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Israel Votes, Greece Gets The Finger, Cervantes' Tomb

ISRAEL VOTES
Photo: Omer Messinger/ZUMA
Millions of Israelis are voting today to elect a new parliament and potentially a new prime minister in a tightly fought election that has become a referendum on incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu, who is running for a fourth term. Late polls show center-left opponent Isaac Herzog, leader of the Zionist Union, with a slight advantage over “Bibi.”

  • Netanyahu, however, made several attempts to attract right-wing voters and consolidate his Likud base in the late hours of the campaign. In a last-minute speech Monday, he said there would be no Palestinian state if he were reelected, disavowing a 2009 speech in which he supported a two-state solution, Haaretz reports.
  • The Likud party admitted to forging a recording of the Kulanu party leader promising to support Netanyahu, according to a Kulanu spokesman quoted by The Jerusalem Post.
  • Late surveys showed about 15% of voters were undecided going into today’s election.
  • Voting ends at 10 p.m. local time, and the first results are expected to be published immediately afterwards.
  • Although the formation of the new parliament, the Knesset, could be set by Wednesday, it could take weeks to determine the next prime minister, as negotiations to form the required coalition governmental could be difficult.

ON THIS DAY
[rebelmouse-image 27088756 alt="""" original_size="326x251" expand=1]

On this day in 1969, Israel elected Golda Meir. Time for your 57-second shot of history.

ALLEGED SYRIAN GAS ATTACK KILLS 6
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces killed six people — a man, his wife and their three children — in an alleged poison gas attack Monday in the village of Sarmin, in the Idlib province. Medical sources said they died as a result of what was likely chlorine released from barrel bombs dropped by government helicopters, the Syrian monitor group added. Reuters quoted a Syrian military source as saying these claims were propaganda. “We confirm that we would not use this type of weapon, and we don't need to use it.”

115
At least 115 civilians, including 14 children, were killed in a series of “ruthless airstrikes” on the Syrian city of Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS, between Nov. 11 and 29 last year, a new Amnesty International report says. The human rights group added that some of these strikes gave “every indication of being war crimes.” Several non-military targets, including a busy market, a mosque and a transport hub, were also hit. Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director, said that “Syrian government forces have shown flagrant disregard for the rules of war.”

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
As Clarin’s Miguel Jurado reports, buildings, tarmac and air conditioning are turning many cities into fetid, airless saunas. Experts urge more trees and grass to mitigate the heat of increasingly hot cement jungles. “Certainly there is global warming and we all suffer it, but in cities like Buenos Aires, insufficient greenery, buildings and tarmac make it much hotter than surrounding regions,” the journalist writes. “Our founder Pedro de Mendoza wasn’t wrong to plan the city facing a river, but because everything we build now blocks its pleasant breeze, we can see how Buenos Aires has become overheated and its air polluted.”
Read the full article, Scorching Cities Like Buenos Aires Are Not Just About Global Warming.

IRAN-U.S. NUCLEAR TALKS INTENSIFY
U.S. and Iranian delegations resumed talks on Iran’s nuclear program today in the Swiss city of Lausanne. Led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the talks aim to reach a political agreement by the end of the month, the Swiss daily Le Matin reports. But Western officials warn that tough issues remained unresolved. "We are trying to get there, but quite frankly we still do not know if we will be able to," a senior U.S. official told reporters. "Iran still has to make some very tough and necessary choices to address the significant concerns that remain about its nuclear program."

VERBATIM
“There is no occupation of Crimea,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a press conference today. The statement confirms Russia’s refusal to return Crimea to Ukraine, despite U.S. and European warnings that they would not drop sanctions over the peninsula’s annexation last year, Reuters reports. “Crimea is a region of the Russian Federation and of course the subject of our regions is not up for discussion,” Peskov added.

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Society

Urban Indigenous: How Peru's Shipibo-Conibo Keep Amazon Culture Alive In The City

For four years, indigenous photographer David Díaz Gonzales has documented the lives and movements of his Shipibo-Conibo community, as many of them migrated from their native Peruvian Amazon to the city. A work of remembrance and resistance.

For Shipibo-Conibo women, sporting a fringe is usually a sign of celebration or ceremony.

Rosa Chávez Yacila

YARINACOCHA — It was decades ago when the Shipibo-Conibo left their settlements along the banks of the Ucayali River, in eastern Peru, to begin a great migration to the cities. Still among the largest Amazonian communities in Peru — 32,964 according to the Ministry of Culture — though most Shipibo-Conibo now live in the urban district of Yarinacocha.

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