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

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

BBC      Here we go again.
Gaza conflict: New three-day ceasefire begins

A three-day truce has come into effect between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, after a day of intense diplomacy.
It is hoped the latest truce, which came into effect at 21:00 GMT, will help negotiators agree a longer peace.
Egypt brokered a similar truce last week, but fighting resumed after the three-day window ended.
About 2,000 people have died in the conflict, which began on 8 July when Israel launched an operation to deter militant attacks from Gaza.

Those killed include more than 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to the UN. Sixty-seven people have died on the Israeli side, including three civilians.
Israeli media were reporting warning sirens for rocket attacks right up to the new ceasefire deadline at midnight local time. Israeli air strikes also continued through Sunday evening.
However, an hour into the ceasefire there were no reports of attacks from either side

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hails new era for Turkey
Outgoing PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hailed his victory in Turkey's first direct presidential election as a new era for the country.

He told thousands of supporters from the balcony of his AK Party's HQ in Ankara his victory was for all Turks, not just those who had voted for him.
Mr Erdogan secured about 52% of the vote, to avoid any run-off.
Mr Erdogan wants to secure more power for the presidency but his opponents fear increasingly authoritarian rule.
Until now the presidency has been largely ceremonial.

Mr Erdogan has been prime minister since 2003 and was barred from standing for another term.
He will be inaugurated on 28 August.

The AK Party must now appoint a party leader and prime minister-designate. Analysts say it is likely to be one Mr Erdogan can control.

Al Jazeera America
Islamic State kills at least 500 Yazidis in Iraq; US airstrikes continue     Horror beyond horror.
Islamic State fighters have killed at least 500 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority — including many women and children — burying some alive and taking hundreds of women as slaves, an Iraqi government minister confirmed on Sunday as U.S. forces carried out airstrikes for a third day against Islamic State fighters. U.S. planes also continued to drop food and water for thousands of Yazidis who are trapped on a mountain and threatened with slaughter by the armed group.
Iraq’s human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani accused Islamic State fighters — who have ordered the Yazidi, whom they regard as "devil worshippers" to be converted to Islam or killed — of celebrating a "a vicious atrocity" with cheers and weapons waved in the air.

Islamic State’s advance through northern Iraq has forced tens of thousands of people to flee and has provoked the first U.S. airstrikes in the country since Washington withdrew troops from Iraq in late 2011. Islamic State overran U.S.-trained and equipped Iraqi government forces in recent weeks and now controls much of northern Iraq, with strongholds in the western regions straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Al Jazeera America
Dozens dead in plane crash at Tehran airport
A passenger plane has crashed on the outskirts of Iran's capital Tehran, killing at least 39 people and injuring nine others.
The IRNA news agency said the Sepahan Airlines plane, bound for Iran's eastern city of Tabas, crashed shortly after takeoff from Mehrabad airport on Sunday morning.
A total of 48 people, 40 passengers and eight crew members, were on board when the plane crashed in the residential area of Azadi town, just 5km to the west of Tehran, IRINN state TV said.

State media had reported earlier that all 48 people onboard had died.
The Antonov-140 type plane crashed at 9.18am (04:48 GMT). IRNA's English website had earlier reported it was a Taban Airline jet.
President Hassan Rouhani has ordered a halt to all flights of the Iran-140 pending a full investigation, IRNA said.

A failure in one of the plane's engines caused the plane to crash on the northern side of the Tehran-Karaj highway, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Mohammad Ilkhani, the head of Iran Airports Company, as saying.

Raw Story
Keystone XL pipeline may create more pollution than previously calculated
A proposed pipeline from Canada to the United States may result in much higher greenhouse gas emissions than previously calculated as it could fuel greater oil consumption through higher production and lower prices, a study said Sunday.

Researchers from the Stockholm Environment Institute used a mathematical model to estimate the Keystone XL pipeline’s potential for atmospheric pollution.
Unlike calculations by the US State Department, they took into account a possible consumption rise in line with production, the pair wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.
It was not clear, though, what the production increase was likely to be.

Using basic supply-and-demand economic principles and assuming a rise in production, the team calculated the pipeline would yield greenhouse gas emissions of 100-110 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) per year — “four times the upper State Department estimate” of 27.4 MtCO2e, they said.

Raw Story     Will there be a mushroom cloud? I keep wondering what this guy is compensating for.

Lindsey Graham predicts an ‘American city in flames’ if Obama doesn’t go to war in Iraq

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned on Sunday that militants in Iraq and Syria would attack the U.S. mainland if President Barack Obama did not immediately take military action to stop them.
“I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists’ ability to operate in Syria and Iraq,” Graham told Fox News host Chris Wallace. “Mr. President, you have never once spoke directly to the America people about the threat we face from being attacked from Syria, now Iraq. What is your strategy to stop these people from attacking the homeland?”

The senior senator from South Carolina recommended a “sustained air campaign in Syria and Iraq.”
“Are you saying we should go back to war in Iraq?” Wallace wondered.
“I’m saying that Iraq and Syria combined represent a direct threat to our homeland,” he explained. “His responsibility as president is to defend this nation. If he does not go on the offensive against ISIS, ISIL — whatever you want to call these guys — they are coming here!

Raw Story

Now water and air are all you need to make one of world’s most important chemicals

Researchers have developed a method to produce ammonia simply from air and water. Not only is it more energy efficient than the century-old Haber-Bosch process currently in use all over the world, but it is also greener.

Ammonia – made up of three parts hydrogen and one part nitrogen (or NH3) – has had a momentous impact on society. Without the mass production of this chemical, it is estimated that as many as a third of us won’t be alive. This is because its main use is to make fertilisers, which have helped improve crop yields and sustain a large population.
Developed in 1909, the Haber-Bosch process – often cited as the most important invention of the 20th century – involves heating purified nitrogen and hydrogen gas at very high temperature and pressure in presence of an iron catalyst. The presence of the catalyst, which doesn’t take part in the reaction but lowers the energy threshold of the reaction, is vital. Despite which, ammonia’s production – about 140m tons in 2012 – consumes nearly 2% of the world’s energy supply.

Apart from large energy requirements to achieve reaction conditions, the current production method is inefficient because it needs hydrogen gas, which is obtained by processing natural gas. The byproduct of the process is carbon dioxide. Stuart Licht and his colleagues at the George Washington University thought they could do better if they could find a way of using water instead of natural gas as a source of hydrogen.

The Guardian    (Just in time for Shark Week)
Cleaner New York waters see surge in whale and shark numbers
Humpback whales and great white sharks are surging in numbers in the waters around New York City this summer, in a wildlife bonanza that is delighting naturalists, environmentalists and fishermen – if not necessarily bathers.
Off New York and New Jersey, some of the largest creatures in the ocean are being spotted in greater abundance than has been the case for decades. Paul Sieswerda, head of the Gotham Whale volunteer marine wildlife tracking group, believes the increasing abundance of whales around the Big Apple is largely prompted by cleaner waters that have encouraged huge rises in the populations of fish which the whales eat.

Sieswerda takes boat tours to locations where giant humpback whales can be seen feeding – with the iconic Manhattan skyline in the background.
“I would say it’s only about four miles from the Statue of Liberty,” he told the Guardian.

Gotham Whale counted 29 whales, all humpbacks, in New York waters from the start of the feeding season in the spring to the end of July 2014, compared with 43 for the whole 2013 season, 25 in 2012 and five in 2011.

Iraq crisis: Embattled PM Nouri Maliki in show of force
Security forces loyal to Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki have appeared in force in the capital Baghdad after he went on state TV to criticise the president.
Mr Maliki is seeking a third term but has faced calls to step down amid the jihadist insurgency in the north.
The US, which has urged Iraq to form an inclusive government, issued a statement backing President Fuad Masum.

Earlier, Iraqi Kurds appealed for international military aid to help defeat the Islamist militants.
The US has already launched four rounds of air strikes targeting Islamic State (IS) fighters near Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

A Kurdish official said recent US air strikes on IS militants in Nineveh province had helped the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters retake the towns of Gwer and Makhmur after heavy fighting.

In his televised address, Mr Maliki said he intended to take President Masum to court for violating constitutional rules.

Physicists create tractor beam made of water
A surprising new technique created by a team of physicists led by Professor Michael Shats at the Australian National University reveals that simple wave generators can be used to move floating objects in a number of directions -- even against the waves.

"We have figured out a way of creating waves that can force a floating object to move against the direction of the wave," said Dr Horst Punzmann from the Research School of Physics and Engineering. "No one could have guessed this result."

It is not, though, the waves themselves that are responsible for the movement. Rather, according to advanced particle tracking tools developed by team members Dr Nicolas Francois and Dr Hua Xia, the waves generate currents on the water's surface, which in turn move the balls.

"We found that above a certain height, these complex three-dimensional waves generate flow patterns on the surface of the water," said Professor Shats. "The tractor beam is just one of the patterns, they can be inward flows, outward flows, or vortices."

NASCAR's Tony Stewart hits, kills driver at dirt-track race in New York
(CNN) -- NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed another driver who was walking on a track during a dirt-track race in upstate New York, authorities said early Sunday.
Kevin Ward Jr., 20, died from injuries suffered in the incident, which occurred Saturday night at the Empire Super Sprints series event at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
The track is about a two-hour drive from Watkins Glen International race track, where s?
"Our hearts go out to Kevin's family," Zipadelli said. "This is a very tough, very emotional time for everybody -- his family, our family at Stewart-Haas Racing."
On Saturday night, Ward's sprint car hit the outside wall during lap 14 of a 25-lap race, Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero said.
A video of the incident shows two cars coming out of a turn with Stewart's No. 14 car sliding up the track toward Ward's No. 13 car. The two cars get close and appear to make contact before Ward's car hits the wall and spins out. Another car narrowly avoids hitting the 13 car as its sits on the track facing the wrong direction.
Ward gets out of his crashed car, walking on the track toward the race cars, which had slowed for a yellow flag. Ward points a finger and appears to be yelling. One car swerves to avoid Ward on the half-mile dirt track.
Stewart's car passes close to Ward, and it appears that its right rear tire hits him.
An ambulance took Ward to a hospital, but he died before it arrived, Povero told reporters.
"Stewart has fully cooperated" with an investigation, Povero said. "He acknowledges the collision with the driver."
Povero said it appeared to be an on-track incident.
"But I want to make it very clear, there are no criminal charges pending at this time," he said.
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