In brief | Nation & World | 9-4-14


Global drive to block jihadis from fighting in Syria, Iraq

PARIS — New laws make it easier to seize passports. Suspected fighters are plucked from planes. Authorities block finances and shut down radical mosques.

In cyberspace, Silicon Valley firms are wiping extremist content from websites, such as video of the recent beheading of two American journalists. And Western intelligence agencies are exploring new technologies to identify returning fighters at the border.

Governments from France to Indonesia have launched urgent drives to cut off one of the Islamic State group’s biggest sources of strength: foreign fighters. At the heart of the drive is mounting concern that the organization is training the next generation of international terrorists.

Those fears have gained urgency from the group’s horrific methods: A British militant is suspected of beheading two American journalists, and a Frenchman who fought with the Islamic State group is accused in a deadly attack on a Jewish museum in Belgium.

With each video that ricochets around social networks, the militants gain new recruits.

Tesla Motors selects Nevada as site for $5 billion electric car battery factory

RENO, Nev. — Tesla Motors has chosen Nevada as the site for a massive, $5 billion factory that will pump out batteries for a new generation of electric cars, a person familiar with the company’s plans said Wednesday.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made, said work would soon resume at an industrial park outside Reno.

Four other states — California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico — were vying for the project and the estimated 6,500 jobs it will bring.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office said only that the governor would make a “major economic development announcement” Thursday afternoon. A spokesman for Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, said company representatives would be at the Capitol for the announcement but offered no other details.

Tesla has done site-preparation work at the Reno Tahoe Industrial Center but had not publicly committed to building in Nevada, instead waiting as other states put together their best packages of economic incentives.

Bond insurer’s att’y tells judge 75 cents on dollar is fair settlement of Detroit debt

DETROIT — An attorney for one of Detroit’s creditors told a judge overseeing the city’s historic bankruptcy Wednesday that Detroit could afford to pay 75 cents on the dollar to settle its debt if it sold some masterpieces from the art museum.

But an attorney for Detroit told federal Judge Steven Rhodes in his opening statement that the debt-restructuring plan focused first on resolving a dire financial situation and does not discriminate against creditors.

Syncora Guarantee attorney Marc Kieselstein said the debt-restructuring plan would pay some creditors less than 10 cents on the dollar. Rhodes asked Kieselstein the percentage he believed Detroit could offer the New York-based bond insurer and where the money would come from.

“There’s the art,” Kieselstein said, referring to city-owned artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts. “You could sell one or two pieces. You can finance some of the pieces to get that number.”

Detroit wants to cut $12 billion in unsecured debt to about $5 billion through its plan of adjustment, which must be approved by Rhodes. Most creditors, including more than 30,000 retirees and city employees, have endorsed the plan of adjustment.

By wire sources