THE WORLD TODAY

iouiouio

 

THIS MORNING’S HEADLINES

 

 

 

 

 

REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: COP AMBUSH SUSPECT MAY ‘THINK’ HE IS EASTERN EUROPEAN SOLDIER

la-na-nn-pennsylvania-police-shootings-frein-2-001

 

Al Qaeda’s quiet plan to outdo ISIS and hit U.S.

Bin Laden’s old network still hell-bent on blowing up American planes, and Syrian chaos is bringing it new opportunities

 

MORE TOP STORIES

 

Boko Haram suspected in deadly attack on Nigerian teachers college

Boko Haram suspected in deadly attack on Nigerian teachers college

ABUJA, Nigeria, Sept. 18 (UPI) –Suspected Boko Haram militants attacked a college in northern Nigeria on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding 35 others.
Australia disrupts possible public beheading terror plot; 15 arrested

Australia disrupts possible public beheading terror plot; 15 arrested

MELBOURNE, Sept. 18 (UPI) –Australian authorities have arrested 15 people suspected of planning a public beheading at the direction of a senior member of the Islamic State terror group.
Polls open in Scotland: How we got here and why

Polls open in Scotland: How we got here and why

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Sept. 18 (UPI) –As the citizens of Scotland prepare to decide whether or not to remain a part of the United Kingdom, UPI looks back at the events that led to the historic vote.
Doctors say Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has cancer

Doctors say Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has cancer

TORONTO, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Doctors treating Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he has rare form of cancer; will start chemotherapy in 48 hours.
Kerry: No U.S. ground troops in fighting Islamic State

Kerry: No U.S. ground troops in fighting Islamic State

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Secretary of State John Kerry stressed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday no ground troops in Iraq and Syria will be sent into combat.
American man arrested trying to swim to North Korea

American man arrested trying to swim to North Korea

SEOUL, Sept. 17 (UPI) –An American man arrested Tuesday night near Seoul, South Korea, was apparently trying to swim to North Korea.
Yevtushenkov arrested on money laundering charge

Yevtushenkov arrested on money laundering charge

MOSCOW, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov was placed under house arrest in Moscow Wednesday on suspicion of money laundering.
Peshmerga forces kill senior Islamic State commander

Peshmerga forces kill senior Islamic State commander

ERBIL, Iraq, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Kurdish Peshmerga forces killed senior Islamic State commander Yasin Ali Suleiman Shlash on Tuesday.
Study reveals details of Richard III's death in battle

Study reveals details of Richard III’s death in battle

LEICESTER, England, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Researchers have learned how Richard III died, revealing through forensic analysis that he suffered 11 wounds around the time of his death.
Edouard now a Category 3 hurricane

Edouard now a Category 3 hurricane

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) –A Category 3 hurricane named Edouard is currently 420 miles east of Bermuda.
Al-Qaida attack on Pakistani frigate foiled

Al-Qaida attack on Pakistani frigate foiled

KARACHI , Pakistan, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Al-Qaida attempted to hijack a Pakistani naval vessel and use it to attack U.S. Navy vessels, Pakistani security officials said.
Obama: I will not commit to another ground war in Iraq

Obama: I will not commit to another ground war in Iraq

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 17 (UPI) –President Barack Obama said Wednesday he would not commit America to another ground war in Iraq.
Guilty plea in Canadian terrorism plot

Guilty plea in Canadian terrorism plot

OTTAWA, Sept. 17 (UPI) –A man regarded a ringleader of a group plotting terrorist attacks in Canada pleaded guilty Wednesday of explosives possession.
Bill Clinton urges Scotland not to leave the United Kingdom

Bill Clinton urges Scotland not to leave the United Kingdom

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Bill Clinton has publicly come out in favor of Scotland remaining part of the UK, calling on Scots to set an example for global unity.
$30 million offered for clues to MH17 crash

$30 million offered for clues to MH17 crash

KIEL , Germany, Sept. 17 (UPI) –A reward of $30 million has been offered for evidence regarding who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a German investigation company said Wednesday.

Who’s getting rich off the stock market?

Wealthy, white, college-educated individuals are the most likely to invest.

Who's getting rich off the stock market?

Markets Overview

Data as of Sep 17
Wednesday’s Close:
  • Dow+24.88
    17,156.85

    +0.15%

  • Nasdaq+9.43
    4,562.19

    +0.21%

  • S&P+2.59
    2,001.57

    +0.13%

Sep 18 6:46am:

The United States is enjoying one of the best stock market surges in its history. But the phenomenal gains in recent years are going mostly to white, college-educated individuals who are already pretty well off. More

U.S. Stocks »

Gainers Price % Change
LENLennar Corp 41.40 +5.80%
DDE I du Pont de Nem… 69.25 +5.20%
NUENucor Corp 57.81 +3.94%
FDXFedEx Corp 159.71 +3.27%
WFMWhole Foods Market… 39.38 +3.10%
Losers Price % Change
OIOwens-Illinois Inc… 28.58 -8.84%
ADBEAdobe Systems Inc 67.30 -4.85%
GISGeneral Mills Inc 50.83 -4.42%
NENoble Corporation … 24.64 -3.14%
BAXBaxter Internation… 72.65 -3.12%
Data as of Sep 17

World Markets »

Level % Change
Nikkei 225 Japan 16,067.57 +1.13%
Hang Seng Hong Kong 24,168.72 -0.85%
FTSE 100 England 6,805.56 +0.36%
DAX Germany 9,752.36 +0.94%
Data as of 8:40am ET

Currencies »

Price $ Change
Canada Dollar $0.9086 -0.0617%
United Kingdom Pound $1.6359 -0.3523%
European Euro $1.2858 -0.0902%
Japan Yen ¥108.9450 +0.4425%
Data as of 8:35am ET

Commodities »

Price % Change
Light Crude 94.26 -0.17%
Natural Gas 4.00 -0.37%
Gold 1,219.50 -1.33%
Corn 3.42 -0.80%
Data as of 8:26:50am ET

Bonds & Interest Rates »

Yield
Today
Previous
Yield
3 Month Treasury 0.01% 0.01%
10 Year Treasury 2.63% 2.60%
30 Year Treasury 3.36% 3.36%
Data as of 8:41:48am ET

Mutual Funds »

Total
Net Assets
% Change
PTTRX PIMCO Total Re… $143.2B -0.28%
VTSMX Vanguard Total… $117.9B +0.14%
VFIAX Vanguard 500 I… $113.8B +0.13%
VTSAX Vanguard Total… $103.7B +0.14%
VINIX Vanguard Insti… $98.1B +0.13%
Data as of Sep 17

Exchange Traded Funds »

Price % Change
SPY SPDR® S&P 500 ETF 200.75 +0.13%
IVV iShares Core S&P 5… 202.05 +0.12%
EFA iShares MSCI EAFE 65.69 -0.71%
VWO Vanguard FTSE Emer… 44.20 -0.96%
QQQ PowerShares QQQ ET… 99.53 +0.15%
Data as of Sep 17

Editor’s choice

She feeds the president

 

Find us on Twitter!

 

Gwen Stefani, Blake SheltonWatch Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton and Jimmy Fallon’s Lip Sync Battle!

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Duke of CambridgePregnant Kate Middleton Cancels Malta Visit

Red Band Society ArtThe Official Tissue Rating of theRed Band Society Premiere

America's Got Talent, Mel B, Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum Who Won Season 9 of America’s Got Talent?

Meghan TrainorWatch: Meghan Trainor Covers T.Swift’s “Shake It Off”

Adam Driver, Star WarsThese Star Wars 7 Photos Could Reveal Adam Driver’s True Role

Prince Harry Inside Prince Harry’s Belated Birthday Bash—All the Details!

Chris Kemoeatu, Ma'ake KemoeatuRead Some Lovely News About Football Players for a Change

Ashlee Simpson, Evan Ross, InstagramAshlee Simpson Spends Some Quality Time With Hubby Evan Ross’ Family

Sharon OsbourneWatch: Sharon Osbourne Reveals Why She Slit Her Wrists at 27

Iggy AzaleaIggy Izalea Slams Ex-Boyfriend With a Lawsuit

Alanis Morissette, InstagramAlanis Morissette Goes Blond and Chops Off Her Locks

Kim Zolciak InstagramKim Zolciak Shows Off Smokin’ Hot Body in Another Swimsuit

Vanessa Lachey, InstagramSee Vanessa and Nick Lachey Celebrate Son’s B-Day

Joan Rivers, Melissa RiversMelissa Rivers ‘Forever Grateful’ for Outpouring of Love for Joan

Miles Teller, Film Independent Spirit AwardsMiles Teller and Five More Stars Who Admitted to Popping Viagra

Kate Upton, Sam Edelman AdExclusive Video! Kate Upton in Bed for New Sam Edelman Commercial

Internet Celebs, Tyler Oakley, Rebecca Black, Lilly Singh, Brittany Furlan7 Internet Celebs You Need to Know About

Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, Lady and the TrampNPH & Hubby Reenact Lady and the Tramp‘s Spaghetti Scene!

Lena DunhamStyle 180, Again: Lena Dunham’s Chic Look

Ashton KutcheR, Mila Kunis Mila & Ashton Grab Breakfast Together: See the Pregnant Star’s PDA!

Katie Couric, Stanford ParentKatie Couric and Rob Lowe Both Drop Kids Off at Stanford

Keeping Up With the Total DivasNikki Bella & John Cena’s Hot Date & More—See the Pics!

BeyonceBeyoncé Turns Her Back (and Booty!) Away From Photoshop Rumors

MORE

1:59
EXCLUSIVE

“PEOPLE THOUGHT I WAS BITTER”

Lolo Jones sound off on her DWTS exit

1:18

PITCH PERFECT?

Kelly Ripa tries to do Miss America’s red cup routine

 

REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: NORTH KOREA A DRAW FOR SOME AMERICANS

130403214928-02-korea-roadblock-horizontal-gallery

North Korea seems to be an unusual draw for some Americans. South Korean border guards have arrested an American man who they believe was attempting to swim across the border into rival North Korea. The government official says the man was arrested on Tuesday night at a river near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. He says investigators are questioning the man over the purpose of his apparent attempt to enter North Korea but gave no further details. He spoke on condition of anonymity citing office policy. The Yonhap news agency says the man told investigators that he tried to go to North Korea to meet leader Kim Jong Un. Yonhap says he is in his late 20s or early 30s. The National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s main spy agency, couldn’t immediately confirm the report.

North Korea’s Supreme Court on Sunday sentenced a 24-year-old American man to six years of hard labor for entering the country illegally and trying to commit espionage. At a trial that lasted about 90 minutes, the court said Matthew Miller, of Bakersfield, California, tore up his tourist visa at Pyongyang’s airport upon arrival on April 10 and admitted to having the “wild ambition” of experiencing prison life so that he could secretly investigate North Korea’s human rights situation. Miller, who waived the right to a lawyer, was handcuffed and led from the courtroom after his sentencing. The court ruled that it would not hear any appeals to its decision. Earlier, it had been believed that Miller had sought asylum when he entered North Korea. During the trial, however, the prosecution argued that it was a ruse and that Miller also falsely claimed to have secret information about the U.S. military in South Korea on his iPad and iPod. Miller is one of three Americans now being held in North Korea.

northkorea-usa

A trial is expected soon for Jeffrey Fowle, who entered the North as a tourist but was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a provincial club. The third American, Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, is serving out a 15-year sentence for alleged “hostile acts.” All three have appealed to the U.S. government to send a senior statesman to Pyongyang to intervene on their behalf. During a brief interview with The Associated Press in Pyongyang last week, Miller said he had written a letter to President Obama but had not received a reply. Fowle, a 56-year-old equipment operator for the city of Moraine, Ohio, said his wife, a hairstylist from Russia, made a written appeal on his behalf to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said the Russian government responded that it was watching the situation.

The U.S. has repeatedly offered to send its envoy for North Korean human rights issues, Robert King, to Pyongyang to seek the freedom of the detainees, but without success. Former President Bill Clinton came in 2009 to free a couple of jailed journalists. Jimmy Carter made the trip in 2010 to secure the release of Aijalon Gomes, who had been sentenced to eight years of hard labor for illegally crossing into the country to do missionary work. In 2011, the State Department’s envoy for North Korean human rights managed to successfully intervene in the case of Korean-American businessman Eddie Yong Su Jun.

miller15n-3-web

During the Cold War, a handful of US soldiers, some of whom knew little about life in the North, fled across the Demilitarized Zone and later appeared in North Korean propaganda films. Charles Robert Jenkins, of North Carolina, deserted his army post in South Korea in 1965. He was allowed to leave North Korea for Japan in 2004. Other defector soldiers had problems in their military units or issues with family at home. One was reportedly lured north by a female North Korean agent. In the decades after the war, some Americans harboured “glamorous notions of North Korea as a socialist paradise,” said John Delury, an Asia expert at Yonsei University in Seoul. “But that’s just not part of the mix any more. Even in the furthest fringes of American online culture, you don’t find that notion.”

Mental health issues have often played a part, Mr Delury said. “It’s seen as a forbidden country … a place that’s perceived in the American mind as being locked down,” Mr Delury said. “To cross the border, in some ways, could be alluring” to people looking to break social rules. Evan Hunziker had reportedly been drinking with a friend in 1996 when he decided to swim naked across the Yalu River between China and the North. Mr Hunziker, who was released after about three months, had drug, alcohol and legal problems. He was later found dead in Washington state in what was ruled a suicide. Religion has provided a powerful impulse for some to cross. North Korea officially guarantees freedom of religion, but outside analysts and defectors describe the country as militantly anti-religious. The distribution of Bibles and secret prayer services can mean imprisonment or execution, defectors have said. “It is one of the last frontiers to spread the Christian faith, so there are people who would take unimaginable risks” to evangelise there,” Mr Delury said.

0825-jimmy-carter-North-Korea_full_600

A Bible in his hand, American missionary Robert Park walked into North Korea on Christmas Day 2009 to draw attention to human rights abuses and to call for the resignation of then-leader Kim Jong Il. Mr Park, who was deported from the country in February 2010, has said he was tortured by interrogators. In 2010, ex-President Jimmy Carter visited North Korea to win the release of imprisoned American Aijalon Gomes, who had been sentenced to eight years of hard labour for crossing illegally into the North from China. It was unclear what led Mr Gomes, who had been teaching English in South Korea, to cross. But he may have been emulating Mr Park, said Jo Sung-rae, a South Korean human rights advocate who met Mr Gomes. Mr Gomes attended rallies in Seoul calling for Mr Park’s release before he was arrested.

Mr Park later said he didn’t want others to repeat his actions. “I don’t want others to do this. I just hoped that this could galvanise people to action. Because this is a society that needs change now,” he told The Washington Post in February 2011. For North Korea, getting a senior US official or an ex-president to visit is a huge propaganda coup. It allows Pyongyang to plaster its newspapers and TV screens with scenes meant to show its powerful leaders welcoming humbled American dignitaries, said Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert at Kookmin University in South Korea. Washington has repeatedly offered to send its envoy for North Korean human rights to discuss the currently detained Americans, but Pyongyang has so far balked. “The North Koreans are in no hurry,” Mr Lankov said. “It’s a sellers’ market. They say, `This is our price: a senior visit and some concessions. These are our goods, these Americans. If you don’t want to pay, that’s your problem. We can wait.'”

 

REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: COP AMBUSH SUSPECT MAY ‘THINK’ HE IS EASTERN EUROPEAN SOLDIER

5434535345

The Pennsylvania man accused of gunning down a state trooper in an ambush last week might believe he is an Eastern European soldier and has a grudge against law enforcement that goes back nearly eight years, police said on Wednesday. Eric Matthew Frein, a 31-year-old said to have anti-government leanings, opened fire on a group of state troopers outside the Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12, killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and seriously wounding Trooper Alex T. Douglass, authorities have said.

On Wednesday, Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations for the State Police, told reporters that Frein belongs to a “military simulation unit” based in Eastern Pennsylvania. “In his unstable frame of mind, Frein now appears to have assumed that role in real life,” Bivens said. In preparing for the shootings, Bivens said, Frein recently shaved his head on both sides and grew long hair on top. According to a criminal complaint filed with the Pike County district attorney’s office Tuesday, Frein opened fire at the barracks with a .308 caliber rifle, striking Dickson twice from long range. He wounded Douglass and nearly shot another trooper who was trying to aid Dickson, stopping the barrage only after police drove a sport-utility vehicle into the path of his bullets, according to authorities.

la-na-nn-pennsylvania-police-shootings-frein-2-001

Frein’s parents told police that the rifle used in the attacks and an AK-47 were missing from the family’s home, according to the criminal complaint. Frein was trained to shoot by his father, a U.S. Army veteran, and “doesn’t miss,” the complaint says. Bivens told reporters on Wednesday that authorities do not believe the public is at risk, as Frein’s focus is to attack law-enforcement officers. Bivens said Frein’s capture was imminent. “As I did the other day, I’d like to directly address Eric Frein again. Eric, in the event you are listening to this broadcast on a portable radio, while cowering in some cold damp hiding place — we are coming for you,” he said “And it’s only a matter of time until we bring you to justice for this cowardly attack.”

Law enforcement massed in a forested area to check out one of the latest tips, from workers who said they saw an armed person wearing camouflage, according to Trooper Tom Kelly, a state police spokesman. Police have been “getting sightings all over the place,” but none have panned out so far, he said. Frein, of Canadensis, is charged with killing Cpl Bryon Dickson, a 38-year-old married father of two, and critically wounding Trooper Alex Douglass. Dickson’s viewing was being held Wednesday in Scranton, with his funeral scheduled for Thursday.  Two school districts closed Wednesday because of safety concerns for students and staff.

Bivens urged residents to remain “alert and vigilant” and report any suspicious activity they see to 911 or a tip line, and to lock doors and keep house exteriors well lit. But he said he is “convinced Frein is engaged in a personal battle with law enforcement, particularly the Pennsylvania State Police, and will likely stay focused on that fight.” Frein has nursed an unspecified grudge against law enforcement and government in general at least since 2006, Bivens said. After opening fire on troopers at the remote barracks in the Pocono Mountains Friday night, Frein evidently tried to make his escape in a 2001 Jeep Cherokee, authorities said. Instead, he drove into a swamp about 2 miles away, where a man walking his dog stumbled across the partly submerged SUV three days later and called 911.

THE WORLD TONIGHT

73_02_Current

 

REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: ISLAMIC STATE VIDEO THREATENS WHITE HOUSE…U.S. TROOPS AS MILITARY ACTION ‘RAMPS UP’

A still from the latest Islamic State video

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch this video

Tries not to get dragged into fray

Scotland is hours away from voting on whether to split from the UK, a move that would have big consequences for the U.S. FULL STORY

FBI director: ISIS may try to take more American hostages

MORE TOP STORIES

 

Kerry: No U.S. ground troops in fighting Islamic State

Kerry: No U.S. ground troops in fighting Islamic State

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Secretary of State John Kerry stressed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday no ground troops in Iraq and Syria will be sent into combat.
American man arrested trying to swim to North Korea

American man arrested trying to swim to North Korea

SEOUL, Sept. 17 (UPI) –An American man arrested Tuesday night near Seoul, South Korea, was apparently trying to swim to North Korea.
Yevtushenkov arrested on money laundering charge

Yevtushenkov arrested on money laundering charge

MOSCOW, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov was placed under house arrest in Moscow Wednesday on suspicion of money laundering.
Peshmerga forces kill senior Islamic State commander

Peshmerga forces kill senior Islamic State commander

ERBIL, Iraq, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Kurdish Peshmerga forces killed senior Islamic State commander Yasin Ali Suleiman Shlash on Tuesday.
Study reveals details of Richard III's death in battle

Study reveals details of Richard III’s death in battle

LEICESTER, England, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Researchers have learned how Richard III died, revealing through forensic analysis that he suffered 11 wounds around the time of his death.
Edouard now a Category 3 hurricane

Edouard now a Category 3 hurricane

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) –A Category 3 hurricane named Edouard is currently 420 miles east of Bermuda.
Al-Qaida attack on Pakistani frigate foiled

Al-Qaida attack on Pakistani frigate foiled

KARACHI , Pakistan, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Al-Qaida attempted to hijack a Pakistani naval vessel and use it to attack U.S. Navy vessels, Pakistani security officials said.
Obama: I will not commit to another ground war in Iraq

Obama: I will not commit to another ground war in Iraq

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 17 (UPI) –President Barack Obama said Wednesday he would not commit America to another ground war in Iraq.
Guilty plea in Canadian terrorism plot

Guilty plea in Canadian terrorism plot

OTTAWA, Sept. 17 (UPI) –A man regarded a ringleader of a group plotting terrorist attacks in Canada pleaded guilty Wednesday of explosives possession.
Bill Clinton urges Scotland not to leave the United Kingdom

Bill Clinton urges Scotland not to leave the United Kingdom

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) –Bill Clinton has publicly come out in favor of Scotland remaining part of the UK, calling on Scots to set an example for global unity.
$30 million offered for clues to MH17 crash

$30 million offered for clues to MH17 crash

KIEL , Germany, Sept. 17 (UPI) –A reward of $30 million has been offered for evidence regarding who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a German investigation company said Wednesday.
20 reported dead in Yemen fighting

20 reported dead in Yemen fighting

SANAA, Yemen, Sept. 17 (UPI) –At least 20 people were killed as Shiite Houthi rebels took control of a suburb of Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday in clashes with government troops.
New Islamic State video threatens U.S. with 'Flames of War'

New Islamic State video threatens U.S. with ‘Flames of War’

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) –The Islamic State (IS) released a video threatening U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. with impending war.
U.N. General Assembly building ready after renovation

U.N. General Assembly building ready after renovation

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 17 (UPI) –The United Nations General Assembly returned this week to its newly renovated space after 16 months in temporary quarters.
67 South Africans killed in Nigerian church collapse, Zuma says

67 South Africans killed in Nigerian church collapse, Zuma says

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Sept. 17 (UPI) –South African President Jacob Zuma announced Wednesday that 67 South Africans died last week when a Lagos, Nigeria, church hostel collapsed.

Occupy pays student loans for strangers

Strike Debt says it has abolished student loan debt for those who attended Everest College.

Occupy pays student loans for strangers

Markets Overview

Data as of 5:16pm ET
Wednesday’s Close:
  • Dow+24.88
    17,156.85

    +0.15%

  • Nasdaq+9.43
    4,562.19

    +0.21%

  • S&P+2.59
    2,001.57

    +0.13%

Sep 17 4:37pm:

Wall Street is smiling. Although the economy is getting better, the Federal Reserve is probably not going to raise interest rates until the summer of 2015 at the earliest. More

U.S. Stocks »

Gainers Price % Change
LENLennar Corp 41.40 +5.80%
DDE I du Pont de Nem… 69.25 +5.20%
NUENucor Corp 57.81 +3.94%
FDXFedEx Corp 159.71 +3.27%
WFMWhole Foods Market… 39.38 +3.10%
Losers Price % Change
OIOwens-Illinois Inc… 28.58 -8.84%
ADBEAdobe Systems Inc 67.30 -4.85%
GISGeneral Mills Inc 50.83 -4.42%
NENoble Corporation … 24.64 -3.14%
BAXBaxter Internation… 72.65 -3.12%
Data as of 4:00pm ET

World Markets »

Level % Change
Nikkei 225 Japan 15,888.67 -0.14%
Hang Seng Hong Kong 24,376.41 +0.99%
FTSE 100 England 6,780.90 -0.17%
DAX Germany 9,661.50 +0.30%
Data as of 4:45pm ET

Currencies »

Price $ Change
Canada Dollar $0.9085 +0.2555%
United Kingdom Pound $1.6273 -0.0670%
European Euro $1.2863 +0.7059%
Japan Yen ¥108.3250 +1.1107%
Data as of 5:15pm ET

Commodities »

Price % Change
Light Crude 94.04 -0.40%
Natural Gas 4.01 +0.02%
Gold 1,224.30 -0.94%
Corn 3.42 -0.58%
Data as of 5:04pm ET

Bonds & Interest Rates »

Yield
Today
Previous
Yield
3 Month Treasury 0.01% 0.02%
10 Year Treasury 2.60% 2.59%
30 Year Treasury 3.36% 3.35%
Data as of 2:59pm ET

Mutual Funds »

Total
Net Assets
% Change
PTTRX PIMCO Total Re… $143.2B +0.09%
VTSMX Vanguard Total… $117.9B +0.72%
VFIAX Vanguard 500 I… $113.8B +0.75%
VTSAX Vanguard Total… $103.7B +0.72%
VINIX Vanguard Insti… $98.1B +0.75%
Data as of Sep 16

Exchange Traded Funds »

Price % Change
SPY SPDR® S&P 500 ETF 200.75 +0.13%
IVV iShares Core S&P 5… 202.05 +0.12%
EFA iShares MSCI EAFE 65.69 -0.71%
VWO Vanguard FTSE Emer… 44.20 -0.96%
QQQ PowerShares QQQ ET… 99.54 +0.16%
Data as of 4:00pm ET

REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: ISLAMIC STATE VIDEO THREATENS WHITE HOUSE…U.S. TROOPS AS MILITARY ACTION ‘RAMPS UP’

201497124140211734_20

American ground troops could be deployed against Islamic State and the Levant (ISIL) fighters in Iraq, according to the most senior US military officer. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US military’s joint chiefs of staff, said on Tuesday he might recommend having US troops do more, potentially accompanying Iraqis during complicated offensives, such as a battle to retake the northern city of Mosul from ISIL fighters. “It could very well be part of that particular mission – to provide close combat advising or accompanying for that mission,” he said. Dempsey acknowledged that President Barack Obama’s “stated policy is that we will not have US ground forces in direct combat. “But he has told me as well to come back to him on a case-by-case basis”.

The Obama administration also plans to carry out air strikes against the group’s fighters in Syria and will target the ISIL’s sanctuaries, command centers and logistic networks, Chuck Hagel, the US defence secretary, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “This plan includes targeted actions against ISIL safe havens in Syria, including its command and control, logistics capabilities, and infrastructure,” Hagel said. However, Dempsey said at the same hearing that the bombing would not resemble the large-scale raids that accompanied the start of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. Commanders at the time dubbed the campaign a bid to provoke “shock and awe” among deposed leader Saddam Hussein’s troops. “This will not look like ‘shock and awe’ because that is not how ISIL is organized, but it will be persistent and sustainable,” Dempsey said.

The military leaders warned of a further escalation in their battle against ISIL just as two branches of the rival al-Qaeda group called for a united front against the war coalition the US is building. US fighter jets have been targeting the group’s fighters in northern Iraq since August 8, and in recent days hit its fighters southwest of Baghdad for the first time, in a significant expansion of the campaign. The US strikes against ISIL fighters in the Sadr al-Yusufiyah area, 25km from Baghdad, was the first in support of Iraqi forces near Baghdad. They bring the number of US air strikes across Iraq to 162. The CIA estimates that the ISIL may be able to field as many as 31,500 fighters – many of them foreign volunteers.

A still from the latest Islamic State video

Obama has pledged to expand American efforts and US diplomats are rushing to put together an international coalition for a “relentless” campaign against ISIL. The slow coming together of this alliance drew a fierce reaction from al-Qaeda’s branches in Yemen and in North Africa, who said self-proclaimed jihadist forces must also unite against the common threat. In a joint statement, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) urged their “brothers” in Iraq and Syria to “stop killing each other and unite against the American campaign and its evil coalition that threatens us all”.

Islamic State militants have threatened to target the White House and kill US troops in a new slickly made video response to Barack Obama’s campaign to “degrade and destroy” the organisation. The video, in the style of a blockbuster movie trailer for what is “coming soon”, depicts a masked man apparently about to shoot kneeling prisoners in the head. Towards the end of the clip there is shaky footage of the White House filmed from a moving vehicle, suggesting the building is being scoped out for attack. It was released on Tuesday after US defense chiefs suggested that American troops could join Iraqi forces fighting Isis, despite Obama’s assurance that US soldiers would not be engaged in fighting on the ground.

The only words on the 52-second clip are those of Obama making that pledge. “American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq,” it quotes him saying. This comes directly after footage of US troops being shot at, injured and taken away in an armored vehicle, threatening what will happen if troops are redeployed to Iraq. The video was released by the al-Hayat Media Centre, Isis’s English-language propaganda arm. It includes the now-familiar high-production hallmarks of an Isis video, including super-slow motion footage of jihadis in combat, jump-cutting, and CGI explosions. It purports to be a trailer for film entitled Flames of War with the strapline “Fighting has just begun”. It shows US tanks and positions being attacked by jihadis using shoulder-launched missiles. It also includes an image of the “Mission Accomplished” banner that was part of the backdrop to George Bush’s infamous speech on an aircraft carrier after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. There is also footage of Bush’s defence chief, Donald Rumsfeld, on a tour of Iraq.

Screengrab showing militant apparently about to shoot kneeling prisoners in the head

Despite its slick production, experts in film and advertising have suggested the video threat would not require huge expertise or budget. “These sort of effects are relatively simple to do nowadays. There are iPhone apps that add explosions and look quite real,” said Luke Jacobs, an executive producer in TV commercials at Friend Productions. “The video is slickly done and they have spent some time on it, but it’s not something that would require access to a big post-production house. I’d say it’s more likely been done by a guy with a laptop. It looks like there might be someone on team Isis who used to work at a TV network or knows his way around visual effects software, a compositor like Nuke or Adobe After Effects.”

The video came as the Pentagon released details of more air strikes south-west of Baghdad and north-west of Irbil on Monday and Tuesday. In a statement, the US military’s central command said: “In total, two air strikes north-west of Irbil destroyed an Isil [Isis] armed truck and an Isil fighting position, while three air strikes south-west of Baghdad damaged an Isil truck and destroyed an Isil anti-aircraft artillery piece, a small Isil ground unit and two small boats on the Euphrates river that were re-supplying Isil forces in the area. It said the strikes were conducted as part of US efforts to help an Iraqi offensives against Islamic State militants. The US has conducted 167 air strikes in Iraq since it launched the current campaign on 8 August. Earlier, General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told the Senate armed services committee that he could see himself recommending the use of some US military forces now in Iraq to embed within Iraqi and Kurdish units to take territory away from Isis. “If we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific [Isis] targets, I will recommend that to the president,” Dempsey said, preferring the term “close combat advising”.

It was the most thorough public acknowledgement yet from Pentagon leaders that the roughly 1,600 US troops Obama has deployed to Iraq since June may in fact be used in a ground combat role, something Obama has directly ruled out, most recently in a televised speech last week. Dempsey, who has for years warned about the “unintended consequences” of Americanizing the Syrian civil war that gave rise to Isis, said he envisioned “close combat advising” for operations on the order of taking Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, away from Isis. Obama’s prohibition on ground forces in a combat role was less ironclad than the president has publicly stated, Dempsey suggested. “At this point, his stated policy is we will not have US ground forces in direct combat,” Dempsey said, to include spotting for US air strikes. “But he has told me as well to come back to him on a case-by-case basis.”