SCOTS VOTE TO STAY IN UK “Scotland spurned independence in a historic referendum that threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart, sow financial turmoil and diminish Britain's remaining global clout … Unionists won 55 percent of the vote while separatists won 45 percent with 31 of 32 constituencies declared.” Almost 85% of the country voted in the landmark referendum. The markets couldn’t be happier with the outcome, and the British pound is on the rise. David Cameron has said he will stick to his pre-referendum promises, and the U.K. isn’t quite out of the woods yet, politically speaking. Business leaders and bookies alike are pleased with the outcome. And check out the front pages of Scotland’s top newspapers. [Reuters]
AID, NOT WEAPONS, FOR UKRAINE “President Barack Obama stuck to his refusal to provide weapons or other lethal military gear to Ukraine, despite a passionate appeal Thursday for help in fighting pro-Russia rebels by Ukraine's president. Speaking before a joint session of Congress, President Petro Poroshenko described the monthslong conflict in eastern Ukraine as being at the forefront of a global fight for freedom and democracy.” [WSJ]
HOME DEPOT'S DATA BREACH WORSE THAN TARGET'S The theft is “likely the largest breach ever of a retailer's computer system,” as the hackers made off with 56 million customer debit and credit cards, compared with the 40 million hacked from Target last fall. [HuffPost]
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNS NIGERIAN TORTURE PRACTICES “Nigeria's police and military routinely torture women, men and children as young as 12 with beatings, shootings, rape, electric shocks and pliers used to pull out teeth and nails, Amnesty International charged Thursday. Most of those detained are denied access to the outside world and even to visits from family or lawyers, said the new report collated from hundreds of testimonies over 10 years.” [AP]
WHAT A GROUND FIGHT LOOKS LIKE IN SYRIA “The American air campaign to thwart the advance of fighters from the Islamic State has been the easy part of President Obama’s strategy in Iraq and Syria. Soon begins the next and much harder phase: rolling back their gains in Mosul, Falluja and other populated areas, which will require American advisers to train and coordinate airstrikes with Iraqi forces. Pentagon officials are more willing than their counterparts at the White House to acknowledge that this will almost certainly require American Special Operations forces on the ground to call in airstrikes and provide tactical advice to Iraqi troops.” And a new hostage video purportedly from ISIS shows a man claiming to be British journalist John Cantlie. [NYT]
ALIBABA IPO ONE OF LARGEST ALL-TIME “Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s shares priced Thursday at $68 apiece, putting the Chinese company on track for an initial public offering that will raise at least $21.8 billion.” Yahoo’s going to walk away with a cool $5.1 billion from its shares of the e-commerce company. Here’s a primer on what you need to know. [WSJ]
THE FLIGHT FROM HELL “Many wept. Some prayed. But after their smoke-filled plane rattled to an emergency landing, passengers had a new lease on life, as they exited a JetBlue flight Thursday via inflatable chutes. ‘I'm just happy to be alive,’ said passenger Jarrod West, who slid down holding his black Chihuahua. ‘I don't think I'll be mean to anybody ever again.’" This footage of the disastrous flight is the stuff of nightmares. [CNN]
MAN KILLS DAUGHTER, SIX GRANDKIDS, HIMSELF Don Charles Spirit, 51, shot his daughter and six grandchildren, aged three months to ten years old, before killing himself in North Florida. [HuffPost]
WHERE’S ROGER GOODELL? “The National Football League is facing perhaps its most public crisis. Player arrests and indictments are making headlines. League and team officials are fumbling their way through these cases, appearing more responsive to public outrage than player wrongdoing. Sponsors are wavering and calling for action. For all the wrong reasons, the NFL is in the spotlight. Yet, it would seem a searchlight is needed to find NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.” [HuffPost]
HOW SHONDA BECAME SHONDA Shonda Rhimes has a three-hour block on Thursdays this fall, a remarkable achievement in today’s TV age. Here’s how she created “Shondaland” and brought down the trope of the “angry black woman” along the way. [Story, Image via Vulture]
CALIFORNIA TRIPLES FILM TAX CREDIT Looks like there won’t be any more green screen shots of the Hollywood sign. [Variety]
SNL FOUND A DON PARDO REPLACEMENT “When long-running announcer Don Pardo died at age 96 last month, a long chapter of Saturday Night Live history came to a close. It was hard to imagine that anyone could replace Pardo, whose voice can be heard over the opening credits of every season of S.N.L., barring one. But S.N.L. just might have found the next best thing in Darrell Hammond, the show’s longest-serving cast member.” [Vanity Fair]
IT’S FLU VACCINE TIME Better to get a shot than that nasty bug. [HuffPost]
EXERCISE = HAPPINESS Exercise may help you get in shape, but it also brightens up your mood. [HuffPost]
THIS IS WHAT BIPOLAR DISORDER FEELS LIKE “About 2.6 percent of American adults -- nearly 6 million people -- have bipolar disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). But the disease, characterized by significant and severe mood changes, is still dangerously misunderstood. Bipolar disorder is vastly different from the normal ups and downs of everyday life, but many have co-opted the term to refer to any old change in thoughts or feelings. The mood swings in someone with bipolar disorder, sometimes also called manic depression, can damage relationships and hurt job performance. It has been estimated that anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide at least once.” [HuffPost]
ON THE BLOG
DAVID WOOD: A HARDER AIR WAR “It's worth remembering these days -- as President Obama declares that air power will be the primary and perhaps only U.S. effort against ISIS in Iraq and Syria -- that the impressive Pentagon videos of missile warheads exploding in the crosshairs obscure the difficulty that air power has in achieving positive, lasting effects on the ground. And that the effects of air campaigns diminish over time, as the Germans discovered when their intense bombing of London in 1940 failed to break Britain's will. Shock and awe are short-lived.” [HuffPost]
BEFORE YOU GO
~ Here’s how to properly celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day.
~ It’s frightening how much people look like their dogs.
~ Some millennials still have flip phones, and before you begin to feel sorry for them, remember that having a smartphone is slowly sucking away your soul, one game of Candy Crush at a time.
~ Meet the “personal trainer in your pants.”
~ Try not to cry watching Gatorade's Derek Jeter farewell ad.
~ These tree houses put the four-by-four in your backyard to shame.
~ Bill Clinton’s #TBT photos are fabulous.
~ And if you thought “Anaconda” showed some booty, check out the music video for J. Lo and Iggy Azalea’s attempt to top Nicki’s latest.