Cecil the lion
Cecil the lion

ISRAELIS KILL PALESTINIAN TODDLER

An 18-month-old Palestinian boy was burned to death overnight when Israeli settlers set his family's home in the West Bank city of Duma ablaze, Haaretz reports. The toddler's mother, father and 4-year-old brother were seriously injured in the attack, which occurred at 4 am. The two masked attackers painted Hebrew graffiti on the home reading "Revenge" and "long live the Messiah" along with a Star of David before torching the place.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was "horrified by this terrible and criminal act, calling it a "clear-cut terrorist attack."
  • Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced he would include the attack in his case against Israel in the International Criminal Court, saying the government's policy and recent announcement of more illegal settlement construction were directly responsible for the tragedy. Other Palestinian officials blamed the attack on "decades of impunity given by the Israeli government to settler terrorism."
  • Hamas called for a "day of rage" at the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque, with authorities fearing riots on the site. Measures to bar all Muslim worshippers under the age of 50 from entering the holy site have been announced.
  • The arson attack came just hours after an ultra Orthodox Jewish man stabbed six people during Jerusalem's gay pride march. The suspect, arrested by the police, had been released from prison three weeks ago. He had been sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2005 after stabbing three people at the same event. Read more from the BBC.

EXTRA!

"The probe zeroes in," reads Friday's front page of French newspaper Le Quotidien de la Réunion after a piece of airplane debris was found on the French island. It is believed to belong to the missing MH370 flight that disappeared in the Indian Ocean 16 months ago. Read more about it on our Extra! feature.

IMF COULD REFUSE GREEK BAILOUT

The International Monetary Fund will not take part in a third bailout for Greece if the other creditors don't approve measures to cut some of the country's debt, The Guardian reports, quoting an IMF official. Germany and its Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble are fiercely opposed to debt relief, despite previous warnings from the IMF that Greece could never repay its debt, which now stands at more than 170% of its GDP.

  • Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' Syriza party will examine the third bailout if it's accepted by the Aug.20 deadline at an extraordinary party conference in September. But the Financial Times reports that many inside the party still oppose a new bailout and instead want the end of austerity and a "Grexit" from the single currency.
  • This came amid news that international creditors had asked the government to scrap a solidarity tax on the richest, on grounds that it could lead to tax evasion.

VERBATIM

"It's so cruel, but I don't understand the whole fuss. There are so many pressing issues in Zimbabwe — we have water shortages, no electricity and no jobs — yet people are making noise about a lion," a Zimbabwean woman told AP about revelations that a Minnesota dentist killed the protected lion Cecil in Zimbabwe's national park. "I saw Cecil once when I visited the game park. I will probably miss him. But honestly the attention is just too much," she added. A White House petition to have the dentist, Walter Palmer, extradited to Zimbabwe has meanwhile garnered enough signatures to receive a presidential response.

FRANCE, RUSSIA REACH MISTRAL DEAL

Paris and Moscow have reached an agreement over the canceled delivery of two French Mistral warships. According to Kommersant, France will repay Russia 1.16 billion euros ($1.27 billion) in compensation for breaching the contract signed in 2011, under then-President Nicolas Sarkozy. In November of last year, France decided it wouldn't deliver the carriers to Russia after its incursion into Ukraine.

ON THIS DAY


The New York International Airport, later named JFK, opened 67 years ago today. We've got your shot of history here.

U.S. ALSO SPIED ON JAPAN

New documents released by WikiLeaks show that the U.S. has been spying on the cabinet and companies of another ally, this time Japan, and sharing the information with its "Five Eyes" partners Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand. The revelations, also published in Australia's The Saturday Paper, show that the targets go well beyond government officials and include the Bank of Japan and companies such as Mitsubishi. The eavesdropping targeted foreign policy and climate change policy, as well as trade negotiations, despite the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Severe heat doesn't just threaten the physically vulnerable such as babies and the elderly. It also poses a serious risk to those suffering from anxiety, Marie-Pierre Genecand reports for Le Temps. "Emna Ragama, a psychotherapist and psychologist in Geneva, explains that when patients are exposed to high temperatures, their bodies trigger defense mechanisms that cause hyperventilation, dizziness, leg numbness and the sensation of running out of oxygen. ‘Sometimes fear can cloud their judgment,' she says. ‘They feel exhausted by the fits and they develop symptoms of depression. If the heat wave lasts too long, they tend to avoid as much as possible and this leads to their isolation. What's more, during the summer holidays, they may no longer be in contact with their usual network of friends.'

Read the full article, Hot Anxiety: The Invisible Victims Of A Heat Wave.

MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD

TALIBAN NAMES NEW LEADER

The Taliban has confirmed to Al Jazeera reporters the death of longtime leader Mullah Omar, though it refused to offer any details about when or where he died. According to Afghan officials, Omar died in 2013 in a Pakistan n hospital. The group has reportedly appointed a new leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.

154° F (67.8° C)

The 100,000 residents of Iranian city Bandar Mahshahr experienced one of the hottest "feels like" temperatures ever recorded, when it reached 154° F (67.8° C) yesterday. The result is the combination of the actual air temperature (109° F) and of the dew point temperature (90° F). Read more from The Washington Post.

BEIJING TO HOST 2022 WINTER OLYMPICS

The International Olympic Committee has awarded Beijing the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The Chinese capital will be the first city to have hosted both the summer and winter events.

FISHY SUNSCREEN

Biotechnologists have developed a new type of sunscreen that's made from aquatic slime, meaning it's both biodegradable and natural, though not commercially viable.

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Geopolitics

The New Iraq, Signs Of Hope Amid The Rubble And Reconstruction

How do you rebuild a country decimated by four decades of war and embargoes? Following the withdrawal of the U.S. military, Iraq faces many challenges, from oil revenues captured by the militias and endemic corruption to religious segregation. However, there are glimmers of hope for the country's future.

Street scene in Erbil, Iraq

Théophile Simon

BAGHDAD — With a vast office located at the top of a tower fiercely guarded by the army and a bell to call the staff, Khalid Hamza Abbas is obviously a powerful character, decked out in an impeccable suit. Abbas runs the Basra Oil Company (BOC), the national company responsible for the exploitation of the oil fields in the province of Basra, in the very south of Iraq, from which four million barrels of crude oil flow daily. It’s the equivalent of 4% of world demand and 65% of central government revenue concentrated in a region of only four million inhabitants.

As he explains the profit-sharing scheme between the world’s major oil companies and his public enterprise, the 50-year-old with thin glasses is suddenly stopped dead in his tracks by the ringing of his telephone. He tries a joke to mask his suddenly worried face: "I'm going to ask you to leave my office for a few moments. If I haven't called you back in 10 minutes, call the police."

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