Notes
First thoughts, running arguments, stories in progress

Syrian peace talks: They’re on hold for now. After two days of negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition, the United Nations’s special envoy for Syria announced that there would be a “temporary pause.” Staffan de Mistura told reporters, according to the AP: “​It is not the end, and it is not the failure of the talks.” But it’s certainly not a smooth start, either: on Monday, both sides actually refused to even acknowledge that the talks had officially begun.

Travel alerts for Zika: The CDC has added Tonga in the South Pacific and Jamaica in the Caribbean to the list of places with outbreaks of the mosquito-borne virus. There are now 30 destinations on the list, most of them in Latin American or the Caribbean.

The state of the U.S. presidential race: The aftermath of the Iowa caucuses hasn’t been pretty. Clinton and Sanders continue to tear at each other after the near-tie in the country’s first presidential nominating contest. Trump is smarting on Twitter over his second-place finish to Cruz. O’Malley, Huckabee, Paul, and Santorum have all dropped out. And Bush, well … here’s a New York Times dispatch from a speech in New Hampshire yesterday by the man once considered a shoo-in for the GOP nomination:

Speaking to a crowd at the Hanover Inn near the Vermont border during his final stop of the day, Mr. Bush finished a fiery riff about protecting the country as commander in chief—“I won’t be out here blowharding, talking a big game without backing it up,” he said—and was met with total silence.

“Please clap,” he said, sounding defeated.

The crowd laughed—and then, finally, clapped.

One lonely jaguar: Did you know there is only one known wild jaguar living in the U.S.? He has been named El Jefe, which means “the boss” in Spanish, and roams the mountains outside Tucson, Arizona. Jaguars are elusive creatures, so it took biologists three years to capture the big cat on film for 41 seconds:

Conservation CATalyst and the Center for Biological Diversity released new video today of the only known wild jaguar currently in the United States.Captured on remote sensor cameras in the Santa Rita Mountains just outside of Tucson, the dramatic footage provides a glimpse of the secretive life of one of nature’s most majestic and charismatic creatures. This is the first-ever publicly released video of the #jaguar, recently named 'El Jefe' by Tucson students, and it comes at a critical point in this cat’s conservation. Learn more here:

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/jaguar-02-03-2016.html

Posted by Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

More on El Jefe’s bachelor lifestyle here.

News from this afternoon here.

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