UKRAINE RETRACTS ‘CEASE-FIRE’ LANGUAGE “The office of President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine said Wednesday that he and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had a similar understanding about what was needed to achieve a cease-fire in southeastern Ukraine, but it retracted a statement it had made earlier in the day that said the two men had agreed to a ‘lasting cease-fire.’ The initial statement, posted on the presidential website, went too far in describing the results of a telephone call between the two leaders as having reached a cease-fire, said a spokesman, noting that a revised version would be posted shortly.” The news, which comes just as President Obama is landing in the Baltics, is doing wonders for the markets despite an undercurrent of uncertainty. [NYT]
U.S.: EXECUTION VIDEO OF STEVEN SOTLOFF AUTHENTIC “President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the United States will not be intimidated by Islamic State militants after the beheading of a second American journalist and will build a coalition to ‘degrade and destroy’ the group.” In the video of the execution, the executioner states, “I'm back, Obama, and I'm back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.” Obama deployed 350 more troops to Baghdad. And friends of Steven Sotloff remember his dedication to his craft. [AP]
200 JOBS COMING TO FERGUSON “Centene Corp. has selected Ferguson, the site of unrest for more than three weeks following the police shooting of Michael Brown, as the location for a new claims processing facility, with plans to bring up to 200 jobs to the city. The unrest following Brown’s death prompted Centene to select the city for the expansion.” While Twitter lit up with talk of Ferguson, Facebook users were more than twice as likely to see their friends taking the ALS ice bucket challenge. And support for HuffPost's Ferguson Fellowship -- a crowdfunded reporter to stay on the ground in the St. Louis area for the next year -- has been surging. We're at 47% of our goal, but still need another push. Here's where you can take us across the finish line. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
THIRD AMERICAN DIAGNOSED WITH EBOLA A third American aid worker has contracted the deadly virus. “‘Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it,’ Joanne Liu, international president of medical charity Doctors Without Borders, said in a briefing at the United Nations. She faulted world leaders for failing to recognize the severity of the crisis sooner and said charities and West African governments alone do not have the capacity to stem the outbreak.” [WaPo]
NO MORE SMOKES AT CVS CVS has renamed itself CVS Health, in a bid to rebrand the convenience store and “expand its health-care footprint.” The store will stop carrying tobacco products today, a month earlier than previously promised. [WaPo]
HOME DEPOT HAS BEEN HACKED Because even buying home improvement materials isn’t safe anymore. [HuffPost]
GOOGLE’S GUNNING FOR OUTLOOK “It is the job of Amit Singh to persuade companies to ditch Microsoft Outlook, Office and personal computers for business-focused versions of Gmail, Google Apps and stripped-down laptops known as Chromebooks. While Bay Area startups and smaller companies have adopted Google's services in the last decade, the company has had only limited success convincing big businesses to replace tools like Microsoft Word.” [WSJ]
SAM HEADED TO DALLAS COWBOYS “Michael Sam might not be without an NFL team for long. The Dallas Cowboys plan to bring in Sam, the first openly gay player ever to be drafted into the NFL, for a physical on Wednesday with the intention of signing him to their practice squad, according to multiple reports.” [HuffPost]
MORE NUDE PHOTO DETAILS EMERGE While the FBI continues to search for the alleged ring of hackers responsible for releasing over a hundred celebrities’ private photos to the world, celebrities have taken to Twitter to air their anger. This background piece examines Anonymous, the group on 4chan that supports such a leak. Pictures of McKayla Maroney have been taken down after her lawyers have stated she was underage at the time of the photos. And since Apple alleges the photos were stolen by targeting these individuals for their personal information, here’s how you can protect your own cloud from such personal attacks.
JOAN RIVERS IS STILL ON LIFE SUPPORT According to her daughter, Melissa Rivers. "I know my mother would be overwhelmed by the continued outpouring of kindness and I want to thank everyone for keeping us in their prayers," Rivers wrote in a statement. [HuffPost]
BECAUSE MEMORIES ARE SHORT Here’s a refresher on how all your favorite shows left off last spring, just in time for fall premiere season. [Vulture]
DO YOU SIT AT A DESK? Then you should be using these warm-ups before you work out, because let’s be real -- we all slouch. [HuffPost]
GO READ A BOOK You can even finish these 46 short novels in a day. [Buzzfeed]
EXAMINING THE ‘TORTURED GENIUS TROPE’ “Every suicide leaves behind mourners grasping for answers, but when the person in question is a high-profile celebrity known to have struggled with mental health issues, it's tempting to fall back on the age-old trope of the 'tortured genius.' It's an idea deeply embedded in our culture: the artist, musician, poet, novelist or comedian who excels in his or her field, but is tormented by inner demons. By this logic, the coexistence of creativity and mental illness is not a coincidence: The talent and the demons are thought to be inextricably linked. The torment is part of the gift.” [HuffPost]
ON THE BLOG
AT SCHOOL, DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR KIDS ARE SAFE? “As of today, American parents have sent 69 million children back to school and child care. But many have no idea what protections exist to keep kids safe in the very places they're supposed to be protected. According to a new Harris Poll online survey, 63 percent of U.S. parents with children in school or child care are not very familiar with emergency plans in those locations. Forty-two percent don't even know where to meet up with their children in case of evacuation.” [HuffPost]
BAN KI-MOON: TIME TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE “Time is running out. The more we delay, the more we will pay. Climate change is accelerating and human activities are the principal cause, as documented in a series of authoritative scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The effects are already widespread, costly and consequential -- to agriculture, water resources, human health, and ecosystems on land and in the oceans. Climate change poses sweeping risks for economic stability and the security of nations.” [HuffPost]
WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW
~ Developing an iPhone app? Here’s all the things you should make sure are up to par before submitting your app to Apple.
~ Pamela Anderson looks pretty fantastic in these high-fashion photos.
~ Lauren Conrad’s bridal shower is predictably perfect -- just look at the cocktail napkins.
~ The Gosselin children from “Jon & Kate Plus 8” look SO OLD in their back to school photo.
~ We’re going to the 250-person orchestra performance accompanying a showing of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy -- one score to rule them all.
~ You won’t recognize Kristin Chenoweth after her makeover.
~ And because it’s been a while since you’ve been rolling in the deep, here’s two unreleased tracks from Adele’s “21” -- tissues are required, of course.
Got something to add? Send tips/quips/quotes/stories/photos/events/scoops to Lauren Weber (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow us on Twitter (@LaurenWeberHP). Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It's free! Sign up here.