10 things you need to know today: February 7, 2015

Aftermath of a Boko Haram attack in Nigeria.
(Image credit: (AP Photo/Jossy Ola, File))

1. Nigerian government postpones elections amid Boko Haram violence

A Nigerian official told The Associated Press on Saturday that the country will postpone its presidential and legislative elections, originally scheduled for Feb. 14, and that Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission would officially announce the decision later in the day. The six-week postponement would come amid violent new offensives from extremist group Boko Haram. Militants responded to news that the African Union would send 7,500 troops to retake swaths of Boko Haram-controlled Nigeria by attacking several villages in neighboring countries Cameroon and Niger this week, killing at least 100 civilians and wounding more than 500 people.

The Associated Press

2. ISIS claims Jordan airstrike killed America hostage

On Friday, Islamic State militants claimed that Kayla Jean Mueller, a 26-year-old humanitarian aid worker who had been kidnapped in August 2013, was killed when a Jordanian airstrike hit the building in Syria where she was being held. Jordan has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS since the terrorist group released a video of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaebeh being burned alive in a cage. The group did not release any images of Mueller, who was originally from Arizona, and it was not immediately clear whether Jordan actually targeted the site ISIS described.

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The Washington Post

3. University of California to require vaccinations for students

Beginning in 2017, the University of California's 10 campuses will require incoming students to be vaccinated against a number of diseases, including, "measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, meningococcus, tetanus, and whooping cough," according to a statement from the UC. While the school's new policy has reportedly been in development for nearly a year, the announcement comes during a time of strong debate about whether or not to make vaccinations mandatory. And California has been at the center of a measles outbreak, which began at Disneyland in December and has since spread to 14 other states.


4. U.S. economy added 257,000 jobs in January

The Labor Department announced on Friday that the U.S. economy created 257,000 jobs in January; job growth has not fallen below 200,000 since January 2014, making this the longest stretch of sustained monthly growth since the early 1990s. And while the unemployment rate ticked back up to 5.7 percent, from 5.6 percent in December, The Wall Street Journal reports that the climb was likely because more Americans said they were looking for jobs, a sign of growing confidence.

The Wall Street Journal

5. Yemen rebels announce takeover, dissolution of parliament

Weeks after the collapse of Yemen's U.S.-backed government, Shiite Houthi rebels declared on Friday that they have taken over the country and are dissolving parliament. The rebels said they would form a 151-member presidential council, and they will also create "revolutionary committees" to form a new, 551-member parliament. A member of the former government described the takeover as "madness," and likened the country's current state to "a horror movie."

The Associated Press

6. Canadian court overturns country's assisted suicide ban

Canada's highest court struck down the country's ban on doctor-assisted suicide on Friday. Parliament will now have a year to draft new legislation that would allow mentally competent and consenting patients to obtain medical help to end their lives. The unanimous decision reverses a Canadian Supreme Court ruling from 1993; the new ruling said the old ban "infringes on the life, liberty, and security of individuals under Canada's constitution."

The Associated Press

7. NBC launches internal investigation on Brian Williams

NBC announced Friday that it is launching an investigation into news anchor Brian Williams following the fallout from his admitting that his helicopter did not come under fire in Iraq in 2003, as he claimed on air multiple times. In a memo to staff, NBC News President Deborah Turness said that the network put together "a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired." Some critics have called for Williams' resignation, saying that his credibility has been permanently damaged, while others raised doubts about the accuracy of his reporting during Hurricane Katrina.

The New York Times USA Today

8. Report: Governor Chris Christie facing new criminal investigation

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have reportedly opened a criminal investigation of Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and members of his administration, centering on allegations that then-Attorney General Paula Dow quashed a grand jury investigation of Christie supporters. The report is based on interviews with former Hunterdon County prosecutor Bennett Barlyn, who was fired in 2010 for, he says, objecting to Dow taking control of and ending the investigation into the county sheriff and two subordinates, all Christie backers.

ABC News

9. New study suggests undersea volcanoes could be impacting climate change

Volcanic eruptions under the sea may be impacting earth's climate change, scientists reported in a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters. The study's researchers believe blasts that take place along the ocean floor could be emitting enough carbon dioxide to affect earth's warming process, as CO2 emitted into the atmosphere creates a warming cycle on land.


10. Marvel announces first all-female Avengers team

Marvel announced on Friday that Earth's Mightiest Heroines will take the place of the soon-to-be-shelved traditional Avengers team. The A-Force, Marvel's first Avengers team made up entirely of female superheroes, will debut in May, co-written by G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett. X-Men artist Jorge Molina will art the comics. "We've purposefully assembled a team composed of different characters…with very different power sets, identities, and ideologies," Wilson said in a statement.

Entertainment Weekly Mashable

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Sarah Eberspacher

Sarah Eberspacher is an associate editor at TheWeek.com. She has previously worked as a sports reporter at The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus and The Arizona Republic. She graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.