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Japan

Japan Quake, UK Terror Arrests, 360 Videos

CLINTON-SANDERS DEBATE GETS FEISTY

The gloves came off Thursday night in Brooklyn as Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders faced off in the last debate before New York's crucial primary on Tuesday. Dan Balz of The Washington Post notes that the nature of the Democratic campaign now poses risks to whomever wins the nomination. "What started out many months ago as a relatively civil contest, in which both Sanders and Clinton seemed to resist negative attacks, has descended into the kind of competition that raises questions about how easily the party will come together once a winner has been crowned." Here's a 90-second recap of some of the sharpest exchanges.


DEADLY JAPAN QUAKE

A series of earthquakes in southwestern Japan left at least nine dead and close to 900 injured early this morning. Some of the tremors reached magnitudes of 6.5 in the hardest-hit region of the Kumamoto prefecture,The Japan Times reports. Several nuclear reactors and power plants are located in the region, notably in the capital city of the Miyagi Prefecture Sendai and the towns of Ikata and Genkai, thoughAsahi Shimbun quoted local authorities saying no signs thus far of nuclear risk have been signaled. The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned of a 40% chance a magnitude-5 aftershocks iin the region in the next three days.


UK KICKS OFF BREXIT CAMPAIGN

The official campaign for the referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union kicked off today. The Bank of England voiced support yesterday for the stay-in-the-EU campaigners, stating that a leave decision in the June 23 vote could harm the UK's economic growth and have a serious impact on the pound.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Beijing-based Caixin features a fascinating exploration of Chinese people's open relationship with food. "This culinary freedom among Chinese people has long created a rather bizarre and decadent impression to the eyes of Westerners. In his 1832 memoir, U.S. diplomat Edmund Roberts, said of a trip to Canton that he witnessed ‘the most fallen and cruel customs.' He saw people gambling, but also using ‘lethal drugs and spirits to bring pleasure, while at the same time being brutally omnivorous. They consume anything that runs, walks, crawls on the ground, flies in the sky or swims in the water.' Of course, it's been just as hard for Chinese people to understand why Europeans haven't eaten all the delicious hairy fresh-water crabs crawling around." Read the full article.


RUSSIA URGES CLOSING OF TURKEY-SYRIA BORDER

Russia called for the closing of the Turkey-Syrian border yesterday to prevent ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front from receiving foreign fighters and weapons into Syria. Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin also stated during the UN Security Council meeting that members should think about imposing a complete trade and economic embargo against the extremist groups.


VERBATIM

"Who would you rescue first if they were drowning, Erdogan or Poroshenko?" The rather challenging question was posed to Russian President Vladimir Putin by a 12-year-old girl yesterday during a public Q&A conference. Putin opted not to pick a favorite, but in a barb to both the Turkish and the Ukrainian leader stated: "If someone is determined to drown, you can't save them, but we are willing to extend a hand to anyone, as long as they want that."


ROUSSEFF'S IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS BEGIN

Brazil's Supreme Court has rejected President Dilma Rousseff's ultimate resort to avoid the impeachment vote she faces, the daily Folha De S.Paulo reports. Protesters blocked streets this morning as the Lower House began debate began on accusations that the Brazilian president manipulated government accounts. The vote is expected to conclude Sunday, which could lead to her fall from power. Brazil's 36th president rejects the allegations, saying her opponents have plotted a coup against her.


5 ARRESTED IN UK OVER TERROR LINKS

Four men and one woman were arrested today in the United Kingdom over suspected links to the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks, The Guardian reports. Four of the arrests were made in Birmingham and another at London's Gatwick airport.


NORTH KOREA MISSILE LAUNCH FAILS

The U.S. military claims it detected a failed North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missile launch today, The Korea Times reports. This came as North Korea celebrated the birthday of the country's founding leader Kim Il-sung known as the "Day of the Sun."


ON THIS DAY

Two years ago, 276 female students were kidnapped in Chibok, Nigeria, by terrorist organization Boko Haram. More in today's shot of history.


STREET PROTESTS MOUNT IN MACEDONIA

Civil unrest is escalating in Macedonia as thousands of citizens join the street protests after President Gjorge Ivanov announced amnesty for 56 politicians and other figures accused of fraud and corruption, Macedonian TV channel Vesti reports. Ivanov has been sharply criticized by both the EU and the U.S. for his decision on Tuesday which effectively neutralized the investigation which was launched last year as part of an EU-brokered effort.


INSIDE WESTEROS

Everyone's doing fancy 360° videos, so "Game of Thrones" did one too with its opening credits. "From King's Landing to Dorne, explore the world of Westeros like never before in our immersive 360 experience," the series' Facebook page promises.

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Geopolitics

How Ukraine Keeps Getting The West To Flip On Arms Supplies

The open debate on weapon deliveries to Ukraine is highly unusual, but Kyiv has figured out how to use the public moral suasion — and patience — to repeatedly shift the question in its favor. But will it work now for fighter jets?

Photo of a sunset over the USS Nimitz with a man guiding fighter jets ready for takeoff

U.S fighter jets ready for takeoff on the USS Nimitz

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — In what other war have arms deliveries been negotiated so openly in the public sphere?

On Monday, a journalist asked Joe Biden if he plans on supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. He answered “No”. A few hours later, the same question was asked to Emmanuel Macron, about French fighter jets. Macron did not rule it out.

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Visiting Paris on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksïï Reznikov recalled that a year ago, the United States had refused him ground-air Stinger missiles deliveries. Eleven months later, Washington is delivering heavy tanks, in addition to everything else. The 'no' of yesterday is the green light of tomorrow: this is the lesson that the very pragmatic minister seemed to learn.

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