Need To Know

What is Russia up to? For one thing, they appear to be invading Ukraine. Again. Russia may be looking to establish a land bridge to Crimea, which it seized in March, or perhaps it is looking to carve out a larger autonomous region within Ukraine similar to Iraqi Kurdistan. Time will tell.

For now, NATO has condemned Russian military action in Ukraine, saying its troops have "illegally crossed the border" as part of a "dangerous pattern over many months" to destabilize its neighbor. Russia has denied the accusations, despite NATO's release of satellite images showing Russian tanks, armored personnel carries and artillery in eastern Ukraine. GlobalPost's Dan Peleschuk reports on why ‘plausible deniability’ isn’t looking like an option for Putin anymore.

The real heroes. While the Western media narrative has emphasized the US role and that of the Iraqi Kurds’ peshmerga fighters battling IS in recent weeks, it was instead the Kurds coming in from Syria and Turkey who saved the Yazidis’ lives. A limited number were airlifted off the mountain, but the mass exodus took place on foot. The much-vaunted peshmerga, meanwhile, initially ran. “The PKK [a political and militant Kurdish party based in Turkey] saved us. They cleared a path for us so we could escape the Sinjar Mountains into Syria. If it wasn’t for the Kurdish fighters, we would have died up there.”

Want To Know

Bumpy road to peace. The current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas continues to hold. It is the eighth such ceasefire in the current conflict, and while some were relatively successful, others collapsed within hours. This infographic breaks down each and every ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war, hour by hour. And here is a summary of the conflict in numbers.

"Stupid, naughty" girls. For the last 15 years, organized groups of men have been grooming and sexually abusing girls in northern and central England cities. The scope of these crimes, according to a Times of London investigation and subsequent inquiries, is astounding. More than 1,400 girls were attacked in this way in Rotherham alone, a south Yorkshire borough of 258,000 people that released a report Tuesday detailing the “blatant” failure of police and local authorities to stop the crimes. A former victim called Amy said she went to the police twice only to be treated like a “a stupid, naughty girl.” No one was ever prosecuted for her rape. “Those professionals have sat behind their desks, taken their wages, known this was happening, and done nothing about it,” she said. “To me that makes them as bad as the perpetrators.”

 

Strange But True

Marsupials of adorable size. Have ever gone up to a koala and been like, hey do I know you? Well now there's a way to tell. An Australian woman named Janine Duffy discovered that koalas have the equivalent of human fingerprints — on their noses. As a result, she can identify and study koalas without having to touch them, which comes in really handy since they get stressed easily and wild ones like to keep their distance from humans. And if we can study them, maybe we can help them. Koalas currently suffer the effects of habitat destruction, wildfires, and a chlamydia epidemic that has decimated the population. There's only between 40,000 and 80,000 koalas left in the wild. Sad face.