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August 7, 2014
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On Thursday, President Obama announced that he has authorized "targeted airstrikes" in Iraq, if necessary, to protect U.S. personnel in the Kurdish city of Erbil. He also approved airstrikes to facilitate a humanitarian mission to assist 40,000 members of the Yazidi minority who are trapped on a mountain in northern Iraq, having been driven there by Islamic militants.

An official told USA Today that an airdrop earlier Thursday had served thousands of people, and that the plane had already left the region. The Yazidis fled the Sinjar area earlier this week as the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria took control of the region; ISIS views the Yazidis as apostates, and the fear is that the Yazidis are in danger of being massacred. They have not been able to leave the mountain, and food and water supplies are dwindling.

"The United States cannot turn a blind eye," Obama said. "We can act. Today, America is coming to help." The president stressed that the move does not signify that there will be a ground war in Iraq involving U.S. troops. Catherine Garcia

2015 World Cup
2:55 p.m. ET
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The U.S. Women's soccer team won the 2015 World Cup against Japan last night, with a score of 5-2. The victory made the USA the only team to have won three championships in the Women's World Cup — but that's not the only thing the numbers reveal. Below, the 2015 World Cup, by the numbers:

3 — Number of goals scored by Carli Lloyd, whose hat trick was the fastest in Women's World Cup history.

16 — Number of minutes it took for the U.S. to score four goals against Japan.

539 — Number of minutes the U.S. team had been scoreless, just short of a record. The streak ended after the Japanese goal by Yuki Ogimi.

2011 — Year the U.S. Women's team last faced Japan in tournament. They lost to Japan on penalty kicks.

1991 — Year the U.S. Women's team won their first World Cup. They have now repeated the act three times, in 1999 and 2015, making them the reigning champions with the most wins ever. Germany follows with two titles, in 2003 and 2007. The U.S. Men's team has never won the World Cup.

2 millionDollars earned by the U.S. women's soccer team for winning the World Cup.

52,341 — Number of fans in attendance at the final match in Vancouver, B.C. 

20 millionNumber of people who watched the game on Sunday, breaking the record for the most watched soccer match in U.S. television history. Some estimates are as high as 25.4 million viewers, making the game far more viewed than this year's NBA or NHL finals. Jeva Lange

2016 Watch
2:22 p.m. ET
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Since the launch of her presidential campaign in April, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has remained rather tight-lipped when it comes to speaking with the press. However, the Democratic candidate for president will break her silence on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar.

While Clinton continues to hold her place as the frontrunner of the Democratic field, fellow candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has made significant gains in recent polls. A recent CNN/ORC poll found that 43 percent of New Hampshire Democrats back Clinton, while a substantial 35 percent support Sanders. Clinton's campaign is maybe even a little worried.

The Clinton campaign's Communications Manager Jennifer Palmieri noted that Clinton is "paying a price" for refusing to do national interviews until now. "The more media interviews you do, the less any one interaction matters," Palmieri said. "America will see more of her." Stephanie Talmadge

This just in
1:44 p.m. ET
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Euclid Tsakalotos was sworn in as Greece's finance minister on Monday, after the previous officeholder, Yanis Varoufakis, abruptly resigned earlier that morning. An Oxford-educated economist, Tsakalotos was Greece's chief negotiator with creditors and is said to be adept at the finer points of eurozone etiquette. "He speaks their language better than they do," a unnamed Greek official told The Guardian. That would be a departure from the pugilistic Varoufakis, who said upon his exit, "I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride."

On Sunday, Greece overwhelmingly voted to reject a bailout deal with its creditors, handing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a decisive victory and strengthening his position in negotiations.

You can read more about Tsakalotos' aristocratic upbringing at The Guardian. Nico Lauricella

Le Crash
1:37 p.m. ET

Several riders are out of the Tour de France after a crash involving 20 or so cyclists led to a massive pile up on the road. Organizers halted the race following the incident, with the Daily Mail reporting that "the number of doctors that had to stay behind at the scene would have meant it was unsafe for the peloton to ride ahead." Former pro Paul Sherwen told NBC that he couldn't remember a time when the Tour had actually stopped the race due to a crash; the Daily Mail likewise dubbed it "one of the worst crashes" in the race's history. Several cyclists are out of the race entirely due to injuries, including Giant-Alpecin's Tom Dumoulin, who had been in third place before the crash. Jeva Lange

Debating E.T.
1:30 p.m. ET
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Data relayed by the Rosetta spacecraft's Philae probe that landed on Comet 67P indicate the duck-shaped rock body could be home to alien life, astronomers reported Monday at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales.

Astronomers from the University of Cardiff and Buckingham University said the unusual organic black crust on the surface of the comet, formally known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, appears to have frozen lakes beneath it that could be inhabited by microbial organisms.

"Rosetta has already shown that the comet is not to be seen as a deep-frozen inactive body, but supports geological processes and could be more hospitable to micro-life than our Arctic and Antarctic regions," Dr. Max Wallis said in a statement.

However, scientists behind the Rosetta project are less convinced that the comet could harbor alien lifeOpen University Professor Monica Grady, who helped design Philae's chemical spectrometer, and Rosetta project scientist Dr. Matt Taylor both dismissed claims of alien life as "highly unlikely."

“It's pure speculation,” Dr. Taylor said.  Kelly Gonsalves

Trump's take
1:02 p.m. ET
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Donald Trump just can't seem to learn his lesson. Just last week, the Republican presidential candidate and business mogul landed himself in a heap of trouble for making racist comments about Hispanic-Americans, which cost him contracts with Macy's, Univision, and NBC. But Trump seems to be having a tough time containing himself, tweeting Monday that Jeb Bush likes "Mexican illegals because of his wife." Bush's wife, Columba, was born in Mexico.

Trump seemingly tried to correct his political incorrectness, eventually deleting the offending tweet, but it was too little, too late. The tweet remained up for a total of 24 hours, according to screenshots captured by The Wrap.

Bush, however, isn't too flustered by Trump's derogatory comments. "He's doing this to inflame and incite and to draw attention, which seems to be the organizing principle of his campaign," Bush said. "To make these extraordinarily ugly kind of comments is not reflective of the Republican Party." Becca Stanek

Queen Bey
12:45 p.m. ET

The land down under is giving Bey the respect she deserves — they're literally putting her on the skyline. Australian design firm Elenberg Fraser has been approved for a 740-foot tower inspired by Beyoncé's music video for "Ghost," Dezeen reports.

"For those more on the art than science side, we will reveal that the form does pay homage to something more aesthetic — we're going to trust you've seen the music video for Beyoncé's 'Ghost,'" explains Elenberg Fraser's website.

Although the building will mostly be residential, visitors may be able to stay in the Beyoncé Tower (okay, okay, its real name is the "Premiere Tower") as it will also host a 160-room hotel. And while the tower's curvy features are also supposedly architecturally significant — something about "structural dispersion, frequency oscillation, and wind requirements" — we all know who Beyoncé's really been haunting. Jeva Lange

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