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Ultimatum For Greece, Boston Bomber Apology, Translating Seinfeld

Kobani, Syria
Kobani, Syria


Fruitless talks between the Greek government and its international creditors to obtain a new rescue funding plan resumed yesterday and lasted through the night, ending in the lenders giving Greece an ultimatum to offer a new reforms proposal this morning, To Vima reports.

  • According to theFinancial Times, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was given until 11 a.m. Brussels time today to present a "feasible blueprint" otherwise the IMF, the European Commission and Eurogroup would put forward a "take-it-or-leave-it" offer for Athens. The deadline has passed and no deal was reached. Follow The Guardian's blog for live updates.

  • Hopes that a deal could be reached after Athens offered to pass a series of reforms, including tax hikes and an end to early retirement, were dashed yesterday by the creditors' refusal. According to Les Échos, the IMF and its chief Christine Lagarde, who is campaigning for reelection next year, favor spending cuts to VAT and corporate tax increases. Creditors now want Greece to push its retirement age to 67 and to cancel benefits for its poorest pensioners. "This odd stance seems to indicate that either there is no interest in an agreement or that special interests are being backed," Tsipras said yesterday.

  • Such demands are placing the Greek government under intense pressure, and it's unclear whether the Greek Parliament would back them. The country's parliamentary Truth Commission on Public Debt recently released a report claiming the debt is "illegal, illegitimate and odious" and therefore shouldn't be repaid. Read more from the Greek Reporter.

  • Greece has until Tuesday to make a $1.8 billion payment to the IMF. Any agreement would first have to be ratified by the Greek Parliament, talking heads believe that no agreement by Sunday will result in a Greek default.

  • Check out this week's Charlie Hebdo, which weighs in on the Greek crisis, in our Extra! feature.


Tensions between NATO and Russia are continuing to escalate, with defense ministers in NATO member states considering boosting their nuclear deterrent in the face of "irresponsible rhetoric from Russia," the Financial Times reports. While NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance "will not be dragged into an arms race," he suggested that Moscow's recent decision to buy 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles in response to U.S. plans to permanently install heavy weaponry in eastern Europe had raised the alarm.


"I am sorry for the lives that I've taken, for the suffering that I've caused you, for damage that I've done," Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told surviving victims in court yesterday, his first public statement since his trial began for the 2013 terror attack. Moments later, he was formally sentenced to death. Read more from The Boston Globe.


After losing ground in Syria to Kurdish-led forces in recent days, ISIS fighters have launched a series of counteroffensives and attacked the Syrian army and Kurdish militias. One attack was in the Syrian-Turkish border city of Kobani, which ISIS lost in January after a months-long battle. ISIS suicide bombers detonated explosives, sparking clashes that killed dozens, The International Business Times reports. Jihadists also stormed a government-held neighborhood in the northeastern city of Hasakeh, and attacked government positions in the southern city of Daraa, near the Jordan border.


The Diary of Anne Frank was published 68 years ago today. Learn more about June 25 in today's shot of history.


Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki will submit evidence of alleged Israeli war crimes to the International Criminal Court in The Hague today. The information is related to Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip last summer. But according to The New York Times, the files are believed to contain mostly information that's already in the public record and is therefore "unlikely to have any immediate impact." This comes days after a UN report accused both Hamas and Israel of war crimes during last summer's conflict. A spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry dismissed today's event as "nothing more than Palestinian public relations."


It's not quite like Marty McFly's pink floating skateboard in Back To The Future 2, but Lexus has unveiled its closest match yet: a hoverboard that levitates thanks to magnetic forces.


In an area of Sao Paulo, Brazil, that still bears the marks of poverty, a private cemetery called Parque das Cerejeiras (Cherry Trees Park) has been turned into an artistic landmark of sorts, Folha's Camila Appel writes. "‘The locals have few options when it comes to culture and leisure in the neighborhood,' says Daniel Arantes, the cemetery's manager. The well-equipped urban parks Burle Marx and Ibirapuera are 15 and 30 kilometers away, respectively. But these places actually have one notable thing in common with Parque das Cerejeiras: They boast benches designed by artist Hugo França.Read the full article, The Sao Paulo Cemetery Full Of Artistic Life.


Chinese authorities have announced the seizure of almost $500 million worth of smuggled frozen meat, some it dating back to the 1970s, as part of a nationwide crackdown that's just the latest stomach-turning food scandal to hit the country. Read the full article from The New York Times.


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has joined the already crowded 2016 Republican presidential primary race, the 13th GOP member to do so. But a hidden-camera video he posted online before making the official announcement, showing him and his wife telling their children the news, may send the wrong message.


Seinfeld's word-based brand of humor is particularly difficult to translate. According to The Verge, the translator behind the show's German version had a really hard time with Dolores, whose name "rhymes with a part of the female anatomy.

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Look At This Crap! The "Enshittification" Theory Of Why The Internet Is Broken

The term was coined by journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the fatal drift of major Internet platforms: if they were ever useful and user-friendly, they will inevitably end up being odious.

A photo of hands holding onto a smartphone

A person holding their smartphone

Gilles Lambert/ZUMA
Manuel Ligero


The universe tends toward chaos. Ultimately, everything degenerates. These immutable laws are even more true of the Internet.

In the case of media platforms, everything you once thought was a good service will, sooner or later, disgust you. This trend has been given a name: enshittification. The term was coined by Canadian blogger and journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the inevitable drift of technological giants toward... well.

The explanation is in line with the most basic tenets of Marxism. All digital companies have investors (essentially the bourgeoisie, people who don't perform any work and take the lion's share of the profits), and these investors want to see the percentage of their gains grow year after year. This pushes companies to make decisions that affect the service they provide to their customers. Although they don't do it unwillingly, quite the opposite.

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Annoying customers is just another part of the business plan. Look at Netflix, for example. The streaming giant has long been riddling how to monetize shared Netflix accounts. Option 1: adding a premium option to its regular price. Next, it asked for verification through text messages. After that, it considered raising the total subscription price. It also mulled adding advertising to the mix, and so on. These endless maneuvers irritated its audience, even as the company has been unable to decide which way it wants to go. So, slowly but surely, we see it drifting toward enshittification.

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