8 Things You Need To Know This AM — Sep 09 2015

Photo: David Fisher/Rex/REX USA
Germany is willing to take in 500,000 Syrian refugees a year, other European countries avoid eye contact .

Germany’s Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel announced that the country could welcome 500,000 asylum seekers each year for “several years." German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for mandatory refugee quotas for all countries in the E.U., telling a news conference in Berlin, “This joint European asylum system cannot just exist on paper, but must also exist in practice.” (The Independent)
Sam Smith will sing the new Bond theme, meaning you’ll soon have some new melancholic lyrics to post on Facebook whenever your flirty texts go unanswered.

Your heart’s favorite singer, Sam Smith, has confirmed that he recorded the theme for the forthcoming James Bond movie, Spectre. The song, entitled “Writing’s on the Wall,” is a “classic love song,” the singer says, and was co-written by Smith’s “Stay With Me” collaborator, Jimmy Napes. Smith, 23, is the first British male solo artist to record a James Bond theme since 1965, when Tom Jones was tapped for Thunderball. (Refinery29)
Baltimore officials proposed a $6.4 million wrongful death settlement with Freddie Gray’s family.

Baltimore officials have agreed to offer a $6.4 million civil claims settlement in the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal injury to his spine while in the custody of police. The settlement is only a proposal — it now has to be approved by the city’s Board of Estimates. The payment to Gray’s family is unrelated to the criminal proceedings currently underway for the six officers charged with his death. (Refinery29)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson rescued his drowning French bulldog puppies; we all kinda wish we were those drowning puppies, right?

The Rock was forced to play action hero this Labor Day weekend after his new French bulldog puppies made a beeline straight into his pool. While one of the new pets, Hobbs, doggy-paddled like a professional, the other, baby Brutus, immediately sunk to the bottom of the pool, forcing Johnson to dive in, fully clothed. The actor shared some takeaways from the experience on Instagram (along with a pretty hunky pic) writing, “While sprinting to save your puppies life, before you dive in, try and throw your cel [sic] phone to safety. Don’t keep it in your pocket…like I did.” (Refinery29)
Michael Derrick Hudson, a white male poet, used an Asian pen name to get his work published in literary journals, which is not what anyone meant when they said publishing needs more diversity.

The newest edition of the Best American Poetry anthology includes a poem from Yi-Fen Chou, whom the literary community believed to be a Chinese writer. Chou is in fact the pen name of Michael Derrick Hudson, a white poet from Indiana. According to Hudson, the selected poem, entitled “The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus, Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve,” was rejected under his real name 40 times; when submitted under the pseudonym Chou, the poem was successfully published after only 9 tries. Even after being informed of Hudson’s deception, Best American Poetry’s guest editor, Sherman Alexie, chose to include the poem. (Refinery29)
North and South Korea reached an agreement to reunite families separated by the Korean War, and just the thought of it is making us cry as hard as “soldiers surprising their kids” videos on YouTube.

Families torn apart by the Korean War 60 years ago may have a chance to reunite near the heavily secured border between South and North Korea. Leaders of the two countries met in overnight talks, facilitated by the Korean Red Cross, despite heightened tensions that provoked North Korea to recently declare a “quasi-state of war.” These will be the first reunions since last February; approximately 100 people from each country are expected to participate. (Al Jazeera)
Some Apple fans already seem to be lining up in front of a store in Sydney, even though the company hasn’t announced anything yet.

Ahead of Apple’s big media event today, at least one superfan isn’t taking any chances and has already staked out their spot in line for whatever new Apple product may be unveiled. CNET’s Seamus Byrne tweeted a photo of a tent pitched in front of a Sydney Apple Store, writing, “Peak Apple. Someone is queuing in Sydney before THEY HAVE EVEN ANNOUNCED ANYTHING!!!” Insiders believe that Wednesday’s event will see the debut of the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, which are said to boast fairly impressive upgrades like touch controls. (CNBC)
Donald Trump is quoted in his biography saying that he “always felt like” he served in the military, even though he didn’t. Not once. Never. Didn't do it.

According to interviews and excerpts from a forthcoming biography shared with The New York Times, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump feels he has “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military” because he attended a military-themed boarding school for five years. Despite famously obtaining multiple draft deferments throughout the Vietnam War, Trump says he “dealt with those people” during his years at New York Military Academy, where he was sent by his parents to improve his behavior. (The New York Times)

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