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One month to go until the Olympic Games and Brazil is in a state of emergency. But it’s not just political and economic crises -- athletes have been mugged at gunpoint, venues are unfinished or perhaps unsafe, the Olympics mascot was shot dead... Can it get any worse?

Sunday’s car bomb in Baghdad now has a death toll of 250 -- the bloodiest single day since 2003. Amid the long-awaited official inquiry into the British role in the Iraq War, which was released today, some Iraqis are asking: are they worse off in 2016 than they were under Saddam Hussein?

Photo: Brazilian police protesting the Rio Olympics as tourists arrive in Rio. (Complex Sports)

Justice Department Opens Investigation into Baton Rouge Police Shooting 6 MIN, 30 SEC

The videotaped killing of a black suspect in Baton Rouge by police officers will be the focus of a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. Authorities say that 37-year-old Alton Sterling had a gun as he wrestled with police on the pavement outside a convenience store. Police had responded to an anonymous caller who said a man selling homemade CDs was threatening someone with a gun outside the store. But a cell phone video of the Tuesday shooting doesn’t appear to show a gun.

Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press (@MelindaDeslatte)

Associated Press on Feds opening Baton Rouge shooting investigation

Will Rio be Ready? 32 MIN, 22 SEC

Four weeks until Brazil lights its Olympic cauldron in Rio, and the country is in a shambles.

A month ago Rio’s state government declared a “State of Calamity” to access extra funding to pay for the Games. Almost all venues are still under construction. In April, a newly built bike path along Rio’s seashore collapsed, killing two people, on the same day that the Olympic torch was lit in Greece. Drug traffickers are involved in territorial disputes in at least 20 Rio neighborhoods, a crime wave is sweeping the city and body parts recently washed up on the beach where the volleyball competitions will be held.

And we haven’t even gotten to the mosquito-born Zika epidemic or Russian athletes banned because of a doping scandal.

Paulo Prada, Reuters (@pauloprada)
Jules Boykoff, Pacific University in Oregon (@JulesBoykoff)
Paulo Sotero, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (@brazilportal)
Alan Abrahamson, 3 Wire Sports / USC (@alanabrahamson)

AP on bike lane in Rio collapsing, killing at least two people
Prada on Zika virus and the Olympics in Brazil
Abrahamson on anti-gay violence in Brazil

Power Games

Jules Boykoff

Iraq’s Deadliest Attack Since the U.S. Invasion 10 MIN, 39 SEC

Among the recent spate of terror attacks, the explosions that rocked Baghdad on Sunday were the deadliest by far -- the death toll stands at two hundred and fifty -- the highest number for a single attack there since 2003, when the US invaded.

ISIS has claimed responsibility, saying it was targeting Shiites -- but the shopping district site was a multi-cultural hub, featuring both Shiite and Sunni mosques. All the victims were Iraqis, some of them children. And Iraqis have expressed frustration that the world is less concerned with them than the victims of other recent attacks.

Photo: People inspect the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad.
(Ahmed Saad/Reuters)

Zaid Al-Ali, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (@zalali)
Robin Wright, US Institute of Peace / Woodrow Wilson Center (@wrightr)

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