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UK Downgraded, Diploma Mills, Icelandic Screams


What a difference a week makes. Britain's two leading political figures, Prime Minister David Cameron and opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared to be cementing their power in their respective parties last week. But Thursday's verdict to leave the European Union spurred Cameron's decision to resign. And now Corbyn faces a no-confidence ballot in his party leadership later today. Cameron spoke before the British Parliament yesterday — the first time since Thursday's vote to leave the bloc — and called for calm as his country readied itself for its EU departure. Five days after the so-called "Brexit," the stunning decision continues to shake Britain, the European continent and markets around the globe.

  • Ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded UK's stellar AAA debt rating to AA. Fitch Ratings followed suit.
  • In his Parliament address, Cameron said that Britain must already start implementing its decision to withdraw from the bloc. Here's the video.
  • Despite the exit, UK leaders hope to retain access to the common EU market but European heads may not be so forgiving.
  • Uncertainty still reigns on what Brexit actually means for the UK and Europe. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker urged Britain to clarify its position on the referendum as soon as possible.
  • Opposition leader Corbyn was forced to face a no-confidence vote after scores of party colleagues resigned, accusing the 67-year-old leftist of conducting a half-hearted campaign to try and convince voters to keep Britain in the EU.
  • Spikes in racist abuse have been reported after the Brexit vote, and have spurred the hashtag #PostRefRacism on Twitter.
  • Recommended reading on what it all means for Europe, from French daily Les Echos.


  • Brexit top of agenda in European Council meet.
  • Apple's chief executive Tim Cook holds fundraiser for House Speaker Paul Ryan despite pulling support from Republican convention over nominee Donald Trump.


Carmaker Volkswagen agreed to pay $15 billion to settle lawsuits that emerged from its rigging of diesel emissions tests. And that's just in the U.S. While $10 billion will go to car owners, $5 billion is for fines and investment, Bloomberg reports.


Warning: Today's 57-second shot of History contains real pieces of a boxer's ear.


The U.S. Supreme Court tossed out an abortion law that it said placed an undue burden on doctors and facilities in Texas, in one of its strongest decisions in the last two decades to uphold women's constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy as established under the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case.


Trump University isn't the only questionable American higher education institution. Other self-proclaimed universities are virtual scams and, as Dong Dengxin writes for Caixin, China is a prime customer: "According to data published in March by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, out of 1.2 million international students in American colleges and universities, 353,000 are Chinese, making China the number one country of origin for foreign students. But two problems lie behind this figure: Chinese students are likely becoming the accomplices of America's ‘Yeji universities' — the Chinese term for so-called ‘diploma mills.' (‘Yeji' means ‘wild chicken.') And these youngsters are unlikely to be integrated into America's mainstream society, and will instead remain isolated.

Read the full article, How U.S. "Diploma Mills" Are Duping Chinese Students.


"You have this infinity inside of you that feels like it could go on forever," tennis star Venus Williams said yesterday after winning her opening-round match at Wimbledon. The 36-year-old American is the oldest player in the women's draw.


Easy Way Up — Paris, 1967



The crazy Icelandic soccer commentator's voice cracked again after his country's 2-1 win over England in the European championship last night. And here's also how victory looked in this morning's newspaper in Iceland.

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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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