Trouble in Istanbul… And Other News

Istanbul Riots

Trouble in Istanbul, Turkey – and surprisingly not because of Syria!

Turkish police are using tear gas and hoses to shoo 10,000 rioters away from Gezi Park in Istanbul. The demonstrators have been camped out since Monday in an attempt to stop police from demolishing the treasured park in the city’s center—which houses trees up to 75 years old. The literal tree huggers are angry at the decision to turn the Istanbul park into a shopping mall. But many are also unhappy with the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his increasingly authoritarian rule. Last week, Turkey’s parliament approved legislation restricting the sale and advertising of alcoholic drinks. Erdogan is apparently more into yogurt drinks. I guess I’d be pretty angry too – yogurt sucks. BBC News 

Red Cross JalalalalalabadIt wasn’t us! On Wedneday the Red Cross in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan was attacked when a suicide bomber blasted open the gates of the agency’s offices, killing a security guard and allowing two attackers to storm the building. After the attack, all eyes shifted towards the Taliban. But the Taliban is insisting it wasn’t them: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants to clarify to everyone that it was neither behind the May 29 attack on the I.C.R.C. office in Jalalabad city nor does it support such attacks,” said a statement read by a Taliban spokesman. The Taliban normally leaves the Red Cross alone, praising the group for its neutral stance in the conflict and instructing its fighters not to harm Red Cross workers. But if not the Taliban, then who? New York Times

Arvind Mahankali, 13, with his Scripps National Spelling Bee trophyWhen kids put the rest of us to shame: 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali from Queens, New York won the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The crowd went wild (well, as wild as a spelling bee crowd can get) when Arvind won with the word “knaidel,” a German-derived Yiddish word meaning “a small mass of leavened dough.” Arvind was one of 11 spellers to reach the final and beat out 280 other contestants to take home $30,000 in prize money. Huffington Post

Dengue FeverThey’ve got the fever! The dengue fever… Singapore is bracing for its worst ever dengue fever epidemic. Infections this year have already exceeded the total for all of 2012 AND while dengue usually hits the elderly and children the hardest, the first dengue fatality of the year was a 20-year-old man who died of dengue shock syndrome on Wednesday. “This is the first dengue death case this year and it highlights the urgency for greater community vigilance to stamp out possible mosquito breeding spots,” a government statement said late Thursday. Remember kids, if they breed, you WILL bleed. Internally. Raw Story 

Crime Scene PhotosGraphic photos of the infamous Oscar Pistorius crime scene have been leaked, including an image of the bloody bathroom where the South African double-amputee Olympian shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death. Pistorius still denies any wrongdoing in the ‘Valentine’s Day gone wrong’ incident, claiming he mistook her for a nighttime intruder – which apparently are quite common in South Africa. Will he be found guilty? Well, the police investigation into the killing won’t be even be completed until August, so who knows. National Post

APTOPIX Severe WeatherWas the Moore tornado only the eye of the tornado? Is that even a thing? I don’t think it is… Ten days after a major tornado leveled the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, killing about two dozen people, three more (not Moore) tornados struck the unlucky in love state. A few others decided to pay Arizona a visit, injuring nine people along the way. It’s not over yet though: forecasters warned that large hail and more tornadoes could continue to strike parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri on Friday. Meanwhile in Toronto, it’s 30 degrees and sunny! Suckers. CBC News

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