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Aug. 19 is World Humanitarian Day, an annual United Nations tribute that often goes by unnoticed. This year is different: It falls on a week when we've been acutely reminded of both the world's humanitarian crises, and the danger aid workers face every day.

Yesterday the world was shocked by the photograph and video of Omran Daqneesh, a Syrian boy pulled from the rubble of Aleppo by local rescuers. The chaotic images that turned the boy into an overnight symbol of Syria's suffering also show two other children being saved by medical workers in the city — just a sample of the enormous task that falls on the shoulders of Syria's humanitarian volunteers.

In Aleppo, like elsewhere in the Middle East, humanitarian workers and hospitals are under constant threat of attack. On today, of all days, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders announced it would evacuate all staff from hospitals in northern Yemen after an airstrike earlier this week hit one of its facilities. That was the fourth attack on the group's hospitals since the beginning of Yemen's civil war.

Humanitarians don't only risk their lives in war zones, they toil in countries across the globe from Australian migrant camps in Nauru to hospitals in Angola fighting the spread of yellow fever. To get a small (and virtual) sense of what humanitarian workers are up against every day, take this quiz to find out "which world you would rather live in."


  • Rio Olympics close.
  • 24-hour "Night Tube" service on the London Underground set to open today.
  • Sunday is World Fashion Day: Why not follow the example of Lady Gaga or Angela Merkel?


Legendary sprinter Usain Bolt cruised to his second gold medal of the Rio Games, winning the 200 meters last night. All eyes will be on tonight's 4x100-meter relay to see if the Jamaican team can win, allowing Bolt to complete an unprecedented triple-triple: three gold medals in three straight Olympics.


Brazilian police are considering charging U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte for lying about being the victim of an armed robbery in Rio. It actually appears that a drunk Lochte and three other athletes trashed a gas station. The U.S. Olympic Committee offered an apology for what it described as a "distracting ordeal."


Both Coco Chanel and the Liberation of Paris are in today's 57-second shot of History. Oui, oui.


Police forces in Thailand have issued an arrest warrant for Ahama Lengha, the first identified suspect in connection with last week's wave of bombings that killed four and injured several people across the country, Reuters reports. The authorities don't know whether the suspect is still in Thailand. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.


Six years after the outbreak of a cholera epidemic in Haiti that killed up to 10,000 people, the United Nations acknowledged its responsibility in an internal report released yesterday. Several studies showed that Nepalese peacekeepers brought the disease to the Caribbean country after the devastating 2010 earthquake, but a UN spokesman maintained the UN's legal immunity and did not offer compensation.


Philippines' controversial President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a new war of words on a political rival he's labeled an "immoral" woman. See how she replies on the front page of Philippines Daily Inquirer.


"Sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing," an apologetic Donald Trump admitted at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina. "And believe it or not, I regret it — and I do regret it — particularly where it may have caused personal pain."


As part of our Rue Amelot collection of international essays, read Jaquelline's story — the second in a series of oral histories from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, so close and yet so far away from the Olympic spotlight. "I came to Rio by bus. My mom put me on a bus and told me, ‘one of my sisters lives there and you're going to go live with her.' I had never met my aunt, but when I arrived in Rio I recognized her face, because she has the same face as my mom. When I got to Maré — imagine! That girl from the countryside, that country bumpkin laughs, not knowing anything. For me everything was new, but I adapted in a year. I didn't end up living with my aunt very long. When I was 17 she expelled me from her house. ... At one point, when all doors closed for me, I lived for a period on the street, and to survive I entered the world of prostitution."

Read the full article, The Other Rio — Jaquelline: God, If You Exist, Look At Me


Peruvians At Rest — Cusco, 1996


The Islamic State claimed responsibility yesterday for an attack two days ago that injured two Russian policemen east of Moscow. Both assailants were killed, on the same day that a counter-terrorism raid in Saint Petersburg left four alleged jihadists dead.



A 30-year-old Brit was sentenced to 20 months in prison for stealing more than $10,000 from his friends for a bachelor party he never organized, and lying about having terminal cancer. He was also ordered to repay the money he took.

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Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Elon Musk bought Twitter in the name of absolute freedom. But numerous research shows that social media hate speech leads to actual violence. Musk and others running social networks need to strike a balance.

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Freedom on social networks can result in insults and defamation

Jean-Marc Vittori


PARIS — Elon Musk is the world's leading reckless driver. The ever unpredictable CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is now behind a very different wheel as the new head of Twitter.

He began by banning remote work before slightly backtracking and authorizing it for the company’s “significant contributors.” Now he’s opened the door to Donald Trump to return to Twitter, while at the same time vaunting a decrease in the number of hate-messages that appear on the social network…all while firing Twitter’s content moderation teams.

But this time, the world’s richest man will have to make choices. He’ll have to limit his otherwise unconditional love of free speech. “Freedom consists of being able to do everything that does not harm others,” proclaimed the French-born Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.

Yet freedom on social networks results not only in insults and defamation, but sometimes also in physical aggression.

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