Iraq Awaits

Violence has preceded this weekend's election which will establish a four-year parliamentary-style government in Iraq under monitoring from 120 international officials.

Violence has preceded this weekend's election which will establish a four-year parliamentary-style government in Iraq under monitoring from 120 international officials. "At least three people have been killed in the holy city of Najaf after a car bomb exploded a day before Iraq's parliamentary elections, police say. Saturday's blast gutted two buses parked at a garage near the revered Imam Ali shrine, which draws millions of Shia worshippers from Iraq and Iran each year. Anita MacNaught, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Baghdad, said three people had been killed, while medical officials in Najaf put the toll at one dead and eight wounded. 'Two of the dead were Iranian pilgrims. The casualty figures at this stage - we have 54 injured and, again, mixed: Iranian and Iraq,' she said. 'The bomb was in a car park some 500km from the Imam Ali shrine. As far as we are aware, the Imam Ali shrine itself has not been damaged in any sense. One of the reasons the bomb was so far away was because of the protective cordon around the site."

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
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Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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Unraveling the mystery behind dogs' floppy ears

Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
  • Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
  • Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
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