Need to know:
Scores of people are reported dead and injured across Iraq, in what already looks to be one of the bloodiest days since US troops withdrew last year.
A series of bombings and shootings took place in and around Baghdad, including at least one suicide blast, several car bombings and a gun attack on a military base.
The death toll is estimated at 91 at least. More than 150 were injured.
The prime target appears to have been security forces. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, which come shortly after Al Qaeda warned that it would be looking to “retake territory” in Iraq.
Want to know:
The man accused of shooting dead 12 people as they watched the latest Batman movie is due in court this morning.
It will be James Holmes’s first appearance since police arrested him outside the fateful movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, Friday morning. Observers will be scrutinizing his every move in the quest to add to the few things we know about Holmes so far: he apparently called himself “the Joker.” His apartment was rigged to kill anyone who entered. And in the months leading up to the attack, he had built up a massive arsenal of weapons and ammunition.
Nothing we learn will explain to those who survived the shooting, or the families of those who didn’t, why it happened. President Barack Obama visited them in Aurora yesterday.
“Although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days,” he said, “that attention will fade away. And in the end, after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy.”
Dull but important:
The Arab League has called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to go. Immediately.
The bloc held an emergency meeting this morning, at which members agreed that Assad’s “rapid” resignation was needed. They want to see rebels form a transitional government instead – and promise that, if the president accepts, he and his family will be given safe passage out of Syria.
Meanwhile battles continue to rage in the capital, Damascus, as well as the biggest city, Aleppo. Images on state TV show Syrian soldiers going house to house through the streets of Damascus, hunting for rebels.
The 2012 Olympics begin in London this Friday. We’re excited. So excited we made a special series where you’ll find all of GlobalPost’s coverage of the Games, from London and beyond.
But spare a thought in all this for the host city, immersed in preparations that are on time but over budget, its residents living under surface-to-air missiles parked on their rooftops and unable to use their own roads.
Olympic Games, eh – who’d have ‘em? Well, London, at least for the rest of us, we’re sure it’s going to be great.
Strange but true:
Thank you, science! Researchers have created a jellyfish robot out of silicone and living cells from the heart of a rat.
We’ll let the brains explain how they did it, in this video. They’ve named their creation, charmingly, “Medusoid.”
It’s sort of flat with eight arms, and twitches through water just like a real jellyfish. Calling it cute would be a stretch, but for a spineless, rat-hearted blob, it’s surprisingly not gross.