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Japan

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

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

Photo: Natsuki Sakai/ZUMA

GREECE APPROVES BAILOUT, BUT TSIPRAS IN TROUBLE

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.


JAPAN STRENGTHENS MILITARY POWERS

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.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

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.


YEMEN MINISTERS RETURN TO ADEN

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.


GAZA, ISRAEL TRADE ATTACKS

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.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



GEORGE H.W. BUSH INJURED

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.


UBER FINED IN CALIFORNIA

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.


TALIBAN LEADER ENDORSES PEACE TALKS

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.


ON THIS DAY


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Society

In Northern Kenya, Where Climate Change Is Measured In Starving Children

The worst drought in 40 years, which has deepened from the effects of climate change, is hitting the young the hardest around the Horn of Africa. A close-up look at the victims, and attempts to save lives and limit lasting effects on an already fragile region in Kenya.

Photo of five mothers holding their malnourished children

At feeding time, nurses and aides encourage mothers to socialize their children and stimulate them to eat.

Georgina Gustin

KAKUMA — The words "Stabilization Ward" are painted in uneven black letters above the entrance, but everyone in this massive refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, calls it ya maziwa: The place of milk.

Rescue workers and doctors, mothers and fathers, have carried hundreds of starving children through the doors of this one-room hospital wing, which is sometimes so crowded that babies and toddlers have to share beds. A pediatric unit is only a few steps away, but malnourished children don’t go there. They need special care, and even that doesn’t always save them.

In an office of the International Rescue Committee nearby, Vincent Opinya sits behind a desk with figures on dry-erase boards and a map of the camp on the walls around him. “We’ve lost 45 children this year due to malnutrition,” he says, juggling emergencies, phone calls, and texts. “We’re seeing a significant increase in malnutrition cases as a result of the drought — the worst we’ve faced in 40 years.”

From January to June, the ward experienced an 800 percent rise in admissions of children under 5 who needed treatment for malnourishment — a surge that aid groups blame mostly on a climate change-fueled drought that has turned the region into a parched barren.

Opinya, the nutrition manager for the IRC here, has had to rattle off these statistics many times, but the reality of the numbers is starting to crack his professional armor. “It’s a very sad situation,” he says, wearily. And he believes it will only get worse. A third year of drought is likely on the way.

More children may die. But millions will survive malnutrition and hunger only to live through a compromised future, researchers say. The longer-term health effects of this drought — weakened immune systems, developmental problems — will persist for a generation or more, with consequences that will cascade into communities and societies for decades.

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