GREXIN OR GREXIT?
European Union leaders welcomed an 11th-hour proposal from the Greek government last night, just hours before a crucial summit that could decide the cash-strapped country's future in the Eurozone. The news sent European stocks up, though it's still early to say whether a deal will be reached to avoid a Greek debt default.
- According to the Greek Reporter, the new reform package from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras could include capitulations previously branded "taboo," such as ending early retirement and pension cuts.
- But the new proposals could spark a political crisis in Athens, where Syriza's right-wing coalition partner ANEL strongly opposes abolishing reduced VAT on Greece's Aegean islands. "If they want to get rid of ANEL from the coalition government, they can bring that measure to parliament and we will vote against it," Defense Minister and ANEL party member Panos Kammenos said this morning.
- Grexit or no Grexit, the Eurozone is doomed and will eventually have to "integrate or disintegrate," a new study says. Read more from The Daily Telegraph.
TALIBAN ATTACKS AFGHAN PARLIAMENT
At least 31 people were wounded in a coordinated Taliban attack against Afghanistan's Parliament in Kabul that ended with all seven gunmen killed, news agency Pajhwok reports. Lawmakers were gathered to vote on the appointment of a new defense minister when the attackers detonated a suicide car bomb at the building's entrance, having mysteriously been able to pass through several checkpoints,Reuters reports. The other six terrorists then entered the building and engaged in a two-hour gunfight with security forces.
- The attack comes as Taliban insurgents gained control of two districts in northern Afghanistan. Some 150,000 civilians are believed to be trapped.
"Do u know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weak," Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes, the wife of Israel's Interior Minister, wrote to her 75,000 Twitter followers. The message inspired hundreds of angry comments. The former UNICEF Israel chairwoman later apologized to the U.S. president and deleted the offensive tweet.
GERMANY ARRESTS AL JAZEERA REPORTER
Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour was detained yesterday at the Berlin airport following an Egyptian request to arrest and extradite him. Mansour was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison after a court found him guilty of torturing a lawyer in Cairo's Tahrir Square in 2011. The journalist denies the charges. A German court is expected to rule today whether Mansour will be extradited, but some politicians said a decision to do so could be "problematic" given Egypt's recent verdict record. Read more in English from DW.
A controversial auction in Nuremberg, Germany, saw 14 of Adolf Hitler'swatercolors fetch close to $450,000. Among the pieces was a painting of the Bavarian castle of Neuschwanstein, which inspired Walt Disney's Cinderella's castle.
IRAN REMOVES HURDLE FOR NUCLEAR DEAL
Iranian lawmakers approved a bill yesterday that effectively curtails their own power to block a potential nuclear deal with world powers, removing what AFP characterizes as "a long-standing threat" to an agreement days before the June 30 deadline. Tehran Times, meanwhile, reports that the bill allows "conventional inspections of nuclear sites" but bans "access to military, security and sensitive non-nuclear sites, as well as documents and scientists," a move that could prove to be a roadblock for some negotiators.
ON THIS DAY
Ten years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the song rising from New Orleans is not a melancholy one, Le Monde's Marine Benoit writes. "There's an energy and rhythm here in â€˜Nola,' as the locals call it. There's a jerky tempo, an uplifting melody, a swing and a swagger. Jazz has again taken the upper hand. Far from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter or the Faubourg Marigny, filled with bars and clubs, is the Musician's Village. Located in the Upper Ninth Ward, an area in the west of the city that was disproportionately affected by Katrina, it was built to accommodate destitute musicians, people who were unable to pay for the reconstruction of their houses."
Read the full article, Jazz And The Resurrection Of Post-Katrina New Orleans.
PAKISTAN HEAT WAVE KILLS DOZENS
A devastating heat wave in the Pakistani province of Sindh has killed more than 200 people over the last three days, with most of the victims in the city of Karachi, Dawn reports. The region has been experiencing temperatures between 45Â° and 48Â° Celsius (113Â° to 118Â° Fahrenheit) in recent days, just shy of all-time highs.
MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
APPLE BOWS TO TAYLOR SWIFT
In a rare concession, Apple has agreed to pay royalties to artists and music labels during the three-month free-trial period of its new Apple Music service amid protests from many in the music industry, including Taylor Swift