10 things you need to know today: July 24, 2014

Joseph Rudolph Wood's execution took nearly two hours.
(Image credit: (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections))

1. Arizona inmate gasps for 90 minutes during execution

Arizona inmate Joseph Wood gasped for breath for an hour and a half before being pronounced dead by lethal injection on Wednesday. Wood's attorneys, who had requested more information about the new lethal drug combination the state planned to use, called it a "bungled execution." Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who called for a review of the execution, said Wood didn't suffer, but the two people he killed died "gruesome, vicious" deaths.


2. FAA lifts ban on flights to Israel

The Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on U.S. flights to Israel's main airport in Tel Aviv late Wednesday despite continued fighting between Israel and Hamas. The FAA said a review determined Israel had taken steps to "mitigate potential risks to civil aviation" after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed a mile from the airport. The ban had stranded thousands of Israelis overseas.

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Los Angeles Times

3. Leader says Ukrainian separatists had powerful surface-to-air missile

A Ukrainian rebel leader, Alexander Khodakovsky confirmed that pro-Russian separatists had the kind of anti-aircraft missile the U.S. says downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, killing all 298 people on board last week. The main separatist group — the People's Republic of Donetsk — has denied ever having such a missile. Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down over rebel-held territory on Wednesday.


4. Colorado's gay-marriage ban declared unconstitutional... again

A federal judge declared Colorado's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional on Wednesday, but stayed the decision until Aug. 25 to give state Attorney General John Suthers time to appeal. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore marked the fourth loss for Suthers in two weeks as he tries to preserve the ban. Moore said overturning the ban won't hurt the state, but same-sex couples "suffer irreparable harm" if it stays in place.

The Denver Post

5. Teen pilot dies in crash on trip around the world

Indiana teenager Haris Suleman died when the plane he was piloting around the world to raise money for charity crashed in the Pacific Ocean after taking off for Hawaii from American Samoa, his family said Wednesday. The boy's father — Babar Suleman, 58 — was flying with him and remained missing. Daughter Hiba Suleman said the family is hopeful he is still alive.

Indianapolis Star

6. Plane disappears in West Africa

An Air Algerie passenger plane disappeared from radar over West Africa with 116 people on board on Thursday. The McDonnell Douglas MD-83, which had been chartered by Spain's Swiftair, had taken off from Burkino Faso on a flight to Algiers. A day earlier, a TransAsia Airways turboprop plane crashed attempting an emergency landing during a thunderstorm on an island off Taiwan, killing 48 people.

NBC News The Wall Street Journal

7. Tsarnaev friend arrested with gun linked to police officer's killing

A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested this week on drug charges, and police said he also had in his possession the handgun used to kill MIT police Officer Sean Collier during the manhunt after the bombing. Police believe the man, Stephen Silva, had given the gun to the Tsarnaev brothers. Silva reportedly told police he smoked marijuana daily "because my best friend was the bomber."

The Boston Globe

8. Senator faces questions about possible plagiarism in his master's thesis

Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), a decorated Iraq war veteran, is under investigation for possible plagiarism after a New York Times analysis uncovered numerous passages from his United States Army War College that were identical to works published previously by other authors. Walsh said he had not intentionally copied anyone's work, and was under treatment for post-traumatic stress at the time. The War College is investigating.

The New York Times

9. Last Washington mudslide victim's body identified

Authorities have identified the last body found in the Oso, Washington, mudslide as that of Kris Regelbrugge, the 43rd victim. Regelbrugge was in her home with her husband, Navy Cmdr. John Regelbrugge, when it was buried in the March 22 mudslide. John Regelbrugge's body was among the 42 recovered earlier. The active search ended in April, but workers found Kris Regelbrugge's body in an area where some of her family's effects had been uncovered.

The Associated Press

10. Insurers to refund customers $332 million under the Affordable Care Act

Health insurance companies are expected to refund customers $332 million this year under a provision in ObamaCare designed to prevent insurers from overcharging their customers, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday. The payments, which might simply be applied to future premiums, will bring to $1.9 billion the total refunded since the rule took effect in 2011.

The Huffington Post

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