French airstrikes in Syria as police hunt for Paris attack suspect; Fifth recession in seven years for Japan; What Millennials want out of work

1 French airstrikes in Syria as police hunt for Paris attack suspect (BBC) Police have issued a photograph of a French national wanted in connection with Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead. The man, named as Salah Abdeslam, 26, is described as dangerous.

Reports say he had already been identified as the renter of a car used in the attack when he and two others were stopped by police near the Belgian border. The officers apparently let him go after checking his ID. Seven attackers, two of whom had lived in Belgium, died during a series of assaults in the city, officials said.

Late on Sunday, French aircraft struck Raqqa in Syria – the stronghold of Islamic State (IS), the militant group that has claimed it was behind the Paris attacks. President Francois Hollande had described Friday’s attacks in Paris as an act of war – and promised that France’s reaction would be pitiless.

Ten fighter jets operating out of French bases in Jordan and the UAE dropped 20 guided bombs on a command centre, recruitment centre for jihadists, a munitions depot and a training camp for fighters, the ministry said. The attack was carried out in co-ordination with US forces.

France is marking three days of national mourning. On Sunday, a memorial service was held at Notre Dame cathedral. French police appealed for information about Salah Abdelslam but warned people not to approach him. Unnamed officials said he was one of three brothers linked to Friday’s attack.

2 Fifth recession in seven years for Japan (The Guardian) Japan has slid back into recession for the fifth time in seven years amid uncertainty about the state of the global economy, putting policymakers under growing pressure to deploy new stimulus measures to support a fragile recovery.

The world’s third-largest economy shrank an annualised 0.8% in July-September, more than a market forecast for a 0.2% contraction, government data showed on Monday. That followed a revised 0.7% contraction in the previous quarter, fulfilling the technical definition of a recession which is two back-to-back quarterly contractions. It is the fifth time Japan has entered recession since 2008, a so-called “quintuple dip”.

The outlook for the Japanese economy remains weak. Many analysts expect the economy to grow only moderately in the current quarter as companies remain hesitant to use their record profits for wage rises, underscoring the challenges premier Shinzo Abe faces in pulling the country out of stagnation with his “Abenomics” stimulus policies.

The dismal reading may affect debate among politicians and policymakers on how much fiscal spending should be earmarked in a supplementary budget that is expected to be compiled this fiscal year. Private consumption, which accounts for about 60% of the economy, rose 0.5% from the previous quarter, roughly in line with forecasts.

But capital expenditure fell 1.3%, which was more than expected. External demand added 0.1 percentage point to GDP growth, while domestic demand shaved 0.3 point off growth, the data showed. The weak data would be of little surprise to many Bank of Japan officials, who had largely factored in the recession and expect growth to rebound in coming quarters as consumption and factory output show signs of a pick-up.

3 What Millennials want out of work (Pat Wadors in San Francisco Chronicle) When I joined LinkedIn in February 2013 as head of human resources, I thought: “I’ve got this.” I brought 20 years working in various roles and industries in Silicon Valley, a place that leads the country in creative thinking around workplace perks and pay. What I didn’t fully anticipate was the bold emergence of the next generation and how quickly they would change the world en masse.

You may call them Millennials, but I also call them Ben, Eddie and Katie. Those are my three kids; two in college, one in high school. Millennials are also known as “my employees.” At LinkedIn, we have more than 9,000 employees, and Millennials make up approximately 60 percent of my workforce. On average in the US, this population makes up only 34 percent of the overall workforce, so you could say we are leading the pack.

In getting to know this generation better, I’ve become a huge admirer of Millennials. I’ve learned to dismiss what I’d previously heard about them (that they can be self-serving, lazy, entitled, impatient and starved for frequent praise). In fact, Millennials have consistently won me over by being themselves.

When interviewing for a job, for example, they rarely bring up compensation. And when they do, it comes at the end with an insightful question, like “Do you believe this is fair comp for the position? And what is my opportunity for growth?” They ask about development and company purpose more frequently and earlier in the recruiting process.

Besides changing how work gets done, they are also changing the work environment. It is not uncommon for me to walk around a pingpong tournament on my way to a meeting. The crowd of Millennials all cheer for their favorite player — and their camaraderie is tangible. This increases employee engagement, which is why so many startups have pingpong, Foosball and other “virtual water-cooler” like spaces.

Millennials are fearless connectors — online and offline. The emergence of companies like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter is a testament to the Millennial generation’s commitment to “communities” and connecting. My prediction is that with their sense of responsibility and acute social awareness, Millennials will change the world for the better. It will be a world where people get equal pay for equal work. A world where problems get crowd-solved by diverse individuals living around the world who never physically meet.


About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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