Skimm for July 14th
"The level of pedophilia in the Church is at about 2%" -- Pope Francis revealing that about one in 50 members of the clergy are possibly pedophiles. Big problem.
Violence between Israel and militants on its borders went from bad to worse over the weekend. US Sec. of State John Kerry tried to encourage a cease-fire, but so far, not so good.
Hamas has been launching rockets into Israel, and Israel has been carrying out air strikes in Hamas-run Gaza for over a week. All of the deaths so far have been on the Palestinian side, in part because Israel has a high-tech missile defense system that lets it protect its citizens. Israel says it's continued its policy to warn civilians of coming strikes, in an effort to avoid casualties. Hamas has been accused of using civilians in Gaza as human shields, making this a lot more complicated. This isn't just about the general conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. We're talking about a democratic state versus a militant group (that the US & friends consider a terror group) that doesn't think Israel should exist and has vowed its destruction.
Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza fled their homes amid warnings that more strikes are coming and yesterday, Israel briefly brought in ground troops for the first time. To add to the hot mess, rockets were fired by Israel's other neighbor -- Lebanon -- over the weekend. Because why not? Israel responded with artillery fire. And this morning, Israel says it shot down a drone spotted along its coastline.
The UN is freaking out and it's unclear what Kerry can actually do to help end this.
Last year, the US and friends reached a temporary deal with Iran to pump the brakes on its nuclear program while they worked out a long-term solution. That deadline is coming up, and yesterday, Kerry and the gang got back together in Vienna to try to make it happen. It did not go well.
The world can pretty much agree it doesn't want Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Although Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, no one's buying it. Yesterday, some foreign ministers were so thrilled with the way the talks were going that they reportedly left a few hours after arriving.
This temporary deal was supposed to be a positive solution to calming fears of a nuclear Iran, and easing painful sanctions that have hurt the country's economy. But the only thing doing well in this is Kerry's passport stamp collection.
Kerry also dropped by Afghanistan this weekend to help its leaders avoid a political meltdown that could split up the country.
Afghanistan had a presidential election, but before the results were even announced, one of the candidates accused the other side of voter fraud. Both candidates said 'I won,' and things have been real awk ever since. Kerry flew in to broker a compromise, and announced there would be a full audit of the ballots.
The US has been looking forward to withdrawing most of its troops by the end of the year, and hoped to leave behind a more stable Afghanistan. This wasn't exactly on his itinerary.
Blood, sweat, and Germany. Germany won the World Cup 1-0 yesterday in a match against Argentina that went into extra time. Germany is the first European team to win in South America, so this is history, people. The last time Germany took home the Cup was in 1990, when they beat -- guess who? -- Argentina. Meanwhile, hometown team Brazil lost pretty badly on Saturday while competing for third place. Sadly, having a pass to leave work at 4PM to watch the game isn't forever. RIP football in America.
Putin on an angry face. Things between Russia and Ukraine still aren't warm and fuzzy. Recently, there was kinda sorta a cease-fire between Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists fighting in eastern cities. That didn't last. Ukraine and the West have suspected that Russia has been providing support to the separatists, a charge that Russian President Putin's denied. He's also said Russia will NOT get involved in the fighting. But yesterday, Russia accused Ukraine of firing a shell over the border that killed a Russian civilian. It's the first time Russia's reported a death on its side of the border since the conflict started. Putin's not amused, saying it's "unacceptable." This sets the stage for sh*t to hit the fan, yet again.
It wasn't very long. LeBron James will sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers for a two-year $42.1 million contract. 'Bron 'Bron's clicking his kicks and saying 'there's no place like home' by going back to the team he left behind four years ago. And telling us how he feels in a Sports Illustrated piece. LeBron's former Heat teammate Chris Bosh will be staying in Miami, and is reportedly signing a five-year $118 million deal. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks announced Carmelo Anthony aka Melo is staying on for a reported five-year $122 million contract. That was Melo not taking all he could get. In our next lives, we want to be basketball players.
NSFW: "Not safe for work." Think porn. Or simply that sh*tty f**#ing email from your friend.
On Friday we turn 2. We believe in birthday weeks and you're invited. Like us on Facebook and we'll count it as an RSVP to fun. Then take our quiz. Because who doesn't like world leader spirit animals?
Brian Cavanagh (New York, NY); Jill Clausing (Chicago, IL); Dany Levy (New York, NY); Eden Orion (Boston, MA); Nancy Labinger (Chicago, IL); Rachel Edelman (Los Angeles,CA); Hila DeLong; Jennifer Gomez (Chicago, IL); Kavita Patel; Kayla Tuff (Columbia, SC); Lauren Hoffman; Lauren Miller (Clarksville, MD); Leanne Olsgaard; Laura Baker (Beaufort, SC); Meredith Kutner; Teresa Fata (Lansing, MI); Pam Cesak; Zach Gross (New York, NY); Rachel Rasmussen; Rose Quinn (Grand Rapids, MI); Theodora Patusco; Alexa Kuehl (Madison, WI); Wendy Bornstein; Alicia Youngblood (Houston, TX); Cassandra Wee (Perth, Australia); Ciara Anderson (Olivehurst, CA); Kathleen Rooney (Atlanta, GA); Kira Watkins (Thousand Oaks, CA); Rachel Giattino; Liam Doyle (Philadelphia, PA); Melissa Grosfeld; Meghana Kaloji (Virginia Beach, VA)
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