Ukraine and Obama say Russian troops are fighting in Ukraine. In a statement from the White House today, president Barack Obama said the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine is “plain for the world to see,” citing recent images from NATO. Markets dipped as Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said Russia deployed troops in the east; his government reinstated mandatory military conscription starting this autumn.
Google has been running a drone delivery program for two years. Dozens of Googlers are working on the Project Wing effort to build flying robots than can deliver products across a city in a few minutes, according to The Atlantic. The secret project is competitive with drone delivery research by Amazon and others.
Nearly 8% of Ebola deaths are amongst health workers. Since the start of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, 240 health workers have contracted the virus and 120 have died from it. The victims include five of the authors of a genetics study of the virus that was published today in Science. According to the World Health Organization, 1,552 people have died of Ebola since July.
Another twist in the T-Mobile US ownership saga. Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s biggest shareholder, would listen to offers for the fourth-largest US wireless carrier worth $35 a share, Bloomberg reports. That is below the $40 a share Sprint was expected to offer before it walked away, but above the $33 a share offer France’s Illiad has put on the table. Reuters, citing its own sources, has contested the report.
Europe’s banking system is doing it wrong. Lending continues to contract in the euro zone, with loans to the private sector falling 1.6% in July compared to the prior year. Business lending is shrinking at an even faster clip, dropping 2.3% in July compared to the prior year. Not exactly a recipe for dynamic growth.
Carnage and capture in Syria. President Barack Obama said the US does not yet have a strategy to tackle the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in the Middle East, in a statement from the White House today. Islamic State militants claimed they executed hundreds of members of the Syrian army, after seizing an airbase in the northeast. In the south, the UN said 43 of its peacekeepers were captured by “an armed group” on the Syrian side of Golan Heights; 81 other peacekeepers are trapped.
Samsung and LG announce new smartwatches ahead of Apple. Samsung’s latest can make and receive calls without a phone, Reuters reports. LG’s is round with a retro look. With Apple reportedly set to unveil a wearable gadget on Sept. 9, the question is: Will it be anything like these?
The NFL gets tough on domestic violence. America’s richest sports league said players will be suspended for six games after their first offense of domestic violence or sexual assault, and face a lifetime ban after the second. Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for the two-game suspension dealt to a player accused of assaulting his fiancée. “I didn’t get it right,” Goodell wrote to team owners.
Get ready for a bumper harvest. After interviewing locals, measuring ears, and counting bean pods in the rural US midwest, “crop tourists”—it’s a thing (paywall)—have forecast record yields this year for corn and soybeans. The plentiful harvest should help ease grain prices and restock other agricultural markets that aren’t experiencing optimal weather.