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Chatter: Turkey counts five days of protests, two deaths

A second protester dies as Turkey enters its fifth straight day of protests, Egypt puts foreign NGO workers on trial, Pistorius gets a postponement, and the German dictionary just got a little bit shorter.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

Turkey by the numbers. Five days. Two deaths. Thousands of injuries. More than 60 cities. Up to 240,000 workers on strike. Arrests: unknown, though if the figure's anything like the rest of them, it will only be going up.

Today the protesters have been joined by one of Turkey's largest trade union groups, whose hundreds of thousands of members are summoned to take part in a two-day strike. Meanwhile Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his deputy play good-cop-bad-cop, with the former dismissing all talk of a "Turkish Spring" and the latter apologizing for police mistakes. Will it placate protesters? Don't bet on it; do follow the latest developments on our live blog

Egypt vs. NGOs. A Cairo court has convicted 43 people of illegally operating nonprofit organizations in Egypt. Twenty-seven of the accused are foreigners, 16 of them Americans.

The case dates back to December 2011, and most non-Egyptian defendants have left the country since then. They will likely escape a jail sentence; but activists say the case has effectively locked down Egyptian civil society.

WANT TO KNOW

Water, water, everywhere — but mainly in central Europe. Prague may be breathing a sigh of relief after its flood defenses held, but downstream of the Czech capital others are rightly feeling nervous. Now it's eastern Germany that's most at risk, as floodwaters surge north.

At least nine people have died in the Czech Republic and Austria. Germany is hoping that troops, evacuations and millions of euros of emergency funds will help save its residents from the same fate. 

Pistorius postponement. The trial of Oscar Pistorius, the South African amputee sprinter accused of murdering his girlfriend last Valentine's Day, has been pushed back for another two months. 

At a brief hearing in Pretoria this morning, a magistrate granted the prosecution's request for extra time to prepare its case against the athlete, who claims he mistook fiancee Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her through a bathroom door. The trial begins on Aug. 19.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

You thought sorry was the hardest word? You obviously don't speak German. The powers that decide such things have just deleted what used to be Germany's longest word, a term for a "law for the delegation of monitoring beef labeling" that is now considered obsolete.

It's not that much of a loss in real terms, since the 63-letter-long term was usually shortened to an eight-letter acronym anyway for the sake of speed, and tongue sprain. But it does give us a good excuse to spend five seconds saying a word that we'll never need to use. All together now: "Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-turkey-counts-five-days-protests-two-deaths