10 things you need to know today: September 21, 2014

Newly-elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
(Image credit: Paula Bronstein / Getty Images)

1. Afghan presidential candidates agree to power sharing deal

Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates have signed a deal to create a unity government in which the candidates will share executive powers. Under the terms of the deal, Ashraf Ghani will become president while Abdullah Abdullah will serve as a chief executive, a position akin to prime minister. The agreement will allow for a peaceful transition of power from the government of President Hamid Karzai, who has led the nation for the past decade. "The Afghan people have been waiting for this happy day," Karzai said of the deal.

The Washington Post BBC

2. Huge climate change demonstration to march through Manhattan

In what is being billed as the largest ever demonstration calling attention to the dangers of climate change, some 100,000 people are expected to turn out Sunday in Manhattan for the People's Climate March. Among the high-profile participants are U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The march comes two days before a climate summit at the U.N. that is supposed to lay the foundation for a broader international emissions agreement. Companion demonstrations are planned for about 150 other countries.

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The New York Times Reuters

3. German families to sue Ukraine over MH17 downing

A group of German families who lost relatives when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 went down in Ukraine plans to sue the country and President Petro Poroshenko for manslaughter and negligence. "Each state is responsible for the security of its air space," a lawyer representing the group, Elmar Giemulla, told Reuters. "If it is not able to do so temporarily, it must close its air space. As that did not happen, Ukraine is liable for the damage." The plane crashed in July after allegedly being hit by pro-Russian rebels who mistook it for a Ukrainian military plane, killing all 298 people on board.

The Associated Press Reuters

4. 66,000 refugees flee ISIS into Turkey

An estimated 66,000 refugees crossed from Syria into Turkey in a single day to flee ISIS. Turkey opened its border with Syria on Friday to allow displaced refugees safe haven from the Sunni militant group that has gobbled up territory in the region over the past year. Turkey has accepted about 847,000 refugees so far, and the U.N. expects hundreds of thousands more to follow.


5. Sierra Leone begins nationwide lockdown over Ebola fears

Sierra Leone on Friday began a three-day lockdown aimed at curtailing the spread of Ebola. While the quarantine is in place, all residents are barred from leaving home as government workers go door to door checking for signs of infection. "We believe this is the best way for now to identify those who are sick and remove them from those who are well," said information minister Alhaji Alpha Kanu.


6. Former Tennessee Titan Rob Bironas killed in car crash

Former Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas died Saturday night in a car crash in Nashville. The 36-year-old Bironas was speeding when his car went off the road and slammed into a cluster of trees, according to police. Authorities said they did not believe Bironas had been under the influence at the time of the accident.


7. Firefighter dies after botched ice bucket challenge

A Kentucky firefighter has died about one month after being electrocuted while staging an ice bucket challenge. Captain Tony Grider was atop a fire truck's ladder when it came in contact with a power line after he and another firefighter doused Campbellsville University's marching band to complete the viral fundraising stunt. The second man, 22-year-old Simon Quinn, was released from the hospital Monday.

The Courier-Journal

8. Massive California wildfire continues to grow

A sprawling wildfire in northern California grew over the weekend, expanding on Saturday to cover 128 square miles. Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes as firefighters try to contain the blaze. Police accused 37-year-old Wayne Allen Huntsman of starting the fire one week ago. Huntsman is being held on $10 million bail.

The Associated Press

9. Secret Service detains another man trying to enter White House

One day after an intruder leapt a fence and dashed into the White House before being tackled, Secret Service on Saturday arrested another man who attempted to broach the perimeter. An unidentified man in a car with New Jersey plates pulled into the vehicle screening area and refused to leave, prompting his arrest and a brief lockdown of surrounding streets.


10. Actress Polly Bergen dead at 84

Emmy Award-winning actress Polly Bergen died Saturday of natural causes at her home in Southbury, Connecticut. She was 84 years old. Bergen won an Emmy in 1958 for her role on Playhouse 90, and in recent years appeared on the hit shows The Sopranos and Desperate Housewives.


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