Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 29, 2014


Obama argues against automatic Ebola quarantines

President Obama implicitly criticized automatic quarantines of health workers returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, saying that "we don’t want to discourage our health care workers from going to the front lines." Obama did not directly address the controversial quarantine policies imposed by the governors of New York and New Jersey, but he said, "We know that the best way to protect Americans ultimately is going to stop this outbreak at the source." Liberia's president called the quarantines a troubling "overreaction."


Iraqi Kurds join fight to save Syrian town from ISIS

About 150 Kurdish peshmerga fighters from Iraq arrived in southeastern Turkey on Wednesday on their way to join the fight against ISIS militants trying to take over the Syrian border town of Kobani. The reinforcements were the first to be permitted to travel through Turkey under a new policy allowing foreign forces to cross its territory to join the fight against ISIS in Syria. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said only Iraqi peshmerga fighters and Syrian opposition fighters can save Kobani.


Security increased at federal buildings after Canada attacks

The U.S. is increasing security at some federal buildings in Washington, D.C., and other big cities in response to terrorist threats and recent attacks in Canada, including a shooting in the Parliament building in Ottawa, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday. Johnson called the decision a "precautionary" move, and did not specify which facilities would get greater protection. "Given world events, prudence dictates a heightened vigilance," Johnson said.


South Korean spies say Kim Jong Un had ankle surgery

South Korea's spy agency has concluded that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's mysterious six-week absence from public view was due to ankle surgery, Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday. Kim's failure to appear at public events set off weeks of speculation. Some observers suggested he had dire health problems; others said he might have been brushed aside in a coup. South Korea's National Intelligence Service told lawmakers that Kim had a cyst removed. He reappeared on Oct. 14, using a cane.


Tsarnaev friend convicted of lying to Boston Marathon bombing investigators

A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted on Tuesday of lying to FBI agents. Investigators had asked the man, Robel Phillipos, 21, whether he had been in Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth when two other friends removed a computer and a backpack containing fireworks. Phillipos' lawyers said he didn't mean to lie, but had smoked so much marijuana on the day in question that he could not answer the agents' questions accurately.


Sarah Palin says she wants to run for office again

Sarah Palin told Fox Business Network on Tuesday that she hopes to make another run for public office some day. The former GOP vice presidential candidate resigned as governor of Alaska in 2009, but remains popular with conservatives. Palin said her critics only inspire her. "The more they're pouring on the more I'm going to bug the crap out of them by being out there with a voice," she said, adding that Republican leaders "need more guts" to pursue the party's agenda.


Hackers attack White House computers

Unclassified parts of the White House computer network have been attacked by hackers in recent weeks, the Obama administration said Tuesday. The cyberattacks did no damage to the system, but efforts to foil the hackers resulted in temporary disruptions of internet service for users. Government cybersecurity experts suspect that the Russian government is behind the hacking. NATO, the Ukrainian government, and U.S. defense contractors also have been targeted in recent months.


Phil Collins donates Alamo collection to Texas museum

British rock star Phil Collins brought his collection of Alamo memorabilia — the largest in the world — to the site of a San Antonio museum that will house the donated artifacts. Collins' collection includes Davy Crockett's musket ball pouch and a rare Jim Bowie knife. Many of the artifacts had not been near the famous mission since it fell to the Mexican army 178 years ago. "I'm really happy that it's going here," Collins said. "It's where it should be."


Unmanned rocket explodes on launch

An unmanned rocket carrying cargo intended for the International Space Station exploded on launch Tuesday night in eastern Virginia. The Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft, built by Orbital Sciences Corp. under a contract with NASA, lifted off the launch pad with 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments, then exploded in a giant fireball. Nobody was reported killed or injured. Mission control could not immediately say what went wrong.


Royals rout Giants in Game 6 of the World Series

The Kansas City Royals trounced the San Francisco Giants 10-0 in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night, forcing a winner-take-all Game 7 Wednesday night in Kansas City. The result of Tuesday's game was never in doubt after the Royals scored seven runs in the second inning. The Royals have a key advantage as they try to deny the Giants their third Major League Baseball championship in five years — the home team has won the Series the last nine times it went to a decisive seventh game.


Russian diplomat resigns over war in Ukraine
United Nations flag.
quittin' time

Russian diplomat resigns over war in Ukraine

21-year-old Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison for killing Ukrainian man
Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin listens to his translator during a court hearing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 23, 2022. The court sentenced the 21-year-old soldier to life in prison on Monday for killing a Ukrainian civilian, in the first war crimes trial

21-year-old Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison for killing Ukrainian man

Number of displaced persons worldwide tops 100 million, UN reports
Evacuation in Donetsk
prayer of the refugee

Number of displaced persons worldwide tops 100 million, UN reports

U.S. will defend Taiwan if China attacks, Biden says
Joe Biden and Fumio Kishida
to the rescue!

U.S. will defend Taiwan if China attacks, Biden says

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John Oliver

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7 toons about replacement theory conspiracists
Editorial Cartoon.

7 toons about replacement theory conspiracists

The doctrine of stare decisis
The Supreme Court.

The doctrine of stare decisis