They closed in, and just in time. Residents in the City of Lights were jolted once again by gunfire this morning as SWAT teams and a helicopter converged on an apartment in the suburb of Saint-Denis. There — just over a mile from Friday’s explosion near the Stade de France — Abdelhamid Abaaoud, alleged mastermind of the ISIS-claimed attacks, was killed, according to some senior officials. During the raid, which reportedly thwarted a new attack on the business district of La Defense to the West of Paris, at least two militants were killed and eight were arrested.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It wasn’t the Big Easy. The Louisiana governor didn’t excite Republican primary voters, despite his strong conservative voice. He was fully engaged as recently as this weekend, making headlines for refusing to allow Syrian refugees into his state. But his campaign only had $261,000 in the bank, and he never rose above 2 percent in the polls. In announcing his decision — following departures by former candidates Rick Perry and Scott Walker — Jindal said he’s realized it’s “not my time” but hopes the GOP will become a “party of growth.”
The gloves are off. President Francois Hollande, who conducted airstrikes in Syria overnight, says he’ll meet with Obama and Putin to “unite our forces” and eradicate ISIS. American Secretary of State John Kerry, who met with Hollande today, advocated for a ceasefire in Syria that could leave forces free to fight against ISIS. Raids in Germany, Belgium and France have netted weapons and dozens of arrests — and thousands are expected at Wmebley stadium to watch France’s soccer team play its first match since the game Friday night that continued even as bombs detonated nearby.
They will pay. So says Putin following news confirming that a bomb downed the Russian A321 en route from Sharm El-Sheikh, killing 224. A homemade explosive equivalent to about 2 pounds of TNT detonated onboard, leading to the wide dispersal of debris for which ISIS has claimed responsibility. Russian authorities are offering a $50 million reward for information on the culprits, with Putin vowing, “We’ll find them in any corner of the planet and punish them.” He also said airstrikes in Syria must be intensified to make terrorists understand “retribution is inevitable.”
They’re slamming doors. Nearly half of America’s state governors have rejected plans for resettling Syrian migrants in their states, citing fears that the newcomers could pose a terror threat. A Syrian passport holder was among the murderers in Paris on Friday, and U.S. state leaders are clearly wary of domestic attacks. Immigration experts say governors can’t legally block refugees, and Obama has pledged to accept around 10,000 migrants from the region. But Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, for one, plans to do “everything humanly possible” to prevent it.
Did the Grinch plan this? Oct. 1 was the deadline for stores to switch payment terminals to handle data-chip-embedded cards. But that’s resulted in slower transactions and longer lines just in time for the holidays. Customers are suffering amid a battle between retailers, the finance industry and the FBI over how best to prevent U.S. fraud, which cost $30 billion last year. Retailers are fighting interchange fees of $61 billion, and state attorneys general, adding more good cheer, warn that chips aren’t enough: They’ll soon push to require credit card PINs as well.
Russia offers to restructure $3 billion of Ukrainian debt. (FT) sub
ISIS is trying to develop deadly cyber capabilities, with sights on U.K. targets. (BBC)
Man charged with murder after six bodies found near Texas campsite. (CBS)
Wall Street’s resilience helps buoy European stocks. (FT) sub
Germany vs. Netherlands soccer match called off over security concerns. (Independent)
Has Hollywood’s bad boy put himself too much at risk? The star revealed his HIV positive status on NBC’s Today in a much-hyped interview with Matt Lauer. The former Two and a Half Men star — who was fired after publicly feuding with its showrunner four years ago, around the time he says he was diagnosed — says he doesn’t know how he contracted the disease. Some industry insiders say they’re glad Sheen, 50, is getting treatment — but worry that going public could open him up to lawsuits.
For crying out loud. The Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year is “Face With Tears of Joy.” Judges selected a pictograph over traditional words because the symbols — shared via text, email and social media — best represent the “ethos, mood and preoccupations” of 2015 culture. Data shows the icon accounts for 20 percent of all emojis in the U.K. and 17 percent in the U.S. — and even the word “emoji” is enjoying a heyday. Nonetheless, the news has led some language experts to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ in disbelief.
They’re feeling the heat. French officials say the planned COP21 climate talks will still go ahead after Friday’s terror attacks, but in a pared-down fashion. While 196 heads of state and roughly 10,000 government officials will work to negotiate a historic agreement on global warming, authorities will reportedly be canceling many surrounding events, like marches and concerts. Activists hope to save the Nov. 29 Global Climate March, which aims to pressure governments into cutting greenhouse gas emissions, but they’re unlikely to get a green light from security forces.
They’re shoring up a way of life. America’s most northerly East Coast state has 15 offshore islands, like Vinalhaven, that are inhabited year-round. It’s gotten harder over the years to keep communities thriving in an environment whose industries, like granite cutting, have faded, and island kids often want to escape the isolation. Today’s population is half of what it once was. But affordable housing projects, focused development efforts, and community support for lifelines like ferries and schools are stabilizing life there, helping ensure that Maine’s islands can stay afloat.
Our bad! The football league has admitted that a non-call in Sunday’s game against Jacksonville cost Baltimore a win. Officials said the Jaguars should’ve been called for a false start on the final play of the game, ensuring a victory for the Ravens. Instead, the play went ahead, and after a subsequent penalty was called against Baltimore, Jacksonville kicked the game-winning field goal. A victory wouldn’t have helped Baltimore’s playoff hopes — they’re just 2-7 — and disappointed coach John Harbaugh said, “It’s just the way it goes.”