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The Real Truth - A Magazine Restoring Plain Understanding

  • World News Desk
  • MIDDLE EAST

Lebanon’s prime minister stepped down from his job Monday in the wake of the catastrophic explosion in Beirut that has triggered public outrage, saying he has come to the conclusion that corruption in the country is “bigger than the state.”

The move risks opening the way to dragged-out negotiations over a new Cabinet amid urgent calls for reform. It follows a weekend of anti-government protests after the August 4 explosion in Beirut’s port that decimated the facility and caused widespread destruction, killing at least 160 people and injuring about 6,000 others.

  • World News Desk
  • AFRICA

As a domestic worker, Amsale Hailemariam knew from the inside out the luxury villas that had grown up around her simple shelter of raw metal and plastic sheeting. And in them, she saw how her country, Ethiopia, had transformed.

The single mother told herself, “Oh God, a day will come when my life will be changed, too.” The key lay in her daughter, just months from a career in public health, who studied how to battle the illnesses of want and hunger.

  • World News Desk
  • SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Virginia has rolled out a smartphone app to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus, becoming the first U.S. state to use new pandemic technology created by Apple and Google.

But hopes for a nationwide app that can work seamlessly across state borders remain unrealized, and there are no known federal plans to create one. State officials say their new app will not work as well outside Virginia, at least until a group of coordinating public health agencies gets a national server up and running and other states join in.

Learn the why behind the headlines.

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  • World News Desk
  • ASIA

Tetsuko Shakuda was a frightened 14-year-old when she resumed her work as a conductor on a tram line in the devastated city of Hiroshima, just three days after the atomic bomb exploded 75 years ago, badly damaging the tracks and most of the trams.

Ms. Shakuda was one of a group of young women trained for such work as the war intensified and growing numbers of male workers were drafted to fight.

  • World News Desk
  • CRIME & PUNISHMENT

Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police early Monday in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city’s downtown.

Chicago police exchanged gunfire with looters and arrested more than 100 people after crowds swarmed the luxury commercial district, police said.

  • World News Desk
  • EDUCATION

The Associated Press – It depends on how widespread COVID-19 infections are in the community and the safety measures the school takes. In areas where the virus is poorly controlled, public health experts say in-person education would be too risky.

In areas where the virus appears to be under control, experts say schools still need to make adjustments to minimize risk when reopening. A sustained decline in cases and a positive case rate of less than 2 percent are among the signs the virus is under control, some experts say.

  • World News Desk
  • GEOPOLITICS

China on Thursday accused the United States of stoking a new Cold War because certain politicians were searching for a scapegoat to bolster support ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.

U.S. President Donald Trump identifies China as the West’s main rival, and has accused President Xi Jinping of taking advantage over trade and not telling the truth over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

  • World News Desk
  • TERRORISM & SECURITY

Militants affiliated with the Islamic State group stormed a prison in eastern Afghanistan in a daylong siege that left at least 39 people dead, including the assailants, and freed nearly 400 of their fighters before security forces restored order, a government official said Monday.

The attack underscored that the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan is still a formidable presence, and it highlighted the challenges ahead as U.S. and NATO forces begin to withdraw following Washington’s peace deal with the Taliban.

  • World News Desk
  • AFRICA

A new UN refugee agency report on migrants who braved long and often-deadly land routes to Libya has found that government officials, such as border guards, police and soldiers, in the African countries they crossed were responsible for nearly half of all cases of physical violence against them.

The finding, which is bound to raise calls for greater accountability, comes in a report Wednesday from refugee agency UNHCR and the Danish Refugee Council. It seeks to chronicle cases of violence and death that have been hard to track along the often-deserted routes to Libya—the top launch pad for Mediterranean crossings toward Europe.

  • World News Desk
  • AMERICAS

Silvia Puntano, a mother of seven from the poor Buenos Aires suburb of Villa Azul, these days has only one thing on her mind: where to find her next meal.

“Every day, I go from one community kitchen to another, I go there to look for food,” the 37-year-old said. “Other days I have to dig around and go outside [to ask] because even though I receive financial support, but it is not enough.”

  • World News Desk
  • ASIA

Bells tolled in Hiroshima on Thursday for the 75th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing. Though thousands usually pack the Peace Park in the center of the Japanese city to pray, sing and offer paper cranes as a symbol of peace, entrance was sharply limited and only survivors and their families could attend the memorial ceremony.

Survivors, their relatives and officials marked the 8:15 a.m. blast anniversary with a minute of silence.

  • World News Desk
  • POLITICS

Federal authorities say one of the gravest threats to the November election is a well-timed ransomware attack that could paralyze voting operations. The threat is not just from foreign governments, but any fortune-seeking criminal.

Ransomware attacks targeting state and local governments have been on the rise, with cyber criminals seeking quick money by seizing data and holding it hostage until they get paid. The fear is that such attacks could affect voting systems directly or even indirectly, by infecting broader government networks that include electoral databases.

  • World News Desk
  • SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Just how old is the universe? Astrophysicists have been debating this question for decades. In recent years, new scientific measurements have suggested the universe may be hundreds of millions of years younger than its previously estimated age of approximately 13.8 billion years.


  • World News Desk
  • MIDDLE EAST

Lebanese rescue workers dug through the mangled wreckage of buildings on Wednesday looking for survivors after a massive warehouse explosion sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut, killing at least 135 people and injuring nearly 5,000.

Here’s what officials say caused the blast…

  • World News Desk
  • CRIME & PUNISHMENT

July in Chicago ended as it began: Mourning the death of a child whose only mistake was venturing outside to play when someone armed with a gun came to the neighborhood hunting for an enemy.

On Monday, two days after his department released statistics that revealed the month had been one of the deadliest in the history of the city, Police Superintendent David Brown repeated what has become a grim ritual of recounting the death of a child.

  • World News Desk
  • WEATHER & ENVIRONMENT

Evacuation orders remained in place early Monday for thousands of people after a wildfire in mountains east of Los Angeles exploded in size and forced crews to battle flames in triple-digit heat.

The Apple Fire in Riverside County consumed more than 31 square miles of dry brush and timber, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

  • World News Desk
  • INTERNATIONAL

More than 40 countries accused North Korea on Friday of illicitly breaching a United Nations cap on refined petroleum imports and called for an immediate halt to deliveries until the end of the year, according to a complaint seen by Reuters.

The 15-member UN Security Council imposed an annual cap of 500,000 barrels in December 2017 in a bid to cut off fuel for North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

  • World News Desk
  • WEATHER & ENVIRONMENT

BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – More than one million people in Phnom Penh face the risk of increased flooding and loss of livelihoods as wetlands in the Cambodian capital are destroyed to build apartments and industries, human rights groups warned on Monday.

Developments—including the ING City township—will reduce the Tompoun wetlands to less than a tenth of its 5.8 square miles, and lead to the eviction of more than 1,000 families who live on its edge, activists said in a report.

  • World News Desk
  • MIDDLE EAST

Iran has moved a mock-up U.S. aircraft carrier to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, satellite images show, suggesting it will use the look-alike vessel for target practice in war games in a Gulf shipping channel vital to world oil exports.

The use of dummy American warships has become an occasional feature of training by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and its naval forces, including in 2015 when Iranian missiles hit a mock-up resembling a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

  • World News Desk
  • SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Google and Facebook took particularly sharp jabs for alleged abuse of their market power from Democrats and Republicans on Wednesday in a much-anticipated congressional hearing that put four of America’s most prominent tech CEOs in the hot seat.

The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives antitrust panel holding the hearing said afterwards that the four CEOs had acknowledged concerning behavior.

  • World News Desk
  • HEALTH ISSUES

Evidence emerging around the world suggests that people who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of getting more severely ill with COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus.

Scientists are still learning about which specific mechanisms might explain this link, but they say some likely factors are:

  • World News Desk
  • EUROPE

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday the Russian Navy would be armed with hypersonic nuclear strike weapons and underwater nuclear drones, which the defense ministry said were in their final phase of testing.

Mr. Putin, who says he does not want an arms race, has often spoken of a new generation of Russian nuclear weapons that he says are unequalled and can hit almost anywhere in the world. Some Western experts have questioned how advanced they are.

  • World News Desk
  • ECONOMY & PERSONAL FINANCE

The price of gold surged to a record above $1,934 per ounce on Monday as investors moved money into an asset seen as a safe haven amid jitters about U.S.-Chinese tension and the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

It added 2 percent to surpass its 2011 highs, and put $2,000 per ounce in sight. Silver climbed 7.5 percent, to take its July streak past 30 percent, which would be its best month on record.

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