Finger-pointing has turned to satellite imagery: U.S. State Department officials have released photos they say prove Russian troops are firing rockets into eastern Ukraine. The images show rocket-launch “blast marks” in Russia and craters in the Ukraine, as well as artillery in Russia “oriented in the direction of a Ukrainian military unit within Ukraine.” Russia’s response? To refer to the fighting as an “internal conflict.” Fighting continued yesterday between separatists and Ukrainian troops, killing at least 13 civilians.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The militants terrorizing Nigeria are getting bolder and setting their sights on Cameroon. Boko Haram waged a deadly cross-border attack against the country’s Vice-Prime Minister Ahmadou Ali, killing three. Ali escaped, but his wife was kidnapped. African nations have increased border patrols to stem the tide of Boko Haram militants, but the vast northern border between the two countries remains largely ungoverned. If it is to prevent terrorism at home, Cameroon must turn back the increasingly brazen militants coming from abroad.
The contagious hemorrhagic fever — which has killed 660 recently in West Africa — has begun plaguing doctors in Liberia and has spread into Nigeria. Samuel Brisbane, the first Liberian doctor to fall ill, died in Monrovia, and now American physician Kent Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol are ill. Officials in Nigeria were alarmed over the weekend when a man died of the disease after flying into Lagos — Africa’s largest city — and have begun screening travelers.
The 42-million strong Argentine republic is facing its third sovereign debt default in three decades. This Wednesday, the government will have to tell “hold-out” creditors they are unable to meet their $539 million interest payment. The last failure to pay was in 2001, wreaking havoc on Argentinians with nearly 25 percent unemployment. An immediate tremor is bound to shake Argentina’s markets, but the situation is not as dire as before, and emerging markets are expected to be sheltered from the storm.
UN calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire. (CNN)
Ten homes destroyed in Sierra Nevada blazes. (ABC)
Surviving students testify at South Korea ferry trial. (DW)
Lightning kills one, injures 14 at California beach. (LA Times)
Police: Japanese schoolgirl dismembers classmate. (BBC)
Stick that in your pipe…The New York Times is backing nationwide legalization of marijuana, calling the 44-year ban as outdated as Prohibition once was. The Gray Lady’s editorial board urged the federal government to repeal the marijuana ban, rather than wait for more states to experiment with legalization. It noted that the social costs — including 658,000 arrests in 2012 alone — outweigh the “relatively minor problems” of addiction and dependence, which is sure to light up the debate.
Scientists have discovered that six seconds of repeated high-intensity exercise — about two minutes a week — is enough for retirees to improve their health and extend their lives. Participants in a recent study did two weekly sessions of six-second sprints on an exercise bike, resulting in lower blood pressure, boosted fitness and improved self image. Six seconds to a fitter you may sound like a dodgy diet ad, but on second thought …
Naming Germany’s Warren Buffett is difficult because, unlike U.S. and British counterparts who court the media, Germany’s über-rich fly under the radar. Susanne Klatten, Germany’s richest woman and daughter of BMW wealth, for example, started working life at the bottom as an apprentice. She worked at a factory and even dated under assumed names. With private wealth more unevenly distributed in Germany than any other eurozone nation, it perhaps make sense that the ones with the highest incomes keep the lowest profiles.
Would Bart Simspon have a prayer in a showdown against Stewie Griffin for the title of animation’s baddest boy? Probably not, based on a five-minute sneak peek of the historic Family Guy and Simpsons crossover episode at Comic-Con in San Diego. Peter and Homer sample donuts and beer together, and have a radioactive confrontation at the Springfield power plant. The fallout? Tune in to The Simpsons Guy on September 28 on Fox to find out.
An Atlanta-heavy crowd of nearly 50,000 fans filled the Clarks Sports Center yesterday to cheer as baseball’s finest were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Braves giants, including manager Bobby Cox, pitcher Tom Glavine, and pitcher Greg Maddux, joined the legends alongside Chicago slugger Frank Thomas, and all-time great managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa. Thomas’ emotional speech got the tears rolling, and the Braves fans — complete with an impromptu tomahawk chop — stole the show.