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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ten Things of Crash and Burn

A church burns in a series of attacks on Christian property in Mosul/AFP
  1. Iraqi Christians are fleeing Mosul after Islamist militants ISIS threatened to kill them unless they converted to Islam or paid a "protection tax", emptying Mosul of Christians for the first time in the history of Iraq. Meanwhile, alongside the destruction of shrines and Shiite mosques, militants from the radical jihadist group are reported to have seized an ancient monastery near Mosul and expelled the monks. (Read more)
  2. As a letter from Gaza by a Norwegian doctor highlights the terrible rising loss of life, at least five people have been killed and seventy injured by an Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza, Palestinians say. Several Israeli tank shells hit the hospital's reception, intensive care unit and operating theatres. (Read more)
  3. The reporting of Israel's incursion into Gaza has been as heated as Israeli rocket fire. A pro-Israel watchdog likened the New York Times to Islamist movement Hamas on a billboard that was erected outside the well-known newspaper's newsroom this week, while hundreds of people have protested against the BBC's coverage of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas with demonstrations in London, Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool taking issue with the BBC's alleged bias towards Israel. Elsewhere, CNN has pulled their female correspondent from covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after she tweeted - and then deleted - that Israelis threatening her and cheering at the bombing of Gaza were "scum".
  4. Celebrities have also fallen foul of the Israeli-Palestine problem. Jewish-American comedian Bill Maher has sparked a bitter backlash online for appearing to condone Israeli aggression in Gaza and domestic violence in one, fell Twitter swoop, and former British Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan was branded a "Zionist scum" after his #FreePalestineAndIsrael tweets. While singer Rihanna tweeted #FreePalestine, deleted it, and then tweeted something far less controversial on the Israel-Gaza conflict instead.
  5. Sky News has been forced to apologise after one of its reporters rummaged through the personal belongings of a victim of flight MH17 live on air, while many people in the Netherlands have changed their social media profile picture to a black square and are using the hashtag #BringThemHome over the MH17 tragedy. (Read more)
  6. A series of videos posted online purport to show racial stereotyping in convenience stores across America - and in doing so have taken social media by storm.
  7. A nine-year-old schoolboy has renewed his wedding vows with a wife more than 50 years older than him in South Africa.
  8. A container filled with millions of Lego pieces fell into the sea off Cornwall in 1997, but instead of remaining at the bottom of the ocean, they are still washing up on Cornish beaches today - offering an insight into the mysterious world of oceans and tides.
  9. Part of Australia's national identity, the Akubra felt hat is made with rabbit fur. They have been given as gifts to visiting dignitaries, worn by Australia's Olympians and military, as well as Hollywood stars.
  10. Singer Shakira has become the world's most liked celebrity on Facebook, setting the record with over 100 million fans, coming ahead of artists such as Rihanna and Eminem.

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