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China Mass Trial, Slow Google Cars, Snowden 007

A farmer walks along a paddy field, as China enters plowing season.
A farmer walks along a paddy field, as China enters plowing season.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pro-Russian fighters in Donetsk have shot down a drone, self-appointed local authorities said, amid reports of ongoing fighting outside the building of the Security Service of Ukraine in the center of the eastern city, seized by the rebels. According to RT journalist Paula Slier, fights have also resumed around the city’s airport, which separatists are said to have regained control of. This comes after separatists said they lost up to 100 fighters in the last two days of fighting against Ukrainian troops at the airport.

Meanwhile in Abkhazia, a Georgian breakaway state recognized only by Russia, protesters stormed the presidential headquarters, attempting to stage what President Alexander Ankvab described later as an “armed coup attempt,” though he stated that he he had not left the country. Russian officials are expected to travel there later today.

Some 7,000 people and local officials gathered in a stadium in the Chinese region of Xinjiang for the mass trial of 55 people accused of “violent terrorist” crimes, AFP reports citing local media. Three were sentenced to death, in an event that shows the authorities’ “resolute determination to crack down” on terrorism, separatism and religious extremism, an official said. Xinjiang, home to a large Muslim Uighur minority, has been hit by violent attacks over the past few months, including one on a market last week that killed 39 people.

Check out our beautiful picture of the day here.

Afghanistan Taliban organization said in a statement released this morning that the U.S. plan to reduce its military presence in the country to 9,800 next year before withdrawal in 2016 amounted to “continued occupation,” AFP reports. The statement said that “even if one American soldier is in Afghanistan, it is not acceptable to our nation and Jihad will continue against them.” Two Americans were hurt this morning when their U.S. Consulate vehicle was attacked, and were being treated in hospital. In its editorial, The New York Times writes: “Mr. Obama has dragged out the biggest part of the withdrawal from Afghanistan for two years and now wants to leave more troops there until the end of 2016. His promise to end the war, made years ago, won’t be honored until he’s practically out of office.”

25 MPH
Google cars coming soon … but not so fast!

Louis Imbert, reporting for Le Monde from Ukraine, profiles a certain oligarch who may be the most influential figure in the contested eastern part of the country. “Billionaire Ihor Kolomoyskyi plays his game far from the capital,” Imbert writes. “From his hometown of Dnipropetrovsk to Odessa on the Black Sea, he is busy building himself a kingdom in the southeast of Ukraine. A trained engineer, Kolomoyskyi, 51, is believed to be worth at least $3.5 billion, with a fortune built on oil, media and finance holdings."
Read the full article, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, A Ukrainian Oligarch Rises In The East.

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The presidential election in Egypt was extended for one extra day by the country’s electoral commission in the face of desperately low turnout,Mada Masrreports. The two candidates, former army leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Hamdeen Sabbahi, are said to have objected to the decision, a move described by a commission official as a “a game of politics.” The BBC’s correspondent in Cairo Kevin Connolly writes that the Egyptian media and army’s argument that the election was a formality for al-Sisi might have backfired and alienated voters, even among his supporters. “A win for Mr. Sisi on a very low turnout would damage his authority as he takes office,” he adds.

The quote of the day comes from Snowden, Edward Snowden.

At least 20 elderly patients and a nurse were killed after a fire broke out at a hospice in South Korea, leaving seven others injured, including six in a critical condition, Yonhap news agency reports. About 10 patients managed to escape the building, but most were bedridden. The police later arrested an 81-year-old patient suffering from dementia on suspicion that he might have started the fire. Read more from the BBC.

This short animation film from South Korean director Han-Jae Park give us a quirky glance at how bad subway behavior looks in Asia. Watch it here.

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food / travel

Gùsto! How · What · Where Locals Eat (And Drink) In Hamburg

Sausages, potatoes and sauerkraut ... Ja, but not only! Let us take you on a culinary tour of Hamburg, where hip vegan cafes meet sushi and ramen bars, and Bavarian beer flows aplenty.

image of a rooftop bar with a view of the harbour

Skyline bar in Hamburg, Germany

Michelle Courtois

It’s the Northern German city where the Beatles got started, a vital trade hub for centuries — and a city where you can get a delicious curry wurst mit pommes. Willkommen to Hamburg.

German cuisine is usually thought of as sausages, potatoes and sauerkraut. And while those foods are popular and culturally significant, there is so much more to be found in Hamburg. The city's old brick buildings now house hip vegan cafes, sushi and ramen bars, beer houses, döner restaurants and more!

When going to Hamburg, be prepared to try cuisine that may be completely new to you. The city’s restaurant and bar culture is diverse and deeply multicultural, with restaurants mixing German culinary traditions with other European cuisines and tastes and techniques from the kitchens of Asia, South America, Africa and beyond.

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