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A lightning hits Calgary on Wednesday
A lightning hits Calgary on Wednesday
Worldcrunch

Thursday, July 31, 2014

ISRAEL CALLS UP 16,000 RESERVISTS
As the conflict in Gaza continues, Israel announced it was calling up 16,000 extra reserve soldiers for its offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza — bringing the total of soldiers mobilized to 86,000. The BBC quotes Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying he is "determined" to destroy all militant tunnels from Gaza "with or without ceasefire."

The move comes as Israel pledged to investigate a strike on a UN-run school in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza, which killed at least 16 people Wednesday. According to The New York Times, the UN’s initial assessment indicates that Israeli artillery hit the school where 3,300 Palestinians had taken refuge.

In a separate strike, Al Jazeera reports that at least 17 Palestinians were killed and 200 injured in a crowded market in the Shujayea neighborhood, an area Israel said was not included in Wednesday’s short-lived four-hour humanitarian ceasefire.

ARGENTINA’S SECOND DEFAULT IN 13 YEARS
Argentina defaulted on its sovereign debt for the second time in 13 years, as last-minute negotiations for a settlement between the government and a group of bond-holders failed. Things couldn’t have come out worse, concludes Forbes. The Financial Times predicts that the default will worsen the country’s recession, trigger higher inflation and put pressure on foreign exchange reserves — which may lead to Argentina’s second devaluation this year.

SNAPSHOT
Thing got pretty electric in Calgary last night.

EBOLA OUTBREAK
Liberia is planning to shut down schools and several markets, and quarantine certain areas, in what The Guardian calls the “most stringent bid yet to curb” the Ebola epidemic that has raged for seven months across Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

According to Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, the outbreak is “absolutely not under control, and the situation keeps worsening."

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has declared a state of public health emergency in an effort to quarantine the epicenters of the disease, Reuters reports, while Ethiopia and Kenya have announced mandatory screenings to prevent the deadly virus from entering their borders.

Follow the latest developments on the Telegraph’s live feed.

BRIEF UKRAINE CEASEFIRE
After three days straight of fighting between pro-Russian rebel forces and the Ukrainian military near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the Ukrainian government has called for a one-day ceasefire to allow the Russian-led international investigative team to study the debris of the crash. The July 17 incident killed all 298 people on board. Read more from RT here.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Parliament has rejected Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk's resignation that he offered last week, AP reports.

AT LEAST 19 DROWN OFF KARACHI
Despite a ban on sea swimming during monsoon season, at least 19 people have drowned off the coast of Karachi in southern Pakistan. According to the BBC, the bathers were celebrating the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan fasting.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
Taranto's ILVA steel plant, Europe's largest, emits toxic pollution that doctors believe has long been causing cancer in young victims and sky-high infant mortality — yet it still operates. La Stampa’s Grazia Longo talked to the children, their families, and those who try to help them: “Ambra, Michele and Luca — 4, 10 and 12, respectively — tell me stories about the masks they wore to school on the few days that they were able to leave the ward and attend classes. They tell me about their fantasies and dreams and any other thoughts they immerse themselves in so they don’t think about dying: a trip to the beach, the courage to fight against a treacherous enemy. They look at me with their eyes wide open, alert, and I wonder where they find the strength to be so curious about everything.“
Read the full article: In Italy, A Steel Plant Blamed For Decades Of Child Cancer.

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD


POST TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE
Think you’re having a bad day? It’s probably nothing compared to this French woman’s complete breakdown at a post office. No knowledge of the French language is required to understand the video — but you might want to turn down the volume a bit.

— Crunched by Bertrand Hauger.

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Future

Injecting Feminism Into Science Is A Good Thing — For Science

Feminists have generated a set of tools to make science less biased and more robust. Why don’t more scientists use it?

As objective as any man

Anto Magzan/ZUMA
Rachel E. Gross

-Essay-

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mystery played out across news headlines: Men, it seemed, were dying of infection at twice the rate of women. To explain this alarming disparity, researchers looked to innate biological differences between the sexes — for instance, protective levels of sex hormones, or distinct male-female immune responses. Some even went so far as to test the possibility of treating infected men with estrogen injections.

This focus on biological sex differences turned out to be woefully inadequate, as a group of Harvard-affiliated researchers pointed out earlier this year. By analyzing more than a year of sex-disaggregated COVID-19 data, they showed that the gender gap was more fully explained by social factors like mask-wearing and distancing behaviors (less common among men) and testing rates (higher among pregnant women and health workers, who were largely female).

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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