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Pope On Abortion, Escaping ISIS, Google Shot The Serif

Pope On Abortion, Escaping ISIS, Google Shot The Serif


As many as 2,000 migrants are stranded outside Budapest's Eastern railway station and are protesting against the Hungarian police after the government banned any access to the station to those who are neither Hungarian nor tourists, Die Welt reports. Describing the "squalid" conditions in which these migrants are waiting on the concrete outside the station, the newspaper says "it stinks of sweat and excrements," and the heat only makes things worse. On Monday, migrants were able to take trains to Austria and Germany, but Hungary has since put an end to it. "In the territory of the EU, illegal migrants can travel onwards only with valid documents and observing EU rules. A train ticket does not overwrite EU rules," Reuters quotes a government spokesman as saying.

  • Austrian police meanwhile rescued 24 Afghan teenagers who were crammed inside a van described as a "prison cell on wheels." The Romanian driver was arrested. This comes amid tougher checks, after 71 migrants were found dead in an abandoned truck last week.
  • Eurostar high-speed train traffic has also been affected after migrants climbed on the tracks at the French entrance to the Channel tunnel, while others climbed on the trains' roofs to try and cross into England. Hundreds of passengers were left stranded onboard trains overnight.
  • The influx of migrants meanwhile continues with more than 4,000 people reaching the Piraeus port in Athens last night.


"These men are not human. They only think of death, killing. They take drugs constantly. They seek vengeance against everyone. They say that one day the Islamic State will rule over the whole world," Jinan, an 18-year-old Yazidi who escaped from the clutches of ISIS, told AFP. In a book due to be published Friday and entitled Esclave de Daesh ("Daesh's Slave," using the Arab acronym for ISIS), the young girl tells how she was kidnapped, beaten, sold, raped, and how she eventually escaped her tormentors.


The CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command have launched a secret drone campaign in Syria targeting ISIS leaders, The Washington Post reveals. The drone strikes, which are separated from those of the U.S.-led coalition against the terrorist group, have already killed a number of "high-value targets," among them Hussain, a 21-year-old British jihadist believed to be one of the leaders of ISIS' social media strategy. This comes amid various rumors that Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has recently decided to send boots on the ground.


Victory in Japan and a Mexican birthday are on tap for Sept. 2. Check out the 57-second video shot of history.


Masked gunmen wearing military uniforms kidnapped 18 Turkish workers from the construction site of a stadium in a dawn attack, Hürriyet reports. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the abduction but there are strong suspicions that ISIS militants are behind the abductions.


Though Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe are sworn enemies, they increasingly resemble each other, writes Cecilia Orozco Tascón in Bogota daily El Espectador. "Their methods are similar, as is their conduct. With their irresponsible declarations, they spread hate and fan their partisans' most primitive feelings. Seen through their fanatical ideological prisms, their opponents become mortal enemies, dismissed in turn as paramilitaries or "terrorists.""

Read the full article, Maduro And Uribe, Latin America's Look-Alike Enemies .


Police in Thailand have arrested a man suspected of being involved in the August 17 bombing of a shrine in Bangkok at the border with Cambodia, The Bangkok Post reports.


Gaza could be "uninhabitable" in less than five years, the UN warned in a report, pointing war, destruction and the Israeli-Egyptian blockade as causes for the enclave's accelerating "de-development." Read more from The Guardian.


Photo: Evandro Inetti/ZUMA

As part of the upcoming Jubilee year of Mercy, Pope Francis has decreed that any Catholic priest can forgive a woman who has had an abortion without need of special permission from a bishop. With the wording of the decree, the move could be read to apply equally to other parties, such as doctors who perform abortions and anyone else involved. Read the analysis of Catholic website Crux.


Soccer clubs in the English Premier League have broken a new record in this summer's transfer window, which closed Tuesday evening, by spending a staggering 870 million pounds ($1.3 billion) on new players, more than any other soccer league in Europe. Manchester City was the biggest spender with close to 160 million pounds ($245 million).


According to Quebec City's Le Soleil daily, Canada's economic recession may have ended before it really began.


Maryse Wolinski, the widow of Charlie Hebdo cartoonist George Wolinski, says she will release her own "counter investigation" of the terrorist attack that left her husband and 10 other people at the satirical magazine's office dead. She has pointed to security failings leading up to the attack. Speaking on French radio station RTL, she announced that the book will be released on January 7, 2016, exactly one year after the attack.


Search giant Google has shot the serif. See the rather drastic changes to the multi-color logo here.


Fans of the "Queen of Crime" Agatha Christie have named And Then There Were None, the world's best-selling crime novel of all time, as their favorite whodunnit in a worldwide poll. Murder on the Orient Express came in second, with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd completing the top three.



A vacationer in the posh Costa Smeralda region on the Italian island of Sardinia has filed a complaint to local police after he found a 16-euro surcharge on his dinner bill because his 20-month old daughter had dirtied the tablecloth with pasta sauce. La Stampa reports that the owner of the Barracuda restaurant defended the charge since the tablecloth was made of linen and needed to be dry-cleaned. The father would have none of it, though he did confirm that the food was quite good. Apparently his daughter thought so too.

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Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

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