They made good on their threat. Turkish warplanes reportedly shot down a Russian jet this morning near the Syrian border after the F-16s warned the Su-24 that it was violating Turkey’s airspace. But there are conflicting reports: Russia’s Interfax news service says the plane — part of an effort to target Islamist militants in the region — crashed after being attacked from the ground, and that it had remained exclusively in Syrian airspace. Turkish leaders plan to consult NATO and U.N. members about the incident, which is bound to fuel tensions in the war-torn region.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They’re sure it’s terrorism. At least twelve people are dead after an explosion on a bus filled with presidential guards in Tunis, the country’s capital. It’s not clear if the explosive was aboard the bus or was fired at the vehicle. Tunisia is still on alert after terrorist attacks this summer killed dozens, and now President Beji Caid Essebsi has canceled a scheduled trip to Switzerland and is calling for international cooperation to help defeat the forces responsible — though nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The skies aren’t looking so friendly. With millions of Americans preparing to make journeys for Thanksgiving this week, the U.S. State Department has issued a rare global travel alert. Citing deadly attacks on three continents, and naming ISIS, al-Qaida and Boko Haram by name, officials have instructed Americans to be wary while traveling. Though it doesn’t mention any specific plans of attack, the alert — which expires Feb. 24 — warns that terrorists are looking to use a variety of tactics, including conventional and nonconventional weapons.
They’re not going to tolerate terror. After French president Francois Hollande met with President Obama, they gave a joint news conference where Obama affirmed his “total solidarity” with France when it comes to defending the world from terrorism. Meanwhile, authorities recovered a suspected suicide belt on a street in the French capital yesterday, and police believe it’s linked to suspect Salah Abdeslam. Brussels remains on lockdown today amid fears that terrorists are planning Paris-style attacks in the Belgian hub. Schools and public transportation will reopen tomorrow, but the high alert level will continue into next week.
Is it too hard to swallow? News of the pharmaceutical merger that would see Pfizer relocate to Dublin in an “inversion” deal to save $21 billion in taxes has prompted both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to voice concerns. The Democratic front-runner says it would further erode the U.S. tax base, while the mogul points to a presumed loss of jobs. Pfizer boss Ian Read insists it’ll free up funds for scientific investment, but stocks for both companies dipped on fears that Washington may thwart the deal.
Boy arrested over homemade clock is suing city, school for $15 million. (BBC)
ACLU sues Indiana governor over blocking Syrian refugees. (USA Today)
Car bomb explodes near hotel in Sinai, killing four. (FT) sub
Chicago officer charged in black teenager’s 2014 death. (NYT)
Hostages taken in northern France in suspected bank heist. (DW)
Analysts await third-quarter U.S. GDP report. (WSJ) sub
VW says emissions restitution is manageable, reveals plan forward. (DW)
Authorities hunt for shooters after 5 injured at Minneapolis police protest. (NYT)
They’re losing faith. The once-dominant demographic has receded quickly over the past eight years, with white Christians accounting for just 46 percent of all Americans, compared to 55 percent in 2007. The drop is attributed to growing ethnic diversity and waning religious affiliation: One-third of millennials identify as having no religious faith. But the Pew survey also revealed a political shift. Data shows that 69 percent of white Christians identify as Republicans, compared to 31 percent as Democrats. Like race and age, religious belief now sharply impacts American political affiliations.
This is pregnant with possibilities. California and Oregon are delivering a new reproductive health care model allowing women to get hormonal contraceptives like the pill after brief consultations with pharmacists, rather than having to visit doctors for full gynecological exams. Druggists are already allowed to do some things normally assigned to doctors, like administering vaccines. While many applaud the increased access to birth control, others worry that this model will hamper the movement to make contraceptives available over the counter, arguing, “There should be nobody between the patient and the pill.”
They’re laying fund-ations for a revolution. Though VC firms, like everything else, get buffeted by economic ups and downs, they’ve now been winnowed down to the strongest players, letting them function almost independently of market movement. Globally, as stock markets struggled last quarter, venture capital financing rose 88 percent to nearly $40 billion. Some worry that their relentless search for unicorns could see the market burst, but these juggernauts say they’re playing the long game — and that humanity’s on the verge of a startup-led tech revolution.
The Irish rockers will Walk On … in the City of Light. “[Terrorists] couldn’t steal the spirit of that city,” reads the letter announcing U2’s new Parisian dates. They’d been due to play Bercy’s Accorhotels Arena, a short distance from the Bataclan venue, on Nov. 14 and 15 — but after terrorist attacks stunned the city, the gigs were postponed. Those tickets will now be valid on Dec. 6 and 7, when Bono, the Edge, Adam and Larry return to perform and to broadcast a live show on HBO.
They’re two of a kind. During Cleveland’s 117-103 win over Orlando on Monday, James joined the former Bucks great as the only two players on the NBA’s top 25 all-time lists for both career points and assists. With his fifth assist of the game, the King surpassed Norm Nixon’s 6,386, and it probably won’t be long before James is in a class by himself. He’ll likely soon surpass Robertson’s scoring record and could even break the 77-year-old legend’s assist record this season as well.