ANCIENT SYRIAN CITY FALLS TO ISIS
After days of fighting, “Palmyra’s fate is now in the hands of IS,” the Lebanese newspaper L’Orient Le Jour writes on Thursday’s front page. Coalition forces thought a few days ago that they had managed to beat back the ISIS terror group from the ancient Syrian city, but the jihadists came back stronger than before. Government and rebel forces fled the city, where ISIS is now in control. Read more in our Extra! feature.
Corey Knowlton, a hunter from Texas, has killed a black rhinoceros, one of the world’s most endangered species, after paying $350,000 for a permit issued by Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism. According to CNN, which documented the hunt, the man’s aim was “a vital component of Namibia’s effort to save the animal from extinction.” He argues that killing an old rhinoceros that can no longer contribute to the gene pool but is a threat to younger males is part of the science of conservation.
QATAR “STILL FAILING” MIGRANTS
Qatar has failed migrant workers despite insisting it would improve their working and living conditions ahead of the 2022 World Cup, a new Amnesty International report says. “The Qatar government promised reforms to address the widespread exploitation of migrant workers in the country, yet a year on none of the proposed reforms have been implemented,” the report says. Of nine key issues the human rights organization identified, there has been limited progress on only five. “Qatar is failing migrant workers,” Amnesty researcher Mustafa Qadri said.
MALAYSIA ORDERS RESCUE OF BOAT PEOPLE
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced today that his country is launching a search and rescue operation for the Rohingya refugees stranded on boats in the Andaman Sea near the Malaysian coast, The Rakyak Post reports. “It is basic human compassion that we ensure the hungry will be given food and water while the sick will be attended to with medical treatment and supplies,” Razak wrote on his Facebook page. This announcement comes as the Rohingya refugees have already spent weeks at sea after being turned away by Malaysian, Indonesian and Thai authorities. In addition to Malaysia, Indonesia said it would also offer temporary shelter for the refugees if backed by the international community.
As Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Dominik Hutter writes, the city of Munich is considering a different kind of police sweep in its city streets. A proposal aims to record the genetic makeup of all Munich dogs in a single database so authorities can track down offending owners who fail to clean up after their pets. “Munich city council members of the political party Civil Middle are demanding a new system where authorities literally sweep the streets to collect and test samples of dog dumpings in order to find the culprit via DNA analysis,” Hutter writes. “Since a dog is not a legal entity and therefore cannot be prosecuted, its owner will be forced to pay a hefty fine.”
Read the full article, Can DNA Be Used To Bust Owners Of Dog Poop Left Behind?
OIL SPILL CREATES CALIFORNIA EMERGENCY
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Southern California yesterday after as much as 105,000 gallons of crude oil was spilled off the Santa Barbara coast, stretching up to nine miles. The spill was caused by a ruptured onshore pipeline and happened in the same location as a 1969 spill that killed thousands of birds and marine animals. The pipeline owner has apologized and said it would pay for cleanup. But The Los Angeles Times reports that it has been slapped with 175 maintenance infractions since 2006. These include pump failure, equipment malfunction, pipeline corrosion and operator error, incidents that have caused $23 million in property damage and have already spilled at least 688,000 gallons of hazardous liquid.
ON THIS DAY
Today marks 88 years since “Lone Eagle” Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic on a nonstop solo flight from New York. Time now for your 57-second shot of history.
FRENCH FORCES KILL 2 JIHADIST LEADERS
French special forces killed four jihadists, including two leaders, during a raid in northern Mali, the French Ministry of Defense said yesterday. Amada Ag Hama, known as “Abdelkrim the Tuareg,” was said to be a commander of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb who was suspected in the 2013 kidnapping and killing of two French journalists. Ibrahim Ag Inawalen, known as “Bana,” was allegedly a leader of al-Qaeda-linked group Ansar Dine. “France has a long memory,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.
MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
BRAZILIAN BLOGGER DECAPITATED
Evany José Metzker, a Brazilian journalist known for denouncing corrupt politicians, investigating child prostitution and drug dealing, was found dead in a rural area near the town of Padre Paraíso, Globo reports. The 67-year-old had been missing for five days. “His hands were tied behind his back, and his body showed signs of torture,” a police spokesperson said.
“Alright, that’s pretty much all I got,” David Letterman said at the end of last night’s Late Show, his final broadcast after 33 years of hosting the show. “The only thing I have left to do, for the last time, on a television program — thank you, and goodnight,” he concluded. Stephen Colbert will replace him in September. In the meantime, to bid Letterman farewell, Worldcrunch put together a video of imitators, “Lettermans” from around the world.