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Turkey says it downed Syrian helicopter in its airspace

ISTANBUL — Turkey said its fighter planes shot down a Syrian military helicopter on Monday that flew into Turkish airspace, a potentially significant escalation of tensions between the neighbors and former allies, which are now bitterly divided over Syria’s civil war.

Turkish officials said two F-16 warplanes were scrambled in the early afternoon as the Russian-built M-17 helicopter approached Turkey’s southern border. The helicopter’s crew was repeatedly warned by radio and did not turn back, the officials said. At 2:27 p.m., when the helicopter had strayed roughly a mile across the border, the jets fired on it, the officials said, and it crashed to the ground in Syria.

“No one, from now on, will dare to violate Turkish borders in any way,” the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmed Davutoglu, told reporters.

—Kareem Fahim, The New York Times

As Japan recovers, fears that tax increase could halt progress

TOKYO — Japan is on a roll. Its economy is growing at a robust 3.8 percent, the stock market is up by 40 percent this year, and the country is on the cusp of overcoming 15 years of deflation. Adding to the positive trend, Tokyo just won its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, raising hopes of an investment and construction boom.

What could possibly go wrong? A plan to raise taxes at the worst conceivable moment, economists warned.

“It’s nonsense. Japan is only midway to recovery and hasn’t fully escaped deflation,” said Goushi Kataoka, chief economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting, which is affiliated with Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

—Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times

Teenagers are shifting food habits

Teenagers are exercising more, consuming less sugar and eating more fruits and vegetables, a trend that may be contributing to a leveling off of obesity rates, a new study shows.

The findings suggest that aggressive anti-obesity messages aimed at children may be starting to make a difference, albeit a small one. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.

Still, most teenagers were falling short of federal recommendations, which call for children to get at least an hour of physical activity daily, a central message of Michelle Obama’s signature “Let’s Move”

—Anahad O’connor, The New York Times