Former UN chief Kofi Annan is “bitterly disappointed” by the world’s response to Ebola, insisting that wealthy countries should have moved faster. The virus has claimed over 4,500 lives in West Africa and, this week, infected a second Texas health care worker. President Obama has appointed Ron Klain — former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Biden and Gore — as his “Ebola czar.” The president continues to resist Republican calls for a West African travel ban but says he has no “philosophical objection” to one.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The Kansas City Royals are headed for the big time for the first time in a generation. This scrappy American League team hasn’t seen a pennant or the playoffs since 1985. But, after a spectacular 2-1 win against the Orioles, the Royals are due to face off against the mighty Giants. Back in Kansas City, fans hardly dare to believe that, after decades of pain, their boys in blue are betting favorites for the World Series, which gets under way on Tuesday.
Defunct steel mills and automotive plants remind Lima, Ohio, of its history as an industrial stronghold. Today, many locals are right on the edge, and radical politicians seem to offer answers. The white working-class majority has a beef with the federal government over Lima’s underperforming schools, unemployment and poverty. There’s no denying that the town is still reeling from the recession, and little political relief has come its way, but there’s a danger that Tea Party politics will stigmatize welfare among those who need it most.
When terrorist organization Boko Haram kidnapped 276 students six months ago, the focus was on the terrorists and the international response. The stories of the young women themselves got lost in the outcry, and survivors’ accounts have not been published, until now. Amid paranoia over the Boko Haram threat, the principal and local soldiers told the girls that in the event of an attack, they should stay put rather than run. Those who broke that rule have begun to tell their stories; the fate of those who obeyed it is still unknown.
Body found in search for missing Virginia student. (USA Today)
Protesters clash with Hong Kong police in Mong Kok neighborhood. (The Guardian)
Syrian Kurds fend off fresh ISIS assault in Kobane. (DW)
U.S. Supreme Court: Texas can use strict voter ID law in November election. (NYT)
Catholic bishops veto Pope’s gay-friendly statements. (BBC)
Ratish Nanda might not be a “starchitect” yet, but he’s well on his way, thanks to his painstaking restorations of some of India’s beautiful but forgotten ruins. Although he’s best-known for his historic work, Nanda is focused on his home city’s future. His largest project yet is a massive public park in the center of New Delhi, bigger than NYC’s Central Park, designed to be an all-inclusive, shared space in a city increasingly walled off by the rich.
When Edward Snowden, a then-unknown government employee, reached out to documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, she couldn’t have known the impact the relationship would have on her life. With Poitras’s help, Snowden introduced himself — and the leak that would shake a civilization — to the world. Now, Poitras lives in Germany and has produced a documentary about Snowden called Citizenfour. As a result of Snowden’s show of trust in her, Poitras has lived under threat of surveillance and retaliation and, with Citizenfour, she’s returning to the limelight.
Many European groups have made their way to Argentina — the Spanish, the Germans and, as it turns out, the Welsh. Unlike the Scottish in Panama, the Welsh who settled in Argentina 150 years ago never intended to set up a colonial empire. Instead, resentful of the encroachment of the English-speaking world and aiming to create a haven for “pure” Welsh culture, they set off for a remote region of Patagonia. Today, though more Argentine than Welsh, the region boasts more than 5,000 Welsh speakers.
If you’re planning a musical heist, it doesn’t get bigger than stealing a Stradivarius. That’s why Salah Salahadyn spent a decade plotting the theft of “Lipinski,” a 299-year-old violin worth close to six million dollars. The first part of his plan was ingeniously simple — he used a Taser to disable the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, grabbed his violin case and ran. Unfortunately for him, the second part of the plan didn’t exist. Milwaukee’s police amped up, an accomplice blabbed, Salahadyn was arrested and the Lipinski was returned, safe and sound.
Boxing may appear ruthless, but that doesn’t mean it’s heartless — at least not in the hands of Steve Cunningham. His daughter, 9-year-old Kennedy, was born with a half functional heart. To save her life, Kennedy needs a heart transplant, and her father is in the ring for the purse money to keep his daughter alive. A former cruiserweight champ, Cunningham is now taking heavyweight punches because of the class’s bigger cash prizes. Catch him in the ring this Saturday, as he continues his battle for Kennedy’s new heart.