SPOTLIGHT: BREXIT LANDS IN JAPAN
Why would Shinzo Abe care what British voters think about Europe? The Japanese Prime Minister, currently hosting the G7 summit, joined leaders of the world's other top economic powers in a surprise declaration today to urge the UK to vote to remain in the European Union in next month's so-called "Brexit" referendum. "A UK exit from the EU would reverse the trend towards greater global trade and investment, and the jobs they create and is a further serious risk to growth," the statement said.
By now, the ties that bind the world economy are clear to all — the question is whether we are bound for the better. From Brexit supporters in Britain to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders backers in the U.S. to striking French workers, and a generation of "No Global" demonstrators everywhere, such summits as the current gathering on Kashiko Island are part of the problem. Still, there may be a quieter majority that suggests a certain faith in nations working together. A survey published in Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter found that 76% feared negative consequences for the EU if Britain pulls out, and 56% worry that Sweden itself will suffer. And it's not just a cynical bet on a relatively strong economy: Polls last year showed that most of Europe was also opposed to Greece leaving the European single currency. Since the global financial crash of 2008, it's still hard to find open expressions of optimism about our economic future. Perhaps that's the best reason of all to stick together.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY (& WEEKEND)
- Elon Musk's private SpaceX company satellite launch in Florida.
- Real Madrid v. Atlético Madrid: an all-Spanish (all Madrid) Champions League soccer final Saturday night in Milan.
- Ceremony in France to mark the Battle of Verdun centenary.
OBAMA IN HIROSHIMA
"The memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade," Barack Obama said today in a speech at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, as he became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Japanese city targeted by the world's first atomic bombing 71 years ago. As announced, Obama did not apologize for the WWII atomic bombings — a decision Japan's Asahi Shimbun says two-thirds of Hiroshima survivors accept. As he has done before, Obama called for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, saying: "We must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them."
KEY FIND IN EGYPTAIR CRASH SEARCH
Investigators have located a beacon signal from the EgyptAir flight that crashed last week, killing all 66 aboard. This discovery narrows the search area to a three-mile radius, which should help locate the black box with holds clues to the cause of the crash.
UNION CHIEF SHUTS DOWN NEWSPAPERS
In a chilling free-speech twist to France's ongoing labor reform demonstrations, striking workers from trade union CGT stopped the printing of all but one national newspaper yesterday, after the publications declined to print an opinion piece by CGT Secretary-General Philippe Martinez. The only newspaper allowed to print was far-left L'Humanité, which had agreed to print Martinez's piece. Here's a video of a journalist being grabbed while questioning the CGT chief.
— ON THIS DAY
369 years ago on this day, Alse Young was the first person executed for witchcraft in the U.S. That, and more, in today's 57-second shot of history.
GOOGLE DODGES $9 BILLION BULLET
A San Francisco jury ruled against Oracle software company's $9 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against Google, linked to the Android mobile operating system. That would have been big money, even for Google.
RAPE VIDEO SHOCKS BRAZIL
Rio's police are investigating a report that a 16-year-old girl was gang-raped by more than 30 men in one of the city's poor neighborhood. The attackers then allegedly posted videos and images of the attack on social media, according to Brazilian magazine Veja.
— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
Praying Primate — Swayambhu, March 1994
NORTH KOREA LINKED TO CYBER-ATTACKS ON BANKS
Researchers working for the digital security firm Symantec said they had uncovered evidence linking North Korea to attacks at a bank in the Philippines last October, on a Vietnamese bank in December and in Bangladesh in February. The New York Times reports that the security experts were able to trace a piece of code back to two previous North Korean attacks at Sony in 2014 and in South Korea in 2013.
The legacy of our time will not be our literary or architectural monuments, but all the plastic trash we leave to poison the seas and choke our future. César Rodríguez Garavito writes for Colombia's El Espectador: "The geologists of tomorrow will scratch their heads trying to understand the voracity with which we consume and dispose of substances that take 500 to 1,000 years to decompose. They will read about the five great islands of trash floating in the oceans today, the gathering points of some eight million tons of synthetic material annually." But fortunately, Garavito adds, change is in the air: "But they will also note how at some point, humans abandoned their addiction to plastic. When we stopped the nonsense of drinking bottled water when potable tap water was available. Or when supermarkets, shops and drugstores stopped bagging everything, even a single pack of gum, inside plastic."
Read the full article, Ours Is The Age Of Plastic, And It Needs To End.
MOURINHO IN MAN. U
Portuguese star soccer coach Jose Mourinho has been officially appointed as Manchester United manager. The former Real Madrid and Chelsea coach has signed a three-year contract, the BBC reports.
— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH
- In Real Life, Venezuela Is A Ticking Time Bomb — Folha de S. Paulo
- Immigration In Germany, The Muslim Integration Gap — Die Welt
- NATO Prepares For War With Russia As If Inevitable — La Stampa
Kjeldahl, Hohenzollern, juamave, groenedael, zindiq, euchologion. Doesn't matter if you don't know what any of those words mean — can you spell them? Jairam Hathwar and Nihar Janga, co-champions of this year's National Spelling Bee, sure can. It's the third year in a row that the contest ends in a tie.