According to Syrian human rights groups and reports from the region, between 120 and 150 people were killed in a series of bombings in Syria yesterday. Terrorists from the radical Islamic group ISIS set off car bombs, suicide bombs and even launched rockets in three Syrian cities. The attacks targeted Alawite Muslims, a minority sect that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad belongs to.
The cities targeted in the attacks—Jableh and Tartus—have been Assad strongholds up to this point, and have been relatively isolated from the violence of the country’s long-running civil war.
The bombings targeted civilians: In addition to striking a crowded bus station, another of the blast went off in the emergency room of a hospital. Discuss
President Obama will visit the city of Hiroshima this week during his weeklong visit to several Asian countries, but the White House says that he has no plans to apologize on behalf of the United States for dropping a nuclear bomb there during WWII. He will be the first president ever to visit the city.
According to White House officials, the president will focus his message while in the country on reconciliation, the importance of international partnerships and the tragic costs of war. In an interview with a Japanese public radio station, the president was asked directly about whether or not he would apologize:
No, because I think that it's important to recognize that in the midst of war, leaders make all kinds of decisions. It's a job of historians to ask questions and examine them, but I know as somebody who has now sat in this position for the last seven and a half years, that every leader makes very difficult decisions, particularly during war time.
The issue is still a politically sensitive one. A nuclear bomb dropped on the city during the summer of 1945 killed tens of thousands of civilians and leveled much of the area. Though the bombings are still debated, some historians credit them with helping to end WWII. Discuss
The first of more than 200 girls abducted in a brazen mass kidnapping in Northern Nigeria has been rescued. According to some witnesses, she was reportedly found when she wandered out of a forest along with a baby and a man she said is her husband, seeking help.
She’s the first of the missing to be found since the initial kidnapping, though 57 escaped in the immediate aftermath. Since then, Boko Haram has continued their campaign of suicide bombings, village raids, sex trafficking, forced conversions and kidnappings throughout the country. Though, in recent months, a coalition of military forces have made strides in fighting the militant group.
This week, officials in the country rescued dozens of kidnapping victims during military offensives against the radical Islamic group. They say that one of them was also originally kidnapped during the mass abduction at the school in 2014 that shocked the world and led to the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign.
Some families of the victims have disputed reports from the military today that other girls rescued in the recent military raid were from the school in Chibok. The young victim is currently receiving medical attention.
According to the first girl who was rescued earlier this week, six of the at least 218 of her classmates kidnapped in 2014, who are still missing, have died. Discuss
An HIV vaccine may be closer to becoming a reality. A team of researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified a powerful antibody in the blood of an HIV patient that may hold clues on how to find an effective way to prevent the virus that causes AIDS.
Essentially, the antibody binds itself to certain cells, which prevents HIV from actually infecting cells. A potential treatment will still need to be tested and fully developed—which could take years—but the scientists are hopeful that the latest discovery could be the breakthrough they’ve been looking for in the fight against AIDS. Discuss
The World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute have just revealed the results of a shocking new study that found that around the world, 25% of all pregnancies now end in abortion.
The researchers, whose data was published in The Lancet, found an unexpected rise in the number of abortions taking place in recent years, from 50 million annually during the four year period of 1990 - 1994 to 56 million during the period between 2010 - 2014.
Notably, the research found the highest numbers of abortions in Latin America, where one in every three pregnancies are aborted. The most significant raises in numbers across the world were in developing countries.
Also notable was a stark drop in abortions in developed countries including the United States, Canada and parts of Europe, where they have reached three-decade lows.
One of the interesting findings was also the lack of correlation between abortion being illegal and the number of actual abortions performed. Essentially, according to the researchers, making abortion illegal does not make it less prevalent in many parts of the world, meaning women seeking abortions will have them performed illegally if they want the procedure. Discuss
Teenagers these days. They are just so obsessed with their hoverboards, selfie-sticks and ancient civilization discoveries, that sometimes we worry about the young generation. A Canadian 15-year-old named William Gadoury only furthered our concerns about the next generation, by using historical clues to possibly discover the long-lost Mayan City he calls “The Fire Mouth” by analyzing satellite imagery on Google maps.
Gadoury said that Mayan cities often corresponded with the location of constellations, because of their beliefs about agricultural cycles. Young Gadoury then did something no historian, researcher or archaeologist had thought to. He mapped out where a city should be by adding the location of a new constellation. (Like we said, kids these days!) Sure enough, once he checked out the location via satellite imagery, he found evidence of the ancient culture.
Dr. Armand LaRocque of the University of New Brunswick, who helped Gadoury on the project, told The San Francisco Gate, “Geometric shapes, such as squares or rectangles, appeared in these images, forms that can hardly be attributed to natural phenomenon.” Teenagers!
Additional researchers have yet to confirm the authenticity of the discovery. Discuss