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The Most Striking Number At Rio 2016

Among all the big numbers we'll hear broadcast at the lavish ceremony for the opening of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, whether it's the 5,000 people volunteering at the event or the 10,500 athletes competing in it, the number 10 will perhaps resonate most deeply with the world.


That's the number of members who comprise the UN-backed Refugee Olympic Team.


At the close of the "parade of nations" ceremony, these 10 athletes will walk just before host country Brazil and, if only for a brief moment, turn the spotlight on the world's staggering refugee crisis.


For many of the 3 billion viewers watching the spectacle around the world, those 10 members will conjure up images of the plight of hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees who are struggling to leave their troubled nations behind.


The team of sportspersons (five from South Sudan, two from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, two from Syria and one from Ethiopia) doubt that they'll win medals, French newspaper Le Monde writes. But as Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games, once said: "To take part is more important than to win."



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY

  • The Olympic Games opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, at 8 p.m. local time.
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony in Japan (Saturday).


SOUTH AFRICA ELECTIONS

President Jacob Zuma's governing African National Congress got "knocked off its high horse," local daily The Times smugly declared on its front page today. Partial results of this week's municipal elections signal a major setback for the party in key cities and possibly its worst outcome since the end of apartheid. Final results are expected later today.


BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS IN UK

Protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement are blocking roads around London's Heathrow Airport as part of a national day of action. Similar demonstrations are taking place in Nottingham and Birmingham, The Telegraph reports.


— ON THIS DAY

Goodbye, Norma Jean — 54 years ago, already. That, and more, in your 57-second shot of History.


ISIS LEADER KILLED IN EGYPT ...

Local newspaper Al-Ahram reports that an Egyptian army airstrike in the Sinai peninsula killed Abu Duaa al-Ansari, the head of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis movement, a militant group linked to the ISIS terror network.


… BUT THOUSANDS CAPTURED BY ISIS IN IRAQ

The group's fighters may have caught up to 3,000 Iraqi villagers fleeing to Kirkuk city yesterday and executed 12 of them, a UN report quoted by Reuters says.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

For years, Muslims helped police identify radicals in Italy. But this assistance isn't enough. Italy needs to address legislative gaps and promote cultural integration. For Italian daily La Stampa, Karima Moual writes: "Over time, locals have grown accustomed to having plainclothes police officers present at major events. ‘No one says so in so many words, but in the hundreds of mosques spread across our country, leaders and imams know how risky it would be to have a bad apple among the faithful,' says a source who is active in Islamic organizations and prefers to remain anonymous. ‘That's why no one balks at information requests. A few hotheads who were deported had been flagged by us, very discreetly, to the police.'"

Read the full article, In Italy, Muslims Quietly Assist Law Enforcement.


"BIG LEBOWSKI" DIES

David Huddleston, who played the "Big Lebowski" character in the 1998 cult movie, has died of advanced heart and kidney disease in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at age 85. Huddleston also starred in the 1974 film Blazing Saddles and in the 1985 comedy Santa Claus: The Movie.


— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Casual Friday — Bodø, 1967


VERBATIM

"Even though the U.S. and its allies try to block our space development, our aerospace scientists will conquer space and definitely plant the flag of the DPRK on the moon," Hyon Kwang Il, director of the scientific research department of North Korea's aerospace development agency, told AP.


MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH

— QUOTE/UNQUOTE

This 15-second video quote by Benjamin Franklin also applies to Olympic athletes!

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eyes on the U.S.

Eyes On U.S. — California, The World Is Worried About You

As an Italian bestseller explores why people are fleeing the Golden State, the international press also takes stock of unprecedented Silicon Valley layoffs. It may be a warning for the rest of the world.

Photo of a window pane with water droplets reflecting Facebook's thumb up logo, with one big thumb down in the background

Are you OK, Meta?

Ginevra Falciani and Bertrand Hauger

-Analysis-

For as long as we can remember, the world has seen California as the embodiment of the American Dream.

Today, this dream may be fading — and the world is taking notice.

A peek at the Italian list of non-fiction best-sellers in 2022 includes California by Francesco Costa, a book that looks to explain why 340,000 people moved out of the state last year, causing a drop in its population for the first time ever.

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Why are all these people leaving a state that on paper looks like the best place in the world to live? Why are stickers with the phrase “Don't California my Texas” attached to the back of so many pick-up trucks?

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