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Tsipras in Strasbourg, US Army Cuts, Selfie Safety

Tsipras in Strasbourg, US Army Cuts, Selfie Safety

Photo: Thierry Roge/Zuma


Greeted by a mix of cheers and boos, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday as the fate of his country's membership in the Eurozone — and perhaps the ultimate destiny of the single currency itself — hangs in the balance.

  • The Greek leftist Syriza government has been given what is described as one last chance to rapidly submit a proposal after it failed to present a detailed plan in an emergency summit in Brussels following Sunday's referendum.
  • Tsipras struck a conciliatory tone in his Wednesday morning address in Strasbourg, but was short on specifics. He called on the EU to avoid division, with Greece now required to present new proposals to avoid the "Grexit" by the end of Thursday, before a full European summit Sunday, Reuters reports.
  • "The greatest response by the Greek people at the time when there were such pressures with the banks closing, with the campaigns and the media terrorizing them into feeling that this is an end to talks with Europe end to negotiations with Europe," he added.
  • European Council President Donald Tusk said a Greek exit from the currency union would affect the whole of Europe, describing the current situation as the "most critical moment in the history of the Eurozone," according to the BBC.
  • The spokesperson for the president of the Eurogroup and the European Stability Mechanism announced Wednesday that Greece had filed a proposal for financial aid under the Eurozone's bailout program, Le Monde reports.


Taliban representatives and Afghan officials have agreed to resume peace talks after the end of Ramadan, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Wednesday. Both parties, along with negotiators that included Pakistan, China and the U.S., held groundbreaking talks in the Pakistani capital Islamabad Tuesday. Little was made public about yesterday's talks, but officials said the two parties broke the ice over "iftar," the meal Muslims eat after sunset during Ramadan.


The U.S. Army plans to cut 40,000 soldiers from its ranks, at home and abroad, by the end of the 2017 budget year. A report obtained by USA Today says such a reduction, due to budget constraints, will "affect virtually all of its domestic and foreign posts." The number of soldiers is expected to be reduced to 450,000. Going below this figure could raise doubts about the country's ability to win a war, the Army had said in 2013. Most of these cuts were expected, as the the number of troops had planned to shrink after planned withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan.


Voters in Myanmar will go to the polls on Nov. 8 in the country's first contested general election since 1990, a senior election official has told the BBC. The ruling USDP (Union Solidarity and Development Party) will for the first time go head-to-head with Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. The now 70-year-old Nobel laureate had won elections in 1990, but the results were nullified by the military junta.


"Iran is dead serious. If the other parties are as serious, we will have an agreement for sure. That Iran is talking directly to the U.S. is a good move. We have broken a taboo," Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Iran's former president told The Guardian in an interview published Wednesday, hailing the direct talks between the Islamic Republic and the U.S. over Tehran's nuclear program. Rafsanjani is a highly influential figure in Iran and a supporter of President Hassan Rouhani, elected in 2013. The nuclear talks in Vienna were extended by three more days Tuesday, but diplomats hope an agreement will be reached by the end of the week.


An F-16 fighter jet smashed into a small plane Tuesday over South Carolina, killing two people and raining down plane parts and debris over a wide swath of marshes and rice fields, AP reports. The two victims were aboard a small Cessna plane. The F-16 pilot managed to eject and is apparently uninjured.


The U.S. has trained only about 60 Syrians to fight ISIS in the region, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress Tuesday, Al Jazeera reports. A program launched in May by the Pentagon had the aim to train 5,400 fighters a year to battle the terrorist organization.


Even as China has stepped up its efforts to effectively combat trafficking, drug-related crime is spreading and deepening throughout the country. Caixin reports: "Though it's certainly reasonable for China to adopt a strict policy. The problem is that cracking down won't touch the root of the problem of drug addiction, and can even wind up obscuring the essence of the problem." Read the full article: China´s Drug War: The Temptation To Criminalize Addiction


The alternative Californian musician Beck and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il share July 8? Here's our 57-second shot of history


After a rise in the number of deaths and injuries in selfie-related incidents, Russian authorities have launched a campaign urging people to try not to take pictures of themselves while standing in front of an incoming train, in presence of a dangerous animal, holding an unpinned grenade or on top of a railway bridge.

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Is Disney's "Wish" Spreading A Subtle Anti-Christian Message To Kids?

Disney's new movie "Wish" is being touted as a new children's blockbuster to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary. But some Christians may see the portrayal of the villain as God-like and turning wishes into prayers as the ultimate denial of the true message of Christmas.

photo of a kid running out of a church

For the Christmas holiday season?

Joseph Holmes

Christians have always had a love-hate relationship with Disney since I can remember. Growing up in the Christian culture of the 1990s and early 2000s, all the Christian parents I knew loved watching Disney movies with their kids – but have always had an uncomfortable relationship with some of its messages. It was due to the constant Disney tropes of “follow your heart philosophy” and “junior knows best” disdain for authority figures like parents that angered so many. Even so, most Christians felt the benefits had outweighed the costs.

That all seems to have changed as of late, with Disney being hit more and more by claims from conservatives (including Christian conservatives) that Disney is pushing more and more radical progressive social agendas, This has coincided with a steep drop at the box office for Disney.

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