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May Day Aftermath, Deadly Indian Fires, Bitcoin Founder Revealed

May Day Aftermath, Deadly Indian Fires, Bitcoin Founder Revealed

MAY DAY PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT

Photo: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters/ZUMA

While the United States reserves Labor Day for early September, the rest of the world marks International Workers' Day on May 1, which was actually originally established in the U.S. to mark the 1886 Haymarket affair. Take it as a sign that the world is growing both smaller and less happy that violent May Day clashes across several countries also included the United States this year. In Seattle, anti-capitalist protesters clashed yesterday with the police, with five officers wounded and nine arrests, The Seattle Times reports. Reports of violence popped us elsewhere:

  • In Paris, the police fired tear gas on a small group of protesters who broke away from a 17,000-strong demonstration against a controversial labor reform and hurdled bottles on security forces. According to Le Figaro, 18 people were arrested across France, including 10 in Paris. Later in the evening, clashes erupted on the capital's Place de la République, where young opponents to the labor reform have been gathering at night to protest.
  • In Turkey, 207 people were arrested, including some allegedly carrying Molotov cocktails and hand grenades, after they tried to breach a ban on accessing the symbolic Taksim Square in Istanbul. A 57-year-old man died after he was run over by a police water truck. Also on May Day, in the country's southeastern parts, five soldiers and two police officers were killed in separate attacks, Hürriyet reports.
  • At least one country is left that still boasts to be working first and foremost in the interest of workers: Cuba. See how the official Communist Party daily Granma marked the day in our Extra! feature.

KERRY: NEW SYRIA CEASEFIRE CLOSE

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Geneva that ongoing talks with allies and Russia are "getting closer to a place of understanding" on renewing a U.S.-Russia brokered ceasefire in Syria, Reuters reports. The Syrian government introduced on Friday a temporary "regime of calm" around Damascus and Latakia after fighting resumed last week. Kerry is however pushing for Aleppo, which has witnessed most of the latest violence, to be included in a potential ceasefire.


SHIA TARGETED

ISIS has claimed responsibility for twin bomb attacks in Iraq's Shia southern city of Samawa yesterday, killing at least 33 people and wounding dozens more. This came after another attack against Shia Muslim pilgrims in Baghdad on Saturday, when a suicide car bomb killed 19 people. According to the UN, 741 Iraqis were killed and 1,374 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in April alone.


— ON THIS DAY

Happy birthday, Becks! That, and more, in your 57-second shot of history.


VERBATIM

"We can't continue to allow China to rape our country," Republican front-runner Donald Trump told a rally in Indiana, ahead of a crucial winner-take-all primary tomorrow. The real estate mogul has repeatedly lamented the U.S.' trade deficit with China, as well as use language that is particularly offensive to women. According to the latest polls, Trump holds a 15%-lead over his rival Ted Cruz in Indiana.


MALIA OBAMA HEADS TO HARVARD (BUT FIRST...)

The eldest daughter of Barack and Michelle Obama has settled on what university she will attend: Harvard — where both her parents went to law school. But Malia Obama will first opt for a so-called "gap year," doing something else before entering in the fall of 2017. Read more in Slate.


TTIP LEAKS

Greenpeace has leaked 240 pages of secret documents from U.S.-EU negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that reveal "irreconcilable" differences between American and European negotiators. Washington is said to be pressuring the European Union into quickly signing the free trade deal, which President Barack Obama promoted during his visit to Germany last week. Among the many revelations, the U.S. allegedly threatened to block easier European car exports if the EU doesn't open up its agricultural policy and drop its so-called precautionary principle.


— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Every Amazonian Vote Counts — Belém, 1992


NORTHERN INDIA HIT BY DEADLY BLAZES

Thousands of people in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand are currently battling against massive and multiple forest fires that have already destroyed close to 3,000 acres of forest and killed seven people since the first blazes started, in February, India Today reports. Meanwhile, in the eastern part of the country, temperatures have soared so high that daytime cooking has been banned to avoid accidental fires, which have already killed at least 79 people.


6,050 DAYS

The bodies of American climbers Alex Lowe and David Bridges have been found in Tibet, more than 16 years after they disappeared under a Himalayan avalanche in 1999. Lowe, who was considered to be the world's greatest climber, and his cameraman were climbing the 26,291-foot Shishapangma mountain in Tibet.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

A new book making waves in France by the writer-provocateur Pascal Bruckner takes on the French relationship with wealth. The Paris-based business daily Les Echos delves in: "Our ‘money taboo' has harmful side-effects. French egalitarianism not only targets income and property gaps, it also extends to entrepreneurial and professional success, and even education: Academic success in France, Bruckner says, is a form of insider trading, because it is entirely determined by the position of a person's parents on the social scale. This blanket denunciation of generalized egalitarianism is admittedly overblown, but it's also frequently on the mark. The increasingly negative connotation of the word ‘elite' is a case in point."

Read the full article, France Has A Problem With Money And Wealth.


BITCOIN FOUNDER REVEALED

The founder of digital currency Bitcoin has finally revealed his true identity, ending years of speculation. Meet Craig Wright, an Australian entrepreneur worth one million Bitcoins, or $450 million.


CIA "LIVE" TWEETS BIN LADEN RAID

The CIA decided to tweet the raid that eventually killed Osama Bin Laden as if it was happening live, to mark Operation Neptune Spear's fifth anniversary. Judging by the reaction on social media, the PR stunt wasn't to everybody's taste.


— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH

THE HUNT FOR THE LOST IPAD

An investment banker's hunt for his lost iPad last month had his followers hooked. The New York Times tells you all about it.

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Ideas

Joshimath, The Sinking Indian City Has Also Become A Hotbed Of Government Censorship

The Indian authorities' decision to hide factual reports on the land subsidence in Joshimath only furthers a sense of paranoia.

Photo of people standing next to a cracked road in Joshimath, India

Cracked road in Joshimath

@IndianCongressO via Twitter
Rohan Banerjee*

MUMBAI — Midway through the movie Don’t Look Up (2021), the outspoken PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is bundled into a car, a bag over her head. The White House, we are told, wants her “off the grid”. She is taken to a warehouse – the sort of place where CIA and FBI agents seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in Hollywood movies – and charged with violating national security secrets.

The Hobson’s choice offered to her is to either face prosecution or suspend “all public media appearances and incendiary language relating to Comet Dibiasky”, an interstellar object on a collision course with earth. Exasperated, she acquiesces to the gag order.

Don’t Look Upis a satirical take on the collective apathy towards climate change; only, the slow burn of fossil fuel is replaced by the more imminent threat of a comet crashing into our planet. As a couple of scientists try to warn humanity about its potential extinction, they discover a media, an administration, and indeed, a society that is not just unwilling to face the truth but would even deny it.

This premise and the caricatured characters border on the farcical, with plot devices designed to produce absurd scenarios that would be inconceivable in the real world we inhabit. After all, would any government dealing with a natural disaster, issue an edict prohibiting researchers and scientists from talking about the event? Surely not. Right?

On January 11, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), one of the centers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), issued a preliminary report on the land subsidence issue occurring in Joshimath, the mountainside city in the Himalayas.

The word ‘subsidence’ entered the public lexicon at the turn of the year as disturbing images of cracked roads and tilted buildings began to emanate from Joshimath.

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