an empty vodka bottle on the ground in Poland

Bottle of vodka laying on the ground in Poland

Leszek Kostrzewski

WARSAWIt's a question of freedom — and quality. Poland's incoming coalition government is busy negotiating a platform for the coming years. Though there is much that still divides the Left, the liberal-centrist Civic Koalition, and the centrist Third Way partners, there is one area where Poland’s new ruling coalition is nearly unanimous: moonshine.

The slogan for the legalization of moonshine (known in Poland as "bimber") was initially presented by Michał Kołodziejczak, the leader of Agrounia, a left-wing socialist political movement in Poland that has qualified to be part of the incoming Parliament.

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”Formerly so-called moonshine was an important element of our cultural landscape, associated with mystery, breaking norms, and freedom from the state," Kołodziejczak said. "It was a reason to be proud, just like the liqueurs that Poles were famous for in the past.”

The president of Agrounia considered the right to make moonshine as a symbol of "subjectivity" that farmers could enjoy, and admitted with regret that in recent years it had been taken away from citizens. “It's also about a certain kind of freedom, to do whatever you want on your farm," Kołodziejczak adds. "This is subjectivity for the farmer. Therefore, I am in favor of providing farmers with the freedom to consume this alcohol for their own use.”

A similar viewpoint was aired by another Parliament member. “We will stop pretending that Polish farmers do not produce moonshine for their own use, such as for weddings,” the representative said, pointing out the benefits of controlling the quality. “Just like they produce slivovitz, which Poland is famous for. It's high time they did it legally.”

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