Global Scan

Poachers have killed the world's largest elephant — for his sweeping tusks


Satao, believed to have been the world's largest living elephant, was killed recently by poachers. Satao was a great tusker, bigger and with much longer tusks than the elephants in this picture.


Maryam Laura Moazedi/Wikimedia Commons

Satao, probably the world's largest living elephant, was killed recently by poachers in a blow to Kenya's wildlife service and even the people of Kenya.

The bull elephant was one of the few surviving "great tuskers" — huge elephants with tusks so big they reach all the way to the ground. He was first targeted by poachers using cell phones and GPS trackers back in March, but quick veterinary intervention saved him. Sometime in May, however, the poachers finally got their elephant. His carcas was found in a swamp.

Paula Kahumbu has a moving tribute to Satao at The Guardian, where she reflects on the way technology has empowered poachers and threatens all of Kenya's elephants.

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The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

They say war makes for strange bedfellows, and nowhere is that more true than in the MIddle East. The Telegraph reports that Iran is considering collaborating with US officials to prop up the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. While the US has said it won't send ground trooops to Iraq, Iran could — though probably more in the form of trainers and advisers, rather than full military units.

While Iran and the US have been sworn enemies for decades, the election of President Hassan Rouhani in 2013 has led to a slight improvement in relations. The two countries have also reached small agreements in an effort to rein in Tehran's nuclear program.

Spain's unemployed youth see the navy as their lifeline

Spain's economy is still staggering under the wait of the Eurozone recession. Unemployment rates are high, especially for young people. That's meant that jobs in the military — jobs that until a few years ago went unfilled or filled by immigrants — have become some of the most competitive around.

The GroundTruth Project's latest Generation:TBD report follows some Spanish youth who are trying to get into the military, or have recently been accepted.

Should science have 'rebuilt' a virus that killed 50 million people?

A scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is under fire after he published a paper this week outlining how he'd taken the 1918 Spanish flu virus and created a new strain of avian flu that differed from the 20th century flu (which killed between 30 and 50 million people worldwide) by just three percent. 

As Mother Jones puts it, some of Yoshihiro Kawaoka's fellow scientists "think he's insane." So, could our next global pandemic come out of our own research labs?

Meet the 'worst soccer referee ever'

If you watched the Croatia-Brazil World Cup opener Thursday, you may have seen a questionable call that went against Croatia. But that Japanese referee has nothing on a Ecuadorian referee who became infamous for his game-changing calls in South Korea in 2002.

PRI's The World looks at Byron Moreno and how his bad calls in 2002 were really just the beginning of his misdeeds.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

The first World Cup game was played under sunny skies and beautiful weather Thursday, mid-70s. So beautiful you could even see it from space. Astronaut Reid Wiseman tweeted a picture of sunny Sao Paulo that he took from the International Space Station. See the photo at NBC News.

This post is a regular feature of It's a daily brief and email newsletter of stories, events and graphics that are catching the attention of our news staff. The World's Leo Hornak kicks it off from London and various folks on our editorial team around the globe contribute from there, like Cartoon Editor Carol Hills in Boston. Don't expect anything near the standard wrap of major news stories. This blog post and its email companion will be as idiosyncratic as our staff... and we'll want you to tell us what you like and don't like. Sign up for a account and subscribe to our newsletter to get it delivered to your inbox. The newsletter arrives during the US morning hours.