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Overnight News Digest
Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors jlms qkw, maggiejean, wader, rfall, JML9999, side pocket, and Man Oh Man. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Interceptor7, BentLiberal, and Oke. The guest editor is annetteboardman.

Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.


European forests near 'carbon saturation point'

European forests are showing signs of reaching a saturation point as carbon sinks, a study has suggested.
Since 2005, the amount of atmospheric CO2 absorbed by the continent's trees has been slowing, researchers reported.
Writing in Nature Climate Change, they said this was a result of a declining volume of trees, deforestation and the impact of natural disturbances.
Carbon sinks play a key role in the global carbon cycle and are promoted as a way to offset rising emissions.

Greece privatisation: Myth or reality?

Former Olympics site the Hellinikon Metropolitan Park is set for sale later this year.
Visit any one of the Greek state's Opap betting shops and it's pretty hard to fathom quite what is going on.
Groups of mainly men who can probably ill afford the price of a lottery ticket sit around staring at electronic screens showing grids of random figures, all hoping against hope that their numbers will come up.
It's a fine metaphor for Greece's wider - and so far wildly unsuccessful - drive to raise billions of euros to help offset the country's punishing debt repayments.
BBC     Related story

Greece privatisation boss Stelios Stavridis dismissed

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras called for Stelios Stavridis to resign following a report that he had travelled on a plane belonging to a businessman who bought gambling firm Opap from the state.

Mr Stavridis had only been in the job for four months but had faced criticism for the slow pace of privatisations.


Syria refugees pour into Iraqi Kurdistan in thousands

Thousands of refugees from Syria are pouring over the border into Iraqi Kurdistan, the UN refugee agency says.
Up to 10,000 crossed at Peshkhabour on Saturday, bringing the total influx since Thursday to 20,000. The UN says the reasons are not fully clear.
The UN agencies, the Kurdish regional government and NGOs are struggling to cope, correspondents say.
It comes as UN chemical weapons inspectors arrived in Damascus on Sunday on a much-delayed mission.
To give some perspective to the tragedy:


Number of refugees worldwide at a 14-year high – UN

According to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) the number of people currently in situations of displacement has hit 45 million, the highest figure for 14 years. The worrying news was announced just a day before World Refugee Day, which is held annually on June 20th.
The commemorative day was designed to draw international attention to the increasingly desperate situation faced by displaced people across the globe and to honour the determination of the affected people and those working to help them.

Egypt faces tourism crash

Who could have predicted?

Tourism is a lifeblood for the Egyptian economy; it accounts for 12% of GDP, but tour operators and governments are queuing up to warn people to stay away.
The Italian government on Sunday warned its nationals to stay in their resorts and not book holidays; the UK said the same along with Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, France, and Spain.
“We aren’t accepting any departures until August 20. Some other tour operators have stopped bookings until 15 September. This is the case in Germany, to a certain extent in France, and in Russia where they will stop travelling for a while,” says tour operator Fabio
Catafei at Rome airport.
USA Today

Idaho wildfire near Sun Valley now over 100,000 acres

Frightening. We in N. Ca. are expecting thundershowers with "dry lightning"
which often starts fires here.

Hundreds of fresh firefighters have swarmed to central Idaho, where the stubborn Beaver Creak fire near ski and recreational mecca Sun Valley had swollen to more than 100,000 acres Sunday and was threatening the area due to high winds.

About 300 firefighters from across the country joined about 900 currently fighting the pesky 10-day old blaze, which continues to threaten one of the West's most popular recreation areas. About 2,250 residences near Hailey and Ketchum have been evacuated. Ketchum and Sun Valley remain under pre-evacuation warning as Forest Service crews, coupled with local fire departments and private crews hired by insurers and homeowners, battle both the main blaze, spot fires and and protect homes from being consumed.


     Bolivian man claims to be 123 years old   

Chew cocoa leaves and live longer.

FRASQUIA, Bolivia  - Bolivian indigenous farmer Carmelo Flores, who could be the oldest person to have ever lived, attributes his longevity to quinoa grains, riverside mushrooms and around-the-clock chewing of coca leaves.

Speaking in the 4,000-metre high hamlet where he lives in a straw-roofed hut, Flores says the traditional Andean diet has kept him alive for 123 years.

“Potatoes with quinoa are delicious,” said Flores in Aymara, the only language the nearly deaf man speaks.

Reuters (U S)Historic train reopens in scenic California redwoods after tunnel collapse
(Reuters) - A historic train that has ferried tourists and residents through Northern California redwood forests for generations will resume service on Saturday after a caved-in tunnel derailed the operation earlier this year.
Train owners spent months rebuilding the tunnel, which collapsed under the pressure of a massive rock, forcing the closure of the California Western Railroad, which had run continuously for 128 years, train manager Robert Pinoli said.
"This is living, breathing history," Pinoli said, adding that train staff was excited the popular tourist attraction was ready to roll again.


"My husband is a billionaire, so I have no problem with anything, so there."

WASHINGTON — Some secrets don’t faze Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She keeps plenty, after all, as the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
But the 15-member panel that the California Democrat has led since 2009 is scrambling to catch up with the latest public revelations about government spying.
It’s a potentially awkward position for the 80-year-old lawmaker, who has regularly defended secret surveillance programs that others have knocked, and who now must defend the quality of congressional oversight as well.
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