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.”
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.
Troy Bradley of Albuquerque and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Moscow touched down off the coast of Baja, Mexico, after an epic trans-Pacific balloon journey that smashed world records for duration and distance. The duo, dubbed the “Two Eagles,” spent 160 hours and 37 minutes in the air, covering 6,646 miles (10,696 km) from Japan to Mexico.