Deeds, not words. That’s what Russia’s nervous neighbors await. Western leaders are meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko today ahead of talks in Wales that will focus on Russian aggression. Many question whether the summit will lead to effective action. “NATO looks powerless to prevent Russia from destabilizing Ukraine. The biggest question is whether it has the credibility to prevent Russia from doing the same in the Baltic states, which are NATO members,” says OZY Global Editor Steve Butler.
The Presidential Daily Brief
There’s no punch line: The queen of satire — and decades-long TV star, host and fashion guru — has died. The Barnard graduate, who once gave tours at Rockefeller Center and performed on stage with Barbra Streisand, suffered cardiac arrest late last week and had been on life support in a New York hospital. Sometimes self-deprecating, often controversial, Rivers will long be remembered for her brusque manner and unrelenting wit. “My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” her daughter Melissa said.
It’s not just British lads doing jihad. A Boston tech whiz is believed to be behind Islamic State’s social media campaign, and another 100 Americans have joined the militants, officials say. The FBI is offering $50,000 for the capture of American-Syrian citizen Ahmad Abousamra, 32, who in 2004 joined the “media wing” of the precursor to IS, which Obama has vowed to “degrade and destroy” after the beheadings of two American journalists.
The U.S. Justice Department is planning a civil rights investigation into the practices of city police in Ferguson, where unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot dead last month by a cop. The probe complements an investigation by the FBI examining Brown’s killing and will attempt to determine whether Missouri authorities have a history of excessive force and discrimination. Ferguson’s police chief said he welcomes the investigation, noting that if police “unintentionally” violated rights, “we need to know about it.”
Bloomberg must be Bloomberg, it seems. The former Gotham chief — worth $32 billion — is re-taking charge of his $9 billion-a-year data and financial news giant, Bloomberg LP. Chief executive Daniel Doctoroff is stepping aside to accommodate the former CEO’s recent increased involvement. The financial scion protested that he really wanted to focus on nonprofit causes like gun control, but Doctoroff insisted. So for the first time in over a decade, Bloomberg’s is the only vote that counts.
European Central Bank cuts rates. (BBC)
Tesla picks Nevada for $5 billion battery factory. (CNNMoney)
Al-Qaida chief launches branch in South Asia. (AFP)
WHO: Someone commits suicide every 40 seconds. (Bloomberg)
Louisiana court upholds gay marriage ban. (Times-Picayune)
Wanted: An animal that looks like a mushroom jellyfish and refuses to be pigeon-holed. Scientists don’t know how to classify tiny translucent creatures found off Australia’s coast. Netted in 1986, the new species are reminiscent of 635 million-year-old critters and went unnoticed until recently, when old samples resurfaced. DNA may determine if they belong to a new animal phylum, but alcohol contaminated the little guys. So please contact the University of Copenhagen if you see a slimy, multicellular mushroom on your next dive.
Forget about Berlin or Barcelona. Lisbon is the new place to be for artists. Portugal’s sunny capital is emerging as an unlikely creative hub amid economic downturn. With the support of the local council, a young generation of local writers, photographers, architects and fashion designers are reconquering run-down locations like old factories and turning them into epicenters of creative innovation. Opportunistic public policy is driving the renaissance, as well as Europe’s artists — to the continent’s southwest coast.
Money can buy happiness, but it’s best spent on experiences, not things. A new study reveals that bucks spent on trips, for example, leave folks more satisfied than material possessions. Imagination seems to be the key ingredient, with people enjoying the creative forethought of holiday planning or the anticipation of upcoming events. Products, meanwhile, often leave us feeling impatient. The bonus? As we age we enjoy simple — and often free — experiences, like gardening and walking, proving joy can be earned as well as bought.
Confusion, aimlessness and gratuitous nudity. Jean-Luc Godard is back, except this time the grandfather of New Wave cinema is offering it up in three dimensions at October’s London Film Festival. “It is very different from the 3D films we’re used to seeing,” says the festival’s director. What, no cars that morph into killer robots? Mais non! Godard’s 39th film, Goodbye to Language, is using the technology to explore the realm of philosophy, rather than high-speed chases and sword fights.
The last time a Japanese man made the U.S. Open tennis semifinals, he probably came by steamship. It’s taken 96 years, but Kei Nishikori, 24, regained the honor yesterday, beating third-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in a grueling five sets. It doesn’t get any easier from here, though: Nishikori will face Serbian titan Novak Djokovic, who survived last night’s even later-running match to oust Scottish favorite Andy Murray. When he does, it could be another historic moment for Japan’s rising son.