That was a low blow. Stocks plunged for a fourth straight day with oil dropping to a 6 year low of $40 per barrel. Global markets have been feeling the heat from plummeting petroleum and a slumping Chinese economy. The 3.1% drop was the market’s largest since November 9, 2011. The S&P 500 fell across all 10 sectors with technology and energy leading the fall. Nasdaq experienced significant drops as well. In addition to overseas woes, Wall Street analysts are weighing how an interest hike from the Federal Reserve will affect investors at home and abroad.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They heard the call of duty. A pair of unarmed U.S. Marines brought down a suspected Moroccan terrorist aboard a high speed train in northern France. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the Americans almost certainly averted disaster when they tackled the 26-year-old gunman who had opened fire with an assault rifle with 550 people on board. The attack occurred at around 6pm local time, approximately 150 miles north of Paris. The unnamed suspect was reportedly carrying nine clips holding 300 rounds. One of the Marines was shot in the incident and is reportedly in critical condition.
His message is loud and clear. Kim Jong-un wants South Korea’s anti-Pyongyang broadcasts — via loudspeakers over the border — to stop. He has reportedly ordered troops to prepare for the worst after the two countries exchanged artillery fire yesterday, declaring “a quasi-state of war in frontline areas.” Such threats are nothing new, but with shots fired, northern missile launchers reportedly on the move and South Korea vowing to continue broadcasting while preparing for battle, all eyes are on Kim’s next move.
He wants to put their minds at ease. The U.S. president sent Congress a letter this week aimed at those with doubts about the Iran nuclear deal ahead of their mid-September vote on the matter. Many fear the accord will do little to curb Tehran’s militant ambitions, but Obama reassured colleagues that the U.S. would maintain economic pressure and rely on military means if necessary. Having maintained that the deal cannot be altered, the commander in chief is highlighting what can be done independently of the deal to keep the Islamic Republic in check.
Will he survive? After winning power in January with promises about ending austerity, Alexis Tsipras negotiated harsh budget cuts to avoid a Grexit but sparked rebellion among his own Syriza Party. Yesterday, he resigned and called for elections, leaving three days for opposition parties to try and form a government. This prompted 25 Syriza rebels to form their own party, Popular Unity, led by anti-bailout former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis. But the pending vote is raising fears about Greece’s political stability … and putting its financial lifeline at risk.
Factory activity in China is now at its lowest level in six years, bolstering suspicions that Asia’s biggest economy is in a tailspin. The Shanghai Composite responded, falling more than 3 percent yesterday, and another 2 percent early today. U.S. and European markets also took hits as investors sold riskier assets in favor of bonds and gold. Experts say the devaluation of the yuan signaled Beijing’s uncertainty and that this, combined with a strong U.S. dollar and the potential for higher interest rates, could further impact China and emerging markets.
Israel fires rockets into Syria following missile attack. (BBC)
Jimmy Carter’s cancer has spread to his brain. (Time)
Jean-Marie Le Pen vows to fight National Front expulsion. (France24)
Brazil’s Speaker and former president face graft charges. (The Guardian)
Data casts doubt on surgery for Stage 0 breast cancer. (NYT)
Will he dodge the draft? The latest election campaign isn’t for the top job; it’s to put the ex-Daily Show funnyman between candidates vying for the big title. Some 136,000 people (and counting) are asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to pick the New Jersey native, 52, as a moderator. The “most trusted person in (satirical news)” has interviewed heads of state and is hosting Sunday’s WWE SummerSlam. But there’s no word yet on whether he’s willing to step into a different type of ring.
There’s danger lurking below. Drowning is the third-leading cause of unintentional death by injury worldwide, but it’s unexpectedly gender-skewed, with 80 percent of its victims being male. Men are in the water and on boats more than women, especially in the developing world. But there are other factors, like not knowing how to swim, alcohol and bravado. Though some water safety advocates believe mandating use of life vests could help stem the tide, others want to eliminate alcohol from the equation … and keep folks afloat.
They didn’t crash, but they’re back at the gate. The online social networking service’s stock nosedived more than 6 percent yesterday to $25.92, dipping below its initial IPO price of $26 for the first time. The microblogging site has struggled to on-board new tweeters, with user growth slowing to just 1 percent, and has suffered from shifting management. But Twitter wasn’t alone; several online firms took hits, with Netflix down nearly 8 percent and Alibaba at a below-IPO low, which is prompting speculation of tech wariness among investors.
It’s definitely not the happiest place on earth. The famed graffiti artist has pranked Disney before, but this time he’s going all out with “Bemusement Park,” set up in the English seaside town of Weston-super-Mare. Set to open tomorrow in a disused swimming facility, the “UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction” features pop-up art that points to the absurdity of modern consumerism and features prominent artists like Damien Hirst. The attraction — which prohibits spray cans, knives, drugs and Disney lawyers — plans to stay open until September 27.
He may have to abdicate. Days after declaring himself the “best quarterback in the league,” the oft-injured Washington star suffered a concussion while trying to recover a fumble in yesterday’s pre-season game against the Detroit Lions. Griffin, 25, was tackled and remained on the ground for several minutes. He later left the field on his own accord, and coach Jay Gruden said his QB will return — when healthy — as the team’s starter. But some are wondering if Griffin’s throne will end up being the bench.