Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 27, 2014

Harold Maass
A pro-Russian separatist takes position outside the Donetsk airport, the scene of an hours-long battle between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
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Ukraine's new leader hammers rebels while promising diplomacy

Ukrainian forces continued fighting Tuesday with pro-Russian separatists who tried to take over the Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine on Monday. Hours before the assault began, Ukraine's newly elected president, Petro Poroshenko, had promised to negotiate an end to the Ukraine crisis, but said he would never talk with "terrorists." A Donetsk separatist leader said 50 of his militiamen had died in the assault, adding, "This is war." [The New York Times]


Nigerian military chief says government knows where schoolgirls are

Nigeria's defense chief, Air Marshal Alex Barde, said Monday that the government knows the location of the 270 high-schools girls abducted last month by Islamist extremists, but cannot risk a rescue attempt. Barde said the Nigerian military "can and will" free the girls, but not yet. "Nobody should say Nigerian military does not know what it is doing," he said. "We can't kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back." [USA Today]


Pope promises zero tolerance for sex abuse

Pope Francis on Monday declared a zero-tolerance policy for child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. He also said he would meet for the first time with a group of victims, along with Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston, leader of a commission studying how to handle the abuse crisis. "Sexual abuse is such an ugly crime," the pope said, "because a priest who does this betrays the body of the Lord. It is like a satanic Mass." [Reuters]


Crews search for three men missing in massive Colorado mudslide

Authorities in Colorado were still searching early Tuesday for three men missing since a rain-saturated ridge collapsed, resulting in a three-mile-long mudslide on Sunday. The men — Clancy Nichols, 51; his son Danny Nichols, 24; and Wes Hawkins, 46 — were investigating an earlier, smaller mudslide when the ground gave way. "Everybody on this mountain is praying for a miracle right now," said Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey. [NBC News]


Tea Partiers try to bounce back in Texas

After suffering a string of primary defeats, the Tea Party is hoping to pull off two major victories in Texas GOP runoffs on Tuesday. Tea Party favorite Dan Patrick, a state senator, is expected to win the nomination for lieutenant governor, after finishing far ahead of incumbent David Dewhurst in March. Tea Party-backed state Sen. Ken Paxton has a similar edge over the establishment candidate for state attorney general. [Reuters]


Young woman who Elliot Rodger blamed for deadly rampage is "devastated"

The "pretty blonde girl" who alleged Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger blamed for his bloodthirsty misogyny is "devastated," her father said Monday. Rodger, 22, said in a manifesto he sent to his parents and others before the deadly rampage that the girl was his first crush in middle school, and that he had "started to hate all girls" after she teased and ridiculed him. "She doesn't even remember this guy," her father said. [New York Daily News]


Prosecutors request light sentence for cooperative hacker

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to go easy on hacker Hector Xavier Monsegur at his sentencing hearing on Tuesday, saying he helped the government thwart 300 cyberattacks on Congress, NASA, and other targets. Monsegur offered his cooperation after his arrest and 2011 guilty plea for breaking into the computer systems of major corporations. He faced up to 20 years in prison, but could get just two years due to his cooperation. [Associated Press]


Schumer asks for $100 million to fight heroin

Sen Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Monday that he was requesting $100 million in federal funding to combat rising heroin trafficking in New York and across the U.S. There have already been more heroin seizures in 2014 than in any year since 1991. Schumer said the money was needed to disrupt the drug pipeline from Mexico to New York City, which he said "has become a hub for the heroin trade for the entire East Coast." [CBS News New York]


Malaysia releases communication-satellite data from missing plane

The Malaysian government released raw communication-satellite transmission data on Tuesday supporting its conclusion that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished in March, crashed in the Indian Ocean. The plane's last transmission was an automated request for a so-called electronic handshake. Australian investigators said this suggests the plane's satellite equipment blinked on briefly after losing power as the jet ran out of fuel. [The New York Times]


Rolling Stones return to the stage

The Rolling Stones resumed their 14 On Fire world tour in Norway on Monday, two months after frontman Mick Jagger's girlfriend, fashion designer L'Wren Scott, was found dead. The aging rockers — Jagger is about to become a great-grandfather — received a warm welcome in Oslo. [Hollywood.com]

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