He’s riling up the crowds. The GOP front-runner told supporters last night that all Muslims should be barred from entering America — including refugees, tourists, and even U.S. citizens — until authorities can understand the “great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.” Trump’s 2016 rivals were quick to condemn his stance — Jeb Bush called him “unhinged” — but several other candidates have proposed religious tests for migrants, or barring Muslim refugees altogether. Meanwhile, a new poll Monday predicted Trump could trail Ted Cruz in February’s Iowa caucuses.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He’s hoping to make peace. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the requested weeklong truce would coincide with U.N.-sponsored peace talks in the region. Yemen’s government has been in disarray since Hadi was expelled from the capital by Shiite Houthi rebels in February. He’s now hoping the rebels will follow suit when the Saudi-led coalition that supports Hadi’s administration lays down their arms beginning Dec. 15 — allowing time for humanitarian aid to enter the country.
He’s bringing millions with him. Joe Biden’s goodwill visit to Ukraine, which has been gripped by corruption and confusion since a pro-Western uprising two years ago, culminates today with an address to the country’s parliament. The American vice president is taking a stand against “the cancer of corruption” — even while critics note that his son is an independent director at a Ukrainian gas firm currently under investigation for graft. Yesterday Biden announced $190 million in U.S. aid to help implement reforms and allow the country to stand up to Russian aggression.
They’re straining to get into the public eye. In China, 675 companies — with about $63 billion in stock among them — have been stymied by a regulatory backlog dating back to July, when the government, desperate to contain the country’s market crash, stopped new sales of stock. As Chinese growth slows, all those new IPOs could help jump-start the economy. While China’s Securities Regulatory Commission says overhauling the IPO approval system is a priority, it insists it will only go as fast as the market can handle.
Oscar Pistorius granted bail ahead of sentencing. (BBC)
Beijing issues first red alert over air pollution. (NYT)
FBI: San Bernardino killers had been radicalized some time ago. (The Guardian)
Russia gives Paris puppy to replace slain police dog. (DW)
Malaysian prime minister maintains innocence, despite scandals. (Reuters)
Science wants to help make them whole again. In an effort to aid the 1,367 combat veterans who have received genitourinary injuries since 2001, doctors at Johns Hopkins University are planning the first penis transplants ever performed in America. The first successful procedure was performed a year ago in South Africa, and now the Baltimore-based doctors are confident they can offer genital reconstruction — which will bring back sensation, urinary function, and even the ability to have sex — to at least 60 potential patients beginning next year.
It’s all Greek to them — and all profitable. Since Athens went broke seven years ago, much of the Continent has turned its back, but not Bulgaria: A whopping 10,000 Greek firms have moved to this small Balkan nation of 7 million. Big businesses in retail, metallurgy, fuel distribution, construction and real estate are flocking to this new promised land, thanks to low corporate taxes and labor costs. But the loss of high-skilled workers and tax-paying companies may leave Greece understaffed if, or when, its economy finally recovers.
The key is to remain young at heart … and mind. Researchers interviewed 158 people in their 40s, asking them their thoughts about old age and elderly stereotypes. Twenty-five years later scientists conducted MRI scans of those same people, now in their late 60s. They found that those who’d had negative attitudes toward aging in their 40s showed greater losses in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with dementia — giving us all a reason to never act our age.
It was a triumphant return. Less than a month after the devastating terror attack on their show at the Bataclan Theater, the band joined U2 at AccorHotels Arena last night. Saying they had been “robbed of their stage” three weeks ago, Bono welcomed the rockers to join in a rendition of Patti Smith’s “People Have the Power.” Afterward, singer Jesse Hughes thanked U2 and promised fans that EODM will return to Paris in February. For fans who can’t wait that long, HBO recorded the concert as part of a special.
He won’t put himself in anyone else’s shoes. The company hasn’t disclosed the specific dollar amount, but acknowledged it’s the largest athlete endorsement deal in history, designed to extend far beyond James’ professional basketball career. A source close to the negotiations said it “easily” surpassed the 10-year, $300 million contract Nike signed with Kevin Durant last summer. The agreement will likely have a ripple effect on other athletes, particularly fellow NBA star Stephen Curry, who many expect to soon eclipse James as the league’s most popular player.