A South Sudanese fighter (Steve Evans/CC BY 2.0)

Conflict

>>South Sudan descending toward war
Explosions and heavy weapons gunfire are shaking South Sudan’s capital Juba Monday in the fifth day of clashes between government and opposition forces, raising the specter of a return to civil war. Associated Press

>>U.S. lays out Mosul take-back plan
U.S. and coalition forces will use the newly retaken air base in Qayara as a staging hub, as Iraqi security forces move forward in the long-awaited battle to recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday as he arrived in Iraq. Associated Press

>>What ISIS lost
Islamic State lost an area the size of Ireland — a quarter of its territory — to hostile forces in the last 18 months in Iraq and Syria and is likely to further step up attacks on civilians in coming months, IHS said in a report on Sunday. Reuters

>>Bin Laden’s son hasn’t moved on
The son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has threatened revenge against the United States for assassinating his father, according to an audio message posted online. Reuters


Human rights

>>When a Saudi ‘virtue’ enforcer changed his mind
In articles and television appearances, he argued that much of what Saudis practiced as religion was in fact Arabian cultural practices that had been mixed up with their faith. There was no need to close shops for prayer, he said, nor to bar women from driving, as Saudi Arabia does. The New York Times

>>Cambodian activist murdered
Cambodia’s prime minister has promised a “vigorous investigation” into the shooting of a prominent critic and called for the opposition not to politicise the assassination. Kem Ley, a 46-year-old grassroots campaigner, was shot three times at a petrol station in Phnom Penh on Sunday while drinking his morning coffee. The Guardian

>>Thai army still the boss
Four people have been detained in Thailand for campaigning against a military-backed draft charter, police said on Monday, the latest arrests by authorities in the lead-up to a referendum next month. Reuters


Politics

>>Policing in America
Police academies spend about 110 hours training their recruits on firearms skills and self-defense — but just eight hours on conflict management and mediation. Vox

The willfulness standard makes it difficult to prosecute police officers. “The government has to show beyond a reasonable doubt the officer acted with willful attempt to deny the victim a right.” … In other words, you’d have to prove to a jury what was going on inside of a police officer’s mind at the time — a high bar. The Intercept

The Bahamas’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a warning to “young males” traveling to the United States to “exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police.” Vice News

>>Ezra Klein interviewed Hillary Clinton
This is an effort to answer a question I’ve been struggling with since at least 2008: Why is the Hillary Clinton described to me by her staff, her colleagues, and even her foes so different from the one I see on the campaign trail? Vox


Environment

>>Global problem needs local solutions
Even after the heavy rains that drenched East Africa in April, Makueni County in eastern Kenya remains dry — and it’s not clear when increasingly elusive rainfall will come again. But the women of Kikumbulyu village are not worried. Last November, they built a rock catchment system to harvest rainwater. Now, despite dry weather, the village still has plenty of water. Reuters

>>Local Poles vs. a mining company
Residents ranging from fishermen and farmers to mayors and small business owners say water in the region’s lake system is disappearing, drying out farmland and jeopardizing the region’s economic base in agriculture and, more recently, tourism. Reuters


Editor’s pick

>>How Finland solved high infant mortality
At a glance, it seems a strange place to put a newborn: a bit of bedding and a miniature sleeping bag arranged in a cardboard box. Even so, that’s the first place that many Finnish infants lay their little heads. And the simple setup is believed to be one reason that Finland now has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world — 2.52 for every 1,000 births, less than half that of the United States. The New York Times

>>Worth reminding: Not all Israelis and Palestinians fight
In a world of conflict, confrontation, deadlocks and dead ends, few crises are as protracted as the Israeli-Palestinian impasse. But however inauspicious a situation, pockets of humanity can always be found. The Guardian

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Ben Wolford
Ben Wolford is editor of Latterly. His reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Christian Science Monitor and elsewhere.