It could be the real thing. A piece “almost certainly” from a Boeing 777 may be the first physical evidence from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The nine-foot-long wing component called a flaperon was found washed ashore yesterday on Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean. Reportedly bearing the mysterious number BB670, it’s to be taken to a French lab for what’s expected to be quick identification.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It was another routine traffic stop — until Samuel Dubose ended up dead. White University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing has been indicted for shooting 43-year-old Dubose, a black motorist, in the head on July 19 after stopping him for a missing front license plate. Police say the victim refused to produce his driver’s license, and Tensing has claimed he was dragged by Dubose’s car. But the prosecutor says Tensing, whose bond is set at $1 million and who could face life behind bars, never should’ve worn a badge.
Did he deserve to die? That’s the question murmuring across India after today’s execution of Yakub Memon, convicted for the bombings that claimed 257 lives. A court decided he was a planner and middleman who financed and stockpiled munitions. But he was the only one from the attacks sentenced to die, an exceptionally rare fate in India. A national debate over the matter ended abruptly with this morning’s hanging, just hours after the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal — a move likely to bolster demands for finding the true masterminds, who remain at large.
They’ve been dangling from Portland’s St. John’s Bridge for more than 24 hours — and authorities are starting to crack down. Protestors hanging from the Oregon bridge in an effort to block an icebreaking ship leased by Shell from traveling to the Arctic to engage in oil drilling activities have been admonished by a federal judge in Alaska, who says Greenpeace will be fined $2500 for every hour the dangling activists remain. For now, the protestors are sticking together — and staying in the way — despite the questionable legality of their actions.
Ten years ago, Yishai Schlissel went to prison for stabbing three gay pride parade marchers in Jerusalem. His attack today, three weeks after his release from prison, was strikingly similar: He wounded six, two seriously, before being pinned to the ground and arrested. Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox community has long objected to the pride parade — but Schlissel’s attack seems to be cementing even more support for the city’s gay community, with crowds joining the march after the attack as a sign of solidarity.
It looked like his troubles were over. The dissident Chinese artist was finally given his passport again — it was confiscated in 2011 by his government — and sought a six-month visa to attend to opening of a London retrospective of his work. But now Ai has publicly posted an official letter accusing him of hiding a criminal conviction — though he has none — and granting him a shorter, restricted visa. The government’s position will keep Ai out of London during the Chinese president’s October visit — which may have been the aim all along.
Exploration and production profits are sliding, and Royal Dutch Shell is looking to plug the leak. Plummeting oil prices and a second-quarter profit drop of 37 percent are forcing the firm to cut 6,500 jobs and reduce capital spending by 20 percent, with annual investment to be lowered by $7 billion. Trimming back next year’s operating costs is also on the agenda. Execs say they’re taking a “prudent approach” amid the downturn, while assuring investors that the proposed $86 billion takeover of GB Group was still “on track.”
Taliban say Mullah Omar has died. (NYT)
Cameron to Calais migrants: UK is no safe haven. (BBC)
Federal Reserve insists on flexible approach. (FT) sub
Russia vetoes U.N.’s MH17 tribunal proposal. (DW)
NYC investigates outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. (USA Today)
Calif. teen charged in 8-year-old girl’s murder. (LA Times)
He’s singing a bitter tune. The former Smiths front man filed an official complaint against San Francisco International Airport, alleging that a male security worker grabbed his penis and testicles while he waited for his luggage to come off a conveyer belt. Morrissey says two British Airways employees who encouraged the 56-year-old singer to take action witnessed the incident. In the near poetic complaint, the famously morbid lyricist said he doesn’t expect the airport to do anything with his complaint. True to form, the TSA denied any misconduct on the part of the employee in question.
Was he lying in wait? Residents of London’s Cable Street were looking forward to seeing a proposed museum celebrating women’s accomplishments in their neighborhood. But former Google diversity head Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, the man behind the project, has instead opened a museum about the famed Whitechapel murderer — who never operated in the neighborhood — because he’s “more interesting.” Palmer-Edgecumbe claims he’s still focusing on women’s perspectives, mainly that of the Ripper’s victims, and residents are outraged. But officials have little recourse, other than being watchful for building improprieties.
If so, you’re not alone. New research shows that many of us may get more hot and bothered about brands than we do over our living, breathing pals. Scientists measured people’s physiological arousal response when looking at pictures of friends, loved ones and favorite products. Significant others fared well, eliciting more emotion than a BMW logo, while best friends and favorite brands ran neck and neck for affection. But buyer beware: Such devotion is marketing-driven and easily exploited by brands … that don’t love you back.
It was a hard sell. After disappointing earnings on new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge models, the electronics giant says it’s “adjusting the price” of new phone models to account for a more challenging market. Despite rave reviews and a modest uptick in sales, the S6 models have failed to make a significant dent against Apple, which continues to dominate the smartphone market. So Samsung plans to speed up the release of larger and higher-end phones, with new models set to debut as early as August 13 in New York City.
It’s gone from impossible to probable. The latest installment, Rogue Nation, doesn’t hit cinemas until tomorrow, but Tom Cruise says he plans to begin shooting a sequel next summer. That’s highly unusual for a franchise whose previous four entries were separated by four to six years. But the 53-year-old actor may be cashing in on his declining action-star window, telling The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart that he’s eyeing more dramatic projects for the future and recently pitched a sequel to last year’s cult favorite Edge of Tomorrow.
Will it be business as usual? Former French player, national team manager and FIFA Vice President Michel Platini has announced plans to run in next February’s election to replace his boss, disparaged outgoing chief Sepp Blatter. The upheaval stems from Blatter’s ambiguous resignation (he’s still president) amid a major corruption scandal just days after being elected to a fifth term in May. The English Football Association and some FIFA officials are backing Platini’s bid, but some fear that the Frenchman will do nothing to buck the status quo.