TIME Retail

See Converse’s First Chuck Taylor Redesign in Almost 100 Years

Converse Chuck Taylor Shoe
Converse

Good luck spotting the difference on the outside

Converse unveiled newly redesigned iconic Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers last week, the first change to rock the classic shoe in 98 years.

Converse President and CEO Jim Calhoun predicted that the Chuck Taylor All Star II would usher in “not just a new sneaker, but a completely new way of thinking.” In reality, the shoe may leave shoppers wondering what exactly has changed.

The All Star patch is “fully embroidered,” for starters, and the eyelets now come in “monochrome matte.” So much for the exterior.

ConverseChuck Taylor II

Converse wisely reserved the biggest changes for the interior, upgrading the materials in an attempt to give wearers a more comfortable fit. The cushioning has been updated to Nike Lunarlon sockliner, a trademark foam technology developed by Converse’s parent company, Nike. A snugger, padded collar and a redesigned tongue were designed to reduce slippage. A perforated “micro suede” liner enhances breathability.

“The expectations of kids is that things will be broken in, ready to use, super comfortable, super functional from the minute it leaves the store,” Calhoun said in an interview with Fortune.

TIME

Sweden Investigates Mysterious Submarine Found Off Coast

SWEDEN-MILITARY-SUBMARINE-RUSSIA-SEARCH
Fredrik Sandberg—AFP/Getty Images The Swedish corvette HMS Visby under way on the Mysingen Bay on October 21, 2014 on their fifth day of searching for a suspected foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago.

Defense experts debate whether the submarine ran aground recently or as far back as WWI

Swedish officials say they are investigating a mysterious submarine that apparently ran aground in territorial waters two miles off of Sweden’s coastline.

Sea explorers with Ocean X spotted the roughly 65-foot submersible at an undisclosed location last week, prompting speculation about its origins. Ocean X explorer Dennis Åsberg told Swedish newspaper Expressen that the submarine appeared to have Russian cyrillic characters on its hull and no signs of physical damage.

The absence of a distress signal led one defense expert to speculate that the submarine may have run aground recently while on a confidential mission, while other experts suspect that the craft dates back to WWI.

The Ocean X team said it had partnered with Swedish officials to conduct further analysis into the submarine’s origins.

The investigation comes one year after Swedish intelligence agents detected a foreign submarine, transmitting Russian distress signals, east of Stockholm.

TIME Denmark

Denmark Bans Kosher and Halal Animal Slaughter

This picture taken on August 21, 2009 in
Sebastien Bozon—AFP/Getty Images This picture taken on August 21, 2009 in Illzach, eastern France, shows a customer passing by Halal butchery shelves in a supermarket, on the eve of the beginning of the Ramadan.

“Animal rights come before religion”

Denmark enacted a sweeping ban on the religious slaughter of animals Monday, prompting a furious backlash from Jewish and Muslim community representatives.

The ban, which requires slaughterhouse workers to stun animals before killing them, will now extend to religious communities that were previously afforded an exemption. “Animal rights come before religion,” Danish minister for agriculture and food Dan Jørgensen told Denmark’s TV2.

Activists with Danish Halal called the restriction a “clear interference in religious freedom,” the Independent reports, while Israeli chief rabbi David Lau slammed the law as “a serious and severe blow to the Jewish faith and to the Jews of Denmark,” according to Times of Israel.

Both observant Jews, under kashrut laws and Muslims, under halal laws, will not eat meat unless the animal has been killed with a single slice to the neck, with the intention to minimize its pain.

TIME

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India, Dies at 83

The renowned rocket scientist served as the nation's 11th President

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, one of India’s most renowned rocket scientists who served as the nation’s 11th President, died of cardiac arrest on Monday at the age of 83.

Kalam was hospitalized after collapsing during a lecture in the northeastern city of Shillong, local media station NDTV reports. He held long-standing leadership positions for India’s defense and space programs, and was elected President with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in July of 2002.

Tributes poured in from Indian luminaries on social media, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and world-renowned cricket player Sachin Tendulkar:

Kalam told TIME in a 1998 interview that he developed an early fascination with flight while growing up on the south Indian isle of Rameshwaram. “Then there were a lot of birds on the island,” he said, “and I used to watch their beautiful flight paths. That got me interested in aeronautics.”

TIME

Boy Scouts of America Set to Lift Gay Leadership Ban

Vote to determine whether openly gay scout leaders can serve for the first time in the organization's 105-year history

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is widely expected to overturn a longstanding ban on gay scout leaders on Monday, as the organization’s top body convenes to hold a historic vote on the issue.

The resolution to overturn the ban by the BSA’s executive committee has already garnered widespread support from its top officials. BSA’s current president and former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called the ban “unsustainable,” Reuters reports, while activists have denounced the ban as an example of “institutional homophobia.”

The resolution will allow gay and bisexual leaders to work or volunteer with the group’s 2.5 million youth members.

[Reuters]

TIME Foreign Policy

U.S. Removes Cuba, Malaysia From Human Trafficking List

US-TRAFFICKING-PEOPLE-RIGHTS
Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during the release of the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report" on July 27, 2015 at the State Department in Washington, DC.

An estimated 20 million people worldwide are working under forced and illegal conditions

The U.S. State Department removed Cuba and Malaysia from its human trafficking blacklist on Monday as part of an annual update to its contentious Trafficking in Persons report.

The 2015 report separates 188 nations into three tiers based on their efforts to combat human trafficking. The lowest tier nations face the threat of diplomatic repercussions at the discretion of the U.S. President. Cuba and Malaysia’s ratings were watched closely this year in light of both nations’ growing economic ties with the U.S.

Human rights activists warned that a premature upgrade would hint at political favoritism and damage efforts to hold governments accountable. An estimated 20 million people worldwide are believed to be victims of human trafficking, working in industries ranging from the sex trade to fishing and mining.

TIME

Ashley Madison Already Caved to Hackers’ Demands

"We apologize for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information"

Ashley Madison, a dating site that enables spouses to surreptitiously arrange extramarital affairs, suspended fees for users who want to delete their accounts, after hackers threatened to publicly expose millions of users on Monday.

The company insisted that the delete option, which normally carries a $19 fee, would fully wipe clean the user’s personal data.

“The process involves a hard-delete of a requesting user’s profile, including the removal of posted pictures and all messages sent to other system users’ email boxes,” the website said in an official statement.

A hacker ring identified as the Impact Team warned on Monday that it would begin leaking “credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails” in order to expose “cheating dirtbags.”

Ashley Madison offered a second apology to users in a public statement released on its website on Tuesday.

“We apologize for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information,” the statement read. “We have always had the confidentiality of our customers’ information foremost in our minds, and have had stringent security measures in place, including working with leading IT vendors from around the world.”

TIME

Benicio del Toro Reportedly Offered Villainous Role in ‘Star Wars’ Sequel

Benicio del Toro
Arthur Mola—Invision/AP Benicio del Toro poses for photographers as he arrives for the screening of the film Sicario at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France on May 19, 2015.

Sources familiar with the casting for Star Wars: Episode VIII say negotiations are already under way

Actor Benicio del Toro reportedly has received an offer to play the main villain in Star Wars: Episode VIII, sources familiar with the casting said on Tuesday.

Several unnamed sources told the Wrap that the Academy Award wining actor was in the very early stages of negotiations for the role. Disney, the production company backing the second installment of the hotly anticipated trilogy, has not officially commented on the offer.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is set to release around May, 2017, roughly a year and a half after Star Wars: The Force Awakens releases in theaters this year on December 18.

TIME

California Police Discover Arsenal of 1,200 Guns in Private Home

"The pile just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger"

Los Angeles police discovered a veritable arsenal of weaponry, including more than 1,200 handguns, shotguns and rifles, inside of a spacious private residence along an upscale street in Pacific Palisades.

Police have not publicly identified the owner, who was found dead Friday inside of a parked SUV along the same quiet residential street, NBC News reports.

Neighbors watched as investigators hauled the arms and upwards of 2-tons of ammunition out of the victim’s garage. “They were just lots of them,” one eyewitness told NBC, “piled at least 8-feet tall, and the pile just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”

Read more at NBC News.

TIME animals

See What JFK Airport’s Extravagant New ‘Pet Terminal’ Will Look Like

Warning: may cause feelings of envy in two-legged commuters

New York officials announced plans to develop a new $32 million terminal on Monday, specially designed to handle roughly 70,000 airborne animals a year.

The 172,165 square-foot facility, dubbed the ARK, will include “a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, animal daycare services and more efficient ways to transport animals worldwide, including exotic species,” the Port Authority said in a public statement. Artists’ renderings suggest that animal passengers may enjoy more amenities than their human counterparts, including a lap pool and private rooms. The cattle gates, on the other hand, may look familiar.

“While most of our airport passengers walk on two legs, this new center will serve the important travel needs of our four-legged and winged friends,” said Port Authority executive director Pat Foye.

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