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Mosul In Jihadist Hands, GMOsquitoes, Frenglish Video

Chilean students protesting against the government’s educational reforms clashed with police Tuesday in Santiago.
Chilean students protesting against the government’s educational reforms clashed with police Tuesday in Santiago.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

As many as 500,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in Mosul, in northern Iraq, after Islamist fighters from the organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant took control of the city, the International Organization for Migration said in a statement. The al-Qaeda-linked group, which also fights in Syria, has extended its grip on northern Iraq, with the BBC relaying reports that they have seized the town of Baiji, home to the country’s largest oil-refinery.
Meanwhile in Washington, the four former employees of security firm Blackwater Worldwide who are accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007 will stand trial today.

Ukraine and Russian representatives started a new round of gas supply talks in Brussels, with Moscow extending a deadline that expired yesterday until next Monday for Kiev to pay its gas bill. Negotiations are revolving around the terms of the contract, with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announcing that he refused a discount that he saw as a “Russian trap”.
As Kiev’s “anti-terrorist operation” continues in the east, the country’s Health Minister said that at least 210 people, including 14 children, had been killed in recent clashes.

Chilean students protesting against the government’s educational reforms clashed with police in Santiago.

Thailand is facing potential economic sanctions after revelations made yesterday by British newspaper The Guardian of a particularly violent modern-day slavery network linked to the global shrimp supply chain. In the United States, Walmart and Costco said they were taking action in response to the investigation, while the State Department is reportedly intending to launch a review that could lead to Thailand being place on a human trafficking blacklist, triggering economic sanctions and the end of development aid.

The U.S. House Majority leader Eric Cantor was defeated in Virginia’s 7th district by David Brat, a Tea Party challenger, in what The New York Times describes as “one of the most stunning primary election upsets in congressional history.” Cantor, who had been tipped to succeed John Boehner as Speaker of the House, only got 44.5% of the vote, with his opponent gathering 55.5% after a campaign centered mainly on immigration. For The Washington Post, Brat, an economics professor who campaigned with little more than $200,000, “has just taught Washington — and one of its most powerful leaders — a lesson in humility.”

Writing in Bogota daily El Espectador, Colombian novelist José Luis Garcés González offers a cutting take on soccer’s role in contemporary society around the world.
“In many societies, soccer tends to replace everything, sweeping aside political proposals, religious beliefs, family ties, economic upheaval and social injustice. It represents faith, the mother of all passions, and, in a word, ideology. Perhaps only love supercedes it …”
Read the full article: Soccer, The New Opiate Of The Masses.


The Foreign and Defense Ministers from Japan and Australia are due to meet in Tokyo today to discuss increased cooperation in development of defense equipment and a possible submarine deal, Kyodo news agency reports. This comes as Japan is progressively lifting a self-imposed constitutional ban on weapons exports. As AFP explains, the two U.S. allies are also expected to discuss the impact of China’s activities in the East and South China Sea, amid growing tensions between Beijing and its neighbors.
In a Dubai-inspired move, China is reportedly building artificial islands in the disputed waters, which could eventually lead to total control over the area. Read more from Bloomberg.

Scientists have found a way to genetically modify malaria-carrying mosquitos so they produce around 95% of male offspring.

A massive taxi strike has begun rolling out across Europe against the growing ride-sharing app Uber: “More than 30,000 taxi and limo drivers from London to Milan plan to cause traffic snarls in tourist centers and shopping districts.” Bloomberg reports that Uber is now valued at $17 billion.

The English language’s invasion of the French language continues, notably with words that have arrived directly from Silicon Valley. Since Worldcrunch is based in Paris, we asked some of our crew to tell us how to say #hashtag — and other Frenglish words ... Take a look at our video here.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

"Every Day Counts" — How The U.S. Shutdown Melodrama Looks In Ukraine

Congress and President Biden averted a shutdown, but thanks to a temporary deal that doesn't include new aid for Ukraine's war effort. An analysis from Kyiv about what it means, in both the short and long-term.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky with US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican of Kentucky) and US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (Democrat of New York) in the Ohio Clock Corridor in the Capitol.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky with US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican of Kentucky) and US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (Democrat of New York) in the Ohio Clock Corridor in the Capitol.

Annabelle Gordon/Cnp/dpa/ZUMA
Oleksandr Demchenko


KYIV — The good news for President Joe Biden, a steadfast supporter of Ukraine, is that the United States managed to avoid a federal shutdown this weekend after both House and Senate agreed on a short-term funding deal.

With a bipartisan agreement that cut out the extreme wing of the Republican party, the U.S. Congress managed to agree on a budget for the next 45 days, until November 17.

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

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The bad news, however, is that the budget excludes any new aid for Ukraine. On top of that, there remains a looming possibility that by year-end, the U.S. may face a full-blown government shutdown that could dry up any further funding support for Kyiv as Americans focus on domestic priorities.

The problem, though, runs deeper than mere spending issues. The root cause lies in significant shifts within the U.S. political landscape over the past two decades that has allowed radical factions within both parties to emerge, taking extreme left and far-right positions.

This political turmoil has direct implications for Ukraine's security. Notably, it was the radical wing of the Republican Party that successfully removed a provision for over $6 billion in security assistance for Ukraine from the temporary budget estimate.

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