Global markets have stopped freaking out, for now

GlobalPost
An electronic board showing stock movements in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Aug. 25, 2015.
MOHD RASFAN

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NEED TO KNOW:

So yesterday Chinese stocks fell and the rest of the world panicked. Today Chinese stocks continued to fall but markets in the rest of the world looked a bit better

Why? What's changed since yesterday? One theory is that China has finally taken action, which has calmed everyone else down. The People's Bank of China launched new stimulus measures Tuesday — including cutting its main lending and deposit rates by a quarter of a percent — not a huge amount, but a significant move. 

Another theory is that the rebound was coming all along. The drop in China reflects a necessary market correction, some analysts say, and yesterday's global freakout was just that: a freakout. People around the world were overreacting to China's situation, which they realize today has more to do with China than it does with them. 

A third theory is that life is a roller coaster. It's too soon tell whether the global rebound will stick. There is certainly more uncertainty on the way — which is why Starbucks is being really nice to people who look worried today.

And the Islamic State militants published photos Tuesday purporting to show the destruction of a Roman-era temple in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. Photos on social media show militants rigging the temple with explosives and then a large explosion, and then rubble.

This is horrible, but as GlobalPost's Timothy McGrath writes, it's not news. The four-year-long Syrian conflict has been quietly destroying Palmyra and other sites of Syrian antiquity since even before the Islamic State came on the scene.

WANT TO KNOW:

What does it mean to be a communist?

In Jakarta, it means "cruel and evil," Ali Gaang, a 69-year-old newspaper seller, told GlobalPost's Marie Dhumieres. Adi, a 29-year-old nurse, agreed. “Indonesia believes in one God. The communists want to change that, they want to turn Indonesia into a atheist country. It’s very dangerous.” Sofiyah, a 48-year-old street food seller, explained that “communism means not liking the government.” 

Its meaning may vary, but one thing is for sure. In Indonesia, "communism" is still the "country's bogeyman." Fifty years after a brutal crackdown on communists that left half a million dead, communism is still a banned ideology, a sweeping insult, and a hazy memory even for those whose families were hurt by false charges of "communism" used to suppress journalists and dissidents.

STRANGE BUT TRUE:

The lions are fighting back. In the same Zimbabwe park where Cecil the lion was shot and killed by a dentist from Minnesota, another lion is said to have mauled to death a safari guide.

Quinn Swales, 40, from Harare, was leading a group of tourists on foot through Hwange National Park on Monday when a male lion called Nxaha pounced on him. 

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told the Associated Press that Swales had spotted a pride of six lions. One of the lions had cubs and became hostile. "Swales at first managed to scare the lions away but then the male lion later made a U-turn and attacked him," Charamba said.

No tourists were reported harmed in the attack.