Truces may come and go, but Israeli soldiers have really left. A 72-hour, Egyptian-brokered ceasefire is now in place over Gaza, silencing hostilities that have killed 1,800 Palestinians and 67 Israelis. Israel has claimed victory in destroying the cross-border supply tunnels used by Hamas and has pulled its ground forces out of Gaza. Negotiations between the two sides — set to resume in Egypt — must now turn the three-day respite into a lasting peace.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The UN lender has promised the funds in response to rising death tolls in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea amid worldwide concern that the virus will spread. In NYC, a man who arrived from West Africa with Ebola-like symptoms has been placed in isolation, and a doctor has fallen ill in Nigeria — both cases highlighting mounting fears over the widening reach of the disease. Health authorities hope to use the new funds to stem the virus’s “catastrophic” potential.
That wasn’t terribly professional. A U.S. Department of Labor probe determined that the online career network violated wage law and must now cough up $6 million in back pay and damages for 359 workers. At issue? A failure to record and compensate for all hours worked, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. LinkedIn said the violations were technical errors rather than law-dodging, but the firm has its work cut out for it in resolving the issue.
President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, who was partially paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair after John Hinckley’s 1981 assassination attempt, has died at the age of 73. The attack turned Brady and his wife Sarah into ardent gun-control advocates, culminating in the fiercely fought and approved 1993 Brady Bill that requires background checks for handgun purchases. President Obama called Brady a “legend” and hailed him for “turning the events of that terrible afternoon into a remarkable legacy of service.”
Afghan soldier reportedly kills U.S. Army major general. (NYT)
Probe rips Rikers violence against teens. (NBC)
U.S. to close three shelters for immigrant children. (USA Today)
China investigates Canadian couple for stealing state secrets. (CBC)
Is Russia getting battle-ready to take on Ukraine? (NYT)
Lights across Britain went off last night to commemorate the outbreak of World War I, honoring a 100-year-old prophecy by the UK’s Foreign Minister Edward Grey: “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” From the Houses of Parliament to soccer stadiums nationwide, Brits observed an hour-long blackout. The dark tribute shined a light on the 700,000 British soldiers lost in the ”war to end all wars.”
If “Facebook is the new town square,” as one pro-democracy activist suggests — referring to the popularity of the social network in media-controlled Vietnam — then there’s also a new sheriff. Nearly 25 million Vietnamese use the banned site, but a government-sponsored “online army” is reportedly targeting and shutting down activists’ accounts by reporting them for “misuse.” Nearly 100 activists have been targeted, and they’re growing wary of the “army” ironically using Facebook’s “democratic” abuse-report system to its advantage.
Racial inequalities are apparently still rife in one of America’s oldest institutions: the Army. Budget cuts and the subsequent cull of U.S. Army majors are hitting African-American officers disproportionately hard. Just over five percent of white majors have been dismissed, but nearly 10 percent of African-American and eight percent of Hispanic majors have received pink slips. The Army board claims to have taken performance evaluations into account, but did it consider race?
Cue parental groans: A new study shows that video gaming for up to an hour a day can benefit children aged 10 to 15. Oxford University scientists reveal that children who play in small doses are more satisfied with life and better adjusted socially. But the study also shows that too much can be a bad thing. So while many parents prefer that kids play outside, it seems temporary “square eyes” can lead to well-rounded children.
The Cincinnati Bengals know all about pressure. Many publicly questioned why they ignored high-profile quarterback options in this summer’s NFL draft, sticking instead with Andy Dalton. Post-season disappointment Dalton — with just one touchdown and six interceptions in three playoffs — has now landed a six-year, $115 million contract. But the team hasn’t totally ignored critics: The 220-pound Texan doesn’t get shown all the money unless he delivers playoff wins.