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Five runners were injured on the first day of Spain's San Fiermo festival
Five runners were injured on the first day of Spain's San Fiermo festival
Worldcrunch

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ISRAEL PREPARES FOR GROUND OFFENSIVE IN GAZA
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the army to prepare for a possible ground offensive in Gaza, Haaretz quotes a senior official as saying. This comes after the Israeli military launched “Operation Protective Edge” hitting more than 50 targets in air strikes. Palestinian militants continued to fire rockets into southern Israel, some of them intercepted by Israel’s protection system Iron Dome. Earlier, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged Israel to “immediately stop its escalation and the raids on Gaza.”

UKRAINE CEASEFIRE REJECTED
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Valeriy Geletey rejected talks with separatists and said there would be no new “negotiations” until “the rebels completely lay down their arms,” AFP reports. His declaration comes amid increasing pressure from Germany and France to broker a truce deal between the two sides, and as Kiev forces follow orders to blockade the rebels inside the city of Donetsk, where most of the separatist forces have gathered after fleeing Sloviansk over the weekend.

SNAPSHOT
Five runners were injured in a traditional bull run on the first day of Spain’s San Fiermo festival.

DEADLY ATTACK AMID POLITICAL TURMOIL IN AFGHANISTAN
At least 16 people, including four Czech NATO soldiers, were killed in a suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan this morning, AP reports. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Meanwhile, Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah rejected yesterday’s result giving a lead to his rival Ashraf Ghani and claimed victory, although millions of ballots are still being audited for fraud.

JAPAN BRACES FOR TYPHOON
More than 500,000 Japanese were urged to evacuate their homes as one of the most powerful typhoons in recent years is nearing its coasts, Reuters reports. On top of torrential rains and gusts of wind of more than 250 km per hour (155 mph), waves up to 14 meters high are also expected. Three nuclear power plants that lie in the predicted path of typhoon Neoguri are shut down due to national policy, a precaution aimed at avoiding a new nuclear disaster following the tsunami that hit Fukushima in 2011.

VERBATIM
In his first meeting with abuse victims since rising to the papacy, Pope Francis begged for forgiveness with some strong words.

BLOOD TEST FOR ALZHEIMER’S
British scientists have developed a blood test that can predict with a 87% accuracy whether people with memory problems will develop Alzheimer’s disease in the following 12 months, The Guardian reports.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
As Brazil gets set for tonight’s World Cup semifinal against Germany, here’s a Le Monde report from Manaus, the urban center in the heart of the Amazonian rain forest, where a growing number of Indigenous people are searching for survival. “The World Cup and everything that comes with it should be miles away from the concerns of the City of God. Indigenous Amazon people like Perreira, divided in 160 tribes with 200 languages, are following the Copa with as much interest as the rest of Brazil. But soccer is just soccer, and although the braided basket structure of the Arena da Amazonia, the stadium in Manaus, is inspired by local culture, the status of indigenous populations is still uncertain.”
Read the full story, World Cup Detour With Amazonia's Indigenous.

BY THE NUMBERS
An American pharmaceutical lab wants to charge patients 56,000 euros for medication that costs them 200 to make.

FAREWELL
Real Madrid legend Alfredo di Stefano has died at age 88.

GOV’T CORRUPTION TO BLAME FOR SOUTH KOREAN FERRY DISASTER
South Korea’s national audit agency announced it was taking legal action against 11 government officials it suspects of corruption after finding that they were partly responsible for the sinking of a ferry in April that killed at least 293 people, most of them high school students. According to news agency Yonhap, the report shows “a flurry of governmental negligence and corruption” contributed to the disaster by, among others, failing to conduct proper safety controls.

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD


ONE HELL OF A POTATO SALAD
This guy just wanted to make a potato salad. He needed $10 — so he started a Kickstarter. Check out how much money he’s made so far.


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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The "Corrosion" Strategy: How Ukraine Targets Russian Networks And Morale

Russia continues to shrink its ambitions in Donbas, as Ukraine doubles down on its strategy of guerilla attacks, interrupting supply and communication contacts and ultimately undermines the morale of the enemy.

Ukrainian soldiers sitting atop a tank in Donbas on May 22

Clemens Wergin

For years to come, military experts will be studying how Ukraine managed to push back a far stronger enemy and grind Russia’s major offensive in the east of the country to a halt.

Some military strategists are already trying to find a term to sum up the Ukrainians’ success. Australian military expert and retired army major general Mick Ryan credited Kyiv's stunning showing to "the adoption of a simple military strategy: corrosion. The Ukrainian approach has embraced the corrosion of the Russian physical, moral, and intellectual capacity to fight and win in Ukraine.”

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Ryan argues that while the Ukrainians have used the firepower they possess to halt the Russian advance, while aggressively targeting their enemy’s greatest shortcoming. “They have attacked the weakest physical support systems of an army in the field – communications networks, logistic supply routes, rear areas, artillery and senior commanders in their command posts,” Ryan wrote.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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