The Raid

In a massive raid that took over the neighborhood of St-Denis, French police and military personnel targeted an apartment where several terrorists were hiding. One woman detonated a suicide vest during the encounter which resulted in at least two deaths and several arrests. The main target of the raid was alleged Paris attack mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud -- and according to intelligence officials, he was killed during the fray.

+ CNN has some photos of the St-Denis raid.

+ "We are praying that Abdelhamid really is dead." The NYT on an ISIS militant from Belgium whose own family wanted him dead.


Poor Befuddled Asses

As of Wednesday, more than half of all U.S. governors have indicated their determination to ban Syrian refugees from resettling in their states. Vox has a map of every state refusing to accept Syrian refugees. And the House is pushing a bill to keep the refugees from entering the U.S.

+ Here's a look at the polling numbers that are driving the debate.

+ There is a political leader who is refusing to alter his country's plan to accept 30,000 Syrian refugees: French President Fran├žois Hollande.


Tales From the Encrypt

Following Paris, debates over encryption and privacy are certain to move back into the limelight. Many politicians and law enforcement officials argue that encryption aids terrorists and cops need so-called 'back door' access. Tech leaders like Tim Cook argue that 'if you put a key under the mat for the cops, a burglar can find it, too. Criminals are using every technology tool at their disposal to hack into people's accounts. If they know there's a key hidden somewhere, they won't stop until they find it."


Cart Blanche

"This week I also asked several stock analysts if they could see any potential competitive threat to Amazon's online sales dominance. Some literally laughed at the question." Farhad Manjoo on how Amazon's long game yielded a retail juggernaut.

+ In part Amazon just kills it. But they've also been fortunate in terms of their competition. We're a couple decades into this revolution and it still seems remarkably difficult for most ecommerce sites to create a decent shopping cart experience. And that includes some of the biggest players. From Bloomberg: Target and Wal-Mart see online sales growth slow in ominous sign.


To Hail and Back

"The job of pilots like Royal is to fly directly at monstrous thunderstorms -- something most pilots diligently avoid, given that the turbulent airflow in these storms occasionally brings down commercial jetliners." Justin Nobel introduces you to the Midwestern pilots who risk their lives to change the weather.

+ El Nino. Getting bigger.


I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

"Compared with abstainers, nonsmokers who drank a cup of coffee a day had a 6 percent reduced risk of death, one to three cups an 8 percent reduced risk, three to five cups a 15 percent reduced risk, and more than five cups a 12 percent reduced risk." According to a recent study, coffee is tied to a lower risk of dying prematurely. More seems to be a better. And it doesn't seem to matter whether the coffee is regular or decaf (as long as it's organic, artisanal, fresh-roasted, free-trade, and was brewed by a bearded barrista capable of creating latte foam art with a dash of irony.)


Parental Guidance Accepted

"Although some of the strategies may seem familiar, it is the speed and the urgency of today's protests that are different." How social media has changed the art of the campus protest.

+ Today's campus protests also seem to lack the Oedipal aspects of their predecessors. Kids today want to remain connected with their parents. (At least until they get their own iTunes password.)


The Collision Course

"Why him? Why me? Why couldn't we both walk away? Why were we chosen?" In ESPN the Magazine, Eli Saslow tells the story of two tragic collisions on the football field, separated by 26 years.


Meow Remix

IBM's Watson has set its sights on solving the ever-important mystery of which toys will be trending this season. Long story short: Get your Legos now.

+ There's a new lifelike, robotic cat aimed at the senior market. "Hasbro hasn't gone into too much detail about how it works, but the cat apparently has new vibration technology that allows it generate responsive purrs that both sound and feel incredibly realistic." (And you thought your grandma's computer tech support questions could get weird...)


Bottom of the News

"Musicians have written exhilarating protest songs about everything from civil rights to apartheid. Yet no-one's managed a popular song about what's meant to be the most important issue of our time." BBC's Alex Marshall wonders why there are no great climate change songs. (Apparently he's the one person on Earth who's managed to get the refrain I'll stop the world and melt with you... out of his head.)

+ NASA is hiring astronauts. Find out if you qualify. (When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up and Tweet for NASA.)

+ An Oscar for the new Rocky?

+ Samsung brings back the flip phone.