Mic Check: Syria's Dictator Just Listed His Demands On Live TV

1. Syria's Dictator Just Listed His Demands On Live TV
 
We didn’t think it would be easy negotiating with Syria, did we? Syrian President Bashar al-Assad took to Russian TV on Thursday to list his demands for handing over his chemical weapons: He wants Obama to call off military strikes and cut off weapons supplies to Syrian rebels. This was a little awkward since Secretary of State John Kerry had just been on the phone promising support to opposition leaders. Needless to say, Kerry rejected Assad’s demands. It’s a tough road ahead, but the U.S. will keep trying to work out a deal with Russia and Syria in Geneva today.
 
• We knew finding Assad’s weapons was going to be tough, but apparently he’s hidden his chemical stockpiles at about 50 hidden sites (Telegraph).
 
• If diplomacy fails, here’s how air strikes could destroy Assad’s chemical weapons (PolicyMic).
 
 
2. Soon You’ll Be Able to Own A Little Slice Of Twitter
 
Well, this is ironic. Twitter, a company dedicated to public oversharing, announced it has filed secret papers for a public offering via a tweet on Thursday. Usually companies have to publish an earnings report to help investors value the company, but Twitter is off the hook because of a law Obama signed last year. Sharing earnings info with competitors can be bad news for young companies, so the president teamed up with Congress to pass a law allowing companies with less than $1 billion in earnings to keep their details under wraps. You can expect to get your hands on your own little slice of Twitter in early December.
 
Why Twitter’s IPO will succeed where Facebook’s failed (PolicyMic).
 
• Find out what happened in the biggest IPO flop of all time (Atlantic).
 
 
3. NASA is Exploring a Whole New Frontier
 
NASA’s Voyager 1 has gone way above and beyond the call of duty: The spacecraft has become the first human-made object to leave the solar system. Voyager originally set off on a four-year mission to Saturn in 1977, and has been hurtling along at 38,000 m.p.h. ever since. Scientists say Voyager crossed over into interstellar space in August of last year, but they haven’t been able to confirm the milestone until just now. Voyager will keep sending back data from the far reaches of space for about another decade, but the real takeaway is that we’ve never sent anything so far away. Ever.
 
• Don’t see what all the fuss is about? Let these famous scientists tell you why Voyager is a BFD (Atlantic).
 
• Find out how long would it take you to leave the solar system (BBC).
 
• Learn 9 mind-blowing facts about Voyager 1 (PolicyMic).
 
 
4. How to Keep Wall Street From Running Amok
 
Ordinary Americans aren’t feeling too good about the economy. It’s been almost five years since Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy at the beginning of one of the worst financial crises in U.S. history, but a majority of Americans say the economy is no more stable than before the crash. The government has rolled out some new laws to keep big banks in check, but we need to do more to keep Wall Street from running amok. Making banks keep more cash on hand and shutting down their risky bets might do the trick.
 
• Americans also think the economic recovery has been skewed in favor of the rich. And according to a new study, they just might be right.
 
This one book shows just how hard it is to stand up to the banks (PolicyMic).
 
 
5. Get Ready For Another Dose Of Harry Potter
 
It’s time to break out those Harry Potter robes again! J.K. Rowling announced on Thursday she’s reached a deal with Warner Brothers to make a new series of movies set in the world of Harry Potter. The new movies will be based on a first-year Hogwarts textbook called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and will take place in New York 70 years before Harry’s adventures. They should be pretty good, since Rowling has signed on to write the screenplays herself.
 
• While you’re waiting for the new J.K. Rowling films, get a look at 11 movies you should see this fall (PolicyMic).
 
• If you’re itching to see a movie right away, Wadjda should be on your list. PolicyMic scored an interview with the woman behind the movie, Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker.
 
 
DESSERT
• Find out how you could get tuition aid from a zombie elf (NY Times).
 
• Scratch your head over the 10 most important unanswered questions in science (NPR).
 
• 5 childhood books that taught you more about life than college did (PolicyMic).
 
How long is it possible for humans to live? (Slate)
 
• It’s official. This is the world’s ugliest animal (BBC).
 
Thanks for reading!
Nick
 
What do you think about the topics in today’s Mic Check? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter @nicholascbaker.
 
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