The president on Wednesday plans to tell us his plan for destroying Islamic State and perhaps calm criticism over his recent “no strategy” gaffe. Obama is looking to garner international support in the fight against the murderous militants and promises to avoid another war in Iraq. American warplanes, meanwhile, engaged in a new offensive against IS near Iraq’s second-largest dam, and Iraqi troops claim they have secured the area.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Mitt says no, but he’s sounding like a candidate. Yesterday, the Massachusetts Republican bashed Hillary Clinton and said he would have done a better job than Obama, dismissing both Democrats as “two peas in the same pod.” To target poverty and other issues, Romney said, the U.S. needs a president who has “actually run something.” He claims he’s not gunning for the 2016 GOP ticket, but he’s also said that “circumstances can change.”
Many have their eye on Apple’s stock price ahead of tomorrow’s product launch. Behind the curtain? Most likely a larger iPhone 6, along with an iWatch, which many hope will be the first independently useful wearable. Shareholders in the iGiant were caught with their pants down last week following the iCloud leak of celebrities’ private images. But some analysts believe the battered stock will regain its dignity as CEO Tim Cook announces what consumers never had and can’t do without.
This is nothing to sneeze at: Young people are falling victim to a new respiratory illness, with many landing in hospitals and some in intensive care. The disease, likely a rare respiratory virus called human enterovirus 68, has sickened 1,000 children in 10 states and is expected to spread nationwide. The illness is related to the rhinovirus — cause of the common cold — and starts like a cold, but then triggers severe wheezing, which can be dangerous for children, especially those with asthma.
Duchess of Cambridge is expecting spare heir. (BBC)
Friends bid farewell to Joan Rivers at star-studded funeral. (WSJ)
Budget constraints might save us. Physicist Stephen Hawking worries that the “God particle” discovered in 2012 could destroy the universe. The Higgs boson particle, believed responsible for physical mass, could cause a “catastrophic vacuum decay” if subjected to enough energy. Luckily, Armageddon won’t come cheap: A planet-sized particle accelerator that powerful is “unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate,” Hawking says. So living beyond our means may mean we get to keep on living.
Humans are being given an experimental vaccine following a successful trial in monkeys. The U.S. National Institutes of Health found the shot doesn’t last long, but with a booster achieves up to 10 months of protection against the deadly virus. Scientists are racing to halt the spread of Ebola, which has killed 2,000 in Africa this year. The U.S. human trials began this week and will soon be replicated in the UK and Africa.
Cultural carte blanche is not something the French surrender easily. But Netflix doesn’t want to take the country by force as it launches service this month in six new European countries. Reportedly declaring “we’re not the devil,” the video-on-demand provider is wooing cultural authorities — already lashing back against other Web giants such as Google — by buying rights to older French films and creating an original French-language political thriller. They’ll do anything, it seems, short of paying local cultural taxes.
Could the Victorian-era murder mystery be solved? A hobbyist sleuth and a Finnish scientist teamed up to unveil the identity of Jack the Ripper as Polish immigrant Aaron Kosminski. Jack infamously hacked up at least five women in London in 1888, and a new book by Russell Edwards details DNA testing of semen on a victim’s blood-stained shawl. But the science is murky, critics say, so the book is unlikely to put the Ripper or his victims to rest.
Rice’s “worst mistake of his life” has cost him his contract and possibly his career. Minutes after the Ravens cut the running back, following the release of a video showing Rice assaulting then-fiancé Janay Palmer in February, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Rice’s suspension would continue indefinitely. The footage, published by TMZ, shows Rice punching Palmer in the face and then dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. Rice was first wrist-slapped with a meager two-game suspension, causing widespread outrage. Goodell responded by implementing new, harsher punishment for domestic abuse league-wide. Rice is now Exhibit A.
Williams is still the reigning queen of tennis. The champ beat upstart Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 Sunday, claiming her third consecutive U.S. Open and 18th Grand Slam singles title. Williams’ victory should put to rest any doubts over her royal status after losing tournaments earlier this year. Now tied with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for fourth in women’s titles, Serena seems primed to retain her throne.