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10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
The U.S. hits al-Shabab with airstrikes, Obama makes a Labor Day pitch for a higher minimum wage, and more
 
A predator drone flies in the night.
A predator drone flies in the night. (AP Photo/Kirtsy Wigglesworth)

1. The Pentagon announces airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia
The U.S. launched airstrikes Monday against leaders of Somalia's al-Shabab, the Islamist extremist group responsible for an attack on an upscale mall in Kenya last year. The U.S. airstrikes reportedly were carried out in Somalia by aerial drones armed with missiles. The Pentagon could not immediately say whether the strikes hit their targets. A day earlier, suspected Islamist militants attacked a high-security prison in the country in a bid to free extremists detained there. [The Washington Post, The Associated Press]

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2. Obama, on Labor Day, pushes for a higher minimum wage
President Obama renewed his call to raise the minimum wage, saying at a union-hosted Labor Day festival in Milwaukee on Monday that "America deserves a raise." In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed creating a minimum wage in the city that would rise to $13.25 after three years. Garcetti's pitch came after three other West Coast cities — San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle— unveiled plans to mandate wages far higher than state and federal minimums. [The New York Times, Los Angeles Times]

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3. NATO considers strike force to answer Russian intervention in Ukraine
NATO is considering creating "a very high-readiness force" to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday. The 4,000-member strike force would be part of NATO's response to Russia sending troops and other support to separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, Rasmussen said, but the "spearhead" also "equips the alliance to respond to all security challenges, wherever they may arise." NATO members will discuss the proposal this week. [CNN]

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4. U.S. citizens plead for help getting out of North Korea
Three Americans imprisoned in North Korea — Jeffrey Fowle, Matthew Miller, and Kenneth Bae — appealed to Washington to help secure their release. North Korea arranged for the men to speak to journalists, suggesting the regime might want to restart stalled negotiations over their fate. The State Department responded by asking Pyongyang to release Fowle and Miller, who are awaiting trial, and to pardon Bae, who was sentenced to 15 years on charges of plotting against Pyongyang. [Reuters]

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5. Perry says he didn't approve tweet mocking Democrat
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said a post on his personal Twitter account mocking a Democratic prosecutor was not authorized. The tweet, which was swiftly deleted, called Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg "the most drunk Democrat in Texas." Perry was indicted last month on charges that he abused his power by threatening to veto funding for Lehmberg's anti-corruption unit after she was arrested for drunken driving. Perry says the charges against him are politically motivated. [The Associated Press]

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6. German court bans Uber cab service
A court in Germany has imposed a nationwide ban on the Uber car-sharing service, German media reported Tuesday. The court said the ride-sharing service's drivers lacked licenses needed to carry passengers. The ruling overturned another court's decision to let Uber continue offering its Uberpop app even though it was "likely illegal." Uber said it would appeal and continue its ambitious expansion plan in Germany, Europe's largest economy. An Uber limo service was not affected by the ban. [The Wall Street Journal]

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7. Erdogan says Cyprus can only reunite if Turkish Cypriots share control
Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Monday that his country would not agree to reunifying Cyprus unless Turkish Cypriots were recognized as equal partners under a federation with Greek Cypriots. Turkey invaded in 1974 to keep the island from joining Greece, leaving it split in two, and still has 35,000 troops there. Erdogan made his comments during a visit to the Turkish Cypriot north on his first foreign trip since his election last month. [The Associated Press]

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8. Teens escape detention center
Thirty-two teenage boys escaped a detention center on the outskirts of Nashville overnight. The teens left their dorms shortly before midnight and began running around a yard surrounded by a fence, then found a way under the enclosure and escaped. Fifteen promptly turned themselves in or were caught on nearby roads. As of early Tuesday, more than a dozen remained at large. [CNN]

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9. Atlantic City's $2 billion Revel casino closes
The $2 billion Revel Casino Hotel in New Jersey shut down early Tuesday, just two years after opening its doors. The 3,800-room resort was supposed to help turn around Atlantic City's struggling casino industry, but it never attracted enough gamblers to cover payments on its massive debt. The Revel was the second Atlantic City casino to close over the Labor Day weekend. Trump Plaza is closing in two weeks. Another closed in January. Analysts say the remaining eight should do better with less competition. [ABC News]

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10. FBI leads the hunt for hacker who posted nude celebrity photos
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken the lead in the investigation into how hackers obtained nude photos of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and other famous women, FBI officials said Monday. Somebody posted Lawrence's pictures on the online message board 4chan Sunday night after her Apple iCloud reportedly was hacked. A representative said Lawrence, star of The Hunger Games, had contacted authorities and requested the hackers be prosecuted. Apple also is investigating. [The Telegraph, The Kansas City Star]

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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.

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