SPOTLIGHT: ANKARA INTRIGUE, GLOBAL IMPACT
Turkish politics comes with no shortage of intrigue. Before Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced his resignation yesterday, the first word of the depths of his rift with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came via an anonymous blog post succulently entitled The Pelican File. Meanwhile main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu described Davutoglu's departure as a "palace coup," amid growing concerns about Erdogan's thirst for power.
The ramifications of the resignation go well beyond the corridors of Ankara or internal differences in the AKP ruling party. Turkey is at the center of major international conflicts, from its relationship with other key Sunni-dominated countries in the Gulf to the Kurdish question to the fate of a continuous stream of Europe-bound refugees crossing its border with war-torn Syria.
One long-held dream for some was the idea that Turkey could eventually become part of the European Union. Writing in Geneva-based Le Temps, Boris Mabillard says there should be no rush to integrate Turkey, and the EU "betrays its own values by turning a blind eye to Erdogan's authoritarian drift." In more immediate terms, the stakes of foreign policy can be tallied in the Turkish border city of Kilis. For years, it has been forced to absorb countless Syrian refugees. Now, it's Syrian missiles.
RARE PARTY CONGRESS IN NORTH KOREA OPENS
Leader Kim Jong-un is expected to further cement his power at North Korea's first congress since 1980. BBC reports that some foreign journalists have been invited but banned from entering the guarded congress — and whisked off instead on a factory tour.
CANADIAN WILDFIRE RAGES ON, THOUSANDS STRANDED
An out-of-control blaze has swallowed whole neighborhoods in Canada's energy heartland and now threatens two oil sands sites as it edges south.
— ON THIS DAY
Happy birthday to George Clooney, turning 55 today! What else? Check today's 57-second shot of history.
PAUL RYAN â€˜JUST NOT READY' FOR TRUMP
It's not just liberals who can't stomach the idea of a Donald Trump presidency. Even the GOP's highest ranking elected official, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is not ready for Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. See his interview here.
SECOND SUCCESSFUL SEA LANDING FOR SPACEX
For the second time this month, SpaceX has landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a ship at sea, after bringing a Japanese communications satellite to orbit, Space.com reports.
GENERAL STRIKE IN GREECE
As part of the next Act in the Greek austerity drama, a three-day strike kicks off today to protest a Parliamentary vote Sunday on pension and tax reforms, a prerequisite for the cash-strapped country to receive more international bailout money. Read more on the Greek Reporter.
— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
Guatemalan Marimba — Antigua, 1989
"Today we have to admit that this dream of one European state with one common interest, with one vision â€¦ one European nation, this was an illusion," EU Council President Donald Tusk said during a meeting on the state of the European Union in Rome.