10 things you need to know today: August 14, 2014

Aircraft carrier
(Image credit: (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali))

1. U.S. helps break siege that trapped Yazidis atop an Iraqi mountain

U.S. airstrikes have helped Kurdish fighters break a siege by Sunni extremists on Iraq's Mount Sinjar, U.S. officials said late Wednesday. A U.S. reconnaissance team spent a day on the mountain and concluded that most of the Yazidis who had been trapped there had already escaped. A few thousand remain but they are in good shape thanks to supply airdrops, making it less likely U.S. troops will be sent in on a rescue mission, Defense Department officials said.

The New York Times

2. Hamas agrees to extend cease-fire with Israel again

Israel and Hamas agreed Wednesday to extend their cease-fire for five days to allow further talks on a long-term Gaza peace plan. The truce held early Thursday despite an exchange of hostile fire. The peace talks are stuck on differences over key demands — Israel wants Hamas to disarm; Palestinians want Israel to stop what they call a blockade on Gaza.

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The Associated Press

3. Two journalists arrested by Ferguson police

Police in Ferguson, Missouri, clashed with protesters on Wednesday, and arrested two reporters — one from The Washington Post, the other from The Huffington Post — who were covering the unrest over the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a police officer. Both journalists said officers wouldn't give their badge numbers. Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron called the officers' behavior "an assault on freedom of the press."

NBC News

4. First two Africans to get Ebola drug

Several doses of an experimental Ebola drug arrived by plane in Liberia on Wednesday. The drug, ZMapp, will be used to treat two Liberian doctors, Zukunis Ireland and Abraham Borbor, who were infected while treating patients and will become the first Africans to receive the medicine. It also has been given to a Spanish priest, who died, and two American aid workers who have improved back in the U.S.


5. Appeals court refuses to put a hold on decision striking Virginia's gay-marriage ban

A federal appeals court panel refused to stay a decision overturning Virginia's gay-marriage ban on Wednesday, paving the way for same-sex couples in the state to apply for marriage licenses as soon as Aug. 20. The Virginia law also denied recognition of gay marriages performed in states where they are legal. Supporters of the law said they planned to ask the Supreme Court to step in and put a hold on the ruling until all appeals are exhausted.

The Washington Post

6. Brazilian presidential hopeful killed in plane crash

Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos died Wednesday when a small plane carrying him and six others crashed into a residential neighborhood in the port city of Santos. Campos, a former ally of President Dilma Rousseff, was trailing at third in polls. He was seen as a contender, though, thanks to his popular running mate, former environment minister Marina Silva. With Silva at the top of the Brazilian Socialist Party ticket, Rousseff is expected to have more trouble winning reelection.

The Associated Press

7. Arizona State football player comes out as gay

Arizona State senior offensive lineman Edward "Chip" Sarafin has revealed that he is gay, becoming the first active college football player to do so. The school's athletic department confirmed Wednesday that Sarafin had come out after he told a Phoenix-based magazine for gay sports, Compete, that he had told his teammates he was gay last spring, and it "benefited my peace of mind greatly."

USA Today

8. Trolls drive Robin Williams' daughter off social media

Robin Williams' daughter, Zelda, announced that she was dropping off of social media after Twitter trolls sent offensive messages about her father's apparent suicide. "I will be leaving this account for a but while [sic] I heal and decide if I'll be deleting it or not," she posted on Instagram. A few users complained that she hadn't posted enough family photos, criticism she called "cruel and unnecessary."

ABC News

9. Sterling loses appeal to undo Clippers sale

A California appeals court on Wednesday rejected longtime Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's attempt to unwind the $2 billion sale of the team, which closed Tuesday. Sterling, who was banned from the NBA over secretly recorded racist comments, can appeal to the state Supreme Court, but a lawyer for the buyer, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, said he was "supremely confident that this is now over."

USA Today

10. Celine Dion stops performing to focus on her health, and her husband's

Singer Celine Dion announced Wednesday that she was putting her career on hold indefinitely to focus on her health and that of her husband, Rene Angelil, who had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in December. Dion has an illness that affects her throat muscles, and has forced her to cancel a series of performances in Las Vegas. The last show she was able to do was on July 29.


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