Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 25, 2014

Jon Terbush
Pope Francis walks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas PPO / Getty Images
Our '10 things you need to
know' newsletter
Your free email newsletter subscription is confirmed. Thank you for subscribing!


Ukraine holds presidential election amid unrest in east

Ukrainian voters head to the polls Sunday to pick a new president to replace Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in February. Despite scattered reports of pro-Russian separatists smashing ballot boxes and attempting to disrupt the election, voters are reportedly turning out in record numbers. Tycoon Petro Poroshenko — dubbed the "chocolate king" for having made his fortune in confections — is considered the clear frontrunner. [BBC, CBS]


Police identify California shooting suspect

Santa Barbara police have identified 22-year-old Elliot Rodger as the shooting suspect who killed seven people, including himself, near the University of California campus on Friday. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Saturday Rodger is believed to have stabbed to death three victims, gunned down three more, and injured another 13 in the rampage before taking his own life. Brown also confirmed that authorities believed the vast digital trail discovered in the aftermath — including a 141-page manifesto and a YouTube video titled Elliot Rodger's Retribution — were authentic. [USA Today, NPR]


Israel, Palestine to continue peace talks at Vatican

While in Bethlehem on his trip through the Middle East on Sunday, Pope Francis invited the leaders of Palestine and Israel to visit the Vatican to jumpstart their stalled peace talks. Calling the stalemate "unacceptable," Pope Francis urged both parities to "find the courage to be generous and creative in the service of the common good." Both Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have already said they will make the journey. [The Washington Post, Associated Press]


Shooter kills three at Jewish museum in Belgium

Three people were killed and a fourth was critically injured Saturday at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels after a gunman opened fire inside the building. The shooter, who remains at large, pulled up in a car outside the museum, entered, and then quickly fled. Officials believe the gunman acted alone, and are uncertain if it was an act of terrorism or anti-Semitism. [CNN, Al Jazeera]


U.S. home sales rebound in April

Sales of American homes ticked up 6.4 percent in April, easing concerns that an extended slump would drag down the sluggish economy. It was the biggest increase in six months, and came on the heels of a 6.9 percent decline in March, according to the Commerce Department. [Bloomberg]


Flooding kills at least 19 in China

Heavy flooding in Southern China left at least 19 people dead on Sunday, and several more remain missing. The historic rainfall has washed away homes, forced the evacuation of some 21,000 people, and stranded some 5,000 more. The city of Shanwei alone has received 25 inches of rain since the middle of last week. [Associated Press]


Indy 500 field set for Sunday

The 98th Indianapolis 500 is set to zoom off on Sunday with a wide-open field that has no clear favorite. Among the many intriguing shorelines, 19-year-old Sage Karam is making his IndyCar debut. [Fox Sports, Associated Press]


Last unchallenged gay marriage ban to get lawsuit

North Dakota is the only sate in the nation with a same-sex marriage ban but no pending legal challenge attempting to nix said ban. That won't be the case for long. A civil rights lawyer who on Thursday filed suit on behalf of same-sex couples in South Dakota says he or another attorney he's working with will file suit over North Dakota's ban in the coming weeks. [The Washington Post]


Miami Heat take 2-1 Conference Finals lead

Continuing their pursuit of a dynastic three-peat, the Miami Heat on Saturday stormed back from an early deficit to top the Indiana Pacers and claim a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron James led all scorers with 26 points, and Ray Allen dropped four three-pointers in the fourth quarter to help Miami hold on for the win. [ESPN]


Kim Kardashian, Kanye West wed

Kimye is now official after rapper Kanye West and Kim Kardashian wed in Florence, Italy, on Saturday. The couple had been engaged since last October, the same month Kardashian gave birth to their first daughter, North. [CNN]