Russia flexes its muscles, looks east. Russia’s foreign minister called for an “immediate ceasefire” in Ukraine ahead of a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart in Minsk. Earlier, president Vladimir Putin said “statehood” should be discussed for the breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine. China, meanwhile, appears to be siding with Russia—officials from Beijing are in Siberia to break ground on a pipeline that will carry gas to China.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists clash with police. Hong Kong protestors were pepper sprayed by police at a news conference to explain Beijing’s rejection of universal suffrage for the city’s citizens. Last night, an activist told a crowd of thousands that this decision would mark an “era of civil disobedience.”
A slight delay for Alibaba’s IPO. Alibaba Group Holding is pushing back investor meetings about its initial public offering for “about a week” to answer additional questions from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bloomberg reports. The IPO, which is expected to raise more than $20 billion for Alibaba, may price on Sept. 18 and start trading on the 19th, several days later than was reported two weeks ago.
A new iPayments system? Maybe Apple and American Express can do what Google hasn’t done yet and bring about the broad embrace of the concept of the mobile wallet. Re/Code reports that AmEx is involved in a payments product that will be unveiled Sept. 9, when the iPhone 6 is expected to debut.
Britain acts on homegrown jihadists. The UK is looking to block British citizens fighting in Syria and Iraq from returning home, though they could keep their passports. More than 500 British fighters are estimated to be there now. One of three British militants dubbed “the Beatles” is suspected of killing James Foley.
Burma misplaces nine million people. A recent census of the country also known as Myanmar revealed its population to be 51 million—significantly less than the government’s estimate of 60 million, which was based on the country’s last survey, in 1983. The BBC reported that 800,000 members of the Muslim Rohingya minority were not allowed to identify themselves as such.
You’re next, Saudi king warns the West. Jihadist attacks “will reach Europe in a month and America in another month” unless world leaders halt ISIL’s reign of terror in the Middle East, said Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. His words echo John Kerry’s call for a global military effort to confront ISIL.
As Time Warner gives up on Vice, A&E enters the fray. Walt Disney and Hearst’s jointly owned A&E Networks cable television group is nearing a deal (paywall) to buy 10% of Vice Media, the Financial Times reported. This comes hours after a New York Times report that Time Warner ended months of negotiations to acquire a stake in fast-growing Vice.
China’s insurers get creative. To drum up business in a stagnant market, Chinese insurance companies are taking to increasingly outlandish promotions. Add-ons to policies include covering cancelled honeymoons due to accidental pregnancies, refunding the cost of treating burns from simmering stew “hot pot” meals, and paying for damage caused by “mischievous and destructive” toddlers.