TIME Israel

Watch: This Is How Israel Blows Up Tunnels in Gaza

Footage released by the Israeli forces shows how underground passageways are destroyed

+ READ ARTICLE

In the video above, posted on the official YouTube page of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), soldiers are shown inserting a charge into a tunnel said to be in Gaza, then detonating it.

According to the IDF, soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade found the tunnel in a residential area of Gaza.

Since the beginning of the conflict, the Israeli armed forces uncovered 34 shafts leading into about a dozen underground tunnels, some as deep as 30 meters, that the military said could be used to carry out attacks, according to the AP.

Last week, Israel began a ground invasion of the Palestinian territory with the goal of destroying tunnels linking Egypt and Gaza and thus striking a “significant blow to Hamas’ terror infrastructure,” according to a statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Over 500 Palestinians and 20 Israelis have died in the recent fighting.

TIME Turkey

Transsexual TV Reporter Becomes Turkey’s Face of LGBT Rights

In Turkey, legislation does not discriminate against transsexuals, but the country has a long way to go when it comes to LGBT rights, advocates say

+ READ ARTICLE

Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, but homophobia is widespread and activists hope to make the country an example of respect towards the LGBT community.

Michelle Demishevich, a prominent LGBT rights activist, is the country’s first transsexual TV reporter. While Turkey’s gay and transgender communities enjoy better rights than their counterparts in most Muslim countries, her achievement is rather unique.

In the video above, reported by the AFP, the activist talks about the fight for LGBT rights in Turkish society.

TIME Israel-Gaza conflict

From Ceasefire to Ground Invasion: A Day In the Life of Israel and Gaza Residents

TIME asked residents of Gaza and Israel to chronicle their lives on the day Israel's forces started a ground offensive in the Palestinian territory.

+ READ ARTICLE

In the city of Herzliya, Israel, Guy Gutterman woke up to the sounds of sirens, ate a bowl of cereal and rode on an empty bus to the university where he teaches.

Meanwhile in Gaza, some residents felt safe enough to venture out into the streets for the first time in days, thanks to a 5-hour ceasefire brokered between Israel and Hamas.

On Thursday, four young residents of Gaza and Israel documented their daily lives from different sides of the border with videos and photos: from waking up with the news of a ceasefire, and going to sleep with the rumbling sounds of an Israeli offensive of the Palestinian territory.

Their first person narrative of the unfolding crisis reveals a rarely seen perspective from the ground.

TIME World Cup

Watch: The History Behind the Germany vs. Argentina Rivalry

This Sunday, Germany and Argentina will face off in the World Cup final. But this is not the first time that the two countries played against each other

+ READ ARTICLE

This weekend, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy will go from the current holder of the gold statue, Spain, winner of the 2010 World Cup, to either Argentina or Germany. But this is not the first time the two countries have faced each other in a World Cup final.

In 1986, Argentina beat Germany 3-2, in a magic match where Maradona became Maradona. And it happened a second time in, 1990, when the Germans won 1-0 in what was considered at the time a less than exciting performance from the two teams.

Will Sunday’s match be a 1986-type final – energetic, surprising, memorable – or a 1990 final?

TIME’s Bill Saporito takes a look back at the rivalry between the countries.

TIME Innovation

A Look Inside the Home That Made “Life Easier” for a Marine Veteran Who Lost All His Limbs

From moving cabinets to remotely activated light switches, the home is designed to support a life of independence

+ READ ARTICLE

Retired Marine Sergeant John Peck lost all of his limbs when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan in 2010.

After he was once pronounced dead, spent three months in coma, and went through years in recovery, he came to live in a home built by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Peck worked with the foundation to design a home tailored to his individual needs. With high-tech features such as moving cabinets, tablet-controlled lighting and an automated shower, his house is an example of how smart homes can enable those who are disabled to be more self-sufficient.

“The house can’t really solve your problems, it can help make your life easier,” Peck said.

In the video above, Peck gives TIME a tour of his home – and shares his passion for cooking.

The former marine, who dreamed of becoming a chef ever since he was 12-years-old, is now re-learning how to cook, thanks to a prosthetic arm, an accessible cooktop and a relentless determination.

“The first time I cooked a meal in this house, it took a while. I made leek and potato soup,” Peck said. “It was definitely interesting to be able to make stuff and not need help.”

TIME Syria

Watch: Syrian Children Talk About Life As Child Soldiers

Recruited under the guide of education programs, child soldiers have been acting as snipers, soldiers and even suicide bombers in Syria, a new report says.

+ READ ARTICLE

Before the ongoing conflict in Syria began in early 2011, Majed, 16, used to farm tomatoes in the fields near his hometown of Inkhil, Daraa, in the country’s southwest.

But when the Nusra Front, which has been labeled a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department, came to his town, he and other children as young as 12 years old started to spend time with members of the group in a local mosque, Majeb told Human Rights Watch.

“They would bring a car and go around to houses to pick up children. They taught children how to read the Quran, then taught us about weapon(s),” Majed said. “They taught us how to take apart and put together a weapon, they put up a target for us to practice shooting outside the mosque. Anyone who hit the target got a reward.”

Majed ended up fighting against government forces for three months. Another boy, Amr, 15, who fought with an extremist Islamist group in northern Syria, said his unit’s commanders encouraged children to volunteer for suicide bombing attacks. He reluctantly signed up, but he was able to get away before his turn came up, he told Human Rights Watch.

Majer and Amr are just two of many children who have been recruited as combatants by non-state armed groups involved in the Syrian conflict.

It’s not clear exactly how many child soldiers are fighting in Syria, but groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot aligned with rebels fighting against forces aligned with Syrian President Bashar Assad, as well as the Nusra Front have encouraged boys as young as 15 to fight, at times recruiting them through free schooling campaigns, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Monday. While the report focused on use of child soldiers by rebel forces, the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry on Syria has documented the use of child soldiers by pro-government forces as well.

As Syria’s civil war is set to enter into its fourth year, human rights groups have been able to document that boys and girls were recruited to fight in battles, act as snipers, participate in suicide bombing missions, treat the wounded on battlefields and carry ammunition to and from the front lines. A Syria-monitoring group called the Violations Documenting Center documented 194 deaths of “non-civilian” male children in Syria from September 2011 until June of this year, for example.

In the video above, Zama Coursen-Neff, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Children’s Rights Division, said that armed opposition groups in Syria across the political spectrum are using children to fight.

“It’s bad enough that the Syrian government is dropping bombs on children, armed opposition groups in Syria should not in turn be sending children into harm’s way,” Coursen-Neff said.

Under international law, armed group leaders who recruit child soldiers can be tried as war criminals. The United Nations estimates that hundreds of thousands of boys and girls, some as young as 8 years old, are used as soldiers in numerous conflicts in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

 

 

TIME IRS

IRS Commissioner on Email Scandal : ‘Nobody’s Hiding Anything’

The agency head also hinted at the idea that emails from Lois Lerner, the former head of the agency's tax-exempt status department, might be retrievable

+ READ ARTICLE

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen defended his office’s conduct in the scandal over the tax agency’s alleged targeting of conservative groups Monday, after it admitted losing a trove of emails at the center of a congressional probe.

The IRS said that more than two years worth of e-mails disappeared as a consequence of a hard drive crashing in 2011. When asked by a CNN reporter about the missing emails and the crashed hard drive, Koskinen said: “I spent three weeks trying to restore it back in 2011, we’ve got 24,000 mails from that period so nobody’s hiding anything.”

Koskinen has been at the center of a House Ways and Means Committee investigation into how and why the Internal Revenue Service applied additional scrutiny on applications for tax-exempt status of political action groups. Last week, the IRS informed congressional investigators that it could not recover two years of emails from Lois Lerner, the former head of the agency’s tax-exempt status department.

Lerner was directly involved in questioning the tax-exempt status of conservative political groups applying for tax-exempt status, documents showed. The House Ways and Means Committee has urged prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against Lerner, who has repeatedly refused to testify on Fifth Amendment grounds. But evidence suggests that liberal groups were also targeted by IRS investigators, and a congressional probe has so far failed to show a connection to the White House.

Koskinen suggested on Monday that many of Lerner’s emails might still be retrievable from other computers within the IRS. “Even though her hard drive crashed, didn’t mean that their hard drive crashed so they have those emails.”

The IRS claim that it had lost the electronic correspondence sparked outrage among congressional investigators, as they were hoping that the emails would shed light on whether anyone outside the tax agency was involved in the alleged targeting of conservative groups. “We are simply not going to accept the IRS claim that these documents are not recoverable,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp.

Koskinen agreed Monday to testify to two House committees about the e-mails.

 

TIME space

Watch: Breathtaking Time Lapse Video Shows Star Exploding

The eruption was so bright that for a while it was one of the most luminous stars in the Milky Way

+ READ ARTICLE

Ever wonder what an exploding star looks like?

NASA has released this incredible time lapse video showing the enormous explosion of a red star called V838 Monocerotis, located some 20,000 light years away.

The breathtaking images were captured by NASA’s Hubble telescope over a four-year period.

What makes this starburst even more fascinating is that its origins remains a puzzle, as scientists still don’t fully understand why the explosion occurred. Initially, astronomers thought it was a nova – which is a relatively more common outburst – but more recently, they came to the realization that it was something quite different.

“The outburst may represent a transitory stage in a star’s evolution that is rarely seen,” says the Hubble website. “The star has some similarities to highly unstable aging stars called eruptive variables, which suddenly and unpredictably increase in brightness.”

 

 

TIME Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

Meet the Most Successful Terrorist Leader Since Osama Bin Laden

Emboldened by its success in Syria and Iraq, al-Qaeda is widening its reach

+ READ ARTICLE

There’s a name that you should remember: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the commander of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), whose fighters now control large swaths of Iraq.

There are few photos of al-Baghdadi, and even fewer details about his life are well-known. But as Iraq is engulfed by conflict and the country’s second largest city fell to Sunni extremists, the influence of Islamic terrorism’s newest star is set to grow.

TIME’s International Editor Bobby Ghosh explains the danger behind al-Baghdadi’s rise to power, and what that means for both Europe and the United States.

TIME Italy

In Country’s First Gay-Friendly Ad, Son Comes Out Over Pasta in Italy

This is believed to be the first gay friendly campaign in a country that is often entrenched in homophobia

+ READ ARTICLE

Coming out over pasta might be fairly common in Italian homes, but for what is believed to be the first time, an ad will be portraying the family event across Italian televisions.

Findus, a frozen food company, produced what is believed to be the first gay-friendly ad in the European country.

In the commercial — in which no faces are shown — a man named Luca and his mother bond over microwaved pasta cooked by Luca’s boyfriend.

“Mom, there is another small surprise,” says Luca in the ad. Is it the risotto cooked in the microwave, wonders the mother. “Gianni isn’t just my roommate, he’s my boyfriend!” quips the son.

The ad comes nine months after the chairman of Italian pasta maker Barilla came under fire for saying that he would never use a gay family in his ads. The company eventually announced a “more inclusive” initiative to “establish a more active, global leadership on diversity,” including hiring a “chief diversity officer.”

Gay activists in Europe praised the video for showcasing the simplicity and the daily life of a gay couple. “It’s a positive step forward when different types of families are portrayed in ads, as they resonate with parts of society that are usually marginalized,” said Juris Lavrikovs, the communications manager of ILGA, Europe’s International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association.

 

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser