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10 things you need to know today: June 29, 2014

Jon Terbush
Brazil's Willian Borges da Silva celebrates after the host team knocked off Chile Buda Mendes / Getty Images
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Benghazi terror suspect pleads not guilty

The Libyan man accused of orchestrating the attack on the Benghazi, Libya, embassy that killed four Americans pleaded not guilty in court on Saturday. U.S. forces nabbed the suspect, Ahmed Abu Khattala, two weeks ago in a secret raid and transported him to the states to face trial in a civilian, not military, court. Khattala has so far only been charged with one count of conspiring to aid terrorists, though it's assumed the government will bring more specific charges soon. [The New York Times]


Obama to seek $2 billion to stem illegal immigration

President Obama will this week ask Congress for $2 billion in emergency funding to beef up border security and speed up the process of deporting illegal immigrants. In addition, the president will seek broader Homeland Security powers to crack down on smugglers and to curb a recent spike in the flow of immigrants, particularly unaccompanied minors. Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been nabbed crossing the border. "We are maxing out our capacities within the existing appropriated monies," a White House official told The New York Times. [The New York Times, The Associated Press]


Iraqi troops battle for control of Tikrit

Iraqi security forces on Sunday continued an offensive to recapture the city of Tikrit, which was captured earlier this month by Sunni insurgents. The campaign is a significant test for the embattled Iraqi troops, yet as of Sunday morning, the ISIS insurgents still retained control of the city. Tikrit lies about 90 miles north of Baghdad, making it an important strategic and symbolic post [The Washington Post, BBC]


Brazil advances after nail-biter finish

Host nation Brazil escaped its first game of the World Cup knockout round after a tense match that ended in a shootout. After playing Chile to a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time, Brazil took a one goal edge in penalty kicks, 3-2, with one Chilean shooter left to go. Chilean defender Gonzalo Jara had a chance to tie it up, but his shot clanged off the post and out, sending Brazil through to the quarterfinals. [Fox Sports]


Israel launches 12 air strikes on Gaza

Israeli warplanes on Sunday carried out a dozen air strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip to retaliate against rocket fire from the area. The Israeli military said it targeted rocket launchers and weapons manufacturing sites, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel was prepared to "broaden" the raid should the rocket fire continue. [AFP, Al Jazeera]


Serena Williams upset at Wimbledon

Top-seeded Serena Williams suffered a stunning defeat Saturday when France's Alizé Cornet ousted her from Wimbledon in just the third round of the tournament. The top-ranked player in the world and a five-time Wimbledon champion, Williams made her earliest exit since 2006. "A few years ago I couldn't even play on the grass, I was so bad," a stunned Cornet said after the match. "And now I beat Serena." [The Guardian , The New York Times]


Pope Francis makes first public appearance since health scare

Pope Francis on Sunday presided over a two-hour-long mass in his first public appearance since abruptly canceling an event last week due to illness. On Friday, the Pope canceled at the last minute a scheduled visit to a Rome hospital for what the Vatican called an "unexpected indisposition." The 77-year-old Pope has canceled or scaled back three events in the past month, raising questions about his health. [CBS News]


NASA completes 'flying saucer' test

NASA on Saturday successfully test-launched a saucer-shaped craft that could one day land astronauts on Mars. The $150 million test — the first of three for the craft, called the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator — used an enormous helium balloon to send the craft 23 miles into the air. Once released, the craft used an inflatable ring to decelerate as it fell back to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. [The Associated Press, USA Today]


Nearly two dozen dead, more trapped in India building collapse

An 11-story apartment complex collapsed late Saturday in Chennai, India, killing at least 22 and trapping dozens of others. Rescuers said they were unsure how many people remained trapped inside, and that it would take several days to clear the rubble. Police detained five construction company officials in connection with the collapse, though none have been charged with any wrongdoing. [The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal]


Actor Meshach Taylor dead at 67

Actor Meshach Taylor, known best for his role as Anthony Bouvier in the hit sitcom Designing Women, died Saturday at his California home. He was 67. "It is with love and gratitude that we sorrowfully announce that our darling, amazingly brilliant and dynamic, Meshach, the incredible father, husband, son and friend has begun his grand transition," his family said in a statement. [CNN, The Hollywood Reporter]

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