June 1, 2016

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European leaders open world’s longest rail tunnel in Switzerland –
The world’s longest rail tunnel, running for 35 miles (57km) under the Swiss Alps, has officially opened. The Swiss president, Johann Schneider-Ammann, said the tunnel, which it is hoped will ease transit through the heart of the continent, would “join the people and the economies” of Europe at a time of rising nationalism and border closures. He spoke before European leaders made a ceremonial first journey through the Gotthard base tunnel. Passengers included the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the French president, François Hollande, and the Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi. While the tunnel was entirely funded by Switzerland, a non-EU member, the bloc’s transport commissioner, Violeta Bulc, hailed it as “a godsend” for the continent. It runs from Erstfeld in the central Swiss canton of Uri, to Bodio in the southern Ticino canton. [The Guardian]

Video of the Day –

Gotthard base tunnel

List of the Day –

World’s longest tunnels (in use) [Wikipedia]

Name Location Length Type Year Comment
Delaware Aqueduct United States New York state, United States 137,000 m (85.1 mi) Water supply 1945 4.1 m wide. New York City‘s main water supply tunnel, drilled through solid rock.
Päijänne Water Tunnel Finland Southern Finland, Finland 120,000 m (74.6 mi) Water supply 1982 16 m2 cross section
Dahuofang Water Tunnel China Liaoning Province, China 85,320 m (53.0 mi) Water supply 2009 8 m in diameter (50m2 cross section)
Orange–Fish River Tunnel South Africa South Africa 82,800 m (51.4 mi) Water supply 1972 Longest continuous enclosed aqueduct in the southern hemisphere (22.5 m2cross section)
Bolmen Water Tunnel Sweden Kronoberg/Scania, Sweden 82,000 m (51.0 mi) Water supply 1987 8 m2
Tunel Emisor Oriente Mexico Mexico City, Mexico 62,500 m (38.8 mi) Waterwaste 2006-2012 Water management in Greater Mexico City. Longest waterwaste tunnel.
Guangzhou Metro Line 3 China Guangzhou, China 60,400 m (37.5 mi)Excl. branch Metro 2005-2010 Guangzhou Metro. Longest metro/rapid transit tunnel;
longest railway tunnel
Beijing Subway Line 10 China Beijing, China 57,100 m (35.5 mi) Metro 2008-2012 Beijing Subway
Gotthard Base Tunnel Switzerland Lepontine Alps, Switzerland 57,091 m (35.5 mi) or 57,017 m (35.4 mi) Railway Twin Tube 2016 The longest railway tunnel excluding urban metro lines with intermediate stations.
Two tubes (East 57,091 m (35.5 mi), West 57,017 m (35.4 mi)), 8.8–9.5 m (29–31 ft) diameter, (71m2 cross section)
Seikan Tunnel Japan Tsugaru Strait, Japan 53,850 m (33.5 mi) Railway Single Tube 1988 74 m2

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June 2, 2016

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Dagger in Tutankhamun’s tomb was made with iron from a meteorite –
A dagger entombed with King Tutankhamun was made with iron from a meteorite, a new analysis on the metal composition shows. In 1925, archaeologist Howard Carter found two daggers, one iron and one with a blade of gold, within the wrapping of the teenage king, who was mummified more than 3,300 years ago. The iron blade, which had a gold handle, rock crystal pommel and lily and jackal-decorated sheath, has puzzled researchers in the decades since Carter’s discovery: ironwork was rare in ancient Egypt, and the dagger’s metal had not rusted. Italian and Egyptian researchers analysed the metal with an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer to determine its chemical composition, and found its high nickel content, along with its levels of cobalt, “strongly suggests an extraterrestrial origin”. They compared the composition with known meteorites within 2,000km around the Red Sea coast of Egypt, and found similar levels in one meteorite. That meteorite, named Kharga, was found 150 miles (240km) west of Alexandria, at the seaport city of Mersa Matruh, which in the age of Alexander the Great – the fourth century BC – was known as Amunia. [Evening Standard]

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How Is Your Phone Changing You? ASAP Science

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June 3, 2016

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Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies aged 74 –
Muhammad Ali has died at the age of 74, a family spokesman has said. The former world heavyweight boxing champion, one of the world’s best-known sportsmen, died at a hospital in the US city of Phoenix, Arizona, after being admitted on Thursday. He was suffering from a respiratory illness, a condition that was complicated by Parkinson’s disease. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Ali shot to fame by winning light-heavyweight gold at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Nicknamed “The Greatest”, the American beat Sonny Liston in 1964 to win his first world title and became the first boxer to capture a world heavyweight title on three separate occasions. He eventually retired in 1981, having won 56 of his 61 fights. Crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC, Ali was noted for his pre- and post-fight talk and bold fight predictions just as much as his boxing skills inside the ring. But he was also a civil rights campaigner and poet who transcended the bounds of sport, race and nationality. Asked how he would like to be remembered, he once said: “As a man who never sold out his people. But if that’s too much, then just a good boxer. I won’t even mind if you don’t mention how pretty I was.” [BBC] See Video of the Day and List of the Day
Muhammad_Ali_in_1967Muhammad Ali in 1967

Video of the Day –

Muhammad Ali & Greenlight from Studio Dialog on Vimeo.

List of the Day –

Muhammad Ali’s best quotes [Evening Standard]

“Hey Floyd – I seen you! Someday I’m gonna whup you! Don’t you forget, I am the greatest!” – To then-world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson during the 1960 Olympic Games.

“Why are all the angels white? Why ain’t there no black angels?” – In a sermon at apostolic church in 1983.

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” – The man who captured not only his boxing style but his attitude in life.

“Sonny Liston is nothing. The man can’t talk. The man can’t fight. The man needs talking lessons. The man needs boxing lessons. And since he’s gonna fight me, he needs falling lessons.” – Before fighting world heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in February 1964.

“I’m king of the world! I’m pretty! I’m a bad man! I shook up the world! I shook up the world! I shook up the world!” – February 25 1964, after defeating Sonny Liston.

“I had a good time boxing. I enjoyed it – and I may come back.” – On being crowned Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC in 1999.

“Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it, and I didn’t want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name, and I insist people using it when speaking to me and of me.” – On his conversion to Islam.

“Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. No Vietcong ever called me nigger.” – On his refusal to answer a call up to fight in Vietnam.

“It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”

“They did what they thought was right, and I did what I thought was right.” – On the government’s long effort to send him to prison after his refusal to go to Vietnam.

“You serious? I got to stay here and lead my people to the right man – Elijah Muhammad” – When asked why he does not flee the country, in an interview by Robert Lipsyte of The New York Times on April 26 1967, two days before refusing induction into military service.

“I’ve done my celebrating already. I said a prayer to Allah” – June 28 1971, on being told his conviction for draft evasion was overturned by the US Supreme Court.

“I told you all, all of my critics, that I was the greatest of all time. Never make me the underdog until I’m about 50 years old” – October 1 1974, after knocking out George Foreman to become heavyweight champion for the second time, in Kinshasa, Zaire.

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June 5, 2016

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French Open: Novak Djokovic completes grand slam collection –
The first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four straight grand slams. The eighth man to complete the career grand slam. The first man to claim the first two majors in a calendar year since Jim Courier in 1992. Novak Djokovic made plenty of history Sunday when he beat Andy Murray 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 in the French Open final. Djokovic, especially in the past two seasons, never hid how desperately he wanted to win the world’s premier clay-court tournament. He had lost three finals, including last year to Stan Wawrinka. When Murray sent a backhand into the net on a third match point, Djokovic fell to the court on his back. Finally the Coupe des Mousquetaires was his. [CNN]
Novak-ĐokovićNovak_Đoković

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How Mosquitoes Use Six Needles to Suck Your Blood | Deep Look

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  • English/American comedian John Oliver buys and then forgives $15,000,000 (USD) in medical debt to about 9,000 people, making it the biggest ever giveaway in television history. (CNN)
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June 6, 2016

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Playboy mansion bought by Hugh Hefner’s neighbour –
The Playboy mansion, home to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, is being sold to a private equity boss who lives next door. Daren Metropoulos, 32, is buying the 200,000 sq ft ((1,858 sq m) property, which was on the market for $200m (£138m). He bought the neighbouring property from Mr Hefner in 2009 for $18m. Mr Metropoulos is a principal at Metropoulos & Co, which is run by his father Dean. “The heritage of this property transcends its celebrity and to have the opportunity to serve as its steward would be a true privilege,” Daren Metropoulos told The Wall Street Journal. The mansion was built in 1927 and purchased by Playboy in 1971 for a reported $1.1m, making it the most valuable real estate deal in Los Angles at the time. It features a tennis court, free-form swimming pool, wine cellar, home theatre and games house but needs renovating to meet the same standards as other Beverly Hills homes. Neither party has confirmed what the mansion was sold for. Mr Hefner, 89, has the right to remain living in the property until his death. The LA estate eventually replaced the original Playboy Mansion, which opened in 1959 in Chicago. [BBC]
Hugh_HefnerHugh Hefner in 2010

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MAR from Finisterre on Vimeo.

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June 7, 2016

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Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro settles dismissal case –
Former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro has settled her dismissal claim against the club on confidential terms. Dr Carneiro, who claimed constructive dismissal against Chelsea, also reached a discrimination settlement against the club’s former manager Jose Mourinho. Chelsea said it apologised “unreservedly” to the former first team doctor for the distress caused. On Monday it emerged Chelsea had offered Dr Carneiro £1.2m to settle her claims, which she had rejected. Dr Carneiro claimed she was sexually discriminated against after she went on to the pitch to treat Chelsea player Eden Hazard during the opening day of the Premier League season last August. She claimed that Mr Mourinho shouted the Portuguese phrase “filha da puta” at her, which means “daughter of a whore”, as she ran on to the pitch. Dr Carneiro left the club in September after being demoted. [BBC]
Eva_CarneiroEva Carneiro in 2014

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Max Man & Maya Man from WOW inc on Vimeo.

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  • Johns Hopkins University researchers report, in the journal Health Affairs, that media reports about people accused of committing violent crimes having mental illnesses rarely discuss successful treatment of patients, and thereby overstate the problem. Most people exhibiting the types of psychological conditions the media mention are not generally violent. The researchers suggest coverage reinforces fear of mental illness and the people who have it, and, because of the social stigma, discourages people from seeking treatment. (UPI) (Health Affairs)
Politics and elections
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June 8, 2016

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Maria Sharapova banned for two years for failed drugs test but will appeal –
Maria Sharapova has been banned for two years by the International Tennis Federation for using a prohibited drug. The Russian was provisionally banned in March after testing positive for meldonium at January’s Australian Open. The heart disease drug, which 29-year-old Sharapova says she has been taking since 2006 for health issues, became a banned substance on 1 January 2016. The five-time Grand Slam winner said she “cannot accept” the “unfairly harsh” ban – and will appeal. Sharapova will challenge the suspension, which is backdated to 26 January 2016, at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas). [BBC]
Maria_SharapovaMaria Sharapova

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Aberdeen : A Montage of Kurt Cobain's Artwork & Journals from Tourist Pictures on Vimeo.

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  • A United Nations commission of inquiry says that Eritrea should be referred to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity committed in the country, including the enslavement of between 300,000 and 400,000 people through military conscription. (AP)
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June 9, 2016

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Experiment ‘turns waste CO2 to stone’ –
Scientists think they have found a smart way to constrain carbon dioxide emissions – just turn them to stone. The researchers report an experiment in Iceland where they have pumped CO2 and water underground into volcanic rock. Reactions with the minerals in the deep basalts convert the carbon dioxide to a stable, immobile chalky solid. Even more encouraging, the team writes in Science magazine, is the speed at which this process occurs: on the order of months. “Of our 220 tonnes of injected CO2, 95% was converted to limestone in less than two years,” said lead author Juerg Matter from Southampton University, UK. “It was a huge surprise to all the scientists involved in the project, and we thought, ‘Wow! This is really fast’.” [BBC]

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Office Pet | The Dude Perfect Show

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June 10, 2016

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Spanish town’s giant dog dropping goes walkies –
A town in Spain is facing an unexpected bill after thieves apparently made off with a giant dog dropping being used as part of a local campaign. Torrelodones, a municipality just outside the capital Madrid, is 2,400 euros ($2,726; £1,885) out of pocket after the three-metre high inflatable bought as part of a campaign to encourage pet-lovers to pick up after their dogs went missing, El Pais newspaper reports. The bizarre inflatable disappeared after it had been packed away in its carry-case and the police are now on the trail of the 30 kilogramme dog poop, town officials say. Speaking to the ABC newspaper, town councillor Angel Guirao said staff were shocked and perplexed by the theft, and a replacement excrement was already on order because “we know that the campaign has been a great success”. The inflatable is not the only symbol of the municipality’s “Lay an egg” campaign. Torrelodones has also left a number of concrete dog poops around the town bearing the message “This is a big blockage to living together. If you have a dog, help us”. People taking the time to engage with the campaign by posting photos on social media can win “Lay an egg” T-shirts, tastefully illustrated with a picture of a hen’s egg. [BBC]

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A Brief History of Video Game Title Design from Art of the Title on Vimeo.

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June 11, 2016

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Bicycle thief suspect lassoed by rancher in Oregon –
A rancher in the US state of Oregon has used his lassoing skills to nab a would-be thief, police say. Robert Borba told local media he reacted when he heard a woman scream that someone was trying to steal her bicycle from a bike rack outside a Walmart store in Eagle Point. Mr Borba said he got his horse out of its trailer and cornered the suspect before lassoing him around the legs. He said he got on his horse and rode over to the man who was apparently struggling with the bike gears and then decided to flee on foot. “I just roped him and the rope went down around his feet and I just rode off like I would if I’d roped a cow or something by myself”. The rancher said the would-be thief then tried to grab a tree and escape, but he managed to keep the rope tight until police arrived and arrested the suspect. [BBC]

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Aberdeen : A Montage of Kurt Cobain's Artwork & Journals from Tourist Pictures on Vimeo.

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June 12, 2016

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Orlando shooting: At least 50 killed in Pulse nightclub mass shooting –
A heavily armed gunman has killed at least 50 people, with another 53 injured, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The mass shooting is the worst in US history and US President Barack Obama has branded it “an act of terror and an act of hate”.

  • At least 50 people killed, 53 injured in mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida
  • Gunman Omar Mateen took hostages, killed when police stormed building
  • Mateen was armed with an assault rifle and handgun, police say
  • US President Barack Obama brands shooting an act of terror and hate
  • Armed man arrested in LA had assault rifles in car, said he was going to the LA Pride festival, police said

[ABC Australia]

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June 13, 2016

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Microsoft to buy LinkedIn in $26.2 billion deal –
The networking site for white-collar workers will be acquired by technology titan Microsoft for $26.2 billion in an all-cash deal, the companies said Monday. LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner will continue at the helm of the company but will report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, according to a joint statement. LinkedIn will keep its “distinct brand, culture and independence,” the companies said. Over the past year, LinkedIn has been striving — and struggling — to grow beyond its roots as a resume-on-the-web service and become more of a daily hub for professionals, much as Facebook has become more than simply a site for sharing family photos. Steps in that direction include last year’s $1.5 billion acquisition of online training site Lynda.com and a thorough upgrade of its mobile app. The 13-year-old service has 433 million users worldwide. It’s free to use, but charges for features such as advanced search and the ability to send messages to strangers. [CNET]
Jeff_WeinerJeff Weiner

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Are You More Forgetful Than A Fish? – ASAP Science

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June 14, 2016

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Iceland strengthens road signs to stop thefts –
Iceland has strengthened its road signs in order to stop tourists stealing them to take home as novel souvenirs, it’s reported. The most popular signs to be pinched are the sort rarely found in other countries, specifically those marking fords that cross rivers, blind rises and gravel tracks, according to Iceland’s RUV national broadcaster. Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson of the Road and Coastal Administration says they are now “using bolts that can’t be dismantled with an ordinary car toolkit”, and making the signs too heavy to carry off easily. Mr Ingolfsson, who is also a noted crime novelist, designed some of the signs. He tells RUV that the international Vienna Road Traffic Agreement “simply doesn’t provide for our topography”, and this makes unique Icelandic signs particularly appealing to memento-hunter. [BBC]

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Tokyo Aglow (At The CONFLUX Part Two) from Justin Tierney on Vimeo.

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June 15, 2016

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Duke of Cambridge: Attitude magazine features first royal cover star –
The Duke of Cambridge has become the first member of the Royal Family to appear on the cover of a gay magazine. He spoke to Attitude about the issue of homophobic bullying, saying: “No-one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason.” The duke invited the magazine to bring members of the LGBT community to Kensington Palace to discuss bullying and its mental health repercussions. Kensington Palace said William had been “moved” by the stories he heard. The nine people who attended the meeting last month spoke of low self-esteem, suicide attempts, drug addiction and depression. William said that “no-one should have to put up with the kind of hate that these young people have endured in their lives”. [BBC]
Prince_William_Attitude_coverPrince William Attitude cover [Image copyright ATTITUDE/LEIGH KEILY/PA]

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American Ninja Warrior – T. Rex on American Ninja Warrior

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June 16, 2016

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Russian ‘runaway robot’ causes traffic jam –
A robot escaped from a science lab and caused a traffic jam in one Russian city, it’s reported. Scientists at the Promobot laboratories in Perm had been teaching the machine how to move around independently, but it broke free after an engineer forgot to shut a gate, says the local edition of the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper. The robot found its way to a nearby street, covering a distance of about 50m (164ft), before its battery ran out, the daily says. An eyewitness video posted online shows a vaguely humanoid machine standing in the middle of a busy road, guarded by a traffic policeman. It is then wheeled off by a human, presumably an engineer from the company that developed the robot. Russian Channel 5 TV also showed footage of the incident, and said that the robot spent about 40 minutes at large. But not everyone is convinced that the robot’s escape was accidental: some in the Russian media have argued that it’s all a ploy devised by Promobot to draw attention to its creation. [BBC]

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Simon’s Cat Logic – Why Do Cats Sleep in Unusual Places?!

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  • Flooding in southern Ghana caused by heavy rain leaves at least 10 people dead and the streets of Accra under water. (Al Jazeera)
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June 17, 2016

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New Zealand pays people to leave Auckland –
New Zealand is offering cash to people in its largest city who need social housing – if they’re willing to move to another part of the country. The scheme launches in Auckland on Monday, and is part of efforts to tackle the city’s housing crisis, the New Zealand Herald reports. Anyone willing to up sticks will get a grant of up to NZ$5,000 ($3,500; £2,500), as long as they’re currently eligible for social housing. The government is stressing that it’s a voluntary scheme aimed at removing the “cost barrier” that could prevent people from moving to less-populated areas, where they may already have family or other connections. Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says 130 have voiced an interest in the scheme so far, and that the scheme will help people deal with “a very tight housing market”. Auckland has seen house prices boom in recent years, and a shortage of affordable housing has left some families living in dire conditions. In May, a Salvation Army spokesman said some streets in South Auckland had people living in every garage. Other families have been found living under bridges and one had taken refuge in a shipping container. [BBC]

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Simon Beck – Snowartist from #inspirasjonstryn on Vimeo.

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Armed conflicts and attacks
Iraqi Civil War (2014–present), Military intervention against ISIL, Third Battle of Fallujah
The Iraqi government recaptures the main government compound in Fallujah. (AFP via Daily Mail)
Kurdish separatism in Iran
2016 West Iran clashes
Kurdish rebels and Iranian Revolutionary guards clash in Oshnavieh, killing 12 rebels and three guards. There is dispute over who the rebels were. Iranian authorities claim it was the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan movement while a member of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan claimed their group was responsible for the fighting. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
Boko Haram insurgency
Boko Haram militants attack a funeral in the village of Kuda in the Adamawa State of Nigeria, killing 18 women, with more reportedly still missing. (Al Jazeera)
Insurgency in the North Caucasus
Four Russian security officers and six militants are killed in an anti-terrorism operation in Dagestan. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
Business and economy
The U.S. Justice Department has decided against an action against Angelo Mozilo, former chief executive of Countrywide Financial, arising out of the issuance of mortgage backed securities during his tenure there. (Reuters).
Disasters and accidents
EgyptAir Flight 804
The second flight recorder from the wreckage of ill-fated EgyptAir Flight 804 is recovered from the crash site in the Mediterranean Sea. (Channel News Asia)
A wildfire in Santa Barbara County, California doubles in size overnight to 4,000 acres. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says mandatory evacuations remain in effect for areas such as El Capitán State Beach. The blaze is currently 5% contained, according to Los Padres National Forest officials. (Los Angeles Times)
Law and crime
2002 Gujarat riots
A court in India sentences dozens of people to prison, some of them for life, for their roles in riots that killed 69 Muslims in the city of Ahmedabad in 2002. (BBC)
Sport
2016 Summer Olympics
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) upholds its ban on Russian track and field athletes participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro due to various doping scandals. IOC officials plan to gather next Tuesday to discuss the matter further. (BBC)
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June 18, 2016

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UK astronaut Tim Peake returns to Earth –
UK astronaut Tim Peake is back on Earth after a historic six-month stay on the International Space Station. A Soyuz capsule carrying Major Peake and two other crew members touched down in Kazakhstan at 10:15 BST. He called the journey back “the best ride I’ve been on ever”, adding: “The smells of Earth are just so strong.” Maj Peake is the first person to fly to space under the UK banner since Helen Sharman in 1991 and made the first spacewalk by a UK astronaut. During the 186-day mission, Maj Peake also remotely steered a robot on Earth and ran the London Marathon. Just before 15:00 BST, Maj Peake landed by helicopter on the runway at Karagandy airport. [BBC]
Timothy_PeakeTimothy Peake

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WALT from justinclifton on Vimeo.

List of the Day –

Ten longest human space flights [Wikipedia]

# Time in space Crew Country Launch date (Launch craft) Landing date (Landing craft) Space Station or mission type
1 437.7 days Valeri Polyakov  Russia 1994-01-09 (Soyuz TM-18) 1995-03-22 (Soyuz TM-20) Mir
2 379.6 days Sergei Avdeyev  Russia 1998-08-13 (Soyuz TM-28) 1999-08-28 (Soyuz TM-29) Mir
3 365.0 days Vladimir Titov
Musa Manarov
 Soviet Union 1987-12-21 (Soyuz TM-4) 1988-12-21 (Soyuz TM-6) Mir
4 340.4 days Mikhail Korniyenko
Scott Kelly
 Russia
 United States
2015-03-27 (Soyuz TMA-16M) 2016-03-01 (Soyuz TMA-18M) International Space Station
5 326.5 days[ Yuri Romanenko  Soviet Union 1987-02-05 (Soyuz TM-2) 1987-12-29 (Soyuz TM-3) Mir
6 311.8 days Sergei Krikalev  Soviet Union/ Russia 1991-05-18 (Soyuz TM-12) 1992-03-25 (Soyuz TM-13) Mir
7 240.9 days Valeri Polyakov  Soviet Union 1988-08-29 (Soyuz TM-6) 1989-04-7 (Soyuz TM-7) Mir
8 237.0 days Leonid Kizim
Vladimir Solovyov
Oleg Atkov
 Soviet Union 1984-02-08 (Soyuz T-10) 1984-10-02 (Soyuz T-11) Salyut 7
9 215.4 days Mikhail Tyurin
Michael López-Alegría]
 Russia
 United States
2006-09-18 (Soyuz TMA-9) 2007-04-21 (Soyuz TMA-9) International Space Station
10 211.4 days Anatoli Berezovoy
Valentin Lebedev
 Soviet Union 1982-05-13 (Soyuz T-5)[19] 1982-12-10 (Soyuz T-7)[19] Salyut 7

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  • A week of heavy rains and flooding in south China results in at least 25 deaths, six people missing and 33,000 people displaced. (ABC News)
  • Six people are killed and 10 injured when a van crashes in the U.S. state of Virginia. (Reuters)
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June 19, 2016

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Cavaliers become first team to rally from 3-1 series deficit in NBA Finals –
LeBron James cradled the shiny gold trophy and struggled to sum up what might be his sweetest championship yet, the one he is so proudly bringing home to his native northeast Ohio just as he promised to do when he returned to the Cavaliers two summers ago. Later, flanked by his three children on Father’s Day, a cigar between his lips and winning net as a necklace with the lingering stench of champagne, James began to understand the magnitude of his accomplishment for Cleveland after a half-century wait. James and his relentless, never-count-them-out Cavs pulled off an improbable NBA Finals comeback, and Cleveland is title town again at long last. James delivered on a vow to his home state and brought the Cavs back from the brink as they became the first team to rally from a 3-1 Finals deficit, beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors 93-89 on Sunday night to end a 52-year major sports championship drought in Cleveland. [ESPN] See Video of the Day
LeBron_JamesLeBron James

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Nike Basketball | Worth the wait

List of the Day –

NBA champions

Teams Win Loss Total Year(s) won Year(s) lost
Boston Celtics 17 4 21 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968,1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2008 1958, 1985, 1987, 2010
Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers 16 15 31 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987,1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010 1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1983,1984, 1989, 1991, 2004, 2008
Chicago Bulls 6 0 6 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
San Antonio Spurs 5 1 6 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014 2013
Philadelphia/San Francisco/Golden State Warriors 4 4 8 1947, 1956, 1975, 2015 1948, 1964, 1967, 2016
Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers 3 6 9 1955, 1967, 1983 1950, 1954, 1977, 1980, 1982, 2001
Fort Wayne/Detroit Pistons 3 4 7 1989, 1990, 2004 1955, 1956, 1988, 2005
Miami Heat 3 2 5 2006, 2012, 2013 2011, 2014
New York Knicks 2 6 8 1970, 1973 1951, 1952, 1953, 1972, 1994, 1999
Houston Rockets 2 2 4 1994, 1995 1981, 1986
Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder 1 3 4 1979 1978, 1996, 2012
Baltimore/Washington Bullets (now Washington Wizards) 1 3 4 1978 1971, 1975, 1979
St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks 1 3 4 1958 1957, 1960, 1961
Cleveland Cavaliers 1 2 3 2016 2007, 2015
Portland Trail Blazers 1 2 3 1977 1990, 1992
Dallas Mavericks 1 1 2 2011 2006
Milwaukee Bucks 1 1 2 1971 1974
Rochester Royals (now Sacramento Kings) 1 0 1 1951
Baltimore Bullets (original) (folded in 1954) 1 0 1 1948
New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets) 0 2 2 2002, 2003
Utah Jazz (formerly New Orleans Jazz) 0 2 2 1997, 1998
Orlando Magic 0 2 2 1995, 2009
Phoenix Suns 0 2 2 1976, 1993
Indiana Pacers 0 1 1 2000
Washington Capitols (folded in 1951) 0 1 1 1949
Chicago Stags (folded in 1950) 0 1 1 1947

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  • Clashes between the Mexican police and members of the radical Mexican teachers union National Coordinator of Education Workers in Oaxaca leaves at least six people dead. (AP via Fox News)
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June 20, 2016

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Finding Dory breaks US box office record –
Finding Dory has taken $136.2m (£93.3m) on its opening weekend – making it the most successful launch for an animated film in US box office history. The sequel to Finding Nemo has unseated Shrek the Third – which took $121.6m (£83.1m) on its release in 2007. It is also the second most successful opening weekend of 2016, behind Marv el’s Captain America: Civil War. Ellen DeGeneres voices the lead character in Finding Dory. [BBC]
Photo: Ellen Degeneres - public domainEllen DeGeneres (and others)

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Why Don’t We Ever See Baby Pigeons? | Dolan Life Mysteries

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June 21, 2016

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Albania football win brings team diplomatic passports –
Albania says it will reward its national footballers with diplomatic passports for having beaten Romania 1-0 at the Euro 2016 tournament. The country has never played before in a major football competition. But it is not yet clear whether Albania will qualify for the next round in France. The team will get €1m (£770,000; $1.1m) in extra funding as well as the new passports, the government said. Albania lost their other two matches, coming third in their Euro 2016 group. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama captured the nation’s excitement on Sunday by tweeting “Goooooooooool….” when Armando Sadiku headed the winning goal against Romania in the first half. The award of diplomatic passports is mainly symbolic, as many of the Albanian players are already with clubs elsewhere in Europe and Albanians enjoy visa-free travel to the EU. They will not enjoy diplomatic immunity, as that is reserved for official diplomats, but they will benefit from easier international travel. [BBC]

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MAN IN PHONE – Short Film from Mackenzie Sheppard on Vimeo.

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June 22, 2016

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Democrats stage sit-in on House floor to force gun vote –
Dozens of House Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor Wednesday in protest of the GOP leadership’s refusal to allow a vote on a gun control measure following the Orlando massacre. Led by Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the civil rights icon, and John Larson (D-Conn.), more than 40 Democrats walked into the chamber just before noon and pledged to “occupy” the House floor until GOP leadership allowed a vote. In one hour, their numbers more than tripled — even as Republicans recessed the House, turning off C-SPAN cameras and the video feed to the public. Democrats countered the TV camera blackout by streaming everything on their cellphones, which ended up on C-SPAN anyway. [Politico]

Mark Zuckerberg masks Mac webcam and microphone –
A photograph of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shows tape has been used to cover his MacBook Pro’s webcam and mic. Facebook has not responded to requests for comment about the picture, shared to celebrate Instagram reaching its 500 million monthly user milestone. FBI director James Comey has previously said he also covers his laptop’s webcam to prevent hackers spying on him. And digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said it regularly sold its webcam “stickers”. [BBC]
Mark Zuckerberg [Facebook]Mark Zuckerberg

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World’s LARGEST NERF GUN!!

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June 23, 2016

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BRITAIN VOTES FOR ‘BREXIT’ IN HISTORIC REFERENDUM –
Britain has voted to leave the European Union in a referendum, defying its prime minister and confounding most analysts’ expectations. The result raises questions over the future of Prime Minister David Cameron, and over the future of Scotland within the United Kingdom. The results expose a British electorate deeply divided by age, class and geographical location. Most large urban centers elected to stay part of the European Union, particularly in London, where many local authorities delivered vast majorities for the pro-EU campaign. Polls completed before the vote suggested the young were significantly more likely to back EU membership than the old, and that poorer, less-educated voters were likelier to be Brexiters. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. Wales surprised many observers by voting in favor of a “Leave” vote, with just over 850,000 Welsh voters choosing to leave the bloc, and a little more than 770,000 voting to Remain. [Newsweek] See List of the Day

Solar plane lands in Spain after three-day Atlantic crossing –
An airplane powered solely by the sun landed safely in Seville in Spain early on Thursday after an almost three-day flight across the Atlantic from New York in one of the longest legs of the first ever fuel-less flight around the world. The single-seat Solar Impulse 2 touched down shortly after 7.30 a.m. local time in Seville after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 2.30 a.m. EDT on June 20.
The flight of just over 71 hours was the 15th leg of the round-the-world journey by the plane piloted in turns by Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg. [Reuters] See Video of the Day

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Solar Impulse Airplane – Leg 15 – Flight New York to Seville

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How the home nations voted in the EU Referendum [BBC]

England

Leave 53.4%
15,188,406 VOTES
Remain 46.6%
13,266,996 VOTES
Counting complete
Turnout: 73.0%

Northern Ireland

Leave 44.2%
349,442 VOTES
Remain 55.8%
440,437 VOTES
Counting complete
Turnout: 62.9%

Scotland

Leave 38.0%
1,018,322 VOTES
Remain 62.0%
1,661,191 VOTES
Counting complete
Turnout: 67.2%

Wales

Leave 52.5%
854,572 VOTES
Remain 47.5%
772,347 VOTES
Counting complete
Turnout: 71.7%

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  • Solar Impulse 2, a plane powered only by the sun, lands safely in Seville, Spain, shortly after 7.30 a.m. local time after a flight of just over 71 hours. The 15th leg of the round-the-world journey had been expected to take up to 90 hours. (Reuters) (Reuters²)
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June 24, 2016

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Brexit fallout, Cameron quits, markets rocked –
Britain has voted to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow since World War Two to the European project of forging greater unity. Global stock markets plunged on Friday, and the British pound saw its biggest one day drop in history, as results from a referendum defied bookmakers’ odds to show a 52-48 percent victory for the campaign to leave the bloc Britain joined more than 40 years ago. The United Kingdom itself could now break apart, with the leader of Scotland, where nearly two-thirds of voters wanted to stay in the EU, saying a new referendum on independence from the rest of Britain was “highly likely”. In an emotional speech on Friday, UK Prime Minister Cameron, who led the campaign to remain in Europe to defeat, after promising the referendum in 2013, said he would leave office by October. Lawmakers from the opposition Labour Party launched a no-confidence motion to topple their leader, leftist Jeremy Corbyn, accused by opponents in the party of campaigning tepidly for its Remain stance. The British pound fell as much as 10 percent against the U.S. dollar on Friday to levels last seen in 1985 on fears the decision could hit investment in the world’s fifth-largest economy, threaten London’s role as a global financial capital, and usher in months of political uncertainty. The euro slid 2.0 percent against the U.S. dollar. [Reuters] In February Cameron secured a deal with the EU to try to avoid an exit vote.
David_CameronDavid Cameron

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Brexit: UK prime minister David Cameron addresses British voters on leaving the EU

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June 25, 2016

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Los Angeles glass slide opens 1,000ft up skyscraper –
A glass slide fixed 1,000ft (305m) along the outside of a skyscraper in Los Angeles opens to the public on Saturday. The Skyslide spans 45 ft from the 70th to the 69th floor of the US Bank Tower in the city. Despite being made of glass just one inch thick, it is built to withstand hurricane-force winds and earthquakes. Tickets cost $25 (£18) each. It is part of the Skyspace renovation that also includes an observation deck. [BBC]

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Greenpeace holds a historic performance with pianist Ludovico Einaudi on the Arctic Ocean

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June 26, 2016

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Lionel Messi announces international football retirement after Argentina loses Copa America final –
Argentina superstar Lionel Messi says he is finished with the national team after the side’s loss to Chile in the Copa America final. The five-time world player of the year announced as much in the immediate aftermath of Argentina’s gut-wrenching loss to Chile, 4-2 in a penalty shootout on Monday. “The national team is done for me,” Messi told reporters. The 29-year-old was booked for simulation and sent his attempt over the crossbar in the decisive shootout as he fell short for the fourth time in a major international final. “It’s difficult, it’s a hard moment for any analysis. In the dressing room I thought that the national team is not for me,” he added. [ABC] In April Messi scored his 500th career goal.
Lionel MessiLionel Messi

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Fastest time to pop 100 balloons by a dog – Guinness World Records

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June 27, 2016

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Euro 2016: Roy Hodgson resigns after England lose to Iceland –
Roy Hodgson has resigned as England manager after his side’s 2-1 defeat by Iceland saw them knocked out of Euro 2016. The 68-year-old had been in charge for four years after replacing Italian Fabio Capello but has won just three of 11 games in major tournament finals. Iceland – with a population of just 330,000 – were among the lowest-ranked teams in France at 34 in the world. “I’m sorry it will have to end this way but these things happen,” Hodgson said. “I hope you will still be able to see an England team in a final of a major tournament soon,” he added. “Now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of a hungry and extremely talented group of players. They have done fantastically, and done everything asked of them.” [BBC]
Roy_HodgsonRoy Hodgson

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case / lang / veirs – Atomic Number (Official Music Video) from KANGMIN KIM on Vimeo.

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June 28, 2016

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Japan uses anime to target young voters –
Japanese cities are using manga and anime to persuade young people to vote in forthcoming elections. The popular formats feature in local electoral commission materials aimed at newly enfranchised 18- and 19-year-olds, which explain why going to the polls is important, The Japan Times website reports. Last year, Japan lowered the voting age from 20 to 18 – the first change in seven decades. An election on 10 July to choose members of the upper house of parliament will be the first national poll since the law changed. Officials in the city of Nara have created a five-minute-long anime video on the importance not only of voting, but of making an informed decision at the ballot box. It shows three girls celebrate turning 18, two of whom don’t intend to use their votes. Other characters then warn the girls that it’s never been more important to make their voices heard. It ends with what the paper describes as a “perky, off-key song” about nearing adulthood and thinking for yourself. [BBC]See Video of the Day

Video of the Day –

エンジェルは選挙権がお好き / 井上涼 【18歳選挙権】- Nara City Voting video

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June 29, 2016

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Facebook gives friends higher priority in News Feeds –
Facebook is to give posts by users’ friends and family greater prominence in their News Feeds. The social network said its members had expressed concerns that they were missing “important updates” from the people they cared about. The move reverses a trend towards giving more space to content posted by the news media and brands. One expert said it highlighted that newspapers and broadcasters’ interests did not always match those of the firm. Facebook said that in several surveys it had carried out, users had told it they wanted to see more “friend content”, and it was altering its algorithms to accommodate this. [BBC]

Vietnam capital sets target to ban motorbikes –
Officials in Hanoi are aiming to ban motorbikes from the city centre within 10 years, it’s reported. The local government wants streets to be motorbike-free by 2025 as part of efforts to tackle congestion, the Thanh Nien News website says. The Vietnamese capital has notoriously chaotic roads, with around five million motorbikes vying for space alongside half a million cars. That situation is forecast to get worse in years to come: the authorities estimate that by 2020 there will be seven million motorbikes, and the number of cars will double. “This means the traffic situation in Hanoi will become extremely complicated in the next four to five years, so we really need a timely solution to this,” says mayor Nguyen Duc Chung. The city’s transport authority wants to reduce the number of individual vehicles and boost public transport instead, and its chairman wants the number of buses to double. Construction of a new urban rail system is already under way. [BBC]

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Watch NYers’ Hearts Break As They JUST Miss The Subway Train

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  • A prosecutor in Michigan, United States, is considering whether the words of an African grey parrot could be used to try the woman accused of killing the pet parrot’s owner. (The Guardian)
  • Luxembourg Leaks
    • Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet, two whistleblowers who revealed the Luxembourg Leaks financial scandal, are found guilty of leaking the documents and are given a 12 and nine month suspended sentence and fined 1,500 and €1,000 respectively, while Edouard Perrin, the journalist who was given the leaks, is acquitted of all charges. (BBC)
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June 30, 2016

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Boris Johnson rules himself out of Conservative leader race –
Ex-London mayor Boris Johnson has ruled himself out of the race to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister. In a speech in London – billed as his campaign launch – Mr Johnson said he did not believe he could provide the leadership or unity needed. It comes after Justice Secretary and fellow Brexit campaigner Michael Gove’s surprise announcement on Thursday morning that he would run for leader. Home Secretary Theresa May is among the candidates. Nominations closed at noon. Also in the running are Energy minister Andrea Leadsom and former Defence Secretary Liam Fox – who campaigned to leave the EU – and Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb, who backed Remain. The contest was sparked after David Cameron announced he would resign following the EU referendum result, which saw the UK vote by 52% to 48% to leave the EU. Mr Johnson’s unexpected – and dramatic – announcement that he would not stand for Tory leader or prime minister, positions he is long thought to have harboured ambitions for, has dramatically altered the race. Mr Gove and his team of advisors clearly did not believe Boris Johnson had the spine to fully divorce Britain from the EU. Nor did a number of Tory Mps trust Mr Johnson to deliver the promises he was making in terms of personnel and jobs. When Mr Gove made his move, hardened Brexit believers instantly went with him, sinking Boris Johnson. The irony of course is that Boris Johnson, who did so much to take Britain out of the EU, has seen his own ambitious crushed in the aftermath. It could be that the big winner from this vicious Tory drama is the woman in charge of law and order – Theresa May. [BBC]
Boris_JohnsonBoris Johnson

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CLIMBING THE EIFFEL TOWER + DRONE

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  • Colombian, Italian, and U.S. police seize 11 tonnes of cocaine smuggled to various countries and arrest 33 people across Colombia and Italy after the discovery of seven laboratories in the Colombian jungle run by local organized criminal groups and ‘Ndrangheta. (Reuters)
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