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10 things you need to know today: August 28, 2014

Harold Maass
Incursion? What incursion? (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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Ukraine says Russia is sending more troops over the border

Ukraine accused Russia of sending a fresh wave of troops over its eastern border on Wednesday, dimming hopes that a meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin a day earlier would lead to a cease-fire. A rebel leader said thousands of Russians were fighting alongside pro-Russian separatists, but Russia denies its soldiers are involved. Ukraine said it had detained a Russian soldier who confessed his unit was helping rebels open a new front near Crimea, which Moscow annexed in March. [Reuters, BBC News]


Journalist's mother pleads with ISIS for his release

The mother of kidnapped American journalist Steven Sotloff released a video on Wednesday in which she pleaded directly to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to release her son. Sotloff was shown in the ISIS video of the beheading of journalist James Foley in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. In her video, which aired on the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya network, Shirley Sotloff asks the ISIS leader "to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over." [The Christian Science Monitor]


Apple loses bid to ban sales of old Samsung phones

A judge on Wednesday denied Apple's request for an injunction to stop Samsung from selling older-model smartphones that contain components infringing on Apple patents. The case was based on a $119.6 million jury verdict Apple won against Samsung in May. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, however, ruled that Apple would not "suffer irreparable harm" if Samsung continued to sell the devices, which include the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S2, and Galaxy S3. [CNET]


CBO predicts a $506 billion deficit

The federal government should finish its fiscal year in September with a deficit of $506 billion, according to a projection released Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office. The figure is slightly higher than April's estimate of $492 billion, due to lower-than-expected corporate income tax receipts. It is still significantly lower than the previous fiscal year's deficit of $680 billion. The deficit has fallen for five straight years, from 9.8 percent of GDP in 2009 to 2.9 percent this year. [The New York Times]


Judge effectively decriminalizes polygamy in Utah

A federal judge struck down a key part of Utah's bigamy law, effectively legalizing polygamy in the state. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups on Wednesday ruled that a provision in the law making it a felony to cohabit with someone out of wedlock was unconstitutional, although it's still illegal to have more than one active marriage license. The law was challenged by Kody Brown and his four wives — the stars of the TLC show Sister Wives. The state plans to appeal. [The Salt Lake Tribune]


Michael Egan drops sex-abuse lawsuit against X-Men director Bryan Singer

Michael Egan, 31, on Wednesday withdrew his lawsuit accusing X-Men director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when he was a teenager. Courts had already dismissed three other lawsuits Egan filed accusing other entertainment executives of abusing him when he was an aspiring teen actor. Singer had asked that the lawsuit against him be dismissed, calling it a "sick, twisted shakedown." Egan's two original lawyers last month asked to be withdrawn from the case. []


Jury acquits Texas man accused of shooting driver who killed his sons

A Texas jury on Wednesday acquitted a man, David Barajas, who was accused in the shooting death of the drunken driver who crashed into his pickup, killing his 12- and 11-year-old sons. Prosecutors said Barajas ran to his home 100 yards from the crash site, got a pistol, and came back to shoot the driver, 20-year-old Jose Banda. Defense attorneys said there was no evidence linking Barajas to the shooting. Barajas said he was praying for Banda's family. "They lost a son, too," he said. [The Associated Press]


Tsarnaev sister accused of making a bomb threat

A sister of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was arrested in New York City on Wednesday for allegedly threatening a Harlem woman. Ailina Tsarnaev, 23, was charged with aggravated harassment. She allegedly threatened the woman in a phone call, saying, "I have people that can go over there and put a bomb on you." Police officials did not immediately provide any other details in the case. Ailina Tsarnaev reportedly lives with another sister, Bella, in North Bergen, N.J. [The Boston Globe]


Cops crew member killed covering a robbery

A crew member with the Spike TV show Cops was shot and killed during filming as officers disrupted a robbery at an Omaha fast-food restaurant, Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Wednesday. The suspect, Cortez Washington, fired an Airsoft pellet gun at officers, who mistook the toy for a real weapon and returned fire. Police kept firing as Washington, mortally wounded, stumbled outside. That was when a bullet struck sound-mixer Bryce Dion through a gap in his bullet-proof vest, killing him. [Entertainment Weekly]


USC suspends star Josh Shaw over phony tale of heroism

University of Southern California cornerback Josh Shaw admitted Wednesday that he had lied when he said he sprained both ankles jumping from a balcony to save his young nephew from drowning. Shaw, a senior and team co-captain, said he really just fell from the balcony. "I was wrong not to tell the truth," he said. The university, calling Shaw's tale of heroism a "complete fabrication," suspended him indefinitely from the football team's activities. [NBC News]

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