DEATH TOLL FROM DAMASCUS AIR STRIKE NOW AT 33
The death toll from airstrikes carried out yesterday in the Deir al-Asafir district southeast of Damascus has risen to 33, mostly women and children, Reuters reports this morning. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the strikes were carried out by Syrian aircraft and came despite a month-long "cessation of hostilities" in Syria between government forces and their opponents, excluding Islamic State and al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front. The targeted area is controlled by different factions, including rebel forces covered by the truce as well as al-Nusra Front.
POLICE FILE HOMICIDE CASE AFTER KOLKATA CRASH
Photo: Sonali Pal Chaudhury/NurPhoto/ZUMA
Five company officials have so far been detained as Indian police this morning opened a case of culpable homicide against the construction company IVRCL that built the flyover that collapsed in Kolkata yesterday, killing at least 24 people and injuring at least 90, Hindustan Timesreports. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee commented that those responsible would not be spared and blamed the previous state government that awarded the flyover contract in 2007.
KIM FIRES AWAY AGAIN
South Korea's Defense Ministry says North Korea fired another short-range surface-to-air missile into the East Sea at 12:45 local time today, The Korea Heraldreports. The launch, taking place as regional leaders met in Washington to discuss the threat of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, is the latest in a series of launches during an extended period of elevated military tension on the Korean Peninsula.
MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
GAS EXPLOSION IN PARIS
A major midday explosion in a 7-story building sent a major scare through the French capital, though police quickly confirmed the cause was a gas leak. At least 5 people were injured, Le Figaro reports.
BRAZIL CHARGES WORLD'S RICHEST BANKER WITH BRIBERY
The world's richest banker, Joseph Safra is the latest billionaire to be named in Brazil's far-reaching corruption probe as prosecutors yesterday charged him with an alleged scheme to pay bribes, Folha de S.Paulo reports. According to Brazil's Federal Police, The Safra Group is accused of paying R$15.3 million (about $4 million) in bribes to Brazil's Administrative Council of Tax Appeals.
Le Monde tells the story of Abolfazl Arabpour, an 86-year-old tailor from the Iranian holy city of Qom, who has been dressing the cream of the Shia clergy for 50 years, supplying everything — even the boxer shorts. "Who wears it the best? Without any doubt Mohammad Khatami, according to the tailor. Not even Rouhani has replaced him in his heart. The only true reformist Iranian president (1997-2005) embodied, in his day, a new face of Iran. He advocated "dialogue between civilizations" while wearing immaculate clothes. He was the one who made Abolfazl Arabpour famous â€¦" Read the full article, Shia Chic: Meet The Qom Tailor Who Dresses Iran's Clerics.
ON THIS DAY
The ancient Roman city of Pompeii was rediscovered 268 years ago today. That, and more, in your 57-second shot of history.
TRUMP MEETS WITH GOP BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump paid a closed-door surprise visit to the Republican National Committee yesterday after a tumultuous two days on the campaign trail, NBC News reports. The meeting came after Trump faced harsh criticism for suggesting in an interview with MSNBC that he advocates "some form of punishment" for women who receive abortions. Trump commented on Twitter he had a "nice meeting" with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
"What now for Zuma?" asks Cape Town-based, Afrikaans-language daily Die Burger on its front page Friday, a day after South Africa's highest court ruled that President Jacob Zuma breached the constitution by upgrading his private home with government money.
ARCHITECTURE WORLD MOURNS ZAHA HADID
World famous Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid, the first female winner of the top Pritzker Architecture Prize, died yesterday from a heart attack at the age of 65. Read a 2009 profile of Hadid from The New Yorker.
That's the number of Belgians who believe there will be more terrorist attacks, a poll published in Le Soirreveals. The survey found 36% believe Muslims are complicit with the terrorists, 31% think they're victims, 33% think they're neither nor.
APRIL FOOLS INTERNATIONAL
Pranks abound today, on what is arguably the year's least trustworthy 24 hours on the Internet.
- YouTube launches SnoopaVision expand=1]. You can finally watch your favorite videos in 360 degrees and with Snoop Dogg.
- UK bathroom retailer Bathstore has a revolutionary app. Silent expand=1] Loo lets you download sounds so you can "download" in silence, and save water.
- The Paris metro operator announces it will rename 13 stations: "Télégraphe" is to be renamed "#Tweet," "Pyrénées" changes to "Alpes" â€¦ and "Quatre-Septembre" obviously becomes "1er Avril."
- You hungry? But just a little bit hungry? Burger King France unveils the "single expand=1] fries," individually packaged.
- Is Vladimir Putin dating Rupert Murdoch's ex?
- SO. MANY. GOOGLE. JOKES: From the self-driving expand=1] bicycle in the Netherlands to the Searchable Socks in Australia and Japan's retro keyboard. Google even managed to prank themselves this year, when their Gmail Mic Drop button April Fool backfired .
- "Drinking can be ugly" and other scare labels to feature on German bottles of alcohol as Health Ministry vows to tackle binge-drinking and beer bellies.
- TIME magazine also has a list of 2016 pranks. You can also follow The Guardian's April Fools live blog (!)
- Don't miss Worldcrunch's contribution to the mix: We've tracked down 5 of the best April Fools ever — including spaghetti trees and mountain cleaners — in our exclusive Take 5 video.