Need to know:
Three female Kurdish activists have been found shot dead in Paris, one of them reportedly a founding member of the militant separatist movement PKK.
The women's bodies, each bearing gunshots to the head, were found early this morning. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said there was no doubt they had been executed, and called the killings "totally unacceptable."
The motive for the murders is not yet clear. They come shortly after the Turkish government announced it had begun talks with the jailed leader of the PKK – designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU – in a bid to persuade the group to disarm.
Want to know:
US Vice President Joe Biden is preparing to meet with leaders of the National Rifle Association today as part of efforts to tackle gun violence.
Biden, given the tricky task of leading preliminary consultations on new gun policy in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, has a day of talks lined up with the NRA, other gun owners' groups and retailers. Yesterday was the turn of victims and gun-safety organizations, who Biden promised would see action from the White House – executive action, if necessary.
No prizes for guessing how that message will go down with today's crowd.
Dull but important:
Google went to North Korea, and told the country it needed... more Google.
The company's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, is freshly returned from a private four-day visit to the world's most isolated nation. Having seen first-hand the tightly controlled, in-country-only network that serves as North Korea's version of the internet, Schmidt says – guess what! – that greater access to the world wide web would be A Good Thing, whereas remaining cut off will stymie economic growth.
True enough, but does Kim Jong Un's regime care? We doubt we'll be seeing google.nk anytime soon.
The war in Syria has already claimed tens of thousands of lives. And the casualties don't end there. Alongside the tragic human cost, Syria's unique and ancient heritage is being irreversibly destroyed.
Syria's monuments once told the stories of 5,000 years of religion, architecture and human achievement. Today, they tell a more sorrowful tale. Archeologists say most of the country's historic sites have already been damaged by the conflict, and all of them are at risk of looting, damage and sabotage.
GlobalPost's Tracey Shelton reports from some of the world heritage sites that we might soon lose for good.
Strange but true:
You know things are bad when you're polling somewhere below cockroaches. And root canals. And Nickelback.
What those things have in common, besides occupying their own special circle of hell, is that they're all more popular than the US Congress. Specifically the 112th Congress, that remarkable assembly of people who couldn't and people who wouldn't, which a recent voter survey found to be worse-loved than, well, many things.
The good-ish news is that Congress was marginally less hated than gonorrhea, the ebola virus and communism. You can put that on your campaign stickers, representatives.