VIOLENCE ROCKS FERGUSON Tensions continue to rise in Ferguson, Missouri as “protests in the St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death turned violent Wednesday night, with some people lobbing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police who responded with smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd.” Two reporters, the Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly and the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery, were arrested last night while filing from a local McDonald’s. “The journalists were released unharmed, but their detentions highlighted the town's ramped up police presence, which has left numerous residents injured by rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas during protests held every night after Brown's death.” Read the Huffington Post’s statement and Reilly’s play-by-play of the incident. “Severe press intimidation” has included guns, tear gas, and physical assaults aimed at reporters on the ground, all of which is “ minimal compared to those of the residents of Ferguson.” A new witness has corroborated initial reports that police chased an unarmed Michael Brown before shooting him multiple times. [HuffPost]
U.S. TROOPS BREAK SIEGE OF MOUNT SINJAR Thousands of Yazidis were able to escape from Mount Sinjar after a push by Kurdish fighters aided by U.S. airstrikes. The ongoing battle with ISIS has put Iran and the U.S. on the same side. Thus far, the Obama administration’s handling of the rise of ISIS has been marked by “the limits it has placed on the U.S. military’s intervention.” And this infographic breaks down how ISIS came to power in the first place.
NEW GAZA CEASEFIRE HOLDING, BARELY As the clock ran out on the latest 72-hour truce, negotiators cemented a new, five-day ceasefire. Yet rocket fire marred the peace this morning. Meanwhile, U.S.-Israeli relations are at an all-time low. [WSJ]
EBOLA KILLS SECOND TOP DOC IN SIERRA LEONE Sierra Leone’s other top doctor in charge of battling Ebola, Dr. Modupeh Cole, has succumbed to the deadly virus. At this point in the public health crisis, “extraordinary precautions” are being taken to further prevent the spread of Ebola.
RUSSIAN ‘AID’ ROLLING ON The convoy of Russian ‘aid’ continues to close in on Ukraine with officials claiming it is a Red Cross-sanctioned mission. The Red Cross has announced they have not been able to coordinate. [NYT]
POPE FRANCIS KICKS OFF SOUTH KOREAN TOUR “Pope Francis arrived in South Korea on Thursday, beginning the first papal visit to Asia since 1999 by expressing hope for reconciliation on the divided Korean Peninsula and offering consolation to the families who lost hundreds of children to a ferry disaster in April. ‘I came here thinking of peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula,’ the pope told President Park Geun-hye.” North Korea shot off three rockets shortly before Pope Francis arrived in South Korea. [Story, Image via NYT]
BRAZILIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE KILLED IN PLANE CRASH “Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was killed in a plane crash on Wednesday, throwing the October election and local financial markets into disarray. A private jet carrying Campos and his entourage crashed in a residential area in bad weather as it prepared to land in the coastal city of Santos. The accident killed all seven people on board, the Sao Paulo state fire department said. Campos, 49, was running on a business-friendly platform and was in third place in polls with the support of about 10 percent of voters.” [Reuters]
MEET THE FIRST ACTIVE GAY DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL PLAYER “Arizona State football player Edward 'Chip' Sarafin has publicly come out as gay. The redshirt senior made his announcement in an interview with Compete magazine. The 6'6", 320-pound backup offensive lineman is believed to be the first active college football player at a Division I program to publicly come out as gay, according to Outsports.” [HuffPost]
’BLACKFISH’ CUTTING INTO SEAWORLD’S PROFITS The controversial documentary “Blackfish,” which alleged the mistreatment of killer whales at Seaworld, has resulted in a drop in profits for the theme park. Kinda hard to spin killer whales killing your trainers, you know? [HuffPost]
SURPRISE, SURPRISE Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s daughter can sing. No one saw that coming. [HuffPost]
THE ERA OF THE SURPRISE ALBUM Turns out Michael Cera surprise-dropped an album, and critics everywhere like it. That said, who can dislike Michael Cera? [Rolling Stone]
ASHES TO ASHES “By 2017, the cremation rate [in the U.S.] is projected to reach 49.1…. ‘Families no longer stay in the old hometown the way they used to... Having the traditional family plot in the hometown cemetery just doesn't make sense for people who might never be there anyway,’ said Josh Slocum, executive director of the nonprofit Funeral Consumers Alliance.” [HuffPost]
YOU CAN ADD SQUARE FOOTAGE With these sneaky decorating tips, a home office, reading nook, and extra bedroom are all possible in your shoebox of an apartment. [PopSugar]
WHAT’S IN YOUR IPHONE “Benzene and n-hexane are chemicals thought to cause cancer and nerve damage, and they both have been used in the final assembly of Apple's iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Mac computers -- until now. The tech giant announced Wednesday that it is banning the use of benzene and n-hexane in the final assembly of all of its devices, according to The Associated Press. The prohibition is said to be part of Apple's effort to protect factory workers who build its gadgets.” [CNET]
ON THE BLOG
KERRY, HAGEL: AUSTRALIA PARTNERSHIP KEY FOR ASIA “Since the dawn of the 20th century, Australia and the US have stood together with a shared vision for a free, peaceful and prosperous world. Today we reaffirm our confidence that the relationship will continue to be a force for good in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, and the world.” [HuffPost]
WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW
~ This goat is wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
~ The inevitable happened -- J. Lo is releasing a song named “Booty” with rather obvious cover art.
~ These adorable photos of Simon Cowell with his baby suggest he has a soul -- maybe.
~ This guy polished off $102,000 worth of whiskey he was supposed to be guarding.
~ And Kim Kardashian’s largest regret is not about the circumstances by which she became famous.
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