Chatter: Turkey deploys anti-aircraft guns at Syrian border




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Need to know:

Turkey has started deploying anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers along its border with Syria following last week's downing of a Turkish military jet.

Convoys of military vehicles were seen streaming to the border, along with extra troops. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned Syria of tougher rules of military engagement, calling the country a "clear and present threat."

Meanwhile, in Damascus, explosions were reported near the Palace of Justice a day after the bombing of a pro-government TV station.

GlobalPost's latest video from inside Syria shows how rebels in the town of Ariha managed to fight off the Syrian army. 

Want to know: 

A series of car bomb attacks in Baghdad have left at least 13 people dead and 50 wounded. One of the bombs exploded at a market in the mainly Shia Washash district of the Iraqi capital, while another blast targeted a government building in the mainly Sunni town of Taji, north of Baghdad.

June has been an especially bloody month in Iraq, with almost 200 people reported killed just in the last two weeks.

Most of the attacks have been blamed on Sunni militant groups – including Al Qaeda’s local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq – which have launched a series of bombing attacks on Shia Muslims in a bid to undermine the government and trigger further sectarian fighting in the country.

Dull but important:

European leaders are preparing to meet for yet another summit on the fate of the euro. Dull? You bet. Important? Definitely. If EU leaders can't agree on a plan, the euro will slip closer toward a chaotic demise.

On the summit's eve, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with French President Francois Hollande in Paris, but the two leaders remain at odds on how to move forward.

Still with us? From our correspondent in Brussels, here's what you need to know. In plain English. Really.

Just because:

The New York Times - or should we say, The Niu Yue Shi Bao - has gone Chinese.

Their new Chinese-language website, cn.nytimes.com went live this morning in Beijing, and according to the Times targets China's “educated, affluent, global citizens" — aka its growing middle class.

The site will feature about 30 articles daily, one-third written by Chinese editors and local freelancers, and the rest translated from Times articles. Both the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times already have Chinese-language sites. 

Now to see how long until the Old Gray Lady falls afoul of China's Great Firewall.

Strange but true:

And now from the Department of Crazy Stories....

Two self-confessed witches in Zimbabwe are to undergo medical and psychiatric tests after claiming to have flown on a magical grain-threshing basket, the local equivalent of a witch's broomstick.

The middle-aged women were arrested earlier this month after being found naked in the yard of a home in Chinhoyi. According to court officials, the women claimed their magical basket had "ditched" them there after a naked night ritual.

The women face charges under Zimbabwe's witchcraft laws, which carry the penalty of a fine. Double, double, toil and trouble indeed.