The days of hesitancy are gone. President Obama told the U.N. yesterday that America was intent on dismantling Islamic State’s “network of death” and called on the world to fight the terrorists’ “unspeakable violence.” He then led a security council session that unanimously passed a resolution requiring countries to curb terror groups’ funding and their recruits’ travel. U.S. airstrikes have been pummeling militant targets in Syria since Monday, and overnight operations targeted oil refineries believed to be fueling IS’s sprawling “caliphate.”
The Presidential Daily Brief
The earth, the waters and the sky have their price. The U.S. government will pay the 300,000-strong Navajo Nation $554 million, the largest amount ever to a Native American tribe. The feds manage 14 million acres of Navajo land for coal and oil extraction, timber harvesting, and other uses. But the tribe sued, saying the management failed to maximize profits on its behalf for 50 years. The settlement is part of President Obama’s efforts to resolve longstanding Native American legal claims.
A French village is mourning the gruesome murder of Hervé Gourdel. The 55-year-old mountain guide from Saint-Martin-Vésubie was kidnapped in Algeria last weekend by the extremist group Jund al-Khilafa. They threatened to kill Gourdel if France continued its campaign against Islamic State, delivering on that promise yesterday with a video of his beheading. As Algeria hunts Gourdel’s killers, French President François Hollande has condemned the “cruel and cowardly” murder, saying his nation will not be blackmailed.
Europe is looking cheap again. The euro fell below $1.28 last night for the first time in more than a year in a 6.6 percent decline against the dollar since July. Investors are offloading euros after the European Central Bank decided to cut interest rates and buy non-government bonds in an effort to boost a flagging continental economy. A nearly opposite U.S. policy has boosted the dollar, and the new exchange should make Europe more attractive to buyers and tourists.
Nigeria: Hundreds of Boko Haram militants surrender. (DW)
Tony Stewart cleared in racetrack death. (CSM)
American begins hard-labor sentence in North Korea. (CNN)
Watchdog says GM salaries broke bailout pledge. (Bloomberg)
Consumer confidence and jobs drop in China. (SCMP)
Life often imitates art, but can death outlive it? Nearly 40 percent of Americans under 30 sport tattoos these days, and some want to be remembered for their artful flair, as well as their personalities. So an Amsterdam-based firm is gearing up to help the dead preserve their inked skin as mementoes for posterity. If you’d prefer to leave that idea on ice, it’s just as well: A pathologist must remove the corpse’s tattoo, freeze it and ship it to the European lab for scientists to put a deadly new spin on living art.
Some apples need more polish. Sales of the new iPhone 6 are soaring, but so are the bad reviews. The biggest bite? That iPhone 6 Plus models are bending in pockets — and not bending back, sparking a #bendgate social media frenzy. But customers are also bent out of shape by Apple’s new operating system, iOS 8.0.1, which was released and immediately withdrawn, apparently causing drops in cellular service. Apple apologized and is working on a shinier 8.0.2 version.
Does size matter? Yes, according to researchers at University College London, who found that changes in a woman’s skirt size correlate to her breast cancer risk after menopause. Obesity, particularly in the form of belly fat, is a known risk factor. And while women don’t normally recall their twenty-something body mass index, they often remember their skirt size. The study determined that going up a full size each decade resulted in a 33 percent increase in cancer risk.
Eat, sleep and be merry: The plain-speaking author of the parental hit about getting kids to Go the F**k to Sleep is putting a new book to bed. In a bid to get exasperated parents laughing about another battle of wills with children, plans are afoot for You Have to F**king Eat. Author Adam Mansbach notes that eating is “the other universal source of parental anxiety,” but hopes to provide parents with “a laugh and a bit of catharsis” with his provocative prose.
They’re calling foul on the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The Qatari women knew religious headscarves were against FIBA rules but decided to take a stand. The team forfeited to Mongolia after collectively refusing to remove their hijabs at the opener of yesterday’s Asian Games, which sport the slogan “Diversity Shines Here.” FIBA claims the headscarves are potentially dangerous, but other sports at the games allow them, including soccer and sculling. Baldness-hiding NBA headbands, meanwhile, slip through the net.