Anguish turned into outrage today as miners and their families struggled to come to terms with a tragic coal mine disaster that has claimed at least 282 lives. Scores are still missing, and it is feared the death toll will rise above 400. Turkey’s trade unions are demanding accountability for the disaster and have called for a one-day strike. Union bosses believe the recent privatization of the mining sector has worsened working conditions. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, drew harsh criticism by suggesting such mining accidents were not unusual.
The Presidential Daily Brief
A melted phone, charred bits of building, a dusty stairway and a mangled fire truck deep in the bowels of what used to be the World Trade Center provide a chilling flashback to 9/11. The National September 11 Memorial Museum ceremonially opens today with President Obama present to mark the occasion at Ground Zero. The museum, which also features videos of the planes crashing into the towers and photos of the victims, will open to the public next week. One survivor called visiting the museum a “powerful and necessary experience.”
It’s going to be a dangerous summer. Just a day after firefighters managed to battle back fires in a 700-acre area near San Diego, a second wave of nearby blazes filled the sky with black smoke and triggered at least 11,000 evacuations in Carlsbad. Schools are closed in several San Diego County districts, and a local college in San Marcos has been evacuated in the middle of finals. County officials have declared an emergency and are appealing to the state to provide support for the overwhelmed firefighters. The military and some 120 deputy sheriffs have been mobilized.
Reporters at The New York Times were left reeling yesterday after the newspaper’s first female executive editor, Jill Abramson, was suddenly replaced. Her former deputy, Dean Baquet, has become the first African-American head of the 163-year-old newspaper. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger said Abramson left over an “issue with management.” While Abramson’s brusque management style was known to irk some, The New Yorker reports that she had a falling out over a pay gap after discovering her male predecessor earned more than she did.
U.S. shifts policy on AIDS prevention, promotes use of pill. (NYT).
South Korea ferry captain and three crew members indicted for homicide. (Reuters).
Japan’s growth surprises in first quarter at 5.9 percent. (FT) sub.
Boko Haram kill four Nigerian soldiers in ambush. (The Telegraph).
21 killed in anti-China riots in Vietnam. (Al Jazeera).
A 15-month-old baby plunged from a balcony at his parents’ Minneapolis apartment and miraculously survived. Musa Dayib reportedly slipped through the balcony bars of the family’s 11th floor apartment. Although he suffered several fractures and a concussion, he is said to be in critical but stable condition. For most, such a fall would have proven deadly, but doctors say young children have the advantage of being more flexible. Musa had the added luck of landing in a small patch of mulch.
The Dutch capital’s Red Light District is world renowned for red-lit windows featuring scantily clad prostitutes and cafes selling space cookies, but there’s a new wave of entrepreneurs redefining the area and bringing in a different brand of clientele. Fashionistas, coffee connoisseurs and especially locals, rather than foreign tourists looking for a good time, have all found something interesting in the revived area. The phenomenon may be gentrification’s final frontier, but Amsterdam’s prostitutes are up in arms, claiming their livelihood is at stake. Will hipsters conquer one of Europe’s most notorious historic attractions?
There is to be no more discrimination against female mice in experiments. That’s the word from the National Institutes of Health. As increasing numbers of drugs prove to work far differently for women than for men, the NIH is demanding that female animals or tissues be involved in initial lab tests. Researchers have almost exclusively dealt with male animals in the past, even while testing drugs for women, because of concerns that hormone fluctuations in females could skew results. From now on though, scientists need to ensure a level playing field for the mice.
The Cannes Film Festival opened last night with a screening of Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman. But the film depicting Grace Kelly’s transformation from Hollywood star to princess has generated some royally bad reviews, with one critic noting that it whipped up “more drama off screen than on.” The Weinstein Company, which produced the film, delayed its release twice over disputes with the director, Olivier Dahan, on final edits. And Monaco’s royal family have claimed the film is inaccurate. Despite its glamorous subject, this movie may struggle to reign.
The Montreal Canadiens faced an unfriendly opponent last night. Bruins fans shouted deafeningly as the puck dropped, but their opponents weren’t phased, winning 3-1 and moving on to face the Rangers in the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals. Montreal’s Max Pacioretty, who scored to put Montreal up 2-0 in the second, acknowledged the long-time rivalry and the ”bad feeling between Boston and Montreal.” That tension apparently didn’t end when the game was over; social media buzzed about Boston’s Milan Lucic taunting two Canadiens in the post-game handshake line.