TURKISH TROOPS HIT AGAIN IN DEADLY ATTACK
Photo: Mustafa Kaya/Xinhua/ZUMA
A Turkish military convoy in southern Turkey was targeted by a roadside bomb this morning, an attack that killed at least six soldiers and wounded another, Hürriyet reports. It came just hours after a car bomb in Ankara also targeted military personnel yesterday, killing 28 people, including civilians, and wounding 61.
- Kurdish militants are being blamed for both attacks. In a televised address, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the Ankara attacker had been "clearly identified" as a northern Syrian man with links to the YPG Kurdish militia, a group backed by the U.S. in the fight against ISIS. Davutoglu also blamed the Kurdish militant group PKK, which Turkey considers a terror group, and the Syrian government, newspaper Today's Zaman reports. He said Turkey would continue to hit back at Kurdish positions in northern Syria. Leaders of both Kurdish groups have denied responsibility.
- Before yesterday's attack, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had no intention to stop shelling Kurdish fighters in Syria, while criticizing Washington for its support of the YPG and its refusal to establish a no-fly zone in Syria. Meanwhile Turkey and Saudi Arabia are reportedly considering a ground intervention in northern Syria, where the Syrian army and their allies are regaining territory.
- According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 500 "rebels" crossed the Turkish border into Syria yesterday, heading for the town of Azaz, where Kurdish fighters now have the upper hand against the rebels. The report comes days after some 350 fighters with heavy weaponry also crossed the border. The Syrian government said Turkish troops were among them.
- Erdogan's son Bilal has been placed under investigation in Italy for money laundering, AFP reports. Bilal Erdogan's name has also been linked to ISIS' illegal oil trade.
Critics have lambasted the cover of Polish newsweekly wSIECI, which depicts a screaming white woman wrapped in the European Union flag being pulled at and fondled by six dark and hairy arms. "The Islamic Rape Of Europe," the cover reads. See the controversial image and read more from Le Blog.
EU PONDERS DEAL TO AVOID BREXIT
EU leaders are gathering in Brussels for a two-day summit during which British Prime Minister David Cameron is hoping to clinch a deal for new membership terms that will avoid a Brexit, the BBC reports. Cameron is eager to repatriate some sovereignty powers from Brussels, including on European integration and restrictions on benefits and migrants. Though the general feeling is that Britain leaving the EU would put the union at risk, a leaked copy of the final draft text suggests that there's no EU-wide agreement on Cameron's demands. Read more from The Daily Telegraph.
ON THIS DAY
The Ferrari patriarch meets UK fox hunting and the first Ironman in today's shot of history.
OBAMA TO VISIT CUBA
U.S. President Barack Obama will be traveling to Cuba in the coming weeks as part of the rapprochement initiated over a year ago between the two countries, The New York Times reports. It will be the first visit to the island by a sitting U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge's boat trip in 1928.
"We must charge for gas. I ask that the people welcome and support this new system," Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said as he announced a 6,000% gas price hike, from 0.1 bolivar ($0.02) to 6 bolivars per liter ($0.94). Gas in oil-rich Venezuela has been heavily subsidized, and even the drastic levy will make the cost less than a third of the price of a beer. The country has been badly hit by falling crude prices, making an already dire economic situation worse. Maduro also announced a currency devaluation and a 20% rise in the minimum wage and pensions, newspaper El Universal reports.
Voters in the east African state of Uganda will choose today whether to extend President Yoweri Museveni's 30-year rule. According to newspaper New Vision, it will be one of the toughest elections yet for Museveni in a country where 80% of the population has known no other president.
A hospital in Hollywood has agreed to pay a $17,000 ransom in bitcoins to hackers who had seized control of the hospital's computer systems.
NIKE KNOCKS OUT PACQUIAO
Nike has terminated its contract with boxing champion Manny Pacquiao after he described gay people as "worse than animals" in TV comments in his native Philippines.
Retreating glaciers are liberating bodies and objects lost thousands of years ago and revealing much about the people who once lived in the mountains of Switzerland, Xavier Lambiel writes for Le Temps. "Since 1850, temperatures have been rising faster in the Alps, and glaciers have been retreating. When they do, they expose forgotten, long frequented paths that ice gradually obstructed. â€˜We're living an auspicious period of archeology,' says Philippe Curdy, curator of the Prehistory and Great Age Department of the Sion History Museum. At the Schnidejoch Pass, which made it possible to travel through Bern and the Valais canton, the 2003 heat wave melted an ice field. By chance, hikers found a bow and arrows that were more than 7,000 years old."
Read the full article, In Switzerland, Melting Glaciers Reveal Buried Treasures.
N. KOREA LEAVES A BAD TASTE
South Korea has asked its patriots living overseas not to eat at North Korean restaurants, an effort to punish Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test and rocket launch. There are about 130 North Korean restaurants abroad, most of them in China, and they earn a reported $100 million a year.
MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
MOKA MAKER MEETS HIS
The snazzy Italian aluminum coffee maker known as a Moka pot was first invented in the 1930s. The iconic design was produced and spread around Italy, and then the world, by industrialist Renato Bialetti, who died Feb. 10 at the age of 93. And yes, La Stampa reports, at his funeral in the northern Italian city of Montebuglio, Bialetti's ashes were placed in a Moka pot. Long life. Slow brew.