Good morning, and happy Wednesday. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. U.S., China make deal to cut carbon emissions
The U.S. and China reached a landmark decision to each cut emissions as leaders met during an economic summit in Beijing on Wednesday. The U.S. has agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025, while China will look to have 20 percent of its energy come from renewable sources by 2030. The agreement, ultimately, could spur other superpowers to make a similar pledge in the face of pressing climate change studies. “We have a special responsibility to lead the world effort to combat global climate change,” President Obama, who’s on an eight-day tour of Asia and the Pacific, said in announcing the plan. “We hope to encourage all major economies to be ambitious.” Read more in NEWS.
2. Deadly winter storm sends temps plunging
The big chill is setting in. An autumn storm that dumped a wintry mess of two feet of snow in parts of the Upper Midwest — and led to at least four deaths — has also left behind a blast of arctic air. Some 200 million people are going to feel that noticeably colder weather — as much as 60 degrees colder in some parts. The East Coast won’t be immune either, as relatively mild temperatures will dip 10 to 20 degrees lower by nightfall. Read more in NEWS.
3. Space mission to land on comet could make history
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for the European Space Agency’s Philae probe as it tries to make history as the first of its kind to land on a speeding comet. The best precedent for such a feat is NASA’s Deep Impact mission, which sent a probe barreling into Comet Tempel 1 in 2005. But that probe was destroyed on impact. Early Wednesday, the space agency found the Philae landers’ cold-gas thruster, which is supposed to keep it steady, didn’t appear to be working properly. But the landing attempt is continuing. Read more in SCIENCE.
4. Ferguson gears up for grand jury decision
Missouri’s governor said Tuesday that law enforcement is ready to curb any violence that might break out once a grand jury announces whether or not to indict the cop who fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown. That decision could come down any time this month. Brown’s parents, meanwhile, were in Switzerland on Wednesday to address a U.N. panel on torture. Michael Brown Sr. told the group that he wishes he could have put himself between his son and the officer, Darren Wilson. Read more in NEWS.
5. Big banks get hammered over foreign exchange
Five of the world’s biggest financial institutions, including Citibank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase Bank and UBS, were hit with a collective $1.7 billion-plus fine for rigging key foreign exchange markets. The fines were the largest ever imposed by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority or its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ordered the same banks to pay over $1.4 billion in penalties. Read more in BUSINESS.
6. Sugarhill Gang rapper Big Bank Hank dies at 57
Bronx-born Henry Lee Jackson helped to make history as a member of the iconic New York rap pioneers the Sugarhill Gang. Their 1979 hit, “Rappers Delight,” shot up the charts and helped rap music go mainstream. Jackson, known as Big Bank Hank, died Tuesday of complications from cancer. “We’re going to miss him, but I do have the memories and I do have a lot of photos and we do have our history,” bandmate Michael “Wonder Mike” Wright told NBC News. Read more in POP CULTURE.
And now this …
How many people — much less 4 year olds — get to say they’ve demolished a building? DJ Pitts, a hospital patient and local “superhero” in Atlanta, got to do just that to one landmark city structure.