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Rouhani's Demand, Greece And Russian, Moldova's Lost Money

Photo: Hani Ali/Xinhua/ZUMA

MEDICAL SUPPLIES REACH YEMEN

The first medical supplies have arrived in the south Yemen city of Aden, and members of Doctors Without Borders have made their way to some of the city’s hospitals, Al Jazeera reports.

  • Iran dispatched a naval destroyer and another vessel yesterday to waters near Yemen, AP reports. And the U.S. announced it was boosting weapons supplies and intelligence sharing with the coalition of countries battling the Houthi rebels there.
  • Houthi fighters, backed by supporters of former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, entered the provincial capital of the mainly Sunni Shabwa province yesterday, Reuters reports.
  • According to the World Health Organization, at least 643 people have died and more than 2,200 have been wounded since the conflict began March 19. More than 100,000 people have been displaced and refugees are streaming into neighboring Saudi Arabia, Reuters reports.
  • Saudi Arabia and its allies have accused Iran of arming the Houthi fighters, though Iran has denied it. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has warned Iran that supporting the Houthi rebels will work against it. “There are obviously supplies that have been coming from Iran,” he told PBS Wednesday. “Iran needs to recognize that the U.S. is not going to stand by while the region is destabilized or while people engage in overt warfare across lines, international boundaries and other countries.”

ON THIS DAY

Baghdad fell to American forces 12 years ago today. Time now for your 57-second shot of history.

BOSTON GLOBE OPPOSES DEATH FOR TSARNAEV

Citing his youth, drug use and his brother’s influence,The Boston Globe editorialized this morning against sentencing Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted yesterday, to the death penalty.

-0.05%

Switzerland has become the first country to sell 10-year bonds at the negative interest rate of -0.05%, meaning that investors are actually paying to lend money, Les Echos reports. While deflation fears are growing in the EU in general and in Switzerland in particular, the newspaper foresees that the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program might lead to similar outcomes in other European countries.

MAN OPENS FIRE IN MILAN TRIBUNAL

Two people have been killed and another wounded after a man pulled a gun and opened fire in a Milan courtroom today, local daily Corriere della Sera reports. The attacker is believed to be Claudio Giardiello, a defendant in a fraudulent bankruptcy case who is on the run but still inside the courthouse.

EXTRA!

Before Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday, European commentators warned that Greece could become Russia's "Trojan horse" against Brussels. But Greek newspaper H Efimerida ton Sintakton instead described the "revival of Greek-Russian relations" as a "historic opportunity for the two countries" on the front page of today’s edition. Read more on our 4 Corners blog.

ISIS RELEASES 200 YAZIDI IN IRAQ

More than 200 elderly and infirm Yazidi were freed Wednesday by ISIS jihadists near Kirkuk, Iraq. The terrorist group had been holding them captive since it overran their villages in northwestern Iraq last summer. According to Reuters, at least 216 Yazidi, some too disoriented or exhausted to speak, were handed over to Kurdish forces.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Transhuman technology pioneers and other geeks are embracing chip technology that can allow them to turn on lights, call wives or start motorcycles with a single touch, Dominique Nora reports for L’Obs. “Other ‘chipped’ people also use it to send their virtual business card to compatible smartphones. Apps such as NFC Tools Pro on Android can read and edit these electronic labels, which have a capacity of 880 bytes.”

Read the full article, Man-Machine? Inside The Growing "Human Chipping" Movement.

PRO-ISIS HACKERS TARGET FRENCH NETWORK

Hackers claiming to belong to ISIS hijacked the television broadcast, websites and social media pages of the French network TV5 Monde late yesterday, Le Monde reports. The company was unable to broadcast its programs for a few hours. Personal information, such as identity cards and CVs belonging to relatives of French soldiers involved in anti-ISIS operations were posted online, along with threats against the French military. TV5 Monde director general Yves Bigot described the hacking as “unprecedented.”

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said today his country would only sign a final nuclear deal with world powers if the economic sanctions against Iran are “lifted immediately,” Al Jazeera reports. Speaking at a ceremony in Tehran to mark the country’s Nuclear Technology Day, he added, “We want a win-win deal for all parties involved in the nuclear talks.”

  • Rohani also called for an end to the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen. “A great nation like Yemen will not submit to bombing. Come, let us all think about ending war. Let us think about a ceasefire,” he said. “Let us prepare to bring Yemenis to the negotiating table to make decisions about their future.”

MOLDOVA “LOSES” $1 BILLION

Mysterious banking transactions have led to $1 billion vanishing in the small European country of Moldova, the AFP reports. The figure represents 15% of the country’s GDP and could be a serious blow to its banking system. The scandal came to light when the Central Bank of Moldova discovered that three banks had issued loans totaling $1 billion. The recipients of the funds have not been identified, and it is now believed the money will never be repaid.

MILK AND TREATS

And this furry prison tale from Brazil.

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Green

Fading Flavor: Production Of Saffron Declines Sharply

Saffron is well-known for its flavor and its expense. But in Kashmir, one of the flew places it grows, cultivation has fallen dramatically thanks for climate change, industry, and farming methods.

Photo of women harvesting saffron in Kashmir

Harvesting of Saffron in Kashmir

Mubashir Naik

In northern India along the bustling Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Pampore — known as the saffron town of Kashmir —people are busy picking up saffron flowers to fill their wicker baskets.

During the autumn season, this is a common sight in the Valley as saffron harvesting is celebrated like a festival in Kashmir. The crop is harvested once a year from October 21 to mid-November.

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