On Friday morning, Israel reported that one of its soldiers had been captured by Palestinian militants using a Hamas tunnel. Later on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chimed in, asking Turkey and Qatar for their help in securing the soldier's release.
"Hamas, which has security control over the Gaza Strip, must immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier, and I call on those with influence over Hamas to reinforce this message," Kerry said in a statement. "The international community must now redouble its efforts to end the tunnel and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life."
At a press conference Friday, President Obama also asked Hamas to release the soldier. "If they are serious about resolving the situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible," Obama said.
Kerry also denounced Friday's killing of two other Israeli soldiers. He has spoken with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Qatar's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Don't worry — this is not the hideous, cold-sore causing herpes you know and hate, which can be extremely harmful for cancer patients. Rather, this version of herpes has been genetically engineered not to cause an active infection.
For several years now, scientists have been experimenting with cancer treatment forms utilizing viruses, an approach called immunotherapy. This particular herpes virus, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, has proven highly effective in combating melanoma, an increasingly common form of skin cancer.
When injected directly into a melanoma, this specially designed herpes can attack the cancer in two ways, by killing the cells directly and additionally "marshalling" the immune system against them. Further, because the virus specifically targets the cancerous cells, there tends to be fewer side effects than with other, more traditional forms of treatment, like chemotherapy.
Combined with additional immunotherapies, this version of herpes improves survival and life extension rates in patients with even advanced stages of cancer. Stephanie Talmadge
Merriam-Webster adds 'jeggings,' 'photobomb,' 'NSFW,' and more new words to its Unabridged dictionary
Bad news, world: Jeggings are here to stay.
At least for now, the "legging that is designed to resemble a tight-fitting pair of denim jeans" has been defined and included in the new edition of the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary, The Washington Post reports.
Also among the more than 1,700 new entries: "photobomb" ("to move into the frame of a photograph as it is being taken as a joke or prank") and "NSFW" ("not safe for work; used to warn someone that a website, email attachment, etc., is not suitable for viewing at most places of employment"). Other additions include techy terms like "clickbait," "meme," and "emoji," and, a bit more randomly, "colossal squid."
It's a question that has bedeviled moguls for millennia: Where do you put your solid gold bucket brimming with weed and coke? If you were a nomadic warlord from the 4th century B.C., you'd hide it in your secret treasure room, of course.
Archaeologists have found just such a room, containing two such objects, hidden beneath an ancient burial mound in southern Russia. The researchers dated the treasure horde to 2,400 years ago and believe it once belonged to the Scythians, a ferocious group of nomads who were contemporaries of the ancient Greeks. All in all, the room contains nearly seven pounds worth of gold artifacts like cups, rings, bracelets, and chokers. Those buckets, though, stole the show.
National Geographic reports:
[Head archaeologist] Belinski asked criminologists in nearby Stavropol to analyze a black residue inside the vessels. The results came back positive for opium and cannabis, confirming a practice first reported by Herodotus. The Greek historian claimed that the Scythians used a plant to produce smoke "that no Grecian vapour-bath can surpass … transported by the vapor, [they] shout aloud."
Because the sticky residue was found on the inside of the vessels, Belinski and Gass think they were used to brew and drink a strong opium concoction, while cannabis was burning nearby. "That both drugs were being used simultaneously is beyond doubt," Gass says. [National Geographic]
In a Morning Joe interview Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blamed Republican "hawks" like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for ISIS' rise and growth.
"ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS," Paul told Joe Scarborough. "These hawks also wanted to bomb Assad, which would have made ISIS' job even easier. They've created these people."
Paul also said that ISIS is "all over Libya" because Republicans "loved Hillary Clinton's war" and "wanted more of it." He also said that both Libya and Iraq are "failed states." Meghan DeMaria
For the first time in 10 years, military regulations at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will prevent lawyers from bringing food to inmates during legal meetings.
Lawyers often bring treats, such as McDonald's Big Mac sandwiches or chocolate chip cookies, with them to legal conferences at the facility.
Prison officials have defended the new regulations, which go into effect Wednesday, for health and safety reasons. But critics say the food helps prisoners cooperate with their lawyers, such as when attorneys got prisoner Abu Wa’el Dhiab to drink juice during a hunger strike.
"It's actually quite tragic for the clients," Alka Pradhan, an attorney, told The Miami Herald. "Sometimes the food we bring is the only thing from the outside world they've seen in months, and they really look forward to it." Meghan DeMaria
Nine top officials of soccer's governing organization FIFA were arrested today in Switzerland and will be extradited to the U.S. to face corruption charges. If you're just getting up to speed on the news, let John Oliver walk you through the inner workings of this "comically grotesque" and "cartoonishly evil" organization — from its kangaroo courts to its shady deals and hilariously megalomaniacal boardrooms. The video is from last year, but the takeaway is all too relevant. --Nico Lauricella
Israeli fighter jets launched four airstrikes in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, the first since a cease-fire between Gaza militants and Israel went into effect last summer following a 50-day war.
Israeli Defense Minster Moshe Yaalon told The Associated Press that the Israeli airstrikes were aimed at the Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian militant group in the Gaza Strip, as well as at Hamas sites, in retaliation for a rocket fired at southern Israel Tuesday night. No Palestinian group, however, claimed responsibility for the rocket attack.
Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told AP the airstrikes targeted "four terror infrastructures" in the Gaza Strip. "The reality that Hamas' territory is used as a staging ground to attack Israel is unacceptable and intolerable and will bear consequences," Lerner told AP. "Israelis cannot be expected to live in the perpetual fear of rocket attacks. The IDF will continue to operate in order to seek out those that wish to undermine Israeli sovereignty with acts of terrorism."
No casualties were reported in the Israeli airstrikes. Meghan DeMaria