Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: August 16, 2014

Sarah Eberspacher
Ferguson residents protested on Friday night. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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New tensions erupt in Ferguson following naming of Michael Brown's shooter

Following a night of relative calm in Ferguson, Missouri, tensions flared again on Friday, after police released the name of the officer — Darren Wilson — who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown a week ago. Wilson and his family reportedly left Ferguson several days earlier. Police also released video footage showing Brown as a suspect in a convenience store robbery, but later on Friday, Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Wilson had been unaware of Brown's involvement in that incident at the time of the shooting. [The New York Times, USA Today]


Grand jury indicts Gov. Rick Perry for alleged abuse of power

On Friday, a grand jury in Austin indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) for charges related to abuse of power, stemming from a threat to veto funding in a push to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's resignation. Lehmberg pled guilty to charges of drunk driving, but ultimately remained in office. Perry then vetoed $7.2 million in funding last year for the county's Public Integrity Unit, which investigates corruption of public officials. Lehmberg's supporters said the move amounted to political retribution, as Perry would have named her replacement in the event of a resignation. If convicted, Perry could face several years in prison. [Austin American-Statesman]


Europe pledges arms, aid to Kurdish fighters in Iraq

Both individual European nations and the European Union pledged help to Iraq on Friday. The country, which is struggling against swift advancements by Islamic State militants, was first left alone by Europe, which considered the crisis an American problem stemming from the 2003 U.S. invasion into the country. But concerns over suffering and displaced civilians - not to mention ISIS representing "a threat that can reach the heart of Europe," according to Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, prompted the countries to act. The EU has pledged to send arms deliveries directly to Kurdish fighters pushing ISIS back. [The Associated Press]


Boko Haram reportedly abducts dozens of boys in Nigeria

Witnesses who managed to flee a violent attack on a remote village in northeast Nigeria said Boko Haram fighters abducted dozens of boys and men in a Friday raid. Witnesses said the Islamist militants burned houses and sporadically fired shots into the sky, killing at least six people and wounding another five. Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls four months ago, prompting international outcry. Most of the girls are still missing. "They started packing our men and boys into their vehicles, threatening to shoot whoever disobeyed them," Halima Adamu, who fled the violence, said. "Everybody was scared." [Reuters]


Youth Olympics bars West Africa athletes from some events

Organizers of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games announced on Friday that three athletes from West Africa, where an Ebola outbreak continues to spread, will be barred from combat sports and pool events. The games begin today and finish on August 28 in China. All athletes from West Africa will have to submit to temperature and well-being checks over the course of the 12-day games. "We regret that due to this issue some young athletes may have suffered twice, both from the anguish caused by the outbreak in their home countries and by not being able to compete in the Youth Olympic Games," the International Olympic Committee said in a statement. [Time]


FedEx faces new money laundering charges in pharmacy case

U.S. prosecutors indicted FedEx for money laundering on Friday, the latest charge in an ongoing case over whether the company delivered drugs from online pharmacies that were being investigated by authorities. The newest indictment claims that FedEx received payments from pharmacies the company knew were supplying drugs without legitimate prescriptions. Prosecutors claim that FedEx kept a private list of these rogue pharmacies, so that it could link the offending deliveries to a shipping site. The company faces fines totaling nearly $1.6 billion, if convicted. [Reuters]


Al Gore sues Al Jazeera America for withholding $65 million

Former Vice President Al Gore, along with business partner Joel Hyatt, filed a lawsuit on Friday against Al Jazeera America Holdings, Inc. The suit alleges that Al Jazeera America, the satellite television service which purchased Gore's and Hyatt's Current Media in 2013, still owes $65 million from the sale. Al Jazeera America placed $85 million into an escrow account, its release to Gore and his partners contingent on settling several indemnification requirements. But the escrow period ended on July 2, and Gore and his attorneys say Al Jazeera has yet to turn over the money. [Los Angeles Times]


Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz wins primary race delayed by storm

Senator Brian Schatz held on to win the Democratic Senate primary in Hawaii, in which he faced stiff competition from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, and had to wait an extra week because some precinct voting was delayed by Tropical Storm Iselle. Schatz was appointed to the Senate in December 2012, following the death of longtime Sen. Daniel Inouye. That move directly opposed a deathbed letter from Inouye to then-Governor Neil Abercrombie, asking Abercrombie to appoint Hanabusa to succeed him. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]


Study: Humans responsible for nearly 70 percent of glacier melt

A study published Thursday in the journal Science says nearly 70 percent of recent glacier melt is attributable to man-made causes. Scientists could not detect evidence of human effect on glacier melt until the mid-1900s, at which point only one-quarter of warming appeared to come from unnatural causes. But researchers found that 69 percent of the glacier melt since 1991 appears to be man-made. "The authors have quantified what I believe most scientists would have expected," glacier expert Richard Alley said. [Bloomberg Businessweek]


Notre Dame removes four football players in midst of academic fraud investigation

Notre Dame has removed four football players from its team, a person unauthorized to speak publicly told USA Today, as the school continues an academic fraud investigation. The four players, all likely starters, are: DaVaris Daniels, KeiVarae Russell, Ishaq Williams, and Kendall Moore. It was unclear whether or not the dismissals were permanent. Both Daniels and Russell were members of Notre Dame's 2012 team, which went 12-0 in the regular season. NCAA protocol says if the players are found to have violated the honor code, the school could have to vacate victories. [USA Today]

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