RSS
10 things you need to know today: June 15, 2013
Syrian rebels call for U.S. weapons, a moderate candidate surges ahead in Iran, and more
Iranian nationals show off their inked fingers after voting in the Iranian presidential election at the Iranian Consulate in London, June 14.
Iranian nationals show off their inked fingers after voting in the Iranian presidential election at the Iranian Consulate in London, June 14. AP Photo/Sang Tan

1. SYRIAN REBELS CALL FOR WEAPONS AS FIGHTING INTENSIFIES IN ALEPPO
Syrian opposition groups clamored for the Obama administration to make good on its promise to arm them as government forces cracked down on rebels in Aleppo. The White House reversed its position on arming the rebels after revealing Thursday that it had concluded that the Assad regime was guilty of using chemical weapons. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. MODERATE CANDIDATE POISED TO WIN IRAN'S PRESIDENCY
Hassan Rohani, a moderate cleric, has a surprisingly solid lead over his conservative rivals in Iran's presidential election, according to a preliminary vote count. Rohani's lead reveals a "major reservoir of pro-reform sentiment whereby many voters seized a chance to repudiate the dominant hardline elite over Iran's economic woes, international isolation, and crackdowns on personal freedoms," says Reuters. While the presidency certainly matters, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will retain a stranglehold on power regardless of the election's outcome. [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. HOUSE BILL AIMS TO FIGHT SEXUAL ASSAULT IN MILITARY
On Friday, the House passed a $638 billion military spending bill with provisions meant to fight sexual assault in the military. The bill would prevent commanders from overturning guilty verdicts in sexual assault cases and would require a minimum punishment of dismissal from the military for sexual abuse offenders. [The Hill]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. TURKEY'S PRIME MINISTER ISSUES WARNING TO PROTESTERS
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave protesters a "final warning" on Friday to vacate Istanbul's Gezi park. Erdogan claims he will abide by the ruling of a court case determining whether the park can be redeveloped — possibly into a shopping mall — and hold a public referendum on the issue if the court rules in the government's favor. [The Guardian]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. MID-ATLANTIC STORM LEAVES 500,000 WITHOUT POWER
Nearly half a million people were left without power as a series of powerful storms hit the mid-Atlantic on Thursday night. North Carolina took the brunt of the damage, reporting three casualties and around 350,000 without power. [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. EUROPE'S A350 PASSENGER PLANE COMPLETES MAIDEN VOYAGE
The Airbus A350 completed its four-hour initial flight over Toulouse, France, on Friday. The plane, which holds 270 to 350 passengers and reportedly uses 25 percent less fuel than comparable planes, will compete directly with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. [USA Today]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. PAIR OF PARKING SPACES SELL FOR $560,000
Two parking spaces located in the crowded Back Bay neighborhood in Boston sold for $560,000 during an auction on Thursday. The IRS had seized the spaces from a man who had originally bought them in 1993 for $50,000. [Boston Globe]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. FORMER NAZI SS COMMANDER FOUND IN MINNESOTA
Polish prosecutors say they will investigate the case of Minnesota resident Michael Karkoc, 94, who, according to evidence reviewed by The Associated Press, is believed to be the commander of a Nazi SS unit accused of burning villages filled with woman and children. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. PROTESTS ERUPT IN BRAZIL
Protests broke out in Sao Paulo on Thursday, as well as in other cities across Brazil, over an increase in bus and metro fares. At least 100 people were injured and 120 arrested on Thursday night after officials deployed riot police. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. STUDY SAYS WARM WATER MELTING ICE SHELF FROM BELOW
A new study says that most of Antarctica's ice is melting from below due to rising ocean temperatures. Previously, scientists believed the continent's ice shelves were disappearing due to calving, which occurs when icebergs split and fall into the ocean. Researchers say this could help them more accurately predict sea level rises. [Christian Science Monitor]

Keith Wagstaff is a staff writer at TheWeek.com covering politics and current events. He has previously written for such publications as TIME, Details, VICE, and the Village Voice.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week