10 things you need to know today: May 24, 2015

Ireland approves same-sex marriage, a Cleveland police officer is acquitted in a 2012 twin killing, and more.

Ireland celebrates same-sex vote
(Image credit: Charles McQuillan / Getty Images)

1. Ireland legalizes same-sex marriage by popular vote

Irish voters overwhelmingly said "yes" to same-sex marriage on Saturday, with 62.1 percent in support of amending the constitution to legalize gay marriage. The results make Ireland the first nation in the world to legalize gay marriage with a popular vote. John Lyons, one of just four openly gay members of the country's 166-member parliament, credited young voters with shifting Ireland's historically conservative constitution in a more liberal direction. "This says something about modern Ireland," Lyons said. "Let's never underestimate the electorate or what they think."

The Washington Post

2. Cleveland cop acquitted in 2012 killing of unarmed black couple

An Ohio judge on Saturday acquitted a white Cleveland police officer in the 2012 killing of two unarmed black people following a high-speed chase. Officer Michael Brelo was one of more than a dozen officers who fired 137 rounds into the vehicle — Brelo himself fired at least 15 times through the windshield after climbing onto the car's hood — after receiving reports of gunfire during a 20-mile chase. The shooting left driver Timothy Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams, dead. However, Judge John P. O'Donnell ruled prosecutors did not "prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that Brelo fired the fatal shots and "knowingly caused the deaths." Protesters likening the deaths to other recent police killings of unarmed black people took to the streets of Cleveland following the verdict for nonviolent demonstrations.

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The New York Times

3. ISIS kills at least 400 in captured Syrian city

The Islamic State has killed at least 400 people — most of them women and children — since taking control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, according to state television. ISIS seized control of Palmyra last week, and reports suggested the militant group was sweeping through the city and leaving behind a trail of decapitated bodies. The city's capture raised fears ISIS would soon destroy and loot Palmyra's 2,000-year-old ruins.

Reuters The Guardian

4. Gloria Steinem leads activists across Korean border

An international coalition of female activists led by feminist Gloria Steinem on Sunday crossed the highly militarized border between North and South Korea in an effort to spotlight the need for reconciliation between the two nations. The group, WomenCrossDMZ, consisted of about 30 participants including Steinem and two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire and Leymah Gbowee. "We feel very celebratory and positive that we have created a voyage across the DMZ in peace and reconciliation that was said to be impossible," Steinem said.


5. Flooding forces evacuations in Texas, Oklahoma

At least one person died and dozens of states of emergency were declared following widespread flooding across Oklahoma and Texas over the weekend. A firefighter in Claremore, Oklahoma, died while trying to rescue a colleague who became trapped in a storm drain, though the trapped firefighter was able to make it out safely. Flooding in the region forced more than 1,000 evacuations, with officials warning that even more rain on Sunday could trigger potentially "historic" flooding.


6. Burundi opposition leader killed in drive-by

The leader of a Burundian opposition party on Saturday was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in the capital of Bujumbura. Zedi Feruzi, the leader of the party Union for Peace and Development-Zigamibanga, and a bodyguard were shot dead by unidentified gunmen, just one day after a grenade attack killed at least two civilians in the same city. Burundi has been rocked by unrest — including a failed coup — for weeks since President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would run for a third term.

Al Jazeera

7. Malaysia uncovers mass graves of suspected migrants

Malaysia has uncovered around 30 mass graves believed to hold the bodies of hundreds of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh. The graves were discovered near the border with Thailand along a route typically used for human smuggling. Malaysian Home Minister Zahid Hamidi told reporters authorities were working to verify the remains, adding that police also discovered 17 abandoned camps they believe smugglers used.


8. Warriors rout Rockets, move one game from NBA Finals

The Golden State Warriors on Saturday trounced the Houston Rockets 115-80 to take a 3-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals and move within one win of the championship round. Along the way, guard Stephen Curry set an NBA record by nailing his 59th three-pointer of the postseason to move one ahead of Reggie Miller's former all-time mark of 58 triples in one postseason. On the other side of the playoff bracket, the Cleveland Cavaliers will on Sunday host the Atlanta Hawks with a chance to take a commanding 3-0 lead in that series.

Yahoo Sports

9. Indy 500 gets underway Sunday

The Greatest Spectacle in Racing is set to get underway Sunday with the 99th annual Indianapolis 500. A field of 33 drivers, led by New Zealander and race favorite Scott Dixon, will zip around 200 laps for a total of 500 miles. The race's qualifying was marred by a handful of violent crashes, though there were no fatalities.

Sports Illustrated

10. Olsen twins won't return for Full House reboot

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will not take part in Netflix's ballyhooed reboot of the classic sitcom Full House. Known for taking turns in the role of Michelle Tanner, the youngest daughter in the titular house, the Olsens will sit out Fuller House to focus on their careers outside acting, a rep for the twins told Variety. "It has been exciting to see how they have built their professional careers, and I support their choice to focus on their fashion brands and various business endeavors," executive producer Robert L. Boyett said, adding that the two "are still very much considered family."


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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.