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North Korea

North Korean Missiles, Fatal Lightning, Olympic Jaguar Shot


The pace of modern communication tells us that what's here today is gone ... tonight. The potential worldwide virality of any piece of digitally circulated information comes with the caveat that everything is also potentially, and eternally, invisible. The tree falling in some proverbial unseen forest of the Internet. But history teaches us that ideas — good and bad — are bound to travel and cross-pollinate, fade and reappear. And, yes, some of it will last.

That brings us to Aleksandar Hemon, an accomplished 51-year-old Bosnian novelist … and Donald Trump. We get this story by way of another transplanted U.S.-based Balkan writer named Andrej Mrevlje, whose Yonder pieces are occasionally republished on Worldcrunch. Mrevlje recounts how the Sarajevo-born Hemon refused to sign a recent petition of American writers to try to ban Trump from the presidential election.

"His message is universal," Mrevlje writes of Hemon. "Only a person who suffered that much, who saw his hometown reduced to ruins by bombs and shells, disinfected of all its smells and memories — only this kind of person can cherish democracy to the extreme of supporting Trump's right to run for office. Hemon knows that exclusion leads to segregation, revenge, violence and destruction. Hemon is not an American patriot, and he is not a Trump fan, but he defends voting as the strongest tool of democracy. Once your homeland — your courtyard, your imaginarium — has been wiped out by savages, you will defend these institutions of democracy with your own claws. It happens after every war." Here's the full piece.



North Korea test-fired two missiles from its eastern coast in the direction of Japan, a move that Tokyo said shows that the "threat to Japan is intensifying." The first launch is reported to have failed, which prompted the second one. China called for calm and restraint. Read more from Yonhap.


At least 79 people have been killed by lightning strikes in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, the BBC reports. Most of the victims are believed to be farmers.


Two iconic actresses (one in ruby slippers, the other wearing Prada) cross paths in today's 57-second shot of History!


"We are very close. I pray to God that He gives us strength to finish these accords, hopefully this very week," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said yesterday, ahead of peace talks with the FARC rebels in Cuba tomorrow that could bring the half-century conflict to an end.


Iranian daily Shargh is the latest to note the near desperate situation with the food shortage crisis in Venezuela. But after a decade of anti-U.S. alliance, there may be more to the cooling relations between Tehran and Caracas. Read our Extra! feature here.


A female jaguar used during an Olympic torch ceremony in the Amazon city of Manaus was killed after it escaped its handlers, O Globoreports. The organizing committee for Rio 2016 admitted its "mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal." Read more from Reuters.


In yet another blow to the Rio Olympics, Rory McIlroy announced his withdrawal from the competition over Zika virus fears. "Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take," the golfer said in a statement.


An estimated 150 Kenyan soldiers were killed five months ago in an al-Shabaab ambush in El Adde, Somalia. A tragedy made all the more troubling by the fact that authorities in Nairobi are mysteriously mum about it, Bruno Meyerfeld reports for Le Monde: "... none, or at least not very much of that, was talked about in Nairobi. The bodies were discreetly repatriated, often by night. Sure, there was a debate in parliament, but it took place behind closed doors. Speaking to the families of the victims, President Uhuru Kenyatta mechanically read a text condemning ‘mankind's enemies' and praising the ‘brave Kenyan patriots.' ‘Kenya will move forward,' he concluded. Time to move past El Adde, in other words. Everything's fine and calm in Nairobi."

Read the full article, The Terrorist Attack Kenya Doesn't Want You To Know About.


French authorities have banned a demonstration against the controversial labor reform, planned for tomorrow, Le Monde reports. The decision, which is officially aimed at preventing the shows of violence that accompanied previous protests, has been denounced across the political spectrum. Trade union leaders said they would demonstrate anyway.


Laundry International — Montreal, 1994


Charlie Hebdo has seen the number of its subscribers fall from 180,000 at the beginning of 2016 to just 60,000,Libérationreports, adding that the number however seems to have stabilized. It's still six times more than before the January 2015 attack that killed 12 people.



Oh the irony! Mark Zuckerberg apparently tapes his laptop's webcam and mic jack.

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Green Or Gone

Tracking The Asian Fishing "Armada" That Sucks Up Tons Of Seafood Off Argentina's Coast

A brightly-lit flotilla of fishing ships has reappeared in international waters off the southern coast of Argentina as it has annually in recent years for an "industrial harvest" of thousands of tons of fish and shellfish.

Photo of dozens of crab traps

An estimated 500 boats gather annually off the coast of Patagonia

Claudio Andrade

BUENOS AIRES — The 'floating city' of industrial fishing boats has returned, lighting up a long stretch of the South Pacific.

Recently visible off the coast of southern Argentina, aerial photographs showed the well-lit armada of some 500 vessels, parked 201 miles offshore from Comodoro Rivadavia in the province of Chubut. The fleet had arrived for its vast seasonal haul of sea 'products,' confirming its annual return to harvest squid, cod and shellfish on a scale that activists have called an environmental blitzkrieg.

In principle the ships are fishing just outside Argentina's exclusive Economic Zone, though it's widely known that this kind of apparent "industrial harvest" does not respect the territorial line, entering Argentine waters for one reason or another.

For some years now, activists and organizations like Greenpeace have repeatedly denounced industrial-style fishing as exhausting marine resources worldwide and badly affecting regional fauna, even if the fishing outfits technically manage to evade any crackdown by staying in or near international waters.

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