The Daily Need

Monday morning roundup

Security

Japan and the United Kingdom have followed up on a U.S. State Department advisory warning travelers of potential terrorist plots in Europe, issuing their own alerts cautioning visitors to France, Germany and other European nations. The ambiguous warnings don’t provide much information, and they don’t seem to have slowed the rate of travel to Europe. [CSM, AHN, Detroit Free Press, AP]

Health

The English biologist who pioneered the use of in-vitro fertilization 30 years ago has won the Nobel Prize for physiology. The technique, developed by Robert Edwards and an English surgeon Patrick Steptoe, has aided the conception and birth of more than 4 million people since 1978. Steptoe has since died, leaving Edwards the sole winner of the prize. Louise Brown, the first person conceived through IVF, called the news “fantastic.” [Guardian, Press Association]

Economy

Pending home sales rose for the second straight month in August, the National Association of Realtors announced Monday. Record-low mortgage rates seemed to be luring some buyers back into the market. But the pace at which buyers were signing contracts for new homes remained considerably lower than last year’s rate, and the NAR warned that any rise in mortgage prices could stall the nascent recovery. [The Atlantic, Housing Wire]

Environment

The claims czar responsible for supervising payments to Gulf Coast residents and workers affected by the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill has amended the process for disbursing those payments after intense criticism from watchdog groups and the government. Proximity to the spill will no longer play a factor in whether people and business are compensated, Kenneth Feinberg said Monday. The decision is a victory for Florida businesses who claim to have been affected by the spill. [AP, The Palm Beach Post]

Culture

The epic saga of the creation — and near unraveling — of Facebook took the top spot at the box office this weekend, drawing in $23 million in its weekend debut. “The Social Network” purports to draw the curtain back on the genesis of the social media empire and the life of its quixotic creator, Mark Zuckerberg. The movie hits theaters just as many people are defecting from Facebook — a trend chronicled by Need to Know last week. [MTV]

 
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