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MSF Bombing "War Crime," France Floods, First Nobel

MSF Bombing "War Crime," France Floods, First Nobel

TURKEY AIRSPACE VIOLATION AN "ERROR," RUSSIA CLAIMS

The violation of the Turkish airspace by a Russian warplane over the weekend was a "navigation error," Moscow has told Ankara, according to Turkish military sources quoted by Hürriyet. Two Turkish F-16 jets intercepted a Russian SU-30 hundreds of meters into Turkey's airspace, near the Syrian border, for about two minutes Saturday. This prompted Ankara to summon the Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov in protest and urged Moscow against any repeat, warning it would be held "responsible for any undesired incident that may occur."

  • Russia launched an airstrike campaign last week to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime against ISIS.
  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has strongly criticized this move, calling it a "grave mistake," Reuters reports. He also accused Assad of committing "state terrorism."
  • Meanwhile, Assad said Sunday the Russian air campaign was vital for the whole Middle East: "It must succeed otherwise we face the destruction of the entire region, not only one or two states."
  • Isis fighters have destroyed the iconic Arch of Triumph in the ancient Syria city of Palmyra, in northern Syria, the country's Directorate General for Antiquities and Museums reports. The monument, believed to have been built about 2,000 years ago, was blown up Sunday. According to sources on site quoted by the AFP, the terrorist group destroyed the monument because of ornaments on its columns considered idolatrous. In August, the organization destroyed the historic Temple of Bel and the Temple of Baalshamin.
FLASH FLOODS KILL 17 IN FRANCE

Severe storms killed at least 17 people in southeastern France over the weekend, with three more still missing. Record rainfalls that started Saturday night caused flash floods, in particular in the cities of Cannes and Mandelieu, with the equivalent of weeks of rain within two hours, French daily Nice-Matin reports.


MSF CALLS HOSPITAL BOMBING "WAR CRIME"

The French medical aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has accused the United States-led NATO forces of committing a war crime in the bombing Saturday of a hospital in Afghanistan that left at least 22 people dead. MSF said it was "disgusted" by the Afghanistan government justifying the attack by claiming that Taliban fighters were at the hospital, and has called for an independent international investigation, Le Monde reports.


ISRAELI CRACKDOWN AMIDST RISING VIOLENCE

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the demolition of homes of Palestinians who attack Israelis as part of a crackdown following a new wave of deadly violence. The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth ran a front-page headline over the weekend warning that the "Third Intifada" had begun.


NOBEL PRIZE IN MEDICINE TO WORK ON PARASITIC DISEASES

Judges in Stockholm awarded the Nobel prize in medicine to three scientists from Ireland, Japan and China Monday, The Guardian reports. William C. Campbell, Satoshi ÅŒmura and Youyou Tu were awarded for discoveries that have helped doctors fight malaria and infections caused by roundworm parasites.


SNAPSHOT

Photo: NASA

NASA has just released over 8,400 never-before-seen, high-resolution photos of its Apollo moon landings in the 1960s and 70s. Space lovers and conspiracy theorists alike can now head to NASA's Project Apollo Archive's Flickr account.


VATICAN FAMILY SUMMIT OPENS AFTER PRIEST COMING OUT

Pope Francis opened a much anticipated summit of the world's Catholic bishops Monday that will focus on family issues, amidst a media storm after a Vatican priest openly declared that he was in a gay relationship. In opening remarks at the Synod on the Family, the Pope said the three-week long series of meetings "is not a Parliament where compromise reigns." Italian daily La Repubblica reports that tension was high after Polish Vatican official Krzysztof Charamsa gave an interview Saturday declaring his homosexuality, saying he wanted to challenge the Church's "backward" attitude on the issue. The priest was dismissed from his post in the Vatican's doctrinal office.


PORTUGAL PRO-AUSTERITY GOVERNMENT WINS

Portugal's governing center-right coalition won Sunday's general election — the first since 2011, when the government followed Greece and Ireland in requesting an international bailout to avoid default. Read more on this fragile victory here on Le Blog.


ON THIS DAY


Nothing like a Beatles tune to start your week! This and more in your 57-second shot of history.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Brazilian writer João Pereira Coutinho is flabbergasted by the effects that so-called "helicopter parents" in the U.S. have had on their children, who are now reaching adulthood after being coddled in their youth by hovering, over-attentive parents. "Nobody should be surprised that since they've been treated like small children all their lives that today's university students see ‘microaggression' in every sentence, class or professor. Everything's a threat for anybody who's been constantly protected from any potential discomfort. A book, a sentence, a word, a concept, and of course, a stereotype."

Read this Folha de S. Paulo/Worldcrunch article, Children Of "Helicopter Parents" Growing Into Fragile Adults.


SWEDISH CRIME WRITER HENNING MANKELL DIES

Henning Mankell, a Swedish crime writer, best-known for the series following the police officer Kurt Wallander, has died aged 67, the daily Dagens Nyheter reports.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



VERBATIM

"It was all sorted out. I just wanted BA to ‘Beam me up, Scotty,'" the former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond told The Mail on Sunday after he was barred from a British Airways flight because the passenger name, no other than "James T. Kirk," the Star Trek Captain, didn't match his passport name. The Scottish National Party MP said he had been using this alias for security reasons for years. He eventually managed to board the plane after a few phone calls.

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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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