Friday, May 30, 2014
REBELS CLEARED FROM PARTS OF UKRAINE
Ukraine’s Interim Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval said that Ukrainian armed forces would push ahead with military operations in eastern Ukraine until peace and order were restored. They said they had “completely cleared” separatists from the southern and western parts of the Donetsk region and the northern part of the Luhansk region, AFP reported. According to state-backed news channel RT, a children’s hospital and a clinic in Sloviansk were hit by Ukrainian troop shelling, but no injuries or deaths have been reported. The Kyiv Post, meanwhile, published a story alleging that professional Chechen fighters are battling alongside separatists. This comes as EU, Ukrainian and Russian officials are due to meet today in Berlin to resolve the gas dispute between Moscow and Kiev.
Protesting against Thailand's military coup, about eight people gathered in Bangkok to silently read George Orwell's 1984 and other books about civil disobedience. The protest was based on the "Standing Man" demonstrations that started in Turkey last summer.
INDIA RAPES/MURDERS DRAW OUTRAGE
Residents of a village in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh protested against police apathy after two teenage girls who went missing earlier this week were gang raped and hanged from a tree, The Indian Express reports. Denouncing police discrimination, the father of one of the victims told the BBC, “When they found out that I came from a low caste, they shooed me away and refused to look for the girls.” According to reports from India, three of the seven accused have been arrested.
“We’re trying now to be more European and think about it maybe more from a European context,” Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page tells the Financial Times. Though Google had fought Europe's strict privacy statutes that complicate matters for the Internet search company, Page says it is introducing a way for Europeans to request private information be deleted from the search engine. According to The New York Times, half of the requests received after the court decision have come from people convicted of crimes.
CAR’S NEW SURGE IN VIOLENCE
The situation in the Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui is escalating once again after what AFP describes as “an upsurge in violence” this week. According to Radio France Internationale, the capital was “paralyzed” this morning as hundreds of young protesters took to the streets amid gunfire from the army and police to demand the resignation of the interim government, but there were no immediate reports of casualties. The protests come after an attack on a church by Muslim rebels that left 30 people dead Wednesday, and that was followed by the destruction of a mosque by Christian youths.
MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
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ILLEGAL EU MIGRATION ON THE RISE
Figures released by the European Union's border agency show that illegal immigration is eight times higher than last year and is now higher than during the Arab Spring, The Daily Telegraph reports. Between January and April, some 42,000 migrants entered the European Union, more than half of them crossing the Mediterranean from Libya. On Wednesday, the Italian government said that over 39,000 migrants had landed on its shores and called for more resources.
For more on this, we offer this La Stampa/Worldcrunch article, After Lampedusa: African Migrants' Odyssey Continues, Into A Snowstorm.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's $2 billion bid to buy the LA Clippers means disgraced owner Donald Sterling, who has been banned for life from the NBA over racist comments, will net a 15,900% return on investment for the California team.
As Syria Deeply’s Gayath Abd Alaziz and Karen Leigh report, a growing number of young Syrian men are opting to avoid the country’s mandatory 18-month military service, even if they have to go into hiding to do so. And now the government is trying to find them. “The numbers are particularly pronounced in rebel-held areas, where army officials — desperately in need of additional manpower — constantly hunt for truants,” the journalists write. “Many choose to leave Syria, escaping to neighboring Lebanon or Turkey. Others hide in their towns and villages, or escape to areas controlled by the Syrian opposition. And some are fighting, but with rebel brigades.”
Read the full article, Syrian Regime Hunts Down Men Dodging Mandatory Army Service.
BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY
Scientists in the Netherlands report that they have for the first time successfully teleported data. If the days of transferring objects and people are still a sci-fi fantasy, the team did manage to transfer “quantum information from one place to another without moving the physical matter to which the information is attached.” Read more from The New York Times.