RSS
10 things you need to know today: August 14, 2012
A gunman kills two near Texas A&M, Chris Christie will give the RNC keynote speech, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks in Washington in July: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has chosen Chris Christie to be the keynote speaker at the party's convention later this month.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks in Washington in July: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has chosen Chris Christie to be the keynote speaker at the party's convention later this month.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

1. DEADLY SHOOTOUT ERUPTS NEAR TEXAS A&M
A veteran law enforcement officer — Brazos County, Texas, Constable Brian Bachmann — and an apparent bystander, Chris Northcliff, were killed on Monday when a man opened fire as Bachmann tried to serve an eviction notice a few blocks from Texas A&M University. The man identified by police as the gunman, Thomas Caffall, 35, from College Station, Texas, died in police custody after a bloody 30-minute shootout with officers who responded to a flurry of panicked 911 calls. The violence left the near-campus neighborhood shaken. "We are just distraught," said Caffal's sister, "by the havoc that he has caused." [TIME]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. PAUL RYAN HITS THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) made his solo debut as Mitt Romney's running mate on Monday in Iowa. Ryan drew large, approving crowds at the Iowa State Fair, but his first campaign stop was interrupted briefly by protesters who heckled him over his controversial proposal to slash federal spending and overhaul Medicare. According to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday, 42 percent of Americans surveyed said the Wisconsin congressman's addition to Mitt Romney's Republican presidential ticket was a "fair" or "poor" move by the Romney campaign, while 39 percent of respondents said it was an "excellent" or "pretty good" choice. The last vice-presidential candidate to start out with a lower score was Dan Quayle in 1988. [Washington Post, The Hill]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. ROMNEY PICKS HIS CONVENTION SPEAKERS
Mitt Romney went with Paul Ryan as his running mate, but he's putting several other short-listers in the veepstakes to work at the Republican National Convention later this month. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will deliver the coveted keynote address. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Tea Party favorite once rumored to be a likely vice presidential candidate, will introduce Romney when he delivers his acceptance speech on the convention's closing night, according to Fox News. The keynote speech is considered the highest-profile spot — Barack Obama, then a state senator, delivered one for the Democrats in 2004, and four years later he was sworn in as president. [Fox News]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. GOOGLE BUYS TRAVEL GUIDE FROMMER'S
Adding to its growing travel and tourism portfolio, Google announced Monday that it plans to buy venerable travel guide Frommer's from publisher John Wiley & Sons, for an undisclosed sum. Google bought restaurant guide Zagat in 2011, and the addition of Frommer's will help the web giant "provide a review for every relevant place in the world," says spokeswoman Katelin Todhunter-Gerberg. Analysts say the move is part of Google's plan to take on lucrative travel sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, or even to start booking hotels directly, as Expedia does. [San Francisco Chronicle]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. FRANCE AND GERMANY BUOY EUROPE
The euro zone's economy shrank in the second quarter, but European stocks got a minor boost on Tuesday from France and Germany, which reported better-than-expected economic growth figures. France's economy didn't budge, but economists had expected it to contract by 0.1 percent. Germany, which grew by 0.3 percent, has been credited with keeping Europe's crippling debt problems from dragging the entire region into a recession. Still, says Jonathan Loynes of Capital Economics, "the big picture is that the economic growth required to bring the region's debt crisis to an end is still nowhere in sight." [MarketWatch, Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. FORMER COSMO EDITOR HELEN GURLEY BROWN DIES
Helen Gurley Brown, the pioneering former editor of Cosmopolitan, died at age 90 in New York. Brown is widely credited with giving the long-running women's magazine its "sexually frank tone" when she took over the masthead in the '60s. She remained top editor until 1997, when she took a lesser role, and was known for coming into her pink corner office nearly every day until her death. In a statement, parent company Hearst called Brown "a true pioneer for women in journalism — and beyond." [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. OLYMPIC FLAG MOVES ON TO BRAZIL
With the London Olympics officially closed, the five-ringed Olympic flag arrived on Monday in Brazil to mark the beginning of preparations for the next Summer Games, in 2016. Boosters are hoping the Olympics will establish the fast-developing South American nation as a first-world powerhouse, but skeptics are already questioning whether the host city, Rio de Janeiro, will be ready. It is already struggling with construction delays, cost overruns, and overburdened airports, roads, and subway lines. "Brazil and Rio have four years to do all those things that have not been done in 400," a former member of Brazil's Olympic committee said. [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. SYRIAN REBELS CLAIM TO DOWN JET
Rebel fighters in Syria said Monday that they had shot down one of the government's MiG-23 fighter jets, and captured the pilot. President Bashar al-Assad's regime disputed the claim, saying a "technical failure" caused the plane to crash. If the rebels did manage to bring down the jet, it would mark a significant leap in their military capabilities, and suggest that opposition fighters have begun receiving advanced weapons from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other foreign backers. [Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. ROBERT PATTINSON RESURFACES AFTER SCANDAL
Robert Pattinson has returned to the spotlight, after dropping from view last month when his girlfriend and Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart confessed to an affair. Pattinson couldn't disappear forever — he has a new movie, Cosmopolis, to promote. So he made a round of media appearances in New York, including a visit with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart. When Stewart encouraged Pattinson to "tell me everything," the actor replied: "My biggest problem in life is I'm cheap, and I didn't hire a publicist." [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. NBC CONGRATULATES ITSELF ON OLYMPIC COVERAGE
Despite complaints from TV critics about its editing of the London Olympics closing finale, NBC on Monday declared its coverage of the games to be a huge success. The network said Sunday's event was the most-watched Closing Ceremonies for a non-U.S. Summer Olympics in 36 years, and the London Games overall were the most-watched television event in U.S. history, with 219 million people tuning in. That beat out the 2008 Beijing Olympics by 4 million viewers. [Washington Post, Huffington Post]

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week