Some 300,000 environmentalists sang, danced and banged drums in New York yesterday in the largest-ever march for climate change action. The demonstrators demanded more than talk from this week’s U.N. climate change summit, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry implored world leaders to treat the issue as seriously as they do Islamic State and Ebola. Today, a “Flood Wall Street” sit-in will demonstrate — human tsunami-style — what will happen if greed trumps green.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Turkey has shut much of its border with Syria after an influx of about 130,000 Kurds fleeing advancing Islamic State fighters on the Syrian side. Kurds on the Turkish side of the border demonstrated yesterday on behalf of the refugees, and some even tried entering Syria to repel IS militants, which led to clashes with Turkish authorities. No one was seriously injured in the confrontations, but some fear the fragile peace between Turkey and its Kurdish population could fall apart.
The Chinese e-commerce juggernaut had the largest-ever initial public offering. Friday’s 38 percent stock surge inspired Alibaba underwriters to exercise the firm’s option to sell 48 million more shares, boosting the IPO’s size to a record-breaking $25 billion. The online retailer now has a market capitalization of more than $230 billion — larger than Facebook or Amazon. China has secured its place in Wall Street history and is hanging ten on the next wave of capitalism.
The Rockefeller family foundation has announced it will no longer be investing in fossil fuels. Patriarch John D. Rockefeller made his fortune with Standard Oil, funding the creation of the now-$860 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund. It is joining a small group of institutions that have promised to sell all their fossil fuel-related assets. While some argue the divestment — timed to coincide with this week’s climate change talks — is a crude strategy with minimal financial effect, others hope it’ll spur debate and investment in cleaner technologies.
Hong Kong students launch boycott over electoral reform. (AFP)
Ashraf Ghani declared president of Afghanistan. (CNN)
Accused White House invader is Iraq war vet. (Reuters)
Sierra Leone lifts three-day Ebola lockdown. (DW)
Study shows roasted peanuts spark more allergies. (BBC)
What’s worse than al-Qaida? Terrorists with a cool slogan and a flag to attract young men. So the U.S. State Department is mounting a film offensive against recruitment videos made by Islamic State. Using some of the militants’ own murderous footage, officials are hoping to show that IS is killing the very people it claims to protect. Overcoming the allure of a thrilling “thug lifestyle” is no mean feat, but anti-terror filmmakers will at least have a bigger budget.
Ten months after launching from Earth (and 33 minutes after slamming on its brakes over Mars), NASA’s MAVEN satellite is in orbit around the fourth planet from the sun. Humanity’s latest robot pioneer is there to study the planet’s atmosphere and shed light on how climate changes have shaped Mars. It will also test the atmosphere for evidence of water to try and ascertain what sucked the moisture — and possibly life — from the Red Planet.
Feel like you’re spinning your wheels at work? Might as well make it count. San Francisco artist Robb Godshaw and inventor Will Doenlen have written do-it-yourself instructions for what could be the next office ergonomics fad: A hamster wheel workstation. It allows the worker to walk or jog while shuffling papers or clacking away at the keyboard. The 80-inch-diameter wooden track spins atop four skateboard wheels, and may just give employers a run for their money.
This muggle’s got chops. Watson, aka brainy sorceress Hermione, is now wielding wizardry for gender equality as a U.N. goodwill ambassador. Watson spoke in New York this weekend to launch the “HeForShe” campaign for gender equality, noting that no nation on Earth has achieved this. No country ever will, she says, when only half its population “is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation.” Getting the world to take this issue seriously, now that would be magical.
Some cheap shots are costly. Philadelphia’s Nick Foles figured he’d messed up by throwing an interception. Then he got messed up: As Foles watched the play end, Washington’s 325-pound nose tackle Chris Baker leveled the Eagles’ QB. Foles’ teammates returned the favor, attacking Baker, and the melee led to Baker and an Eagle being ejected. Foles was shaken — and stirred — so he went on to repay D.C. with a game-winning touchdown.