World Wrap

India starts mass cremation of monsoon flooding victims

India cleans up after devastating floods, Obama arrives in Africa, and Turkey asks for tighter rein over Twitter. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

A member of the rescue operation team of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), or Armed Border Force, walks toward the officers training center damaged by floods at their campus in Srinagar in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Himalayan tsunami. Government officials reported that India has started the mass cremation of bodies recovered in the northern Himalayan region after nearly two weeks of flooding triggered by heavy and early monsoon rains. At least 822 people have been killed by the floods, 96,000 evacuated and around 350 are still missing:

The disaster has been dubbed a “Himalayan tsunami” by the media due to the torrents of water unleashed in the hilly region, which sent mud and boulders crashing down, burying homes, sweeping away buildings, roads and bridges. Eighteen bodies were cremated on Wednesday in the temple town of Kedarnath – one of the worst affected areas – and at least 40 would be cremated on Thursday, said a government doctor in Guptkashi, some 25 miles from Kedarnath.

Uttarakhand state, the area affected, is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims thanks to its temples and shrines. Aid groups on Wednesday said they fear that rotting corpses are contaminating water sources, potentially causing serious outbreaks of cholera, dysentery and diarrhea. One expert told CNN the floods are an example of “ecocide,” explaining that ad hoc and reckless development has exacerbated the effect of monsoon rains. The flooding is the worst India has seen since 2008, when around 500 people were killed. Footage from Reuters on Tuesday shows survivors running toward rescue helicopters. See more images of the flooding here.

Egypt’s Mursi to address the public ahead of massive protests

Mursi’s political survival is on the line, World Cup spending stokes Brazil protests, and Australia gets a new prime minister. Today is Wednesday, June 26, the 50th anniversary of JFK’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” address. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Anti-Mursi protesters sit outside their tents during a sit-in demonstration in front of the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Mursi’s last stand? Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi will address the public in a televised speech on Wednesday, ahead of protests expected to draw millions and intended to remove Mursi from office:

Taliban attack near presidential palace deals blow to peace talks

Peace talk prospects take a hit after Taliban attacks in Kabul, Brazil’s Rousseff makes surprising call for referendum, and Obama has big boots to fill in Africa. Today is Tuesday, June 25, and we wish Mozambique a very happy Independence Day. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Afghan security forces run to the site of an insurgent attack in Kabul, June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Not how peace talks work. Taliban militants attacked buildings close to Afghanistan’s presidential palace and CIA headquarters in Kabul on Tuesday, further threatening fragile peace talks between U.S. and Taliban officials:

Where in the world is Edward Snowden?

No sign of Snowden on flight out of Moscow, Berlusconi sex trial wraps up with guilty verdict, and Mandela’s health worsens. Today is Monday, June 24, one year after Egypt inaugurated its first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Mursi. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 Summit at Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Snowden rushes to Russia despite Obama’s “reset.” NSA leaker Edward Snowden fled from Hong Kong to Russia on Sunday, en route to find a foreign government that will grant him asylum, leaving a diplomatic disaster for the U.S. in his wake:

One million Brazilians participate in anti-government protests

Protests escalate in Brazil, Chinese dissident’s spat with NYU now involves spyware, and ethnic rifts deepen in Syria. Today is Friday, June 21, the longest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Demonstrators participate in one of many protests around Brazil’s major cities in Curitiba, June 20, 2013. REUTERS/Rodolfo Buhrer

Bigger than a bus fare blunder. Around one million people took to the streets in Brazil last night, despite government efforts to appease the protesters. The demonstrations were the largest in a series of the most significant protests the country has seen in nearly 20 years:

Pakistan helps persuade Taliban to meet Americans

Pakistan plays part in Taliban talks, Syria’s Islamists govern desert city, and the Panama Canal could get a run for its money. Today is Thursday, June 20, a somber World Refugee Day as forced displacement hits an 18-year high. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Muhammad Naeem (L), a spokesman for the Office of the Taliban of Afghanistan, speaks during the opening of the Taliban Afghanistan Political Office in Doha, June 18, 2013.  REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

On our side after all. Despite skepticism in Washington that Pakistan was obstructing regional peace, it turns out Islamabad played a key role in bringing Afghanistan’s Taliban to the table for talks with the U.S.:

Karzai balks at U.S. talks with Taliban

Karzai puts a damper on U.S.-Taliban peace talks, Islamists seize control in Syria, and Brazil’s president salutes protesters. Today is Wednesday, June 19, 151 years since the U.S. abolished slavery. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Muhammad Naeem (2nd R), a spokesman for the Office of the Taliban of Afghanistan, stands next to a translator speaking during the opening of the Taliban Afghanistan Political Office in Doha, June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

One step forward, two steps back. The U.S. and the Taliban agreed to begin talks this week to start the long process of reaching peace in Afghanistan, the first meeting of its kind in years:

Putin sticks with Assad despite G8 pressure

Putin holds his ground on Assad support, Turkey’s “standing man” steps up, and public anger boils over in Brazil. Today is Tuesday, June 18, the 65th anniversary of the UN’s International Declaration of Human rights. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), British Prime Minister David Cameron (C) and U.S. President Barack Obama take part in a group photo for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

More like the G7 plus Putin. Russian President Putin remains the odd one out as the G8 summit enters its second day, raising the possibility that a final statement could be released without his input. Despite international pressure, Putin stands firmly behind Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad:

Meet Iran’s new president

Iran picks new president, Putin and Obama prepare to face off, and Greek PM feels the heat from TV shutdown. Today is Monday, June 17, a good day to celebrate Iceland, and here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani (C) speaks to the media following a visit to the Khomeini mausoleum in Tehran, June 16, 2013. Reuters/Fars News/Seyed Hassan Mousavi

Surprise winner in Iran’s presidential election. Sole moderate candidate Hassan Rohani won a resounding victory in Friday’s elections, sending tens of thousands of reformists out dancing in the streets:

Farewell, Ahmadinejad

Iran votes for a new president, U.S. mulls no-fly zone for Syria, and wife spying roils Czech government. Today is Friday, June 14, a good time to #FF our Reuters colleagues covering Iran, @yjtorbati and @Maxigy. Here is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Men stand in line to vote during the Iranian presidential election at a mosque in Qom, 75 miles south of Tehran, June 14, 2013. REUTERS/Fars News/Mohammad Akhlagi

Iran picks one of six. Millions of Iranians voted today for Iran’s next president, urged by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to go to the polls in defiance of U.S. claims that the election lacks credibility:

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