10 things you need to know today: May 12, 2015

Another powerful earthquake strikes Nepal, Verizon to buy AOL, and more

A man runs to safety in Nepal.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Bikram Rai)

1. Nepal struck by another powerful earthquake

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on Tuesday, just over two weeks after a magnitude 7.8 quake killed more than 8,150 people in the Himalayan country. At least 32 people died in the Tuesday earthquake. The epicenter was near the border crossing from Nepal to Tibet, about 47 miles from Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. Residents of Kathmandu rushed into the streets when the latest quake hit, toppling many buildings damaged by the first quake.


2. Verizon to buy AOL for $4.4 billion

Verizon announced Tuesday that it had agreed to buy AOL for $4.4 billion. The acquisition will help Verizon, the nation's largest wireless carrier, enhance its mobile video offerings with AOL's digital content, and give it AOL's online ad-selling platform. AOL investors will get $50 a share, a 17 percent premium over Monday's stock price. The news sent AOL stock climbing by as much as 19 percent in early trading. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

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Bloomberg The New York Times

3. NFL suspends Tom Brady over "deflategate"

The NFL on Monday suspended New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of next season and fined his team $1 million for under-inflating game balls in January's AFC Championship game. Deflated balls are easier to throw and catch in bad weather. The Patriots, who went on to win the Super Bowl, also will forfeit their first-round pick in the 2016 draft, and a fourth-round pick in 2017. The Patriots made no immediate comment. Brady's agent called the penalty "ridiculous," saying Brady will appeal.


4. Shell wins conditional approval to resume Arctic oil exploration

The Obama administration on Monday gave energy giant Shell conditional approval to drill for oil off Alaska's Arctic coast. Shell had to stop operations in the Arctic in 2012 over safety and pollution concerns, but it now can resume exploration if it gets the required permits from regulators. Shell hopes to start drilling exploratory wells this summer under the Chukchi Sea in a region that could hold 15 billion barrels of oil. Environmentalists slammed the decision, saying an accident in the icy, remote waters would be a disaster.

The New York Times

5. Zimmerman injured by flying glass in shooting

George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin dead in 2012, was injured Monday in a shooting near Orlando. Zimmerman's lawyer, Don West, said Zimmerman was injured by pieces of glass after a motorist fired a gunshot into the window of Zimmerman's pickup truck. Police said the suspected shooter was Matthew Apperson, who had accused Zimmerman of threatening to shoot him in a road rage incident in September.

Orlando Sentinel The New York Times

6. Texas and Arkansas governors declare disasters after deadly tornadoes

Governors declared disasters in Texas and Arkansas on Monday after deadly tornadoes and floods slammed their states. At least five people were killed and more than 50 injured by the fierce weather that tore through states in the middle of the country over the weekend. Three remain missing. Two people were killed in a mobile home outside of the town of Nashville, Arkansas, and two other people were killed near a Van, Texas, trailer park. Another three people remained unaccounted for in Van on Monday, a day after the tornado struck.


7. Obama administration denies it fudged account of bin Laden raid

The White House on Monday refuted a report that said the government invented parts of its account about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Ned Price, a White House national security spokesman, said the claims in the article written by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh and published Sunday in The London Review of Books were "patently false." Hersh, citing an anonymous source, wrote that Pakistan knew of bin Laden's whereabouts for years and orchestrated the raid in conjunction with the U.S.


8. Activist nun said Tsarnaev expressed regret over Boston Marathon bombing

Sister Helen Prejean, an outspoken death-penalty opponent, testified Monday that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is "genuinely sorry" for the 2013 attack, which killed three people and wounded more than 260. "He simply said nobody deserves to suffer like that," said Prejean, an activist who inspired the movie Dead Man Walking. Tsarnaev's lawyers rested their case in the penalty phase of the trial after arguing he should be spared the death penalty because his older brother, Tamerlan, had duped him into participating in the attack.

New York Daily News

9. Ex-CIA officer sentenced to 42 months for leak

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was sentenced to three and a half years in prison on Monday for leaking details of a secret Iran operation to New York Times reporter James Risen. The sentence was lighter than expected, but still the longest for any leaker convicted in a civilian court under President Obama. Jurors concluded that Sterling had provided information on a covert effort to undermine Iran's nuclear program described in Risen's 2006 book, State of War.


10. Picasso painting sells for record $179 million at auction

Pablo Picasso's masterpiece Women of Algiers (Version O) sold for $179 million in New York on Monday night, a world art auction record. The buyers chose to remain anonymous. The sale was part of a Christie's auction that also included Alberto Giacometti's life-size sculpture Pointing Man, which sold for $141.3 million — a record auction price for sculpture. Art prices have been skyrocketing recently as an influx of buyers, many from China, view major works as safe investments.

NBC News Quartz

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.