RUSSIA HOLDING NUCLEAR EXERCISES Russia is holding “major exercises” with its “strategic nuclear arsenal.” Over 4,000 troops will be involved. President Vladimir Putin also laid out a peace plan for Ukraine, listing seven points that hinge on ending “active offensive operations.” NATO troops are holding military exercises in western Ukraine later this month. And France is now threatening to delay the delivery of a Russian warship.
BIDEN: ‘WE WILL FOLLOW THEM TO THE GATES OF HELL’ Vice-President Joe Biden made the U.S.’ position about the ISIS’ second execution of an American journalist very clear, as President Obama said he intended to involve NATO to "degrade and destroy" ISIS. And “Iraqi politicians appeared to unite Wednesday around hopes that the U.S. would intervene more forcefully to fight Islamic State militants in the country.”
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATING FERGUSON POLICE The Justice Department announced it would be launching a civil rights probe into the department. Michael Brown's lawyer stated yesterday he had “no juvenile cases involving serious felony charges or convictions, including murder, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.” Missouri Governor Jay Nixon lifted the state of emergency for Ferguson. And this graphic breaks down the racial gaps in police forces across the country.
EBOLA OUTBREAK: CAN’T 'AFFORD TO LOSE A DAY' “The cost estimate to combat the Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa has increased by $529 million since July 31 to $600 million, according to Dr. David Nabarro, the United Nations system coordinator for the dangerous epidemic. ‘We are not in a position where we can afford to lose a day, because this outbreak is currently moving ahead of efforts to control it,’ Nabarro said.” Recent cuts at the WHO are further hampering international coordination. [HuffPost]
OBAMA'S THREE-FRONT FOREIGN POLICY “In vowing in Estonia on Wednesday to defend vulnerable NATO nations from Russia ‘for as long as necessary,’ President Obama has now committed the United States to three major projections of its power: a ‘pivot’ to Asia, a more muscular presence in Europe and a new battle against Islamic extremists that seems very likely to accelerate.” And al Qaeda announced it's opening a cell in India. [Story, Image via NYT]
BLOOMBERG’S HEADED HOME Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is heading back to Bloomberg LP, the media empire he founded. [NYT]
CLOSING A ‘JIHADIST HIGHWAY’ “Turkey is struggling to close a ‘jihadist highway’ that lets foreign militants slip across its border into Syria, amid pressure from Western governments and mounting security fears at home. Turkish forces have stepped up arrests, patrols and interrogations in recent months, but the rapid advance of Islamic State extremists in Iraq has made Ankara's initiative even more urgent, say Turkish officials, Western diplomats and residents.” [Story, Image via WSJ]
MEET THE NEW HOSTS OF ‘THE VIEW’ “Actress Rosie Perez and Republican media operative Nicolle Wallace are joining ABC's daytime chat show, 'The View.' The network said Wednesday that the two will join Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell on the panel for the show's new season, beginning Sept. 15 … Perez is an actress and choreographer who has appeared in the movies 'Do the Right Thing' and 'Fearless.' Wallace, a political analyst for MSNBC, was communications chief for President George W. Bush's reelection campaign and was an adviser on John McCain's 2008 campaign.” [Story via AP, Image via Variety]
CAMPUS RAPE SURVIVOR MAKES POWERFUL STATEMENT “Emma Sulkowicz is a senior visual arts student at Columbia University. On the first day of her sophomore year, she says, she was raped by a classmate on her mattress. Sulkowicz' senior thesis, titled 'Mattress Performance' or 'Carry That Weight,' is a literal expression of that emotional weight. In what she calls an endurance art piece, she will drag her mattress everywhere she goes on campus until her rapist is expelled or leaves. The project, she says, could extend for one day or for the entire remainder of her time at Columbia.” [HuffPost]
WE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT A HAKA DANCE WAS, EITHER Team USA was super confused by the New Zealand’s basketball team's haka dance, “an ancient performance borrowed from the island's Māori people, meant to fiercely display the group's ‘pride, strength and unity.’” Derrick Rose’s face says it all. [HuffPost]
'THE LITTLE RASCALS' TURNED 20 The cast’s reunion photos really make you miss the scum between your toes. [HuffPost]
IS THIS WILL SMITH DANCING? On a segway, at Burning Man. He’ll always be our fresh prince. [HuffPost]
BUYING STUFF DOESN’T MAKE YOU HAPPY Now there’s scientific proof. [HuffPost]
HOW YOU KNOW YOU MET THE ONE Or at least, how these men knew they met the one for them. Cue the awwww’s. [HuffPost]
ON THE BLOG
DAN RATHER: STOP AND REMEMBER FALLEN JOURNALISTS “What a wrenching loss, not only for Steven Sotloff's family, but for all of us. The young journalist was just 31 years old, doing important work and what he loved in a far off corner of the world … I didn't know Steven Sotloff or James Foley. But we should all pause and give thanks to their memory, their work and their courage.” [HuffPost]
WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW
~ This is a real AP headline: “Penn State Student Gains Reputation As The Squirrel Whisperer.”
~ Kim Kardashian took it all off for GQ.
~ Saving money at the grocery store boils down to one thing -- don’t be picky.
~ We’re a bit upset about a shocking “Game of Thrones” plot development involving Bran and Hodor next season.
~ These baby raccoons will make off with your heart.
~ Pizza Hut just released a bacon and cheese stuffed crust pizza, because if you’re gonna stuff the crust, you might as well do it right.
~ Happy birthday, Beyonce.
~ And here’s how you make sure you won’t lose your pet turtle, ever.
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