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SPOTLIGHT: WHAT DOES ISTANBUL ATTACK SAY ABOUT ISIS?

After Tuesday night's gruesome attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, where the toll now stands at 42 people dead and 239 wounded, Turkish police launched a vast operation that led to the arrest of 13 suspects, AFP reports. Perhaps surprisingly, no organization has so far claimed responsibility for the attack in a country where acts of terror can come from different sources. Turkish authorities have indicated that they believe the Islamic State jihadist group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, is to blame. If confirmed, this could mark a shift in the war against the terror organization even as it loses ground in both Syria and Iraq.

  • Ozgur Mumcu writes in Istanbul daily Cumhuriyet that those responsible for attacks in Turkey use the country to plan and carry out attacks. He blames the assault on the government's policy toward neighboring Syria, where jihadist groups like the Islamic State have flourished. "The fight against terrorism is left to luck and individual acts of heroism," Mumcu notes.
  • An analysis in the The Washington Post said the attack appeared to set the stage for an outright war between Turkey and ISIS.
  • Sources quoted in The New York Times struck a more cautious note, saying ISIS is "trying to have it both ways" by "punishing Turkey for starting to act against it" after years of at least passive support, while "leaving enough of a gray area that it avoids a full-on clash with a country that has been valuable to its operations."


WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



ISIS FIGHTERS KILLED IN AIRSTRIKES NEAR FALLUJAH

At least 250 ISIS fighters were killed in airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition near the recently recaptured city of Fallujah, Iraq, USA Today reports. The strikes dealt another heavy blow to ISIS, which has lost about 45% of the territory it controlled at its peak last year in Iraq and about 20% of what it once occupied in Syria, according to the Pentagon.


AFGHAN TALIBAN TARGET POLICE IN KABUL

Two huge explosions triggered by a suicide bomber against a police convoy have killed at least 40 Afghan officers just outside Kabul, the BBC reports. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.


— ON THIS DAY

Today's 57-second of History contains impressive footage from 1908 … Check it out here!


UK CONSERVATIVES LEADERSHIP BATTLE

Britain's ruling Conservative Party is now following in the slippery footsteps of its Labour party opponents, with what is shaping up to be a tough leadership battle following last week's Brexit vote. Justice Secretary Michael Gove, who campaigned with former Mayor of London Boris Johnson for Britain to leave the EU, announced this morning his desire to become the next party leader and Prime Minister, saying that "Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team" necessary to achieve Brexit, the BBC reports. Home Secretary Theresa May also launched her leadership bid this morning, as did Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom.


PHILIPPINES' DUTERTE SWORN IN

The tough-talking Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as president of the Philippines today in Manila. The 71-year-old vowed to eradicate criminal gangs, and his election seems to have already led to a wave of killings of drug peddlers. See how Duterte was featured in the Philippines press.


600+

An oak tree in New Jersey that's more than 600 years old and thought to be the oldest in the U.S. is dying but nobody knows why, The Washington Post reports.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Ever wish you could wrest power from dictators, empower opposition movements, spark military interventions abroad and domestic protests? For Italian daily La Stampa, Massimo Russo presents Power & Revolution, a simulator that mirrors real world events: "Players can choose from a number of scenarios: from reforming European states to attempting a coup d"état in Africa. While the game lacks good graphics, the high level of geopolitical realism in Power & Revolution has led several countries as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, to use the game to select employees and train them."

Read the full article, This Video Game Grooms Future World Leaders.


HUMAN BODY PARTS FOUND ON RIO'S OLYMPIC BEACH

Human body parts were found on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach, very close to the area where beach volleyball athletes will compete in this summer's Olympic Games. Local media notes the finding highlights a heightened level of violence in Rio lately, with at least 10 dead. More in English from AP.


CHINESE V. JAPAN IN EAST CHINA SEA

Chinese military activity in the East China Sea is escalating both at sea and in the air, Japan's top military commander told reporters in Tokyo. China and Japan are entangled in a dispute over islands in the area.


MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

In Your Mummified Face — Silkeborg, 1979


VERBATIM

"I can't do division or simple multiplication," Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, France's former first lady and model told Elle magazine, adding she can "lose her temper" when she tries to help the children with the homework. The Italian-French singer also says she could "commit extreme acts like cut his throat or his ears in his sleep" if former French President Nicolas Sarkozy ever cheated on her.


SPECTACULAR WATER RELEASE AT XIAOLANGDI DAM

Cascades of water were released from China's Xiaolangdi dam on the Yellow River, a yearly event to flush silt from the bottom of a reservoir behind the dam. Check out the spectacular pictures of the release.


— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH

BUSTED, MR. DJ

Sven Vath is that good a DJ that he can do his job while watching a soccer game.

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War In Ukraine, Day 279: New Kherson Horrors More Than Two Weeks After Russian Withdrawal

Shelling in Kherson

Anna Akage, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

While retreating from Kherson, Russian troops forcibly removed more than 2,500 Ukrainians from prison colonies and pre-trial detention centers in the southern region. Those removed included prisoners as well as a large number of civilians who had been held in prisons during the occupation, according to the Ukrainian human rights organization Alliance of Ukrainian Unity.

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The NGO said it has evidence that these Ukrainians were first transferred to Crimea and then distributed to different prisons in Russia. During the transfer of the prisoners, Russian soldiers also reportedly stole valuables and food and mined the building of colony #61.

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