Turkey reported that it scrambled its jets yesterday after Russian warplanes operating from Syria violated Turkish airspace. That incident, which prompted Ankara to summon the Kremlin’s ambassador and NATO to protest, is the latest sign that Vladimir Putin’s Middle Eastern military adventure is sounding alarms among allies fighting ISIS. U.S. officials also believe Russian jets supporting Assad’s regime are focusing their attacks on CIA-backed rebels, and now Moscow is hinting that its armed “volunteers” — of Eastern Ukraine fame — may also be headed into the Syrian fray.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Afghan forces under fire in Kunduz requested the airstrike that destroyed the Doctors Without Borders hospital, killing 22 civilians, according to Gen. John Campbell. He also conceded that initial reports of a threat to U.S. troops had been incorrect. But the American commander wouldn’t say if Afghan or U.S. troops knew the target was a hospital before the AC-130 gunship fired on it for more than 30 minutes. This tragedy is bound to put pressure on President Obama’s upcoming decision about whether to withdraw nearly 10,000 troops from the country.
There’s little hope. The Coast Guard believes that El Faro, with 28 American and five Polish crew members, sank off the Bahamas in the midst of Hurricane Joaquin. The doomed 790-foot container ship’s owners say it tried to bypass the storm, but a mechanical failure left it at Joaquin’s mercy. Meanwhile, the once-in-a-millennium rainfall that hit the East Coast left 17 people dead in the Carolinas, dumping more than 2 feet of precipitation and breaking 18 dams. Authorities warn of continued lowland flooding as torrents head downstream.
A dozen nations, including the U.S., have been working on the Trans-Pacific Partnership for almost five years, finally agreeing yesterday on specifics. It’s a victory for President Obama’s late-term agenda, and it could have a major impact on industries as diverse as pharmaceuticals and vehicle manufacturing. Now it awaits ratification from a skeptical Congress through a no-amendment, up-or-down vote. It has critics on both sides: Some Republicans say it “falls woefully short” and it faces vocal opposition from labor leaders and Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Dispute about puppy leads to 8-year-old’s fatal shooting in Tennessee. (BBC)
U.S. Airways jet lands prematurely after pilot dies. (CNN)
European court invalidates data agreement with U.S. (USA Today)
Rockets hit government ministers’ hotel in Yemen. (NYT)
German factory orders fall, defying growth prediction. (Bloomberg)
He looked the Grim Reaper in the eye. Gov. Jerry Brown said that while considering whether to grant Californians the right to end their lives when physical suffering becomes unbearable, “I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death.” The signature of Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, enacts a law allowing physician-assisted suicide in certain cases. Starting next year, patients with no more than six months to live who are deemed mentally capable can make that ultimate choice.
Admit it, you’re a secret stalker. How many hours have you spent clicking through your ex’s photos or agonizing over “likes” from that frenemy whose approval you crave? Social media is becoming an ever-present enabler of bad impulses and obsessive traits. Researchers are calling them iDisorders, and say Facebook and its cousins fuel the fire of jealousy and insecurity that leads people to even less-appropriate behavior. But there’s far more research to be done — both on your cyber-sweeties and the tortured thoughts their posts elicit.
They wanted the shirts off their backs. Air France managers meeting at Charles de Gaulle Airport to discuss nearly 3,000 job cuts — the company’s first outright firings in two decades — were “almost lynched” when protesting workers outside broke down gates and stormed the meeting. They ripped the shirts off of the company’s fleeing HR director and another exec before the two men escaped over fences, helped by police and guards. Workers plan to strike today over the cuts, which would eliminate routes along with ground staff, pilots and flight attendants.
The twitterati won’t suffer it. While promoting Suffragette, her upcoming film about the British women’s suffrage movement, the outspoken actress graced the cover of Time Out wearing a shirt with the slogan “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.” The quote — from suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, portrayed on-screen by Streep — has ruffled the feathers of Twitter users offended by its racial overtones, especially considering the recent Confederate flag controversy. Now some wonder if Streep’s wardrobe faux pas could put her out of fashion for awards season.
Has he lost control? Yesterday — the day before his team’s first playoff appearance in three years — the 2007 Cy Young winner shocked fans by announcing he was entering rehab for alcohol abuse, saying he wants to take control of his disease. A cynic might point to the 35-year-old southpaw’s flagging stats: He went 6-10 this season with a 4.73 ERA. But his teammates, including Masahiro Tanaka, tonight’s starter in a do-or-die wild-card game against the Houston Astros, have vowed to “win one for CC.”