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How Rescuers Pulled Off the Impossible in a Treacherous Thai Cave

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, New York Times

How Rescuers Pulled Off the Impossible in a Treacherous Thai Cave

It began as a misadventure by 12 boys and their soccer coach in a flood-prone northern Thai cave, which soon seemed destined to end in tragedy. It turned into a nearly three-week story of survival, international collaboration and triumph over the impossible. A team of cave divers rescued the last of the boys and their coach Tuesday from deep inside the underground passages of the flooded Tham Luang Cave. How they did it was a mix of trial and error, improvisation, skill, massive water pumps, miles of guide rope and strategically placed air tanks along the 2-mile-long escape route, much of it submerged.

Trump Derides NATO as ‘Obsolete.’ Baltic Nations See It Differently.

Only in the last quarter-century has Latvia been able to reclaim its nationhood, and only in the last decade has it felt secure in that claim. The security came from one thing: joining NATO. Now, with Russia on the prowl, that alliance seems to be at risk. As President Donald Trump joins his second NATO summit meeting — having called the alliance “obsolete,” derided its members as deadbeats — there is deep unease on the alliance’s eastern flank. And that sense has only been heightened by Trump’s scheduled one-on-one meeting next week with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Taliban Opponent in Pakistan Killed by Bomb as He Campaigns

A candidate from a political party opposed to the Taliban was killed in a suicide bombing late Tuesday as he campaigned in northwestern Pakistan. At least 12 people were killed and dozens were wounded, several of them critically, police and hospital officials said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but immediate suspicion fell on the Pakistani Taliban. The candidate who was killed, Haroon Bilour, belonged to a prominent political family from Peshawar who was running for a provincial assembly seat. He was at a campaign event late Tuesday night when the bomber detonated his explosives jacket, police officials said.

As Trump Criticizes NATO, EU Leader Warns: You ‘Won’t Have a Better Ally’

President Donald Trump renewed his criticism of European allies Tuesday and said he was most optimistic about meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia as he departed for a summit in Brussels that threatens to highlight acrimony within NATO. Trump’s comments touched off a round of trans-Atlantic sniping with Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, that was sure to start the NATO meeting on a tense note. "The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them,” Trump said on Twitter of the other members of the Atlantic alliance. Trump’s remarks exacerbated concerns that he may torpedo the meeting and with it the alliance’s efforts to show unity and solidarity in the face of global threats.

North Korean Waitresses’ Defection May Have Been Forced, U.N. Official

A United Nations official on Tuesday called for an investigation into whether 12 North Korean waitresses were brought to South Korea against their will, saying some had told him they had not known where they were going when they made the journey in 2016. The 12 women and their manager left Ningbo, China, where they worked at a restaurant run by the North Korean government, in April 2016, arriving in South Korea two days later. The South’s government promptly announced their defection, which was the most sensational in years, involving a large group of people who, as workers abroad, belonged to the North Korean elite.

India’s Supreme Court Considers Decriminalizing Gay Sex

India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday started hearing a challenge to one of the world’s oldest laws criminalizing consensual gay sex, a debate that has raised broader questions about how far to extend equal rights in the country. Lawyers representing a cluster of gay and lesbian Indians who petitioned the court said the law, known as Section 377, was an archaic holdout from India’s colonial era. "We are asking for a declaration that our rights are protected,” one of the lawyers, Mukul Rohatgi, argued before five judges. The court will most likely reach a verdict in a few weeks.

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