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Hamas Leaders Targeted, Typhoon Rammasan, Cheeky Robot

More than 370,000 people were evacuated after Typhoon Rammasan hit the Philippines
More than 370,000 people were evacuated after Typhoon Rammasan hit the Philippines

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Israeli air force is continuing to strike Gaza, targeting the residences of four Hamas leaders hours after warning 100,000 Gazans to flee their homes, AP reports. This comes after Hamas rejected an Egypt-brokered ceasefire yesterday. Blogger Richard Silverstein writes that a well-placed Israeli source revealed that the ceasefire protocol had been written by Israel’s government.

The death toll in Gaza reached 208 this morning with more than 1,500 injured since the beginning of the operation, nine days ago. According to British journalists for Channel 4 network, a Gaza hospital was hit by 3 Israeli rockets.

More rockets continue to be fired into Israel, with about 87% of them being intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. An Israeli man was killed yesterday, the first one on that side of the border since the latest outbreak began.

As bombs and missiles are launched into Gaza and Israel, the Tel Aviv-based newspaper Calcalist reports on the cooperation that quietly continues across the border to avoid that the situation grows even worse. “Israel controls all the outside borders of Gaza, whether at sea, land or air. The only exception is the Rafah crossing to Egypt. With such control, Israel has to take responsibility for what is happening in that closed swath of territory. Israel's obligation to Gaza is preserved in international agreements and treaties, and the country is therefore responsible for the well-being of more than 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.” Read the full article, Economic Links Quietly Bind Israel And Gaza.

China announced it had completed its controversial drilling in disputed waters of the South China Sea, which had sparked violent anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam two months ago. According to Xinhua, the oil rig is being moved towards the Chinese island of Hainan. Some people in China suggested that the move was a “capitulation to pressure from the U.S.,” after Washington passed a resolution urging China to remove the oil rig, writes Quartz.
For more on the China-Vietnam dispute, here’s aLe Monde/Worldcrunch piece, Naval Pursuits And Geopolitics In The South China Sea.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa leaders have agreed on the structure of their New Development Bank, which with an initial capital of $100 billion is aimed at providing an alternative to the World Bank, the Financial Times reports. The new organization will be based in Shanghai and its first president will be Indian, while Brazil and Russia will also have top representatives. South Africa meanwhile will be home to a “regional center” for the continent, a move which means that “each member country got something out of the deal,” according to Bloomberg.

The Mexican police rescued 458 children as well as 138 adults from a group home infested with rats, ticks and fleas where they were being held against their will, AP reports. Some of the children are also believed to have suffered sexual abuse. The home’s owner and eight workers have been arrested.

That was the jail sentence that a French court handed down to a right-wing local politician for a racist Facebook post about the country’s first-ever black justice minister.

At least 370,000 people were evacuated in the Philippines as a powerful typhoon that has already killed 10 people swept through the country, causing severe damage cutting power, Reuters reports. The typhoon, nicknamed Rammasun, hit parts of the country that were still recovering from typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,100 people in November.

The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 603 since February, with at least 68 deaths reported from three countries in the region in the last week alone, Al Jazeera reports.

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“Take your clothes off and go stark naked” AFP talks to Pepper, a Japanese robot that can apparently read human emotions

— Crunched by Marc Alves.

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Migrant Lives

A Train Journey With Bengal Migrants Looking For A Living Far Away

Finding a seat on the Karmabhoomi Express is close to impossible. A closer look at why so many migrant workers travel on it, and out of Bengal, offers a grim picture.

image of a train

The Karmabhoomi Express runs from Kamakhya to Mumbai in a 3 day journey.

India Rail Info
Joydeep Sarkar

WEST BENGAL — Welcome aboard the 22512 Kamakhya-LTT Karmabhoomi Express — a metaphor, if any, of the acuteness of Bengal’s unemployment problem.

It is 10.28 pm at north Bengal’s Alipurduar Junction and the crowd has swollen to its peak. This is when the Karmabhoomi Express appears at the station. It is bound for Mumbai. Finding a seat on it is close to impossible. It is always chock full and there are always hundreds struggling to get a spot in the unreserved general compartment.

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