They shook the world. Seismic monitoring detected a magnitude-5.3 tremor near a North Korean nuclear testing site, which the rogue nation later boasted was a successful nuclear explosion. Its fifth atomic test — staged on the Hermit Kingdom’s National Day — was designed to counter the joint missile shield launched by South Korea and the U.S., which it considers a provocation. A statement from the White House promised meetings with Asian allies in the coming days to ensure the “provocative actions … are met with serious consequences.”
The Presidential Daily Brief
Your money’s up to no good here. Wells Fargo has been fined an unprecedented $185 million after it was revealed the bank secretly opened and managed as many as two million accounts without customers’ consent. This practice involved Wells Fargo employees creating credit card and deposit accounts to earn bonuses for exceeding sales targets. The San Francisco-based bank has fired 5,300 employees and promises to compensate victims of the scheme. While this is a victory for transparency, critics are wondering how to prevent such abuse in the future.
There was an 800-pound bear in the room. Appearing separately at an NBC security forum last night, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced tough questions, she on her email controversy and he on his bromance with Vladimir Putin. Trump lauded his great relationship with Putin, who has “an 82 percent approval rating” and has “been a leader” far more than Barack Obama. While Trump touted his secret plan to wipe out ISIS, Clinton vowed not to send ground troops into Syria — or “ever again” into Iraq.
She wasn’t alone. The retired general exchanged emails with Hillary Clinton when she became America’s top diplomat, describing how he’d bypassed State Department email accounts when he was George W. Bush’s secretary of state. Despite Powell’s complaints that Clinton’s camp was “trying to pin it” on him and his resistance to retrieving his AOL emails, congressional Democrats released the exchange to show that Clinton’s private communications weren’t unorthodox. In one message to Clinton, Powell warned that if her Blackberry use were publicized, “It may become … subject to the law.”
Tracking that shipment? Korean shipping giant Hanjin has filed for bankruptcy, which means half a million containers on dozens of ships can’t dock — port authorities aren’t sure their fees will be paid — and cargo owners are scrambling to recover their goods. Among them is Samsung, which has $38 million worth of merchandise adrift and is mulling chartering cargo planes for its electronic goods. Hanjin’s ships carry 3.2 percent of the world’s container cargo, so if the situation persists, retailers might be squeezed for the upcoming holiday season.
The war’s still raging. A provincial spokesman says a Taliban offensive briefly wrested Tarin Kot, capital of the southern province of Uruzgan, from Afghan government forces, causing local officials to flee to the airport. The sudden collapse of government control in some areas resembles last year’s capture of a northern provincial capital, Kunduz, where a U.S. hospital airstrike killed 42 people before Afghan forces retook the city. Recent Taliban activity prompted the deployment of more American troops to Helmand, just south of Uruzgan, to prevent its capital from falling.
Know This: One person reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound this morning at Alpine High School in western Texas. The iPhone 7 looks about the same as its predecessors, but boasts processor and camera upgrades — and the well-known lack of headphone jacks. Turkey’s president says he and the U.S. are “ready to invade” the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. Brazilian President Michel Temer was booed at the Paralympics opening ceremony in Rio.
Hear This: Douglas Rushkoff, author of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, has a new podcast, Team Human, which delves into ways to make technology work for people, as well as for profits.
Read This: If you were born to run, or even just born in the USA, you’ll want to get a taste of Bruce Springsteen’s new 500-page memoir.
Two in a row makes her No. 2. Tennis’s queen remains stuck at 22 Slam titles after falling in the semifinals in Flushing Meadows for the second consecutive year, losing to 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova. Nursing a knee injury, Williams double-faulted on match point to lose 6-2, 7-6(5). She forfeits her 186-week No. 1 run, while the 24-year-old Czech, who also beat Venus Williams on her way to her first major final, faces the new No. 1, Germany’s Angelique Kerber, on Saturday.
Maybe he can pinch-run. New York’s Metropolitans have reportedly signed Heisman winner and media magnet Tim Tebow, who washed out in the NFL. The ESPN sportscaster will play in the fall Instructional League in Florida, surprising many who watched him struggle to hit live pitches during his solo exhibition for MLB scouts last week in L.A., attracting interest from Atlanta as well. Still, the Bible verse-wearing, record-breaking Florida Gators QB will have to make some plays before he can become a pro crossover like Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders.
He still beats on against the current. The celebrated American writer left a slew of unpublished stories, the last of which will finally be released in April. Publishers sat on many of The Great Gatsby author’s stories, while others were considered controversial or unsellable in the 1930s. Though some of these saw daylight in The New Yorker and The Strand in recent years, the new collection of short stories, I’d Die For You, exhausts Fitzgerald’s secret library and will give fans a fresh taste of Jazz Age literature.
Are they feeling lucky? Google’s Jigsaw think tank believes it can thwart the work of online terrorist recruiters. Their plan? Supplementing results for ISIS -related searches with a “targeted advertising campaign” of YouTube testimonials in English and Arabic from former extremists, imams denouncing the group’s hypocrisy and corruption of Islam, and hidden-cam exposés. Jigsaw plans to launch the system, whose pilot garnered impressive click-through rates and attracted more than 300,000 viewers earlier this year, in a program targeting North American extremists — including white supremacists — this month.
A free press isn’t free. Nabiha Syed, 31, the general assistant counsel for news site BuzzFeed, is helping journalists navigate tough stories and battling for their rights. The granddaughter of Pakistan’s first female high court judge, Syed cut her legal teeth at The Guardian and The New York Times. Media rights have been threatened since Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel bankrupted Gawker by funding a libel suit — but Syed’s playing both sides, arguing that social media needs to protect users from harassment that’s sometimes defended as free expression.
They’re seeing the hue and crying. In striking social media posts, residents near the world’s northernmost city have shown the Daldykan River running blood red. Denizens of Norilsk are pointing fingers at the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant, which processes nickel concentrate, and noting that the phenomenon’s not new. The plant’s parent company, Norilsk Nickel, wouldn’t confirm a leak of industrial waste and released its own photo of a normal-colored river, but added that it has reduced production and it’s conducting environmental monitoring, undoubtedly hoping locals will stop seeing red.
Get out of the pool. Today the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming will reportedly announce a 10-month suspension for the gold medalist over his infamous robbery fabrication. Lochte and three other swimmers allegedly vandalized a Rio gas station bathroom, then portrayed security guards as armed robbers. Teammate Jack Conger is expected to get a four-month suspension, while Lochte, whose hijinks have cost him four endorsement deals, will miss the 2017 World Championships. Meanwhile, he’s signed on for the next season of “Dancing With the Stars.”