It was the Dow’s biggest single-day nosedive … ever. Within minutes of opening this morning, the stock exchange dropped more than 1,000 points before bouncing back, recovering most of its initial value, then slumping again in the afternoon. This followed panicked selling across Asia and Europe amid fears of a tanking Chinese economy. The selloff continues last week’s steep Dow drop, with Chinese exchanges leading the biggest one-day plummet since 2007. As investors hope they’re seeing the bottom, Fed members must decide if they’ll ignore market swings — or keep interest rates pegged until the dust settles.
The Presidential Daily Brief
France has rolled out the red carpet for three Americans who, with other passengers, subdued a gunman aboard a high-speed train Friday. Today President François Hollande gave the three — one who nearly lost a thumb — and a British passenger the country’s top medal, the Legion d’Honneur. Meanwhile, the lawyer for Ayoub el Khazzani, the Moroccan accused in the attack, says her client is “dumbfounded” at being labeled a terrorist and only meant to rob passengers. He’ll have more opportunity to share that story as French investigators continue their interrogation.
They’re taking a step back. As North Korean forces were observed mobilizing for all-out war and South Korean President Park Geun-hye steadfastly refused to stop loudspeaker broadcasts across the demilitarized zone that separates the rival nations, it looks as though the two nations might be headed for catastrophic conflict. But North Korea has agreed to apologize if the South cuts out its propaganda broadcasts, starting tomorrow. For now, the nuclear-armed Hermit Kingdom say its “semi-state of war” has been lifted.
Canada’s cops say they’re coming after the hackers who leaked more than 30 million email addresses linked to users of dating-site-for-cheaters Ashley Madison — and that they may have blood on their hands. The suicides mentioned by the cops are unconfirmed, but many speculated that the release of the data could have such consequences. Meanwhile, some are combing through emails from the company’s CEO released in the leak — some of which could be used by two law firms currently mounting suits against Ashley Madison for not adequately protecting its users.
ISIS has once again destroyed ancient ruins, this time in the captured city of Palmyra in Syria. The militant movement had held the site for months and was only known to have blown up newer Islamic shrines as idolatrous. But after news last week that the group beheaded a noted archaeologist, it was no surprise to learn they’d also destroyed the Temple of Baal Shamin, a Phoenician storm god. A Syrian rights group reported that the incident happened a month ago, raising questions of what else might already be gone.
Man dies in clash during Beirut garbage pickup protest. (Al Jazeera)
Oklahoma state official fatally stabbed by son, police say. (CNN)
Merkel urges boh sides in Ukraine to cease fighting. (WSJ) sub
Police clash with right-wing demonstrators in Germany. (BBC)
Walker backs off of birthright citizenship ban, citing Constitution. (Washington Post)
Boston authorities arrest two in plot to shoot up Pokemon championships. (Sky News)
Can you Google next year’s winner? Two researchers at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology argue that Google could influence the outcome of the U.S.’s 2016 presidential election. They’re calling it the Search Engine Manipulation Effect, claiming that skewing the search results from positive to negative, or vice versa, can alter an undecided voter’s opinion by 20 to 80 percent. Google said it wouldn’t “undermine the people’s trust,” but the EU has accused it of not treating all results equally, so it’s likely SEME will enter our political lexicon.
What’s black and white and the cutest thing ever? Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at D.C.’s National Zoo, cuddling her tiny pink cubs. Born five hours apart on Saturday, they’re the first pandas born in the U.S. this year and won’t be named for 100 days to honor a Chinese tradition. It will also be a few weeks before the hairless critters’ gender will become apparent — but by then they’ll have new fur and you won’t be able to take your eyes off the zoological park’s panda cam.
They’re charging forward. The saltwater power storage unit isn’t your ordinary battery: It’s made from components so non-caustic you can eat some of them, and aims to sustain societies running on renewable solar and wind power on calm nights. Jay Whitacre’s Aquion Energy, which is pioneering the technology, is just one of many companies jockeying for a share of a potential $13.5 billion industry, but many expect it to do well in marketing to tropical islands — where brine is never far away.
There’s room for everyone in space. The prestigious awards for science fiction and fantasy proved an epic battle this weekend: On one side were Gamergate-linked insurgents, vowing to block increased recognition of women and minorities, though it’s defended by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin and fans who’ve dominated recent years’ voting. The results were messy: No awards in five categories where the nominees were all white men. “There’s room for all of us here.” said Best Fan Writer winner Laura Mixon — but who knows what the sequel will bring?
That’s a lot of certainty for a precarious business. The Buckeyes have made history before the season even starts by being the top choice of all 61 sportswriters weighing in on an Associated Press pre-season ranking of college teams. That hasn’t happened since the poll began in 1950, and it’s a testament to OSU’s cohesiveness — they’ve kept most key players — since winning last year’s first College Football Playoff. But they can’t get cocky: They’ve been named Number 1 in the poll seven times, and lost the title in every one of those years.