RSS
10 things you need to know today: August 10, 2013
Obama announces NSA reforms, Connecticut grapples with a deadly plane crash, and more
President Obama addresses Americans' surveillance fears. 
President Obama addresses Americans' surveillance fears.  Win McNamee/Getty Images

1. OBAMA ANNOUNCES NSA REFORMS
President Barack Obama announced a series of steps meant to quell criticism over the NSA's electronic surveillance program on Friday. His reforms include appointing an NSA privacy officer, creating an outside advisory panel, and releasing the Justice Department's rationale for the NSA's surveillance programs. [The Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. REBELS ATTACK CONVOY CARRYING SYRIAN PRESIDENT
A convoy carrying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was believed to be the target of a mortar attack as it made its way to a mosque in Damascus. Assad escaped unharmed. Two separate rebel groups claimed responsibility for the attack. [The Guardian]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. SMALL PLANE CRASHES INTO CONNECTICUT HOMES
A small plane plunged into a suburban neighborhood near the Tweed New Haven Airport on Friday. Two homes collapsed and caught fire as a result of the crash, the cause of which remains unknown. Several people are feared dead. [CBS News]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. ISRAELI DRONE STRIKE KILLS 5 IN EGYPT
An Israeli drone strike killed five suspected Islamic militants in Egypt on Friday. The attack happened in el-Agra, near the Israeli border, which could signal a new level of cooperation between the two governments. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. TURKISH AIRLINES PILOTS KIDNAPPED IN LEBANON
Gunmen stopped a bus carrying a Turkish Airlines crew near Beirut's major airport on Friday and kidnapped the pilot and co-pilot, taking them to an unknown location. No group has claimed responsibility. Experts believe it could be related to Turkey's support of the rebels fighting the Assad regime in Syria, which borders Lebanon. [Los Angeles Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. MAN ALLEGEDLY KILLS WIFE AND POSTS PICTURE OF HER BODY ON FACEBOOK
Derek Medina, 31, confessed to fatally shooting his wife in their Florida home on his Facebook page. He also shared a photo of what he claimed was his wife's dead body. Medina is being charged by South Miami police with first-degree murder. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. MAN SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS FOR TRYING TO BLOW UP FEDERAL RESERVE
Quazi Nafis, 22, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for conspiring with undercover agents to set off a 1,000-pound bomb under the Federal Reserve building last year. Nafis, speaking in a Brooklyn courtroom, apologized, saying, "I'm really ashamed that I believed in radical Islam." [New York Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. PUTIN PLANS TO FREE RUSSIA'S ECONOMIC CRIMINALS
Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed offering amnesty to many of the country's white-collar criminals in jail for "economic crimes," which include fraud, embezzlement, counterfeiting, and tax evasion. He claims Russia "overreacted" to the threat of organized crime and wants to free entrepreneurs as part of an economic stimulus plan. [The New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. ALEC BALDWIN TO GET SHOW ON MSNBC
Actor Alec Baldwin will get his own show on MSNBC, Mediaite learned from "a senior source in the cable news industry." Baldwin, an outspoken liberal, will reportedly be taking an open slot in the network's schedule at 10 p.m. on Friday nights. [Mediaite]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. OPRAH CLAIMS SWISS SHOP WAS RACIST
The Swiss Tourism Office apologized after Oprah Winfrey claimed to the media that a shop assistant in Zurich refused to show her a handbag because it was probably "too expensive" for her. While not cheap, the $38,000 handbag was well within Oprah's price range, as she reportedly made $77 million last year. [ABC News]

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