Gunfire erupted at a social services center yesterday, leaving Southern California in shock. Heavily armed suspects Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, allegedly murdered 14 and injured 17 at the Inland Regional Center following a dispute at a party. Relatives say the alleged killers were married with a six-month-old daughter, and a third possible suspect has been detained. It was the worst mass shooting the country has seen since 2012, and while the killers’ motives are unknown, the shooting once again throws the spotlight on calls for legislation to curb gun violence.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He’s on the fast track back to prison. The South African Olympian’s manslaughter verdict has been overturned, with an appeals court finding him guilty of the 2013 murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. It said the lower court incorrectly applied the rule of dolus eventualis to determine whether the 29-year-old knew death would likely result from his actions: He shot Steenkamp four times through a locked bathroom door. Currently under house arrest after a year behind bars, Pistorius must now return to court for re-sentencing.
They’ve joined the U.S. and France in the skies over Syria. Following a 10-hour debate in the House of Commons yesterday, British MPs voted in favor of airstrikes against ISIS. British Tornado jets took aim almost immediately, hitting the Omar oil fields, which are under the extremists’ control. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said the goal was to strike a “real blow on the oil and revenue” of the militants. American leaders, meanwhile, are reportedly pinning their hopes on an elite team of commandos hitting high-value targets in Syria and Iraq.
They’ll slide it back if others will. Saudi Arabia has informed other big oil producers that they’ll reduce output as long as nations both inside and outside OPEC follow suit. The news signals a major shift in thinking from the world’s largest oil exporter, which has been glutting the market for more than a year, leading to huge drops in barrel prices. While it’s unlikely the rivals will be able to hash out an agreement before tomorrow’s cartel talks in Vienna, it signals an opportunity for a slick deal in 2016.
Two more FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland on graft charges. (Reuters)
Brazilian lawmakers launch impeachment proceedings against Dilma Rousseff. (DW)
Janet Yellen makes ‘substantially’ strong case for interest rate hike. (FT) sub
Putin says Turkey will regret downing plane. (BBC)
Report: New breaches found at ‘in crisis’ Secret Service. (Washington Post)
U.S. military will open all combat jobs to women. (The Independent)
Senate rejects bill amendment to continue Planned Parenthood funding. (The Hill)
Dow drops 300 points amid fears over rate hike. (CNBC)
Are they wasting precious time? Turkish doctor Bilgin Ciftci is on trial for sharing a meme comparing Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Gollum from the Lord of the Rings films. Ciftci, who faces up to two years in prison, says Gollum isn’t evil, so he wasn’t insulting Erdogan. But the court has given a group of academics and psychologists until February to determine whether the hobbit who’s been twisted and driven mad by the One Ring is a villainous insult to the head of state.
They have your number. Cities in developed countries have long used phone data — who’s calling from where, how often and when — to pinpoint the busiest bus routes and snarliest traffic jams. But places where smartphones aren’t yet the norm, like Colombo, Sri Lanka, are just catching up. There, data from cellular phones might be plugged into city planning software to help determine the best way to design urban areas — which may prompt opponents, who question the ethics of sharing user data with third parties, to make a few calls.
It wasn’t worth the fight. The satirical news program made a last-minute decision to cancel an interview with the controversial singer amid reports of staff dissent. Their opposition was reportedly linked to his 2009 felony conviction from assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna. Host Trevor Noah was hoping to discuss domestic abuse, something he witnessed as a child, during the segment. Comedy Central simply said it hopes to reschedule Brown — who’s had to cancel his Australia and New Zealand tour after being denied visas — for a future show.
Their research is bearing fruit. Analysis of several 2.5 million-year-old peach pits found in southwestern China has led a team of scientists to theorize that ancient peaches — a popular snack for early hominids and animals long before humans hit the scene — were similar to modern ones, albeit smaller. Though agricultural history can be tough to determine because most fruits have evolved through both natural selection and domestication by humans, the researchers believe these pits could shed light on the early history of China’s food trade.
Call it a one-two punch. The 19-year-old NBA rookie is reeling from the release of a second video of yet another skirmish in Boston. The first video, which surfaced last week, allegedly shows the 6’11” center in an altercation with a heckler who pulled a gun on him. But footage of another — more confrontational and unflattering — fight has gotten him benched. Okafor’s former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says he’s one of the “greatest kids ever,” and Philly says they’re simply hitting him with “tough love.”