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Israel Bombs Gaza, Sarko Stages Comeback, Blatter Babel

Israel Bombs Gaza, Sarko Stages Comeback, Blatter Babel

SCORES DIE IN GHANA GAS STATION BLAST

At least 96 people were killed in an explosion at a gas station in Ghana’s capital Accra last night, The Accra City Times reports. Local radio station JOYFM put the death toll at more than 100. Most of the victims had sought shelter at the gas station as torrential rains completely submerged parts of the city. The blast is believed to have been linked to the downpour. Ghana President John Mahama was on site this morning, and the death toll is expected to rise.


SNAPSHOT

Photo: Nugroho Hadi Santoso/NurPhoto/ZUMA

Buddhist followers release lanterns into the air at Borobudur temple during celebrations for Vesak Day in Magelang, Indonesia. Vesak is observed during the full moon in May or June and celebrates the life of Buddhism’s founder Siddhartha Gautama.


ISRAEL BOMBS GAZA AFTER ROCKET ATTACK

Israeli forces carried out several airstrikes in Gaza this morning in retaliation for rockets fired from the Palestinian territory yesterday. The raids reportedly hit two Hamas training camps, but no casualties were reported. Read more from The Jerusalem Post.


EXTRA!

“Scandals, lawsuits, and bankers chase him. What of it!” French news weekly Marianne writes in this week’s cover story. “Nicolas Sarkozy has but one goal: take back ultimate power on the ‘Republican’ ticket.” The former French president has rattled observers across the political spectrum with his initiative to rebrand his center-right UMP party the “Republicans.”

Read the full article, Extra! Sarkozy's Republican “Hold-Up.


MUBARAK TO BE RETRIED

This morning an Egyptian appeals court ordered a third trial of former President Hosni Mubarak over the 2011 killings of protesters, Al Jazeera reports. The 87-year-old defendant had been cleared in a November 2014 retrial after originally being jailed for life over the death of 800 people during the revolution.


ON THIS DAY


Today's 57-second shot of history features Angelina Jolie, the Pulitzer Prize and some hot air balloons!


“NO COVER-UP” AFTER CHINA SHIPWRECK

Chinese authorities pledged today that there would be “no cover-up” of the investigation into Monday night’s deadly ship sinking on the Yangtze River that claimed at least 75 lives. Another 370 people are missing and presumed dead, Reuters reports. "We will never shield mistakes and we'll absolutely not cover up," Ministry of Transport spokesman Xu Chengguang said during a press conference yesterday. Search teams have rescued just 14 survivors since the shipwreck, which was caused by a tornado. It could wind up being China’s worst ship disaster in almost 70 years.


MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD



FIFA OFFICIAL ADMITS TAKING BRIBES

Chuck Blazer, a former top FIFA official, has admitted that he and other members of the executive committee accepted bribes in connection with the choices of the host countries for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups. The revelation comes from a newly released transcript of a 2013 U.S. court hearing in which he pleaded guilty to 10 charges, the BBC reports. Meanwhile, South African sports minister Fikile Mbalula has denied the government bribed FIFA officials with $10 million, as U.S. investigators charge, The Guardian reports.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Once the world's murder capital, Ciudad Juarez — the Mexican city that borders El Paso, Texas — has seen crime plummet. But deeper problems still persist, writes Philippe Boulet-Gercourt for L’Obs: “Some worry that the current peace in Ciudad Juárez may be nothing but a fleeting moment, and warn that other Mexican cities would be wrong to take it as a model. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has softened the rhetoric of ‘war against traffickers’ of his predecessor, preferring to show to the world the economic progress and modernization of his country rather than images of the army fighting against drug dealers. But in reality, Mexico's policy hasn't really changed: beheading drug gangs by eliminating their ‘heads.’”

Read the full article, Miracle Of Ciudad Juarez: A Symbol Of Mexico's Violence Is Reborn.


DOZENS DEAD IN UKRAINE FIGHTING

At least 24 people have been killed in the past 24 hours in eastern Ukraine, as pro-Russian rebels launched a new “major offensive” yesterday near the city of Marinka, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) reports. According to Edouard Bassourine, spokesman for the so-called “Donetsk People's Republic,” 14 rebels and five civilians have been killed. Yuri Biryukov, a close advisor to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, said five government soldiers were also killed. After attempting to take government positions in Marinka with tanks and artillery, they were beaten back by Ukrainian forces after 12 hours of fighting, Reuters quoted Ukraine's Defense Ministry as saying.


BLATTER RESIGNS, THE WORLD REACTS

Get a glimpse of global reaction to Sepp Blatter’s FIFA resignation in our “Babel” video.

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Society

NFTs Are Not Dead — They May Be Coming Soon To A Theater Near You

Despite turbulence in the crypto market, NFT advocates think the digital objects could revolutionize how films and television series are financed and produced.

NFTs Are Not Dead — They May Be Coming Soon To A Theater Near You

Mark Warshaw's series, The Bureau of Magical Things

Fabio Benedetti Valentini

PARIS — Advocates of a "participatory internet" (or Web 3.0) dream of an NFT future for cinematic works and animated films, despite the fact that Bitcoin (and cryptocurrency generally) is struggling. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital assets based on blockchain technology.

NFT converts say that digital objects could profoundly change the link between the general public and creators of cinematic content by revolutionizing the way animated films and TV series are financed. Even if, by their own admission, none of the experiments currently underway have so far amounted to much.

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