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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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Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President Biden, and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin on Tuesday at the White House

Cameron Manley, Meike Eijsberg, and Emma Albright

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced trip to Ukraine on Thursday, his second visit to the country since the start of the war on February 24, annoucing that the U.S. intends to provide an additional $2 billion aid package to Ukraine and 18 other countries in and around the region.

This new aid package is in addition to the latest $675 million package to Ukraine, announced by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. It will include rounds for HIMARS, as well as military vehicles, and other equipment.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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