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."
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.
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.
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.