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Hurricane Arthur seen from space.
Hurricane Arthur seen from space.
Worldcrunch

Thursday, July 3, 2014

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRIKES CONTINUE
Israel’s air force and Palestinian militants exchanged fire for another night, with 15 air strikes in Gaza leaving at least 10 Palestinians injured. The New York Times reported that multiple rockets were also fired from across the border, with two Israeli houses hit in the border town of Sderot, though no injuries were reported. This came after violent clashes yesterday, as Palestinians demanded justice for those who kidnapped and burned the body of a 16-year-old Palestinian. That murder came as apparent retaliation following the recovery of the slain bodies of three abducted Israeli teenagers. The investigation into the murder of the young Palestinian is still ongoing, and the BBC explains that his burial, planned for this afternoon, would be delayed while the police carrying a post-mortem examination.

SAUDI ARABIA MOVES TROOPS TO IRAQ BORDER
Saudi Arabia is said to have deployed 30,000 troops to its border with Iraq after footage emerged yesterday suggesting that Iraqi soldiers were leaving their posts at the border, Al Jazeera reports. This comes after British analysts said yesterday that Iran had followed in the footsteps of Russia and had sent attack jets to help the Iraqi army fight back the Islamist militant group ISIS.

VERBATIM
"There was a wish to humiliate me," the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday evening in an interview on national television. Sarkozy was put under formal investigation Tuesday for allegations of corruption, trafficking influence and receiving information violating professional secrecy.

4 MILLION THREATENED BY FAMINE IN SOUTH SUDAN
Famine is likely to plague four million people by August, “if the conflict in South Sudan continues, and more aid cannot be delivered,” the BBC quotes British aid agencies as saying in an alarming report. With over one million people displaced since the crisis turned violent in December 2013, and thousands dead in what some have described as the beginning of an ethnic cleansing, the Disasters Emergency Committee warned it had less than half of the $194 million required to "prevent the growing food crisis in South Sudan from turning into a catastrophe."

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
Inspired by the active lifestyle of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Pope Francis’s timetable would wear out any 40-something, writes La Stampa’s Andrea Tornielli: “‘He decides his own agenda,’ Vatican's spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi told La Stampa, ‘and has a very intense pace of life because he feels he has been called to serve the Lord with all his might. He never took holidays when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires either.’ Even on Tuesdays, the day of the week traditionally free of commitments or private audiences scheduled so the popes could relax a little bit, Francis doesn’t slow down. Instead of using this free morning to rest, he fills it with rescheduled meetings.
Read the full article, Papal Work Ethic: From 4:45 AM Wakeup, Portrait Of A Tireless Pope Francis.

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD


IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS ENTER LAST PHASE
Talks around Iran’s controversial nuclear program are resuming today in Vienna, as Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN’s Security Council plus Germany are looking to reach a solution, with AFP suggesting that they could go “all the way to the July 20 finish line.”

7x8
British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne may not know his times tables.

XI JINPING VISITS SOUTH KOREA
China’s President Xi Jinping is in Seoul where he will meet his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye in a visit aimed at reinforcing economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries. According to Reuters, North Korea will also be on the agenda, with President Park expected to ask China to increase its pressure on Pyongyang to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The New York Times sees Xi’s visit as a “move that appears to signal his resolve to unsettle America’s alliances in Northeast Asia,” describing the relationship between Seoul and Tokyo, two close American allies, as “frosty.” Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced it would lift some sanctions on North Korea tomorrow, following progress on talks about the kidnapping of Japanese people during the cold War.

SNAPSHOT
Just hours before Tropical Storm Arthur was upgraded to a Hurricane, the International Space Station snapped this photo over the Atlantic.

HOW TO APOLOGIZE IN JAPANESE
A video of a Japanese politician apologizing over suspicions that he misappropriated $30,000 of taxpayers’ money has gone viral in Japan. Check out why.

— Crunched by Marc Alves.
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Economy

Europe's Winter Energy Crisis Has Already Begun

in the face of Russia's stranglehold over supplies, the European Commission has proposed support packages and price caps. But across Europe, fears about the cost of living are spreading – and with it, doubts about support for Ukraine.

Protesters on Thursday in the German state of Thuringia carried Russian flags and signs: 'First our country! Life must be affordable.'

Martin Schutt/dpa via ZUMA
Stefanie Bolzen, Philipp Fritz, Virginia Kirst, Martina Meister, Mandoline Rutkowski, Stefan Schocher, Claus, Christian Malzahn and Nikolaus Doll

-Analysis-

In her State of the Union address on September 14, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, issued an urgent appeal for solidarity between EU member states in tackling the energy crisis, and towards Ukraine. Von der Leyen need only look out her window to see that tensions are growing in capital cities across Europe due to the sharp rise in energy prices.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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In the Czech Republic, people are already taking to the streets, while opposition politicians elsewhere are looking to score points — and some countries' support for Ukraine may start to buckle.

With winter approaching, Europe is facing a true test of both its mettle, and imagination.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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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.

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