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Somalia Terror Attack, Asian Stocks Fall Again, Luminous Supernova

ISLAMISTS ATTACK SOMALI MILITARY BASE

Gunmen from Islamist group al-Shabaab attacked a remote military base in Somalia, killing at least 61 Kenyan soldiers who were stationed there as part of an African Union force, Reuters reports. The assault, which happened 340 miles west of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, comes amid a week of deadly attacks from Islamist groups across the Middle East and in Indonesia. Al-Shabaab, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, said they had captured "the entire town and base," but a spokesman for Kenya's Defense Forces said that a counterattack was ongoing.


EXTRA!

"Asylum seekers will learn more about sexual norms," reads the headline of the provocative and creative front page of Danish daily Jyllands-Posten. The national newspaper, based in western Denmark, reports that the Danish Red Cross wants to expand education programs for asylum seekers to include what it calls "adult education." It comes on the heels of shocking migrant attacks against women in Germany and reports of similar violence in Sweden. Check out the front page and read more in Le Blog.


JAKARTA SUSPECTS ARRESTED

At least three suspects have been arrested for yesterday's ISIS attacks in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, The Jakarta Post reports, and police continue to hunt for other suspects and accomplices. Four of the five dead attackers have also been identified, two of them convicted criminals. According to The New York Times, yesterday's violence, which also killed two civilians, raises "the specter" of "expanded" ISIS presence in the region.


VERBATIM

"Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I'm just saying," GOP candidate Ted Cruz said during last night's Republican debate, in a jibe aimed at rival Donald Trump that definitively ended their "bromance."


NEW EBOLA DEATH IN SIERRA LEONE

The World Health Organization has confirmed that one Ebola patient in Sierra Leone has died less than one day after it officially declared the end of the outbreak in West Africa. "This event shows that strong surveillance and response systems will be critical in the months to come as we must be prepared for possible flare-ups of the disease," the WHO said in a statement.


SNAPSHOT

Photo: Prabhat Kumar Verma/ZUMA

A Hindu worshiper prays after taking a ceremonial dip in the sangam — the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati — on the occasion of the Hindu harvest festival Makar Sankranti.


ASIA STOCKS DOWN SHARPLY

Asian stocks hit their lowest levels in three-and-a-half years today, as sunken oil prices and a Chinese economic slowdown continue to affect equities, Reuters reports. The Shanghai Composite lost 3.4%, ending the week down 8.8%.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Too many wild boars are roaming Germany, causing considerable damage to farms and forests. Their numbers need to be severely reduced, but German hunters have their own code for proper conduct and refuse to resort to certain methods for culling the herd, Eckhard Fuhr writes for Die Welt. "Hunters and hunting itself provide the solution to the problem. But they also constitute part of the problem. Hunters seem to have psychological difficulty with drastically reducing the wild boar population. Traditional hunters understand their function as being one of preserving wildlife by caring for them and actively keeping numbers at a certain level. They fear for the female wild boar and their offspring under their care and believe that more hunting causes the females to breed more excessively and that wild boar should be left to their own devices, so that the population will regulate itself. Their refusal to adopt new hunting methods, which are taboo or illegal, to control populations is also a problem."

Read the full article, When Wild Boars Run Amok, But Hunters Refuse To Slaughter.


ON THIS DAY


The Super Bowl was born on this day 48 years ago. That, and more, in today's 57-second shot of history.


TAIWAN TO PICK NEXT PRESIDENT

Voters in Taiwan will choose their next leader tomorrow, and the favored candidate could prove to be a thorn in the side for China, after warming relations over the past eight years, the Financial Times reports. Tsai Ing-wen, chairman of Taiwan's opposition party, could also become Taiwan's first female president and the first woman to lead a Chinese-majority nation since Empress Wu Zetian in the 18th century. "When Jan. 16 comes, a new era begins," she pledged.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



570 BILLION

Astronomers have discovered the brightest star explosion to date, an incredibly luminous supernova that's 570 billion times brighter than our sun, and 20 times more radiant than the entire Milky Way.


ALAN RICKMAN AND THE TORTOISE

It's been a brutal week for Britain and the world with the passing not only of David Bowie but also of iconic actor Alan Rickman. In one of his final recordings, Rickman narrated a video of a tortoise eating a strawberry to raise money for a refugee charity, urging viewers to watch and share.

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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