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10 things you need to know today: July 15, 2014

Harold Maass
An Israeli soldier walks by his ride.  (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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Israel accepts an Egyptian ceasefire deal, but Hamas rejects it

Israel's security cabinet approved a ceasefire plan proposed by Egypt on Tuesday, but the armed wing of Hamas rejected the deal, saying it was "not worth the ink with which it was written." It is not yet clear if the Islamist organization as a whole feels similarly. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that if Hamas doesn't agree to a truce Israel might launch a broad ground invasion of the Gaza Strip to stop Palestinian rocket fire, which continued after the ceasefire was supposed to have started early Tuesday.  [NBC News, CNN]


Church of England allows women to be bishops

The Church of England voted Monday to let women become bishops, more than three decades after voting to ordain women as priests. The church's spiritual leader — the Most Rev. Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury — supported the move, saying that the public found women's exclusion "almost incomprehensible." The bitter debate over the changes has driven a rift in the Anglican church worldwide. [The Telegraph, The New York Times]


The U.N. pulls its mission out of Libya as militias battle

The United Nations evacuated its staff from Libya on Monday as rival militias battled for control of the airport in Tripoli, the capital. "This is a temporary measure," the U.N. said in a statement. "Staff will return as soon as security conditions permit." The airport fight has left at least six people dead and 90 percent of the planes at the airport destroyed in one of the worst fights since the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi's regime in 2011. [The Associated Press, Reuters]


Bergdahl goes back on duty

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl returned to active duty on Monday, six weeks after he was freed through a controversial prisoner swap with the Taliban. Bergdahl's return to work marked the final step in his reintegration process after five years in captivity. Military officials still have not decided whether Bergdahl, who was captured after straying from his unit in Afghanistan, will face court martial for desertion. [The Christian Science Monitor]


Peace Corps tries to woo applicants with new rules

The Peace Corps plans to announce major changes on Tuesday aiming to attract more volunteers as its applications plummet, leaving it at its lowest level of participation in more than a decade. One of the changes will be letting people pick the country where they will serve. Volunteers in the Peace Corps, started by then-president John F. Kennedy more than 50 years ago, sends thousands of volunteers to 65 countries for two-year service projects. [The Washington Post]


Ukrainian plane downed by rocket fired from Russia

Ukraine said Monday that one of its military planes had been shot down by a rocket fired from Russia across the border into eastern Ukraine, the defense ministry in Kiev said. All eight people on board bailed out safely. Pro-Russian separatist rebels claimed responsibility for the downing of the plane, but Ukrainian government officials blamed Russia, which had threatened to retaliate for the shelling of a Russian town. [The Associated Press]


Shipwrecked Costa Concordia floats again

Salvage crews succeeded in getting the sunken cruise ship Costa Concordia upright and afloat on Monday, two and a half years after it hit a reef and capsized near the port of the Italian island of Giglio, killing 32 people. Next it will be pulled away from the underwater platform that held it upright. Then, on July 21, the effort to tow the ship to Genoa begins. Once there, it will be dismantled for scrap. [NPR]


Review finds careless handling of anthrax at CDC

A second investigation has uncovered more safety problems at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's bioterrorism lab, where several dozen workers might have been exposed to anthrax last month, according to a House memo released Monday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that some dangerous materials had been stored in Ziploc bags, and anthrax had been placed in unlocked refrigerators. [Los Angeles Times]


Author Nadine Gordimer dies at 90

Nobel Prize-winning South African author Nadine Gordimer has died at age 90. Gordimer won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991 for her work criticizing her country's now-defunct apartheid system of white minority rule. Three of her books — The Conservationist, Burger's Daughter, and July's People — were banned under apartheid, and became her most influential works. [Entertainment Weekly]


Baseball honors Glenn Burke as a gay pioneer

Major League Baseball, which has never had an openly gay active player, is recognizing the late Glenn Burke as a gay pioneer in the sport. The promising outfielder quit at age 27. He said later it was "harder to be gay in sports than anywhere else, except maybe president." His sister, Lutha, is attending All-Star Game festivities and participating in a news conference with Commissioner Bud Selig on Tuesday. [The New York Times]

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