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Tsipras in trouble, Japan's military powers, Elder Bush injured‏

Tsipras in trouble, Japan's military powers, Elder Bush injured‏

Photo: Natsuki Sakai/ZUMA


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won a bittersweet approval late yesterday of a package of tough measures — including an increase in sales tax and a pension shakeup — that will make a third bailout of the ailing country possible. But 38 members of his governing Syriza party voted against the deal, including former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Parliament Speaker Zoi Konstantopoulou, who called the measures "social genocide." A weakened Tsipras is expected to reshuffle his cabinet to remove dissident members, but Reuters reports that the prime minister has no plans to resign. Read more about it on our Extra! feature here.


The lower house of the Diet, Japan's parliament, has approved controversial legislation to allow the country's armed forces to come to the aid of its allies and to engage in self-defense, the Japan Times reports. But the country's 1947 constitution expressly prohibits it from engaging in the use of force, and its military is officially called the "self-defense forces." The changes are a hallmark policy for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had originally pledged to propose them after the summer. Tens of thousands of people have protested against the legislation, and the opposition has vowed to challenge them in the courts, calling them unconstitutional. The bills now move to the upper house, where they are expected to pass despite polls consistently showing that a majority of Japanese oppose the changes.


After decades of ambivalence and even suspicion toward "the language of the Nazis," German will now be offered as an official course in public high schools in Israel, Matthias Heine writes for German daily Die Welt. "German is taught at state-run schools or university in 144 countries around the world, even in North Korea. It was always possible to study German in Israel, but the standing of German as a language in the country — for comprehensible historic reasons — was not very high. Indeed, it was not offered as a normal public school subject. But all of this is about to change. German will be introduced as a compulsory subject choice during the coming school year that starts in late August. Students at participating schools will then be able to learn German as a foreign language."

Read the full article, Ending The Taboo Of The German Language In Israel.


Militias loyal to exiled President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi have retaken the provincial headquarters of the southern city of Aden after recapturing its airport two days ago. Al Jazeera reports that several ministers of Yemen's exiled government have now returned to Aden, which has been the provisional capital of Yemen since Sana'a fell to the northern Houthi rebels in February. After months of setbacks and stalemates despite the help of Saudi airstrikes, the pro-Hadi forces are now slowly advancing.


Israeli warplanes carried out a raid on Gaza after militants from the Palestinian territory fired rockets that landed near the Israeli city of Ashkelon, Italian daily La Stampa reports. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, which caused no deaths or injuries despite targeting a heavily populated area. Hamas officials confirmed that the airstrikes damaged a training site for their military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.



Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush broke a bone in his neck after falling in his home in Maine, APreports. The 91-year-old is in stable condition at a local hospital, where his stay is expected to be brief.


After a series of legal defeats in France and Italy, Uber took another hit yesterday when a regulator in its home state of California handed the ride-sharing app a $7.3 million fine. The company was accused of withholding data on accidents and the number of rides given to disabled people, the BBC reports.


Reuters reports that Mullah Omar, the Afghan Taliban's reclusive leader, allegedly published an unprecedented statement yesterday marking the end of Ramadan by endorsing the nascent peace talks between his militant group and the Afghanistan government. In a post on a Taliban website, Omar expressed that Islam regards negotiations as a "legitimate" route to achieving the Taliban's goal of ending foreign occupation. Pakistan mediated a preliminary meeting between the two sides last week, where negotiators agreed to meet again to discuss further the possibility of peace talks.


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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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