The City of Light wants to shine when it plays host this week to world leaders looking to secure a global accord limiting greenhouse-gas emissions. More than 2,000 rallies are being held today around the world, and despite a ban on public gatherings in Paris, protests near Place de la Republique saw police respond with tear gas and arrest more than 200 demonstrators. While anti-terrorism efforts will distract from negotiations, many expect leaders to show solidarity against extremism — and clinch the deal.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They haven’t gone to war … yet. But tempers are flaring after Turkey shot down a Russian plane near Syria’s border amid claims that the Su-24 bomber violated Turkish airspace. The Kremlin announced the introduction of economic sanctions against Ankara yesterday, having already sent an anti-aircraft system into Assad’s realm. Today, Turkey said it would soon return the dead pilot’s body to Russia. President Erdogan, who warned Putin not to “play with fire,” has suggested they meet this week in Paris. But Putin doesn’t seem to be in the mood to talk.
Three people, including 44-year-old police officer Garrett Swasey, were killed and nine others were injured in Colorado Springs on Friday when a gunman wearing hunting gear opened fire in the clinic. This led to a nearly six-hour standoff and the arrest of 59-year-old suspect Robert Lewis Dear, who reportedly muttered “no more baby parts” as he was led away. Law enforcement officials are trying to establish the motive, and President Obama has responded, saying the U.S. must “do something” about accessibility to guns.
They’re on the assembly line to a new era. Chinese manufacturing has boomed over the last 30 years, but a declining population, higher wages and the rise of cheaper robots may be permanently altering the nation’s factories. Though many considered China’s supply of peasant labor inexhaustible, they were mistaken. Taxes, shipping lags and the embrace of automation in other countries might just push Beijing’s 20th century mass manufacturing model out in favor of smaller, more localized production elsewhere that’s designed to suit consumers it aims to serve.
The objective shouldn’t just be beating the militants, but also securing the peace. Allied leaders in World War II, for example, set their sights on defeating the Axis powers to establish a new world order. But today’s moves to destroy the jihadis, which many American politicians are pushing to expand, have not been coupled with long-term planning. ISIS has an ultimate goal, its so-called caliphate, so it’s high time the U.S. and its coalition draft a path for Syria and Iraq’s future — in the name of peace.
Andy Murray brings home first Davis Cup win for Great Britain since 1936. (BBC)
Tyson Fury beats Vladimir Klitschko to be crowned heavyweight champ. (DW)
Historic vote gets underway in Burkina Faso. (Al Jazeera)
14 killed as freezing rains hit Okla., Texas and Kansas. (USA Today)
Pope Francis arrives in CAR for last leg of African tour. (AFP)
Iran reveals new framework of oil and gas contracts to lure firms back. (FT) sub
Josh Wolfe just wants to have fun(d). And he does, investing from a $350 million venture capital fund in the deep-think space of scientific technology. Short-circuiting death, metamaterials and nuclear waste management grab his attention — he’s the anti-Angry Birds promoter — and place him in the company of investors like Bill Gates and Peter Thiel. The downside? These investments take a long time to unfold, and while funding blue-sky science, rather than software, is cool, it is also far more costly and difficult to scale up.
The beat goes on … in Brazil. Slums like Cidade de Deus — of City of God fame — see rock shows attract as many as 1,000 people a night. Some credit the biannual Rock in Rio festival for the surge, and others point to song lyrics about violence and prejudice that resonate among the poor. But it could simply be the power of the Internet and its greater access to global tunes. While funk still dominates in Rio, the underground rock movement is increasingly spurring fans to sing a different tune.
They were more than just a punchline to a North Korean joke. For the rank and file at one of L.A.’s most prominent movie studios, the infamous cyberattack this time last year destabilized entire lives, both financially — thanks to a destroyed payroll system — and psychologically, owing to fears of identity theft and leaked emails, Social Security numbers and medical histories. Many left Sony in the aftermath, but for those who remain, working life is just getting back to normal … though they tend to think twice before hitting “send.”
They want to serve. A whole new generation of military recruits is risking combat for the promise of a color-blind, performance-based workplace that offers an education, benefits and a paycheck. Sure, many feel duty bound and want to fight. But the U.S. military is increasingly being seen as a welcoming institution for women and ethnic minorities — now comprising 15 and 30 percent of its ranks, respectively — and is becoming a stable field for 1.4 million, many of whom will never be put in harm’s way.
He’s afraid we’re losing our touch. British Artist Edmund de Waal believes objects, even priceless ones, are made to be handled. His love of the art form — and, he believes, the secret to its survival as anything other than a cold artifact — lies in holding what seems too precious for anything but a climate-controlled glass case. De Waal’s new book, The White Road, and preparations for a California exhibition are his latest bids to convince us to think through our hands, as well as our heads.