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ISIS Figures In Sinai Crash, Mexico's Legal Pot, Tinder In

ISIS Figures In Sinai Crash, Mexico's Legal Pot, Tinder In

ISIS MAY HAVE CAUSED SINAI CRASH AFTER ALL

There is significant evidence that an ISIS affiliate in Egypt was behind a suspected bomb attack on a Russian passenger plane that killed 224 people over the Sinai Peninsula Saturday, UK, U.S. and European officials told The Guardian. But Egypt and Russia still urge caution on making judgments about what caused the crash.

  • The ISIS affiliate claimed responsibility for bringing down the Russian aircraft immediately after the crash. "We've looked at the whole information picture, including that claim, but of course lots of other bits of information as well, and concluded that there is a significant possibility," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said.
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told the BBC that "the investigation will be disclosed with all transparency" and that the country has nothing to hide. "We do not want to rush into conclusions," he said. "We all share the same concerns. We want to know the reasons behind it."
  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted in a press conference today that "any sort of version of what happened can only be put forward by the investigation." He added that "assumptions like this are based on information that has not been checked or are speculation."

4,800

Deforestation in Brazil has been drastically reduced since the mid-2000s, but as many as 4,800 square kilometers of forests are still destroyed every year in the Amazon, according to an OECD report quoted in O Globo. That's about four times the size of a major city like Rio de Janeiro disappearing each year. But the organization praised the country for its development of green energy, which covered 40% of Brazil's energy production in 2012.


DOZENS TRAPPED IN PAKISTAN FACTORY

Photo: Jamil Ahmed/Xinhua/ZUMA

Search and rescue teams in Lahore, Pakistan, are conducting a major operation to save dozens of people believed to be trapped in the rubble of a collapsed factory, Al Jazeera reports. At least 18 people were killed and 75 injured when the building, which was under construction, collapsed yesterday. The cause of the incident is unknown, but it could be linked to a powerful magnitude-7.5 earthquake that killed at least 390 people in Pakistan and Afghanistan two weeks ago, The Guardian reports.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Though homophobia is not itself a mental illness, a new study finds that people who are prejudiced against gays and lesbians often do have mental disorders, Anna Kroning reports for Die Welt. But it's unclear what we're supposed to do with this insight. "Researchers have analyzed what psychological problems most often arise in combination with an animosity towards homosexuals. Further, they discovered that depressive and neurotic people are less likely to develop a negative attitude towards same-sex love."

Read the full article, Study Finds Link Between Homophobia And Mental Illness.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



ROMANIAN PROTESTS ENTER SECOND NIGHT

For a second consecutive night, at least 20,000 people demonstrated in Bucharest late Wednesday, demanding early elections and political reforms, Romanian daily Nine O'Clock reports. The demonstrations happened in the capital's University Square, outside the parliament and the Colectiv club, where a deadly fire killed 32 people last Friday, fueling anger across the country. The fire is believed to have been caused by the absence of safety measures stemming from corruption, a long-standing problem in the country. Prime Minister Victor Ponta and the mayor of the district of Bucharest resigned yesterday over the incident in the hope of satisfying "the people who came out in the streets."


TWO REFUGEE KIDS DIE EVERY DAY

"Everyday, two Alyans," French daily Libération writes on Thursday's front page, which also features a photograph of the body of a yet-to-be-identified 10-year-old Afghan boy washed up on a beach of the Greek island of Lesbos, off the coast of Turkey. The picture and headline both echo the similar drowning death of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi whose body was found on Turkey's shores two months ago. Read more in Le Blog.


MEXICO CLOSER TO LEGALIZING MARIJUANA

Mexico's supreme court ruled yesterday that the country's ban on growing, possessing and using marijuana for recreational purposes was unconstitutional, newspaper Excélsior reports. The court authorized four plaintiffs from the Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Self-Consumption to grow and smoke their own marijuana. The decision is a first in a country that has faced drug cartel violence for decades, and could pave the way for nationwide legalization.


ON THIS DAY


It turns out that British actress Tilda Swinton and Android share a birthday. That and more in today's shot of history.


TINDER IN

A Belgium-based artist put the LinkedIn and Tinder profile pictures of the same random people side by side to see the contrast between how they present themselves to potential employers versus what they want possible partners to see. The results are pretty interesting.

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Green Or Gone

Tracking The Asian Fishing "Armada" That Sucks Up Tons Of Seafood Off Argentina's Coast

A brightly-lit flotilla of fishing ships has reappeared in international waters off the southern coast of Argentina as it has annually in recent years for an "industrial harvest" of thousands of tons of fish and shellfish.

Photo of dozens of crab traps

An estimated 500 boats gather annually off the coast of Patagonia

Claudio Andrade

BUENOS AIRES — The 'floating city' of industrial fishing boats has returned, lighting up a long stretch of the South Pacific.

Recently visible off the coast of southern Argentina, aerial photographs showed the well-lit armada of some 500 vessels, parked 201 miles offshore from Comodoro Rivadavia in the province of Chubut. The fleet had arrived for its vast seasonal haul of sea 'products,' confirming its annual return to harvest squid, cod and shellfish on a scale that activists have called an environmental blitzkrieg.

In principle the ships are fishing just outside Argentina's exclusive Economic Zone, though it's widely known that this kind of apparent "industrial harvest" does not respect the territorial line, entering Argentine waters for one reason or another.

For some years now, activists and organizations like Greenpeace have repeatedly denounced industrial-style fishing as exhausting marine resources worldwide and badly affecting regional fauna, even if the fishing outfits technically manage to evade any crackdown by staying in or near international waters.

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