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Terrifying before and after images of the Kashmir floods

The BriefYour world right now

September 12th, 2014 | 12:09 PM

ISIL’s ranks are growing—but so are its opponents The CIA now says the Islamic State “can muster between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria,” eclipsing previous estimates that put the number at 10,000. But “several” Arab countries have also signed up to the US-led military campaign against IS, as the Obama administration attempts to a coalition.

September 15th, 2014 | 4:55 AM

An anti-immigrant party makes big gains in Sweden. The Nordic region’s largest economy backed a Social Democrat-led coalition that won 43.7% of the votes, compared to 39.9% for the outgoing right-wing coalition, but the far-right Sweden Democrats won 12.9% of votes, more than double the backing they received in the previous election. “It’s hard to see who is a winner other than that we now have a very large xenophobic party,” said outgoing prime minster Fredrik Reinfeldt.

September 13th, 2014 | 9:08 AM

Russia continues “humanitarian aid” deliveries into Ukraine. Russia sent 220 trucks across the border, saying they contained 1,800 tons of aid. Only 40 were checked by Russian’s border guard before being waved through, and none were inspected by the Red Cross or Ukrainian officials. The week-long ceasefire looks increasingly shaky, with Kyiv saying its forces repelled an attack by Russian-backed separatists on Donetsk’s airport.

September 14th, 2014 | 11:18 AM
Chart of the Moment

Pennies cost more than a penny to make—because of zinc

September 12th, 2014 | 4:09 PM

We’re from the hedge fund industry, and we’re here to help. As the government in Puerto Rico tries to stabilize the island’s economy, more than two dozen hedge funds with a financial stake in the outcome are offering their advice, the New York Times reports. The coaching has included tips on the best economic indicators and suggestions for tightening investor presentations.

September 15th, 2014 | 12:12 AM

Indiana Jones was not an archeologist. Real archeologists grimace when people ask them about Indy, the cinematic hero who behaved more much like a looter than a scientist. “That first scene, where he’s in the temple and he’s replacing that statue with a bag of sand—that’s what looters do,” Tulane’s Marcello Canuto told the blog The Last Word On Nothing. “[The temple builders] are using these amazing mechanisms of engineering and all he wants to do is steal the stupid gold statue.” (via kottke)

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