Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 18, 2014

Jon Terbush
California Chrome gallops away with a win in the 139th Preakness Stakes Molly Riley / Getty Images
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California Chrome wins Preakness

California Chrome galloped away with an impressive win in the 139th Preakness Stakes Saturday. The horse, which won the Kentucky Derby earlier this month, needs only to win the Belmont Stakes next month to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. [The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated]


Julian Castro expected to be next HUD secretary

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, one of the Democratic Party's brightest young stars, will reportedly be tapped as the next Housing and Urban Development secretary. The telegenic young mayor delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and his name is often floated as a possible VP or presidential candidate. The White House has yet to confirm the appointment. [Politico]


Switzerland votes on world's highest minimum wage

Swiss voters head to the polls Sunday to vote on whether to create the world's highest minimum wage. If approved, Switzerland would have a minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs — or roughly $24.65 — per hour. Preliminary reports suggested the measure did not have enough support to pass. [NBC, USA Today]


At least 16 arrested in deadly Turkish mine collapse

Turkish authorities have arrested at least 16 people in connection with the mining disaster that left 301 workers dead last week, according to multiple reports. Those arrested include Ramazan Dogru, the mine's general manager, and operations manager Akin Celik. Initial reports said only 16 people were detained, though a local governor has since said the tally is up to 19. [BBC]


Libya imposes no-fly zone after deadly clashes

The Libyan army imposed a no-fly zone over the city of Benghazi in response to deadly clashes that have roiled the city over the weekend. Fighting that began Friday between Islamist forces and a paramilitary group led by a rogue general, Khalifa Haftar, left at least 70 dead and wounded another 141, the government said Sunday. In a statement, the government accused Haftar of waging a military campaign to "pursue personal gains or turn against the state legitimacy." [Al Jazeera , Associated Press]


North Korea reports 'serious' building collapse

In a strikingly unusual apology, North Korea's state-run news on Saturday reported a 'serious accident' that caused a 23-story apartment building in Pyongyang to collapse. The Korean Central News Agency blamed "irresponsible supervision and control" and "sloppy building" for the accident, but did not give a tally on the number of people who were injured or killed. Though the building was still under construction, it is believed to have housed as many as 92 families. [The New York Times, CNN]


Head of Syria's air defense killed

The head of Syria's air defense forces was killed Saturday in a clash with rebel forces, according to an unnamed Syrian official. The commander, Lt. Gen. Hussein Ishaq, was killed when rebel fighters attacked an air base near the capital, Damascus. He is one of only a few high-ranking government officers to be killed in the nation's three-year-old civil war. [Associated Press]


Former 'First Dog' Miss Beazley has died

Miss Beazley, former President George W. Bush's iconic Scottish terrier, has died, the family announced Saturday. The dog was 10 years old, and was put to sleep after battling cancer. Miss Beazley is perhaps best remembered for starring in a White House video, A Very Beasley Christmas, that followed the pup around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue during the holiday. [Associated Press]


Paul McCartney cancels more concerts due to illness

One day after abruptly canceling a concert in Tokyo, Paul McCartney nixed another one on Sunday, as well as a make-up event planned for Monday. The former Beatle contracted a nasty virus over the weekend and said his doctors would not let him go on stage. "I am very sorry to all my fans as I was greatly looking forward to the concert," he said in a statement, "but the situation is out of my hands." [U.S. News & World Report, Rolling Stone]


NBA Conference Finals begin today

The NBA's penultimate playoff round begins Sunday when the defending champion Miami Heat head to Indiana to take on the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Western Conference Finals get underway Monday when the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs host the Oklahoma City Thunder. [ESPN]

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