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globalpost:

Years after the Obama administration announced a “deliberate and strategic decision” to pivot to Asia, the US president is trying to revive the foreign policy initiative with a trip to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

As President Barack Obama headed to his first stop — Japan — reports emerged that nearly 150 Japanese lawmakers had visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine on Tuesday, a move that could potentially raise tensions with neighbors China and South Korea. 

The shrine honors those who gave their lives fighting for Japan. But more controversially, it also enshrines several war criminals executed found guilty of “crimes against peace” in the Tokyo trials following World War II.

Did Japanese lawmakers intend to provoke Obama by honoring war criminals?

Photos by AFP/Getty Images

Source: globalpost.com
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globalpost:

JERUSALEM — In the last year, fewer Israelis were killed by terrorist attacks than at any point since the outbreak of the second intifada. But as Palestinian terrorism has receded, bombings haven’t stopped. In fact, they may be increasing.

This time the perpetrators aren’t jihadists, but rather much more technologically advanced organized crime groups. Israelis are discovering the drawbacks of a society where everyone serves in the army: a whole lot of citizens know how to use explosives.

In October of last year, a known criminal living in the northern Israeli city of Haifa was gunned down in an underground parking garage. Three days later in Ashkelon, in the south, a powerful car bomb shook the buildings downtown, gravely injuring two alleged associates of the Domrani crime family who were inside the vehicle. One later died of his wounds.

These were the opening shots fired in a mob war that has been raging throughout Israel for much of the last six months.

Israel’s nightmare: Mobsters with the tactics of terrorists and the tools of the Israeli army

Photo by AFP/Getty Images

Source: globalpost.com
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reuters:

A group of space explorers say the chance of a city-obliterating asteroid striking Earth is higher than scientists previously believed - but it’s not all bad news. Full story: http://reut.rs/Qz1ZuG

Source: reuters
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#marseille #psg #press #pacman #om #radiovl #rap #super #sport #sun #water #chicago #veyron #roma #love #legend #teampsg #teamom #travel #teamitalia #teamroma #totti #asroma #italia good day ⚽️⚽️✌️✌️👍👏☀️😎

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theatlantic:

What the Shift to Mobile Means for Blind News Consumers

If a website is designed haphazardly, it doesn’t only look out of control. The user experience can be just as messy for someone who can’t see.

"News apps are just completely frustrating," said Christopher Danielsen, spokesman for the National Federation of the Blind. ”Blind people, the way we deal with this, is we share information about what apps tend to work, so I don’t tend to download something unless I have a pretty good sense that I’m going to be able to deal with it.” 

The problem with much of the web—and, in particular, its newsier corners—is that it’s designed without consideration for people who aren’t navigating by sight. In many cases, the busier a website looks, the harder it is for people who use tools like audio screen-readers to get where they want to go, or even figure out where to go in the first place.

But Danielsen says design for accessibility is getting much better, albeit largely by accident. “The mobile world is taking over where the web used to be dominant,” he told me. “For blind people as well as for sighted people in many cases, that’s a good thing.”

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Source: The Atlantic
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theatlantic:

The Privatization Backlash

For decades, city and state governments have seen contracting as a cost-saving panacea. But past experience has left some of today’s policymakers more skeptical.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Source: The Atlantic
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theatlantic:

Why Shakespeare Belongs in Prison

It’s his 450th birthday, and The Bard has never appealed to a wider or more diverse audience. American higher-ed English departments may be teaching him less than they used to, but the Internet and modern film and TV interpretations have helped democratize appreciation of his works around the world. That’s only fitting: In Shakespeare’s era, the royalty in attendance at his productions was joined by crowds of commoners called “groundlings” and “stinkards” who paid a penny to stand in the pit, sweltering in the heat, while even more milled about outside. 

There’s one “commoner” population to whom Shakespeare can hold special significance: convicts. Recent decades have seen a proliferation of programs in prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers meant to introduce the accused to works found in the Folios and Quartos. While arts outreach efforts in correctional environments are nothing new, any diehard Shakespearean might recognize how his works appeal uniquely to the criminally accused, one of society’s most marginalized populations.

Laura Bates, author of Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary With the Bard, described teaching the plays in a super-max facility housing the most violent criminals in the system in an interview last year with NPR. The book’s title comes from the words of one inmate, convicted of murder as a teenager and placed in solitary confinement for years.

“The day that I came knocking on his cell door,” Bates explained, “his life had been so desperate, so bleak for so many years that he was literally at the point of suicide. And so in that sense by Shakespeare coming along, presenting something positive in his life for maybe the first time, giving him a new direction, it did literally keep him from taking his own life.”

Read more. [Image: AP]

Source: The Atlantic
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naturevalley:

You might be old, Grand Canyon. Really old. But we’ll always marvel at you. 

Source: naturevalley
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