Molotov-cocktails flew and police responded with tear gas as protests flared for a fourth night over the death of teenager Michael Brown outside St. Louis. Eyewitnesses say the aspiring entrepreneur’s arms were raised when he was shot dead by a cop — who remains unnamed — last weekend. Authorities are begging the town of Ferguson, Missouri, for patience as they collect evidence, but the protesters are demanding justice and the name of the shooter.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Minorities in Iraq are making progress. Most of the Yazidi refugees trapped on Mount Sinjar by Islamic State fighters have escaped, thanks to U.S. airstrikes, which means a rescue operation may not be necessary. A U.S. military scouting mission found that far fewer people are stranded than initially thought, and they are well-provisioned. Attention now turns to whether Iraq’s Shiite-led government will learn to coexist with the minority Sunni population. Its incentive for doing so? Continued U.S. support against Islamist militants.
Isn’t Europe relying on German economic growth to stay on its feet? In a sucker punch, Germany’s economy — responsible for more than 25 percent of the euro zone’s output — contracted 0.2 percent in the second quarter, prompting continental groans. And in further blows, France’s economy failed to impress, with GDP remaining stagnant below 0.1 percent growth predictions, while Italy — Europe’s third-largest economy — retreated into recession. Unsurprisingly, the euro fell this morning, along with European hopes for recovery.
The U.S. networking equipment maker is cutting eight percent of its workforce. A lackluster earnings report showed $12.36 billion in fourth-quarter revenues, down from $12.42 billion in the same quarter last year. Losses in the wake of revelations about U.S. Internet surveillance have ended, but revenue continues to shrink in developing countries wary of U.S. tech firms and their NSA-tainted data clouds. The recovery plan? To reinvest savings from the job cuts into its data center and security branches to regain a competitive edge.
Rocket strikes complicate new five-day Gaza ceasefire. (BBC)
Russia convoy to Ukraine abruptly changes course. (CNN)
Global gold demand drops 16 percent. (FT) sub
SeaWorld stock dives 33 percent in orca controversy. (WSJ) sub
What are Chinese authorities barking about now? Fido-lovers and their “ludicrous imitation of a Western lifestyle,” snaps an op-ed in the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper. Their dogs leave messes “like land mines,” and are a “menace to social harmony,” it whines. The number of registered dogs in Beijing zoomed to a million two years ago, prompting authorities to add hound love to their target list of creeping Western behaviors they must bring to heel.
A spoonful of sugar isn’t going to help: Nearly half of Americans will develop Type-2 diabetes, according to a new study. Longer lifespans and the obesity crisis are putting more and more at risk, with 40 percent of Americans — and 50 percent of Hispanics and non-Hispanic black women — likely to develop the disease. Genetic misfortune also plays a role, but the spike is primarily attributed to “diabesity.” The best medicine? To drop the candy bar and keep walking.
New Yorkers may need those life jackets sooner than expected. Experts at a climate research institute near Berlin reveal that sea levels could rise up to 14.6 inches this century — “significantly higher” than previous estimates — thanks to melting Antarctic glaciers. Such a spike would seriously threaten cities in low-lying coastal areas like New York and Shanghai. Scientists say city authorities should prepare for the worst, or be ready to swim.
Internet trolls keep getting uglier. Robin Williams’ 25-year-old daughter, Zelda Rae, has shut down her social network accounts after being sent hate messages and fake images of her dead father. “I should’ve risen above,” but couldn’t, the video game-loving actress wrote before signing off. Two of the abuse-posting Twitter accounts have been suspended, and Zelda joked on Tumblr that her dad would likely send “a flock of pigeons … to poop on [their] car.”
Offensive lineman Edward “Chip” Sarafin has become the first active college player to announce that he’s gay. The 6’6”, 320-pound walk-on said coming out “benefited my peace of mind greatly,” and the public announcement has been warmly greeted by ASU staff. “The entire athletics department is extremely proud of Chip and is unequivocally supportive of him,” athletic director Ray Anderson said. Sarafin has yet to play in a Sun Devils game, but he’s more than happy to be out.