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Paris-to-Cairo Crash, Trudeau's Elbow, Godspots

SPOTLIGHT: PARIS-TO-CAIRO FLIGHT CRASHES

An EgyptAir passenger jet has disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea during an overnight flight from Paris to Cairo. Greek aviation authorities believe the plane crashed off the Greek island of Karpathos in Egyptian airspace. Search and rescue operations are ongoing to try and find the wreckage and potential survivors. There are no immediate clues as to the cause of the crash, and authorities are not excluding terrorism as a possible culprit.

  • Flight MS804 was traveling with 56 passengers, as well as seven crew members and three security personnel. Among those on board were 30 Egyptians and 15 French, including one child and two babies. Egyptians and French officials exchanged condolences.
  • The Airbus A320 aircraft took off from Charles de Gaulle airport yesterday, shortly after 11 pm, local time in Paris. It went missing at around 2:30 am, 45 minutes before it was due to land in Cairo, and shortly after entering Egyptian airspace.
  • There was some confusion as to whether a distress signal was sent from the place. According to the BBC, the Egyptian army denied EgyptAir's early claims that a distress call was sent. Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail later explained there had been no "distress call" but that a "signal" was received from the plane.
  • It is too early at this time to say what caused the crash, but French Prime Minister insisted that "no theory could be ruled out." If experts suggest a technical fault is "improbable," some believe it might have been caused by a bomb, pointing to a terrorist attack as the "most likely scenario," AFP reports.
  • France's interior intelligence agency DGSI had warned only yesterday that France was "clearly the country the most under threat" by ISIS, six months after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris and weeks before the country hosts the UEFA European championship. His comments came ahead of a planned vote in the lower house of Parliament today on whether to extend for a third time a state of emergency first introduced after the November attacks, Le Figaro reports.
  • In the days that followed the Paris attacks in November, investigators had uncovered the presence of potential Islamic extremists known to security services among employees of the Charles de Gaulle airport. Some of them even had access to planes and runways.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



VIOLENT PROTESTS IN VENEZUELA...

Anti-government protesters clashed with the police in Caracas yesterday for a third day this week, after increasingly unpopular President Nicolas Maduro announced a state of emergency for 60 days. The police tried to block the protesters and shot tear gas to disperse the crowds chanting "the government will fall." For more about the ongoing troubles facing Venezuela, read this Worldcrunch wrap-up of Latin American coverage: Maduro Pushes Venezuela To The Brink.


… AND IN FRANCE

What started in France months ago as a mainly peaceful protest against proposed labor reform has escalated into violence and rioting. Young far-left activists attacked and torched a police car with officers in it in central Paris yesterday, while police forces were holding a protest of their own across town against "anti-cop hatred." The public prosecutor's office launched an investigation for voluntary manslaughter and five people have been arrested. In the western city of Rennes, 19 were also arrested this morning after attempting to sabotage the city's metro, Europe 1 reports. More demonstrations, in Paris and across France, are planned for today.


— ON THIS DAY

Apple Stores, Lawrence of Arabia and a famous guitar player from a certain ge-ge-ge-generation: They're all in your 57-second shot of history.


VERBATIM

"What kind of man elbows a woman? It's pathetic! You're pathetic!" Things got pretty heated in the Canadian House of Commons yesterday as MPs were about to vote on an assisted-dying bill, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was accused of elbowing opposition MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau, CBC reports. He later offered his "apologies for my behaviour and my actions, unreservedly."


BAYER-MONSANTO MERGER

German drug and chemical giant Bayer has made a takeover offer for Monsanto, a move that, if it succeeds, would create the world's biggest supplier of seeds and pesticides, The Wall Street Journal reports. Monsanto's current market capitalization stands at $42 billion.


3 SECONDS

Superbugs of the future will kill every three seconds and risk casting medicine "back into the dark ages," a global review claims.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

What if the future of humanity was just a matter of arithmetics? In their quest to build the perfect city of the future, scientists are increasingly turning to applied mathematics, Paul Molga reports in Les Échos. "To predict the future city, they want to create the matrix of a new "urban physique," capable of writing the laws that govern the function of these "urban arrangements."

"The city is a complex form for which there exists no equivalent in nature," explains Luis Bettencourt, a physicist who specializes in complex systems at the Institute of Santa Fe. He doesn't focus on population growth, but on the growth of connectivity between people. "All other properties — the roads we are building to reach each other, the density required to do so, the economic products and ideas we create together — stems from this," he says." Read the full article: Applied Mathematics To Design The Perfect Future City.


GIRL RESCUED FROM BOKO HARAM, NOW MOTHER

Amina Alli, one of the 276 girls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists more than two years ago, was found with a baby, rescued and returned to her family. See more details and today's front page from Lagos-based daily Vanguard.


THE RETURN OF A KING?

With the utter mess that have become Brazilian politics, Dom Bertrand, the heir to Brazil's defunct throne, is patiently waiting for the republic to collapse from his two-bedroom flat in São Paulo. Financial Times has the story.


— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH


BEHOLD THE WI-FI "GODSPOTS"

Germany's Evangelical Church is planning to equip its 3,000 churches in Berlin and the Brandenburg state with Wi-Fi, to create what it calls "Godspots."

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Society

In Northern Kenya, Where Climate Change Is Measured In Starving Children

The worst drought in 40 years, which has deepened from the effects of climate change, is hitting the young the hardest around the Horn of Africa. A close-up look at the victims, and attempts to save lives and limit lasting effects on an already fragile region in Kenya.

Photo of five mothers holding their malnourished children

At feeding time, nurses and aides encourage mothers to socialize their children and stimulate them to eat.

Georgina Gustin

KAKUMA — The words "Stabilization Ward" are painted in uneven black letters above the entrance, but everyone in this massive refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, calls it ya maziwa: The place of milk.

Rescue workers and doctors, mothers and fathers, have carried hundreds of starving children through the doors of this one-room hospital wing, which is sometimes so crowded that babies and toddlers have to share beds. A pediatric unit is only a few steps away, but malnourished children don’t go there. They need special care, and even that doesn’t always save them.

In an office of the International Rescue Committee nearby, Vincent Opinya sits behind a desk with figures on dry-erase boards and a map of the camp on the walls around him. “We’ve lost 45 children this year due to malnutrition,” he says, juggling emergencies, phone calls, and texts. “We’re seeing a significant increase in malnutrition cases as a result of the drought — the worst we’ve faced in 40 years.”

From January to June, the ward experienced an 800 percent rise in admissions of children under 5 who needed treatment for malnourishment — a surge that aid groups blame mostly on a climate change-fueled drought that has turned the region into a parched barren.

Opinya, the nutrition manager for the IRC here, has had to rattle off these statistics many times, but the reality of the numbers is starting to crack his professional armor. “It’s a very sad situation,” he says, wearily. And he believes it will only get worse. A third year of drought is likely on the way.

More children may die. But millions will survive malnutrition and hunger only to live through a compromised future, researchers say. The longer-term health effects of this drought — weakened immune systems, developmental problems — will persist for a generation or more, with consequences that will cascade into communities and societies for decades.

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