Although ISIL members presumably would abhor the Western consumerism that Black Friday represents, foreign ISIS fighters’ western tastes nevertheless are transforming the Syrian economy, Erika Solomon reports for Financial Times. At CBC, Middle East correspondent Saša Petricic dubs it, "Junk food jihad: how foreign #ISIS fighters changing #Syria w cravings for (alc free) beer & Pringles." FT's David Firn can't help but tweet, "An army marches on its stomach: ISIS demands #MOARPringles!" Plus, support for ISIS appears stronger in Arabic social media in Europe than it is in actual Syria.
Let us speak of China for a paragraph: The Economist asks, "Has China really blown $6.8 trillion on worthless investments over the past five years?" (If you're pressed for time, the very last line will answer that). Simultaneously, Japan's The Daily Yomiuri seems intent on poking the dragon by printing an absurd apology "for inappropriate expressions used in comfort women articles." And by "inappropriate expressions," they mean calling "comfort women" what most historians as well as the Chinese would agree they truly were--sex slaves. "In case you thought Japan's denialism over forcing thousands of women into sexual servitude hadn't gone far enough," Reuters Tokyo correspondent Sophie Knight warns before linking. Also in Tokyo, FT's Ben McLannahan muses, "i wonder how i'd feel if something i'd written was retracted 10-20 years later by some chump deeming it 'misleading'." Finally, The Washington Post thinks China’s crackdown in Hong Kong may actually fuel exactly what they're trying to avoid. Oh, and speaking of crackdowns--now the PRC is on a campaign against puns. Yes, puns.
The latest in ongoing developments: On the topic of Uber, pressure is causing Taxi medallion prices to nosedive, NYT's Josh Barro reveals. In Russia, The Moscow Times describes a bill that could restrict entry for foreigners who "offend" Russia, which is "likely meant for critical journos, artists, etc," Mashable's Christopher Miller theorizes. In nearby Latvia, "the father of Soviet pornography" is now a crusader against “gay propaganda.” Co-author J. Lester Feder offered the timely tweet yesterday that, "Tonight I'm giving thanks that @buzzfeednews let me use the phrase 'veiny dildos' in this crazy story." Last of all, despite extra aid, Ebola continues to rage in Sierra Leone.
And back to the U.S., Austin police have shot and killed a suspect early this morning, after reports of gunfire targeting multiple downtown buildings in the Texas capital.