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U.S. Terrorism Probe, Marine Le Pen Exclusive, Climate Art

CALIFORNIA SHOOTING MAY BE TERRORISM

FBI officials investigating the Wednesday San Bernardino shooting that left 14 people dead and 21 wounded are probing a potential terrorist motive, though that connection has yet to be substantiated, the Los Angeles Times reports. Police officers told reporters that the level of planning and the arsenal used by killers Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik suggest it was more than a response to a workplace dispute. "Certainly they were equipped and they could have continued to do another attack," San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan said. The Los Angeles Times reports that Farook is believed to have been in contact with a potential terror suspect, meaning there could be a "deeper terror matrix," the newspaper quoted a senior federal source as saying.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

A return to national borders, a fight against radical Islam, a rejection of the EU and its asylum policies. France's Far-Right National Front leader Marine Le Pen answers questions from Le Temps in the wake of the Paris attacks, and ahead of Sunday's regional elections, when the party is expected to make major gains. Read the full piece, "You Must Name Your Enemy — The Marine Le Pen Interview."


GERMANY JOINS ANTI-ISIS COALITION

German lawmakers voted overwhelmingly (445 to 146) to support the government's plan to join the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition in Syria and Iraq, Die Welt reports. The decision means that warplanes and up to 1,200 German troops could be deployed to Syria, and it comes three weeks after the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people.

  • Unconfirmed reports, meanwhile, claim that Britain could be the next ISIS target, in retaliation for bombing the jihadist group's positions in Syria.
  • Australia has taken steps to strip suspected terrorists holding two nationalities of their Australian citizenship, a move that could affect half of the Australians fighting with jihadists in the Middle East, AP reports.
VERBATIM

"Now if there is some little girl who wants to be a tanker, no one can tell her she can't," U.S. attack helicopter pilot Katelyn van Dam told The New York Times in response to the news that all combat jobs in the U.S. military are now available to women. "There will be no exceptions," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said. Some critics remain unconvinced. "Humping a hundred pounds, man, that ain't easy, and it remains the defining physical requirement of the infantry," one scientist said.


SNAPSHOT

Photo: Maxppp/ZUMA

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and Danish geologist Minik Rosing have installed 12 hunks of ice from Greenland's Nuuk Fjord in front of the Panthéon in Paris. The installation, called "Ice Watch" is an artistic reminder of the dangers of a warming planet as the French capital hosts the UN Climate Summit (COP21).


COULD THE EU SUSPEND SCHENGEN?

European Union interior ministers are expected to meet in Brussels today to address the issue of free movement across borders in the Schengen Area, the Financial Times reports. According to a leaked document prepared by Luxembourg, the EU could consider suspending the Schengen agreements and re-establish border checks for a period of two years. Yesterday Greece asked the EU to help control its border, especially its northern border with non-EU member Macedonia, where thousands of migrants are stranded after a Macedonian decision to welcome only Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis. The move has led to violent clashes, the BBC reports. An estimated 1.2 million migrants have entered Europe this year, more than half of them via Greece.


EXTRA!

"Justice at last," the headline in Johannesburg-based daily The Citizen reads today, after an appeals court found Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius guilty of murder. Read more from Le Blog.


49%

Almost half of Japanese workers could be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence software in the next 10 to 20 years, according to a scientific study published by the Nomura Research Institute. Most of the replaced jobs wouldn't require "creativity, cooperativeness and negotiation skills." The institute notes that this percentage stands at 47% in the U.S., and 35% in Britain.


CHINA-AFRICA SUMMIT IN JOHANNESBURG

Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Johannesburg, South Africa, for a Forum on China-Africa Cooperation during which he announced a series of measures to support Africa's self-development, Xinhua reports. According to Africa News Agency, the Chinese leader pledged $60 billion in loans and assistance to African nations.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



ROCKER SCOTT WEILAND FOUND DEAD

Scott Weiland, the frontman and lead singer of rock bands Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, was found dead late yesterday during a tour stop in Bloomington, Minn. He "passed away in his sleep," the official statement reads. He was 48.


ON THIS DAY


An English pope, you say? That, and more, in today's 57-second shot of history.

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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