Daily Briefing

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

Harold Maass
Palestinians flee their homes in Gaza's Shijaiyah neighborhood. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)


Fighting intensifies in Gaza

Israel and Hamas on Sunday experienced their deadliest day of fighting since clashes began last week. Ninety-six Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers, including two U.S. citizens, were killed as Israel fought to shut down tunnels in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.  In an emergency meeting, the United Nations Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Egypt on Monday to push for peace. [The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times]


Tehran moves to eliminate sensitive nuclear material

Iran has started getting rid of its most sensitive stockpile of enriched uranium gas under a 2013 nuclear deal with six world powers, according to a monthly report by the International Atomic Energy Agency obtained by Reuters. The interim accord was due to expire on Sunday but has been extended by another four months. Iran argues that its cooperation has earned it some relief from international sanctions. [Reuters]


Security Council meets to discuss downing of jet in Ukraine

The United Nations Security Council has scheduled a Monday vote on a resolution condemning the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet with 298 people on board over territory in eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian rebels. Russia engaged in negotiations with other nations on the 15-member Security Council, although it was unclear Sunday whether Moscow intended to support the resolution. [Reuters]


Judges delay Arizona execution

A U.S. appeals court has halted the execution of an Arizona man, Joseph Wood, until the state gives him more details on the lethal injection it plans to use. The three-judge panel ruled that Wood, who was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and her father in 1989, had a right to the information, and could suffer "irreparable harm" if he were put to death before obtaining it. [Al Jazeera America]


Emergency responders put on limited duty after chokehold death

New York City officials have placed four emergency workers on desk duty in the latest fallout from the death of Eric Garner, a sidewalk cigarette vendor, in police custody. A cellphone video of Garner's arrest shows paramedics appearing to violate department protocol by arriving without equipment like an oxygen bag, and failing to put Garner on a stretcher. The officer who used the apparent choke hold, Daniel Pantaleo, has also been placed on desk duty. [The New York Times]


Yum Brands and McDonald's dump Chinese supplier

Yum Brands and McDonald's announced Sunday that they had suspended meat purchases in China from a supplier under investigation for allegedly selling expired chicken and beef. The supplier, Shanghai Husi Food Co., had been selling meat to Yum for its KFC and Pizza Hut outlets in China. McDonald's said it had stopped using the supplier over safety concerns. [MarketWatch]


The Patriot actress Skye McCole Bartusiak dies at 21

Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, who played Mel Gibson's youngest daughter in The Patriot, died Saturday in Houston. She was 21. Authorities could not immediately determine the cause of death, but Bartusiak’s mother, Helen McCole Bartusiak, said her daughter had recently suffered epileptic seizures. After The Patriot in 2000, Bartusiak went on to appear in The Cider House Rules and Don't Say a Word. [CNN]


Two plane crashes kill six in Arizona

Six people died in two small-plane crashes in Arizona on Sunday. The first aircraft, a single-engine plane, went down in rugged terrain near the resort town of Sedona, sparking a wildfire that quickly spread over 25 acres in Fay Canyon. The Federal Aviation Administration said the second plane crashed near the Utah border "under unknown circumstances" a few hours later. [Fox News]


Nation's first Arab-American governor dies at 91

Victor "Vic" Atiyeh, the nation's first Arab-American governor, died Sunday night from renal failure. He was 91. Atiyeh, a Republican and son of Syrian immigrants, served three terms in the Oregon House of Representatives starting in 1958, and two and a half terms in the state Senate before being elected governor. He served two terms, from 1979 to 1987. [Statesman Journal]


McIlroy makes history with British Open win

Rory McIlroy won the British Open on Sunday, becoming the youngest pro golfer behind Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to win three different major championships. "I'm immensely proud of myself," McIlroy, 25, said after a two-shot victory. As a bonus, McIlroy's father stood to win $171,000 on a bet he placed a decade ago that his son would win the tournament in the next 10 years. [The Associated Press, The Washington Post]