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Americans are too blinded by fandom to save football from destroying itself

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3 hours ago

Jailed al-Jazeera journalists are set to leave Egypt.

  Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed were sentenced on controversial charges of reporting false news, endangering Egypt’s national security, and other offenses (which they deny). Some 400 days after their conviction, Greste, an Australian, and Fahmy, a dual Canadian-Egyptian national, are reportedly being deported to Australia and Canada, respectively; the fate of Mohamed, an Egyptian citizen, remains unclear.
6 hours ago

Thousands take to the streets in Hong Kong and Madrid.

  Pro-democracy protestors rallied in Hong Kong for the first time since the “Umbrella Movement” paralyzed the city-state late last year (today’s march passed relatively peacefully). Meanwhile, in Madrid, an anti-austerity rally organized by the upstart left-wing Podemos party attracted more than 100,000 yesterday to a “march for change.”
3 hours ago

Peace talks falter as violence escalates in Ukraine.

  The death toll is mounting in eastern Ukraine, amid a renewed offensive by pro-Russian rebels, according to Reuters. Weekend talks in Minsk between representatives from Ukraine, separatist groups, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe broke down, with no agreement on revising the (frequently-violated) terms of the current ceasefire.
7 hours ago

ISIL kills a second Japanese hostage.

  The terror group released a video of the apparent beheading of Kenji Goto, a week after the killing of countryman Haruna Yukawa. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, deploring the “utterly cruel and despicable act,” vowed to step up humanitarian aid to countries battling ISIL, which the group has cited as justification for the murders.
January 31, 2015

China’s corruption crackdown appears to have ensnared a key bank executive.

  Mao Xiaofeng, the Harvard-educated president of  China Minsheng Banking Corp., resigned for what the company called “personal reasons”—likely stemming from an investigation into his financial ties to a former aide to China’s ex-president Hu Jintao. Mao allegedly put the aide’s wife in a cushy job on the bank’s payroll.  
January 31, 2015
Chart of the Moment

American football, while still heavily watched, isn’t so heavily played anymore.

January 30, 2015

Shake Shack has a predictably fabulous stock market debut.

  Shares of the hamburger chain—priced at $21 for Friday’s IPO—more than doubled on their first day of trading. (Veteran restaurant investors shouldn’t be surprised.) Shake Shack has 63 locations and plans to add 10 a year for the foreseeable future. In that context, McDonald’s recent management shuffle makes all the more sense.  
January 30, 2015

Mitt Romney definitely will not run for president in 2016.

  Reports earlier this month, and even earlier this morning, said the former governor of Massachusetts would tell donors he was joining the race. But now it’s official—Mitt’s out. The field of Republican party hopefuls still includes New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, though.

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