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Grexit Chances Grow, Jeb Bush To Announce, Jurassic Wins Weekend

Grexit Chances Grow, Jeb Bush To Announce, Jurassic Wins Weekend


Greece is edging closer to default and a potential Eurozone exit after talks with international creditors broke down once again late yesterday, The Guardian reports. Tensions with Berlin appear to be ratcheting up after the parliamentary leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party said, "Greece needs to get back to reality." But Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has reaffirmed his determination to limit austerity. Greek stocks fell by more than 6% in early trading today.


At least 24 people are still missing after severe flooding in Georgia's capital Tbilisi that left at least 12 people dead. Potentially dangerous animals — including hungry tigers, lions and wolves — are on the loose too, as heavy rainfall damaged their zoo enclosures, allowing them to escape. Read more in our Extra! feature.


Photo: David Becker/ZUMA

Jeb Bush is expected to officially launch his presidential campaign today in Miami, The Miami Herald reports. The Republican candidate unveiled his presidential logo yesterday — "Jeb! 2016" — with critics suggesting he might be running away from his family name.


"Putin didn't give him asylum for nothing. His documents were encrypted, but they weren't completely secure, and we have now seen our agents and assets being targeted," a senior source in Britain's Home Office told The Sunday Timesamid reports that Russia and China hacked into Edward Snowden's files, allegedly forcing British and American intelligence agencies to pull agents from live operations abroad.


Infamous al-Qaeda-linked terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Libya Saturday, which CNN characterized as "an extraordinary intelligence achievement against one of the most elusive and powerful jihadists in North Africa." Belmokhtar was behind the spectacular 2013 hostage crisis in southern Algeria during which 39 foreign hostages died.


A tsunami in Japan killed 22,000 people on this day in 1896. Learn more June 15 facts in today's 57-second of history.


After months of deadly fighting, Yemen's exiled government and representatives from the Houthi rebellion will gather in Geneva to discuss a possible solution to the violent conflict that has killed more than 2,000 people since March. The battleground momentum seems to be with the rebels after they seized a provincial capital near the Saudi Arabian border, AFP reports.


A persistent drought is threatening California's storied vineyards, which employ hundreds of thousands in the Golden State alone. But as La Stampa's Francesco Semprini reports, there is still water, for now. "Much like every other Californian business, Napa's vineyards are facing serious challenges resulting from severe drought that has brought rainfall to historic lows and worsened the state's already hot climate," he writes. "The drought's effects are visible as we follow Highway 101, the bright green vineyards bordered by fields of progressively intense shades of yellow. It's a sign that some crops have been abandoned in favor of grapevines and olives, northern California's other major agricultural export."

Read the full article, As Drought Endures, Napa Wineries See A Glass Half Full.


South Africa's high court has ordered Sudan President Omar al-Bashir not to leave the country, where he is attending the African Union Summit, while the court considers whether to comply with an International Criminal Court arrest warrant, The Mail & Guardian reports. Bashir stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the violent conflict in Darfur. Despite media reports that he had managed to flee, Reuters quotes a presidential spokesman as saying that he's still in Johannesburg. The court's order sparked a furious reaction from South African President Jacob Zuma, who said the ICC "is no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended" and seeks to impose a selective Western justice by singling out Africa and Eastern Europe.


FIFA's controversial president is reportedly considering staying on at the helm of soccer's governing body despite announcing his resignation weeks ago amid a massive corruption probe, Swiss newspaper Schweiz Am Sonntag reported. A source close to the 79-year-old, who is still serving pending a replacement, said he might reconsider his decision after he received "messages of support from African and Asian football associations."



The Polish government is in talks with U.S. officials to permanently host heavy American weaponry to prevent a potential attack from Russia, The Wall Street Journal quotes Poland's defense minister as saying. A Pentagon spokesman denied the U.S. administration had made a decision about where to place its weaponry in the region. But The New York Times reported that the Pentagon was "poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries," a "significant" move meant "to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe."


The latest installment in the Jurassic series launched with a bang, grossing a staggering $511.8 million worldwide over the weekend, becoming the first-ever movie to earn more than $500 million in its opening days.


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced yesterday that Jose Amin Hernandez Manrique, leader of the country's second-largest leftist guerrilla group, had been killed in a military operation, El Espectadorreports. Manrique had been leading as many as 13 fighting units of 260 "guerrilleros" and was believed to be responsible for the 1999 hijacking of an aircraft with 46 passengers on board.


Nepalese authorities are poised to reopen heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, hoping to resurrect much-needed tourism after the devastating April earthquakes that killed more than 8,000 people, the BBC reports. But UNESCO is concerned the sites aren't yet secured enough. Read more about Nepal's reconstruction from the Nepali Times.


After weeks of confusion and irritation for Geminis, things are headed in the right direction again. Meanwhile, good news is in store for Scorpios too, but the going will be tough. Simon, Italy's most trusted astrologer, has the week all worked out. Take a look.

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A Refuge From China's Rat Race: The Young People Flocking To Buddhist Monasteries

Unemployment, stress in the workplace, economic difficulties: more and more young Chinese graduates are flocking to monasteries to find "another school of life."

Photograph of a girl praying at a temple during Chinese Lunar New Year. She is burning incense.

Feb 20, 2015 - Huaibei, China - Chinese worshippers pray at a temple during the Lunar New Yeat

Frédéric Schaeffer

JIAXING — It's already dawn at Xianghai Temple when Lin, 26, goes to the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas for the 5:30 a.m. prayer.

Still half-asleep, the young woman joins the monks in chanting mantras and reciting sacred texts for an hour. Kneeling, she bows three times to Vairocana, also known as the Great Sun Buddha, who dominates the 42-meter-high hall representing the cosmos.

Before grabbing a vegetarian breakfast in the adjacent refectory, monks and devotees chant around the hall to the sound of drums and gongs.

"I resigned last October from the e-commerce company where I had been working for the past two years in Nanjing, and joined the temple in January, where I am now a volunteer in residence," explains the young woman, soberly dressed in black pants and a cream linen jacket.

Located in the city of Jiaxing, over a hundred kilometers from Shanghai, in eastern China, the Xianghai temple is home to some 20 permanent volunteers.

Unlike Lin, most of them only stay for a couple days or a few weeks. But for Lin, who spends most of her free time studying Buddhist texts in the temple library, the change in her life has been radical. "I used to do the same job every day, sometimes until very late at night, writing all kinds of reports for my boss. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I felt my life had no meaning," she says.

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