RSS
10 things you need to know today: May 28, 2014
Obama announces plans to leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan, Ukraine retakes Donetsk airport from separatists, and more
 
Homeward bound.
Homeward bound. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

1. Obama unveils plans to leave 9,800 soldiers in Afghanistan
President Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. would withdraw all but 9,800 of its troops from Afghanistan by year's end, ending the longest war in America's history. The residual force will remain for a year to train Afghan police and soldiers, and support their fight against al Qaeda and Taliban militants. Both candidates in next month's runoff to pick President Hamid Karzai's successor welcomed Obama's plan. [Associated Press]

………………………………………………………………………………

2. Ukraine drives separatists out of Donetsk airport
The Ukrainian army said Tuesday that it pushed pro-Russian separatists out of the Donetsk airport in contested eastern Ukraine after a day of fighting. Kiev welcomed promises from Russia to negotiate an end to the crisis, but said truckloads of armed Russian volunteers had crossed the border. Donetsk authorities said 48 people, including two civilians, had been killed at the airport. [The Washington Post]

………………………………………………………………………………

3. Snowden tells NBC he was "trained as a spy"
National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden said in his first U.S. network TV interview that he was "trained as a spy," and not just a low-level intelligence analyst, as some critics have said to discredit him. In an NBC News interview, the first part of which aired Tuesday, Snowden said he had "lived and worked undercover overseas — pretending to work in a job that I'm not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine." [TIME]

………………………………………………………………………………

4. Google introduces prototype of its self-driving car
Google has unveiled a two-seater prototype of the self-driving car it has been developing. The internet giant posted video of the vehicle in action as co-founder and CEO Sergey Brin publicly discussed the cars at a California conference. Brin said the idea is to make the vehicles "significantly safer" than regular cars. In 700,000 miles of testing, the robo-cars have been accident-free — but they only go 25 miles per hour. [CNET]

………………………………………………………………………………

5. Crews forced to suspend search for three men missing in mudslide
Mesa County, Colorado, authorities on Tuesday suspended a search for three men missing since a massive mudslide hit two days earlier. The avalanche of mud stretched four miles long and two miles wide, with a depth reaching 250 feet in some places, and the ground was too unstable to allow crews to continue looking for the men — Danny Nichols, 24; his father, Clancy Nichols, 51; and Wes Hawkins, 46. [The Washington Post]

………………………………………………………………………………

6. Hacker released after cooperating with prosecutors
Legendary hacker Hector Xavier Monsegur, whose LulzSec group was affiliated with the Anonymous network, was released from custody on Tuesday after a federal judge in New York said he had earned leniency by helping prosecutors bust other hackers. Monsegur, also known as Sabu, could have faced two decades in prison; instead, Manhattan Federal Judge Loretta Preska said the seven months he served in jail was enough. [Computerworld]

………………………………………………………………………………

7. Rancher Cliven Bundy leaves the Republican Party
Controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has left the GOP and joined the Independent American Party. Bundy became a hero to libertarians by fighting the government for the right to graze his cattle on federal land without paying. Bundy and armed supporters prevented agents from rounding up his cattle in April. Then many Republican allies quickly soured on him after he said black people were "better off as slaves." [Associated Press]

………………………………………………………………………………

8. Elderly patients die in South Korea hospital fire
Twenty-one people were killed and eight injured on Wednesday when a midnight fire struck a rural hospital for chronically ill elderly patients in South Korean. Most of the victims were patients who were unable to walk well and couldn't escape. Police have detained an 81-year-old man on suspicion of arson. The suspect was seen on surveillance video walking into the area where the blaze was believed to have started. [Reuters]

………………………………………………………………………………

9. Army replaces top doctor at busy hospital
The Army replaced Col. Steven J. Brewster as the commander of Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on Tuesday, after two patients in their 20s unexpectedly died shortly after going to the facility's emergency room. The hospital is one of the Army's busiest. The deaths — both in the past 10 days — came as the Obama administration looks into charges of long, sometimes fatal waits for care at Veterans Administration hospitals. [The New York Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

10. Donald Sterling calls the NBA's attempt to boot him illegal
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling says he has received offers of up to $2.5 billion to buy his team. NBA officials have been trying to force him to sell because of a secretly recorded racist rant to a woman identified as his girlfriend. Sterling's lawyers, in a written response he sent to the league on Tuesday, said the effort to banish him was illegal, because there is no NBA rule against "a jealous rant to a lover." [USA Today]

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

 
Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week