Russia Burns, Asia Floods, Obama Plays Hoops

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  • More than 700 people per day are dropping dead in Moscow thanks to the poison smoke from the worst fires since Napoleon tried to burn down Russia two centuries ago. But because Putin's Russia doesn't want people thinking the fires are really the problem, doctors have been threatened with dismissal if they diagnose the smoke inhalation victims with smoke inhalation. Meanwhile, around the Cold War-era nuclear weapons factory town of Sarov, Russian troops have dug a five-mile canal to keep the unstoppable drought-caused wildfires from reaching the nukes and burning a hole through the center of the Earth. [Reuters/RIA Novosti/Guardian]
  • Flood-caused landslides have killed 127 people and washed away another 2,000 in China's Gansu province, while more disastrous rains are either falling or predicted for seven other Chinese provinces. Thousands of troops are blasting through the rubble in the rivers to prevent more dams from overflowing. The summer deluge has killed more than a thousand, destroyed 900,000 homes and forced the evacuation of some 10 million people, so far. [Bloomberg/Wikipedia/BBC News]
  • In Pakistan, more than 6 million people (according to the UN) or 12 million or 14 million people (according to the government in Islamabad) have been hit by the worst flooding in the country's history. It was terrible in the north of the country, and now it's terrible in the south -- some 1,600 have been killed so far. [Hindustan Times/Sky News]
  • While his wife-queen toured her Muslim kingdom of Spain with Marie Antoinette, Barack Obama called the nation's basketball stars to his Royal Court for a game of hoops to amuse the soldiers injured in his Imperial wars. [Washington Post]
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