RSS
10 things you need to know today: April 3, 2014
Another tragic shooting devastates Fort Hood, the U.S. secretly tried to build a "Cuban Twitter," and more
 
A soldier watches over media before a press conference about a shooting at Fort Hood Military Base in Texas.
A soldier watches over media before a press conference about a shooting at Fort Hood Military Base in Texas. (Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)

1. Four dead and 16 injured in Fort Hood shooting
Four people, including the gunman, died in a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood Army base in Texas on Wednesday. Sixteen people — three of whom remain in critical condition — were also injured. Army officials say the shooting spree lasted 20 minutes before Specialist Ivan Lopez turned his privately owned weapon, a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson, on himself. An Iraq war veteran, Lopez was undergoing diagnosis for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at the time of the shooting. [CNN]

………………………………………………………………………………

2. Egypt vows to pass anti-terrorism laws after bombings
Just a few hours after three explosions killed two people in Cairo, government officials in Egypt said the country would pass legislation aimed at confronting terrorism. The announcement was made by a high-level security committee that included the prime minister. Details on the new law were scant, but Egyptian cabinet members will have a chance to weigh in on the bill. [Reuters]

………………………………………………………………………………

3. AP: U.S. built 'Cuban Twitter' to stir political unrest
The United States government built a Twitter-like service in Cuba to stir political unrest and help uncap the country's strict control of information, according to the Associated Press. The text messaging service, called ZunZuneo, started in 2010 and amassed a following of 40,000 Cubans, who had no idea it was "created by the U.S. government, or that American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes." The Americans behind ZunZeneo hoped to inject political messages that would produce protests and create a "Cuban Spring." ZunZuneo suddenly disappeared in mid-2012 when funding ran out. [Associated Press]

………………………………………………………………………………

4. Ebola virus spreads in Guinea
An unprecedented Ebola epidemic continues to cause widespread panic in the West African country of Guinea, where foreign mining companies have shut down operations and pulled out international staff. More than 80 people have died and 134 have been infected by the hemorrhagic fever so far. Health officials say the lethal infectious disease has reached Guinea's densely populated capital, Conakry, where more than two million people live. [Reuters]

………………………………………………………………………………

5. Court denies Sandusky sex abuse appeal
Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach convicted of sexually abusing at least 10 boys, lost his appeal to have his 45-count conviction overturned. The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court rejected Sandusky's claims that his lawyers weren't given enough time to prepare, and that prosecutors improperly referenced his decision not to testify at his 2012 trial. The 70-year-old is serving a sentence of at least 30 years. [TIME]

………………………………………………………………………………

6. Los Alamos restarts nuclear-waste shipments
With the peak of wildfire season nearly upon us, Los Alamos National Laboratory has started shipping nuclear waste to a commercial dump site in west Texas. The waste shipments had stopped in February after a truck fire and radiation leak shut down the federal government’s storage facility in southeastern New Mexico. [Fox News]

………………………………………………………………………………

7. Mississippi passes 'religious freedom bill'
Lawmakers in Mississippi passed a bill that would allow its citizens to dispute laws that they say are in direct conflict with their religious beliefs. Proponents argue that the bill is narrow in focus and won't result in any discrimination, but detractors say the measure would make it easier to undermine anti-discrimination statutes. The bill would also add "In God we trust" to the state seal. [Los Angeles Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

8. Putins finalize divorce after 30 years of marriage
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, are officially divorced. The pair was married for 30 years before deciding to call it quits last June. The Putins, who have two adult daughters, say the split is a mutual decision. [USA Today]

………………………………………………………………………………

9. Washington state mudslide death toll climbs
Recovery workers scouring the wreckage left in the wake of the Washington state mudslide have been able to expand their search area now that the floodwaters have receded. The crews have uncovered more remains, bringing the official death toll up to 29. Twenty people are still missing. [The Guardian]

………………………………………………………………………………

10. Amazon wades into the television market
After years of dominating the online retail space, Amazon has now set its sights on a new goal: cornering the television market. The internet behemoth announced that it will be selling a device called Amazon Fire TV, which will allow users to watch Amazon's video library on their TVs. The move puts the company in direct competition with Roku, Google, and Apple. [New York Times]

Get '10 things you need to know today' in your inbox each morning. Sign up for the email version here.

 
Laura Colarusso
Laura Colarusso is a freelance journalist based in Boston. She has previously written for Newsweek, The Boston Globe, the Washington Monthly and The Daily Beast.

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week