10 things you need to know today: November 9, 2014

Members of North Korea's ruling party
(Image credit: Chung Sung-Jun)

1. North Korea frees two American captives

North Korea on Saturday freed two American prisoners who had been held captive in the country. Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller were released within hours of each other, according to the State Department. Bae, a Christian missionary, had been detained for allegedly trying to convert North Koreans, while Miller was accused of tearing up his visa and trying to stay illegally in the country.

NBC News

2. Gorbachev warns of second Cold War

Former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev on Saturday warned that the U.S. and Russia were heading toward a second Cold War over the situation in Ukraine. "Instead of building new mechanisms and institutions of European security and pursuing a major demilitarization," he said, the U.S. had "declared victory in the Cold War." "To put it metaphorically, a blister has now turned into a bloody, festering wound," he said.

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The Guardian

3. Quarantined Ebola nurse may leave Maine

Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was briefly quarantined in New Jersey under suspicion she had contracted Ebola, may move away from her home town in Maine once her isolation period ends. Hickox, who agreed to keep away from public spaces after returning to Maine, is reportedly planning to leave the state once her quarantine there ends on Nov. 10. "We're going to try to get our lives back on track," her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, said.

Chicago Tribune

4. Catalonia holds vote on independence

Spain's Catalonia region on Sunday will vote on whether to secede from the rest of the nation. The resolution is non-binding, and Spanish courts have ruled the vote is unconstitutional. Still, voters will cast ballots on whether they believe the region of some 7.5 million people should have its own central government.


5. U.S. , Russia meet to discuss Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Saturday with his Russian counterpart to discuss the ongoing disagreement between the two nations over the sovereignty of Ukraine's rebel-held regions. Kerry was to discuss last week's referendum in eastern Ukraine, which the U.S. considers illeglimitie. "Suffice it to say that we do have some disagreements about some of the facts on the ground with respect to Ukraine," Kerry said.

The Washington Post

6. Judge nixes Arizona immigration law

A federal judge on Friday struck down a controversial immigration law in Arizona, saying it was "preempted" by federal immigration policy. Passed in 2005, the law was intended to crack down on smugglers. But U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton ruled that the law "imposes additional and different state penalties than federal law" and that it therefore muddled the legal framework for law enforcement officials.

The Los Angeles Times

7. Mexican president's estate set on fire

Protesters on Saturday set ablaze the mansion of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The vandals were a breakaway group affiliated with a larger protest against the government's failure to arrest anyone in connection with the disappearance earlier this year of 43 students. Pena Nieto was not in the home when it was set on fire.

The Guardian

8. Syria kills nearly two dozen in ISIS raid

The Syrian government on Saturday bombed ISIS targets in the northern part of the country, killing 21 people and wounding 100 more. The attack was not launched in coordination with the U.S., which has resisted fighting alongside Syria despite sharing a common enemy.

The Associated Press

9. Iran's Khamenei discusses Israel's destruction on Twitter

Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khameneei on Saturday accused Israel of trying to rule with an "iron fist," in a series of Twitter posts. Khamenei claimed Israel was pursuing its agenda "by means of infanticide, homicide." The posts came days after The Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama secretly wrote to Khamenei asking for help in combating ISIS.


10. Matt Damon to return for new Bourne role

Matt Damon will soon reprise his role as Jason Bourne in the popular action franchise, according to the movie star. Damon said Saturday that he was planning to work on a new film in the series next year, and that it would likely hit theaters in 2016.

USA Today

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Jon Terbush

Jon Terbush is an associate editor at TheWeek.com covering politics, sports, and other things he finds interesting. He has previously written for Talking Points Memo, Raw Story, and Business Insider.