The UN General Assembly meets, new plastic banknotes, black metal politicians

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The UN General Assembly begins in New York. The UN’s 71st session will include a special meeting on antibiotic-resistant superbugs, marking only the fourth time it has convened to combat a health issue. Meanwhile, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko is expected to meet with US president Barack Obama on the sidelines of the session, while Putin is skipping the annual event.

The Bank of England issues polymer £5 notes. The smaller, more durable plastic money, emblazoned with the image of Winston Churchill, is expected to last two-and-a-half times longer than the outgoing note. Polymer £10 and £20 notes, featuring the images of novelist Jane Austen and painter J.M.W. Turner, will follow in the coming years.

All 10 districts in Kashmir face a curfew during Eid. For the first time since unrest broke out in 1990, India is imposing a curfew during the Muslim holiday in an effort to quell violence in the disputed territory. Drones and helicopters will conduct air surveillance, and India has also restricted internet and cellphone service in the run-up to the festival.


Duterte demanded the US leave the south of the Philippines.President Rodrigo Duterte said US troops must leave the Muslim-majority island of Mindanao, where 1,300 US special forces soldiers are stationed. Duterte said there were “many white men” in the insurgency-racked island.

North Korea asked for flood aid. Days after it tested a nuclear bomb, the Pyongyang government plans to ask the international community for donations as severe floods hit the country last week. 133 people have been confirmed dead and 395 are missing.

A ceasefire in Syria was quickly broken. Shortly after the ceasefire began in the war-torn country at sundown on Monday, Aleppo residents reported that a government helicopter had dropped explosives on a rebel-held district. Elsewhere, in Dara’a, a rebel faction killed four government soldiers.

Russia’s largest nickel producer confessed to turning a river blood red. Norlisk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of of nickel and palladium, admitted that heavy rains caused a spillage at one of its plants, causing a nearby river to turn crimson. Norlisk says environmental damage is minimal, though activists are skeptical.

A Chinese bank prepared to file the biggest IPO of the year.Postal Savings Bank of China is seeking to raise up to $8.1 billion, with cornerstone investors already committed to 76% of the shares on offer, according to terms seen by Bloomberg. The deal is expected to be priced on Sept. 20 and trading will start on Sept. 28 in Hong Kong.


Nicole Smith Dahmen on Facebook’s dangerous censoring powers. “It is true that Facebook is a private company with a legal right to censor content. But as a global giant that claims in its mission statement ‘to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected,’ Facebook has an ethical responsibility to facilitate the free flow of information and ideas, especially news. Instead, Facebook is giving users a dangerously manipulated view of that world and contributing to the age of truthiness.” Read more here.


The internet is changing fiction. The return of omniscient narration(paywall) reflects our sense that technology has given us access to unlimited knowledge.

9/11 made a presidential race between two New Yorkers possible. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, New York stopped seeming foreign to the rest of the US and became an all-American symbol of freedom, tragedy, and resilience.

Wearable drones could help stop rape in India. In a country that has seen a 200% increase in rapes over the past decade, an eye in the sky might be able to reduce sexual assault.


Paralympic runners in Rio ran faster than their Olympic counterparts. In the 1500-meter race for the visually impaired, the first, second, third, and fourth-placed runners each beat the time set by gold medal winner Matthew Centrowitz in August.

Norway’s newest town councilor is a black metal legend.Fenriz, also known as Gylve Fenris Nagell, was unexpectedly elected to a town council in Oslo after he shared photos of himself holding a cute cat asking people not to vote for him.

The world’s oldest winery is in a cave in Armenia. The site, which is being excavated by UCLA and the National Geographic Society, lies just 60 miles from where Noah is said to have parked his ark at Mount Ararat.

Roald Dahl’s made-up words are now real ones. “Scrumdiddlyumptious” and “Oompa Loompa” are among the six Dahl-isms added to the Oxford English dictionary to mark the centenary of the author’s birth.

Philosopher Blaise Pascal was ahead of his time. The 17th-century philosopher’s strategy for persuading someone to change their mind is supported by present-day psychology.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Oompa Loompas, and Armenian wines to You can download our iPhone app or follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.



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