1) In the U.S., details of Thursday night’s tragedy in Aurora, Colorado continue to emerge (via Denver Post). The killer, James Eagan Holmes, planned the attack with ‘calculation and deliberation’ according to police. Holmes used ammunition methodically ordered over a period of months to kill 12 and injure 58 people. Holmes snuck into the theater through an emergency exit with three weapons, a helmet, and a gas mask. After tossing two gas canister into the theater, Holmes walked up the isle firing at moviegoers. He then calmly waited for authorities in the parking lot of the theaters. Police used robots to set off the explosive booby-traps left in Holmes’ apartment. Holmes was a graduate student in neuroscience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
2) Mitt Romney is facing mounting pressure to release more than two years of tax returns. Over the past week, the Obama campaign has successful kept the media focused on the small details Romney’s private wealth and his date of retirement from Bain Capital. Meanwhile, in a campaign speech in Virginia, Obama seemed to criticize the successful elite by saying, “if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.” Both candidates are neck and neck in the polls.
3) In Syria, rebels bombed the national security headquarters in Damascus killing the defense minister and President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law. The international community is slowly starting to consider actions to oust Assad.
4) In Europe, new French President Hollande reversed a key measure passed by Sarkozy – tax breaks on overtime work which Sarkozy had created under his “work more, your make more” plan. Hollande argued that the tax increase would incentivize more hiring, by making it more economical for firms to find new workers then ask the current ones to do overtime. In Italy, disgraced former Prim Minister Silvio Berlusconi suggested that he might run for office again next year.
5) In Japan, Tokyo had its biggest protest since the 1960s when more than ten thousand took the streets against the restart of two nuclear power reactors.
Top PolicyMic stories – The Weight of Being a (Young and Successful) Black Male (Edward Williams) – Young, successful black men are in the midst of a crisis that will continue until more black men reach higher levels of success.
In God We Trust: The Divisive Role of God in America Today (Sarah Dropek) – A San Antonio citizen is fighting to get God off currency and out of our swearing in process. His quest brings back the issue of religion and God in government.
Obama's "You Didn't Build That" Remarks Are Unfortunate, And so Is the GOP Response (Andrew Collins) – We need to look at Obama's statements at Roanoke, Virginia, last week with a little more nuance, because what he said, and what conservatives are saying about what he said, lacks it.
Muslims Observe Ramadan in the Wake of Changes Produced by the Arab Spring(Reem Nasr) – In the wake of political, economic, and social changes, Muslims in the countries of the Arab Spring welcome the month of Ramadan with an eye on their regimes.
Dark Knight Shooting Victim Killed Had Narrowly Escaped Death Only a Month Before (Chris Miles) – In a bizarre and tragic twist, a woman who was killed at the Batman massacre escaped a similar shooting in June.
What we’re reading – Why economics fails as a science (The Economist); A serious challenge to Wall Street from an unlikely source (Rolling Stone); Bo Xilai: power, death and politics (FT); Nokia’s bad call on smartphones and tablets (WSJ); Why I resent you using the word ‘torture’ (New Yorker); The details on Facebook’s dual-class share structure that keeps Zuckerberg in control (Global Mail).