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10 things you need to know today: January 14, 2016

Harold Maass
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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1.

Two civilians killed in attack near Jakarta Starbucks, Burger King

Militants attacked with guns and grenades in the center of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, on Thursday, killing at least two civilians and wounding 20. Police said at least five attackers also were killed. The attack appeared to target a police post at a busy intersection, near a Starbucks coffee shop and a Burger King restaurant. Police suspect that the insurgents belonged to an Islamic State terrorist cell in Solo, a city on Indonesia's main island of Java, that had been communicating with counterparts in Syria.

2.

Three winners to share record $1.6-billion Powerball jackpot

Three people won Wednesday night's record $1.6-billion Powerball lottery, the California Lottery announced early Thursday. The winning numbers were 4-8-19-27-34 and Powerball 10. The winning tickets were sold in California, Tennessee, and Florida, with each ticket worth $528.8 million. The identities of the winners were not immediately known. The California ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, 25 miles from Anaheim.

3.

Stocks dragged down again as oil prices fall to lowest level in 12 years

U.S. stocks fell sharply on Wednesday as crude oil prices dropped below $30 a barrel for the first time since 2004. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 370 points (2.2 percent), and the Russell 2000 index finished 22 percent down from record levels in June. Asian stocks dropped sharply early Thursday, but trimmed their losses by the close of trading. China's Shanghai index managed to gain 2 percent.

4.

Al Jazeera America to go off the air

Al Jazeera America is shutting down by the end of April, just two and a half years after its debut, the cable news channel's chief executive, Al Antsey, announced in a memo to staff on Wednesday. The Qatar-based company bought Al Gore's Current TV for $500 million to get on the air in the U.S, promising smart journalism without angry talking heads. It struggled for ratings, however, with prime-time viewership sometimes below 30,000. The company said it would expand its digital presence once the cable channel closes.

5.

New poll shows Ted Cruz maintaining Iowa lead over Donald Trump as caucuses near

Ahead of Thursday's sixth GOP presidential debate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is holding onto a narrow lead over Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in Iowa, which kicks off the primaries with its first-in-the nation caucuses in less than three weeks. A new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll released Tuesday shows Cruz leading Trump 25 percent to 22 percent, with the rest of the GOP candidates far behind. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is in third with 12 percent, followed by Ben Carson with 11 percent.

6.

Kurdish separatists attack Turkish police station, killing six

Kurdish separatists attacked a police station and living quarters for security personnel in southeastern Turkey late Wednesday, killing six people. The attackers, reportedly members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK, first hit with a car-bomb and then continued with long-range weapons. The dead included five civilians and a policeman. Thirty-nine others were wounded.

7.

Investigators say Iraqi refugee planned bombings at Houston malls

An Iraqi refugee facing charges of supporting terrorists was plotting bombing attacks at two Houston malls, a federal investigator told a Texas court on Wednesday. The man, Omar Faraj Saeed al-Hardan, 24, pleaded not guilty. U.S. investigators say al-Hardan is an Islamic State sympathizer. A Department of Homeland Security special agent said al-Hardan came under investigation in 2014 after allegedly buying components for homemade bombs on eBay.

8.

FBI investigating the ambush shooting of a Philadelphia police officer as a terrorist act

The FBI is investigating the ambush shooting of a Philadelphia police officer as "a terrorist attack," FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday. Officer Jesse Hartnett was shot three times in the arm as he sat in his patrol car. Although wounded, he got out and chased the suspect, returning fire. Police arrested Edward Archer a block away. Archer allegedly confessed and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

9.

Cruz did not report Senate race loan

GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz (R-Texas) failed to tell election officials about two loans totaling $750,000 during his successful Senate campaign four years ago, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Cruz rode a wave of Tea Party support to victory, but often talks about how he and his wife, Heidi, a Goldman Sachs executive, financed his campaign by liquidating their savings. He does not mention the low-interest loans, one of them a margin loan against a Goldman Sachs brokerage account. Cruz shrugged off the report, saying he had reported the loans "over and over" in personal finance papers, and that the failure to report them to the Federal Election Commission was "inadvertent."

10.

Google report describes a dozen near accidents in self-driving cars

Google released a report Wednesday saying that test-drivers in its fleet of self-driving cars had to take over the controls 341 times between September 2014 and November 2015. The report, shared in accordance with California Department of Motor Vehicles regulations, said that in 13 of the incidents the car would have hit something if the driver had not taken control. The report noted that the glitches were "rare" — the fleet is averaging 30,000 to 40,000 miles per month, with about a third of the driving occurring on complex suburban road networks.

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