While You Slept
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
LAST DAY OF CAMPAIGNING IN SCOTLAND
Pro-independence and pro-union militants are campaigning for the last day in Scotland, with the latest polls ahead of tomorrow’s referendum giving the “No” to independence a slight lead, although more than 8% are still undecided, according to The Daily Mail. Newspapers across the UK are trying to weigh in on the final hours of debate, with The Daily Telegraph claiming that Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond “bullied” a university principal who had criticized the effects of a pro-independence vote. Rupert Murdoch’s Scottish Sun meanwhile stopped short of positioning itself and tells its readers that it’s “your voice, your choice your vote.”
ISIS REPLIES TO OBAMA IN BLOCKBUSTER TRAILER
Terrorist group ISIS has responded to last week’s statement by Barack Obama that Washington would “degrade and ultimately destroy” with a 52-second video clip that, according to The New York Times, “looks like a Hollywood trailer.” In the video, ISIS warns that “fighting has just begun” and suggests it will kill American ground forces, if any should be sent to fight them in the Middle East. The newspaper describes the timing of the video’s release as “curious,” coming just hours after Army Gen. Martin Dempsey raised this very possibility and suggested that Obama, who has so far dismissed this option, could be persuaded to change his mind, The Washington Post reports.
THOUSANDS OF GAZANS FLEEING TO EUROPE
The sinking of two boats carrying hundreds of migrants over the last week have focused the attention on the worrying fact that thousands of Palestinians from Gaza have joined Syrian and African refugees fleeing for Europe, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports. Using a network of smugglers, who demand as much as $4000 per person, they flee Gaza via small tunnels that lead them to Egypt, where they are first transported to Port Said and then to Europe. One recent shipwreck off of Malta, which may have cost 500 lives, most of them Palestinians, does not seem to dissuade would-be refugees. “They say clearly it’s better to die at sea than die of despair and frustration in Gaza,” one resident told the newspaper.
Katie the labrador leaps after her toy into the Savannah River in Georgia, as summer 2014 winds down in the Northern Hemisphere.
CHINA’S ECONOMIC STIMULUS
China’s Central Bank is injecting $81 billion into the country’s five largest banks in the form of three-month loans in a bid to address an economic slowdown, The Wall Street Journal reports. This comes as Janet Yellen, chairwoman of the Federal Reserve is expected to announce another $10 billion cut in its quantitative easing program, moving instead for higher interest-rates.
BRITAIN TESTS EBOLA VACCINE
Sixty volunteers in Oxford are taking part in a first trial of a vaccine, developed by GlaxoSmithKline and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, against the Ebola virus. According to the BBC, the vaccine could be used to immunize health workers in areas affected by the virus by the end of this year if the trial is successful. Yesterday, U.S. President Barack Obama warned that Ebola represented a “global threat,” while the United Nations estimated that nearly $1 billion is needed to contain the epidemic in West Africa.
Noted new media professor and proselytiser Clay Shirky has a new policy in class: turn off your devices!
In an interview with a French magazine, Gérard Depardieu quantified just how much and what kind of booze he downs each day, typically starting before 10 a.m….with champagne.