10 things you need to know today: March 8, 2015

Obama commemorates the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, Russia charges two in an opposition leader's murder, and more.

President Obama
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

1. Thousands mark 50th anniversary of 'Bloody Sunday' march in Selma

President Barack Obama spoke in Selma, Alabama, on Saturday afternoon, paying tribute to some 600 peaceful protesters who were attacked by state troopers while marching for voting rights 50 years ago this weekend. "If Selma taught us anything, it's that our work is never done," Obama said, adding, "the march is not yet over." Thousands of people gathered in Selma over the weekend to mark the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, including civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who was beaten while participating in the march five decades ago.

The Washington Post

2. Two charged, five detained in murder of Boris Nemtsov

Russia on Sunday said it had charged two men in the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. In addition to charging Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadayev, who were arrested Saturday, Moscow said it detained three more suspects for questioning. The 55-year-old Nemtsov was shot four times in the back, raising suspicions of a state-sponsored execution.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The Guardian AFP

3. Boko Haram pledges allegiance to ISIS

The Nigerian militant group Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS in an audio recording released Saturday. In the audio, which was posted to Boko Haram's Twitter page but has not yet been verified by U.S. intelligence, a man claiming to be the group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, swears "allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims." Boko Haram had already begun to mimic ISIS' propaganda tactics, but it is not clear how the oath will impact the relationship and potential coordination between the two groups.


4. Kentucky Wildcats complete undefeated regular season

The Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team on Saturday put the finishing touch on a perfect regular season with a 67-50 drubbing of Florida. The top-ranked Wildcats are the first team from a major conference to go undefeated since Indiana in 1976. (Wichita State, of the Missouri Valley Conference, went undefeated last season.) After the win, Kentucky coach John Calipari praised his team's selfless play, saying, "In this society, instead of me, me, me, it's us, us, us."

Sports Illustrated USA Today

5. Obama claims he learned last week of Clinton's private emails

President Obama said Saturday that he was unaware until last week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private email address during her tenure in his administration. In an excerpt of an interview with CBS, Obama did not say how he remained in the dark for so long, but said he was "glad that Hillary’s instructed that those emails about official business need to be disclosed." Clinton's use of private email has raised questions about whether the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate skirted ethics rules.

The New York Times

6. Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei makes appearance amid health rumors

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday made a rare public appearance amid rumors that he was near death due to health issues. Iranian state news aired images of the 75-year-old Khamenei meeting with environmental leaders in Tehran, saying the appearance should "put an end to the Israeli-driven rumors." Last week, speculative reports surfaced claiming Khamenei had been hospitalized in critical condition, though Iran dismissed the claims as baseless attempts to undermine the ongoing nuclear negotiations.


7. John Kerry warns of 'gaps' in Iranian nuclear deal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday said that while progress had been made in nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers, "there are gaps that have to be closed" before a final deal can be reached. "If we didn't think that there was further to go," Kerry said, "we'd have had an agreement already." The U.S., France, Britain, China, Germany, and Russia are negotiating with Iran to limit Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for an end to sanctions against the country.


8. Protesters march in Madison after police kill unarmed teen

Protesters took to the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday after police shot and killed an unarmed black 19-year-old. Several dozen protesters gathered outside police headquarters chanting "Black Lives Matter," the rallying slogan of similar protests over police killings in the past few months of unarmed black men. Police said officer Matt Kenny was responding to a call Friday when he fatally shot Tony Robinson inside Robinson's home.


9. Report on anniversary of MH370 disappearance offers no new clues

One year after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished, a comprehensive report into the disappearance painted a picture of normalcy of the doomed flight. The report revealed that the battery on the plane's locator beacon expired more than a year before the plane went missing. But it found "no behavioral signs of social isolation, change in habits or interest, self-neglect, drug or alcohol abuse" among the plane's captain and crew that could explain the mysterious incident.


10. Warm weather forces Iditarod to relocate

Perhaps this year, Iditarod sled drivers should shout "slush" instead of "mush." That's because unseasonably warm weather left parts of the race course treacherously slick or bereft of snow, forcing organizers to move Monday's starting point 225 miles north from Willow to Fairbanks. The ceremonial start of the race still went on as planned Saturday in Anchorage — but only because crews hauled in around 350 truckloads of snow to smooth the course.

The Seattle Times

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Jon Terbush

Jon Terbush is an associate editor at TheWeek.com covering politics, sports, and other things he finds interesting. He has previously written for Talking Points Memo, Raw Story, and Business Insider.