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TDB Top 5 International Stories: Monday 22nd May 2017

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5: There Was No One Else on Earth Like Chris Cornell
4: How Israel is targeting Palestinian institutions
3: Revealed: Facebook’s internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence
2: Trump vows to meet ‘history’s great test’ by conquering extremism

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5: There Was No One Else on Earth Like Chris Cornell

The Soundgarden vocalist was an icon with one of the greatest voices we’ll ever hear. He’ll live on Grunge Rushmore for eternity.

Grunge was a perfectly named genre. In one syllable, it conjured a lightless constellation of filth. Sludgy guitars, primal howls, and second-hand flannel. Opiated Seattle art goons gloomily monopolizing American teen angst for a half-generation—inspiring 100,000 regrettable tattoos and threatening to put the nation’s barbers out of business.

All genres are partial fictions, but some seem truer than others. And Soundgarden was platonic grunge—head banging, mythic, and absorbent of those violent tantrums of adolescent frustration. In 1991, their lead singer Chris Cornell, then 27, claimed that there wasn’t a day where he wasn’t angry. He died two days ago, now 52, having tragically discovered only temporary respites in the intervening decades.

Rimbaud’s narcissistic myth of compulsory derangement has been invalidated too often to appear remotely sound. But occasionally you’re forced to consider a particularly tenebrous force like Chris Cornell, found with a noose around his neck in a Detroit hotel room. A fracturing punctuation to a brilliant career—a paralyzingly sad end that re-contextualizes the source of the subterranean depths and supernatural highs that his voice channeled.

Vice News

4: How Israel is targeting Palestinian institutions

Jerusalem – When Israeli police showed up at the maps and survey department of the Arab Studies Society’s office in Jerusalem last month, director Khalil Tufakji was surprised to receive a six-month shutdown order.

Police proceeded to confiscate computers and the main server, along with posters and maps that had hung on the walls. Tufakji, along with the equipment, was swiftly transferred to the Jerusalem-based Moscobiyeh interrogation centre, also known as the Russian Compound.

The Israeli order alleged that Tufakji’s office was working for the Palestinian Authority (PA), and police later accused the office of investigating land sales to Israelis on behalf of the PA.


3:  Revealed: Facebook’s internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence

Facebook’s secret rules and guidelines for deciding what its 2 billion users can post on the site are revealed for the first time in a Guardian investigation that will fuel the global debate about the role and ethics of the social media giant.

The Guardian has seen more than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts that give unprecedented insight into the blueprints Facebook has used to moderate issues such as violence, hate speech, terrorism, pornography, racism and self-harm.

The Guardian  

2: Trump vows to meet ‘history’s great test’ by conquering extremism

Donald Trump has staked a claim as a figure who can mobilise the Muslim world against extremism, using his much anticipated speech on Islam as a rallying call for global cooperation rooted in reform, trade and faith.

Speaking in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in front of leaders from more than 40 Muslim nations, the US president vowed to meet “history’s great test” by conquering extremism with the help of countries who have suffered most from it. In a marked divergence from strident anti-Islamic rhetoric that characterised his campaign, he instead pledged not to “lecture” or “tell other people how to live … or how to worship”.

The address was the most significant in Trump’s five embattled months in office, establishing him as an ambitious leader, prepared to revamp views and policies in order to win trust or secure a global peace that has eluded all other administrations in the era of global jihad.

The Guardian 


ON THE AFTERNOON of April 23, an American drone flying over the remote Al Said area of Yemen’s Shabwah province observed a group of men gathering to eat lunch at a security checkpoint.

Mansoor Allahwal Baras, a former Yemeni Army lieutenant in his late thirties, was chief of the checkpoint, and his younger cousin Nasir, 23, was also stationed there. Khalid, another cousin Nasir’s age, was home on vacation from Malaysia, where he was studying English and aiming for his bachelor’s degree. A car full of five others joined them — local militants, but familiar to the Baras men — and they sent someone else to fetch lunch.

As the drone hovered over them, the men did not panic or flee. For many in the region, the buzzing sound of American drones in the sky has become part of the rhythm of daily life.

But then the drone unleashed its payload of missiles, and in an instant, the impromptu gathering was transformed into a nightmare of heat, smoke, and shrapnel. All eight men were killed.

Mansoor’s nephew, Ammar Salim Farid Alawlaqi, heard the explosion from his home nearby, but he didn’t know who had been killed until a cousin called shortly after to tell him what had happened. By some accounts, a second missile had struck his relatives as they went to aid the others.

“We went to the cemetery and found Mansoor, Khalid, and Nasir, all but pieces of flesh [so] that we were not able to tell their appearances,” Alawlaqi told The Intercept in a phone interview. “It was a shock no human can accept and there’s anger at the U.S. government.”

The day after the strike, a Pentagon spokesperson said that the U.S. had killed “eight Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists.” Pentagon officials later added that a key AQAP leader, Abu Ahmed Al Awlaqi, had been among those hit.

The Intercept


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