10 things you need to know today. May 26, 2015

Cleveland reaches a settlement over excessive force by police, flood warnings spread after deadly Texas storms, and more

A warning sign in Wimberly, Texas.
(Image credit: (Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images))

1. Cleveland reaches settlement over police practices

Cleveland reportedly has reached a settlement with the Justice Department over an alleged pattern of excessive force and civil rights violations by city police. The settlement came after weekend protests over the Saturday acquittal of a white officer who fired the last 15 rounds of a 137-shot police barrage that killed two unarmed black suspects. The couple had been chased when their car's backfiring was mistaken for gunshots. The case prompted an 18-month Justice Department investigation that ended with a scathing report requiring reforms.

The New York Times The Associated Press

2. Flash flood warnings spread as deadly storms continue

Recovery teams on Tuesday are resuming a search for 12 people who went missing when the vacation home they were staying in was swept away by floodwaters in central Texas. At least eight people have been killed since record rains began in Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday. A line of severe storms spawned tornadoes, and prompted flash-flood warnings in eight states. Unprecedented rains inundated Houston and left 80,000 without power. At least 13 people were killed when a tornado devastated the Mexican border town of Ciudad Acuna.

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The Associated Press NBC News

3. Charter to acquire Time Warner Cable for $56.7 billion

Charter Communications agreed on Tuesday to buy Time Warner Cable for about $56.7 billion in cash and stock. If the deal clears antitrust scrutiny and is approved, Charter would pay about $195 a share for its much larger rival, which is about 14 percent more than Time Warner Cable's closing stock price on Friday. The deal will make Charter a formidable rival of Comcast, the nation's biggest cable operator. Comcast tried to buy Time Warner Cable last year for $45 billion.

The New York Times

4. Airliners searched after anonymous threats

U.S. authorities scrambled fighter jets to escort an Air France plane into New York City on Monday after anonymous threats were made against six international flights. A caller had claimed that a chemical weapon was on board the Air France jet bound for New York's John F. Kennedy Airport from Paris. The pilot of an American Airlines flight from Birmingham, England, was ordered to land and taxi away from the terminal. Two of the threatened planes were subjected to detailed searches. All were cleared.

The Telegraph

5. China increases its military capabilities in the disputed South China Sea

China said Tuesday that it was boosting its naval capabilities in the disputed South China Sea. In a policy document, the communist nation's cabinet said it was increasing its offensive resources to counter "provocative actions." China recently criticized the U.S. for flying a surveillance drone near a reef where China was doing construction work. China claims most of the South China Sea, but the Philippines, Taiwan, and other countries also say they control parts of the disputed waters.


6. Iraq launches operation to drive ISIS from Anbar province

Iraq announced Tuesday that it was launching a military offensive to drive Islamic State militants out of western Anbar province. ISIS seized control of the provincial capital, Ramadi, earlier this month, marking the biggest setback for government forces since a U.S.-led coalition launched airstrikes against the advancing Islamist extremists last year. A spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi countered U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter's recent statement that Iraqi forces outnumbered insurgents but lacked the "will to fight" in Ramadi, saying he was misinformed.

The Associated Press

7. Post reporter Jason Rezaian goes on trial in Tehran

Iran on Tuesday started the trial of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian on espionage charges, the country's official news agency reported. Rezaian, the Post's Tehran bureau chief, was arrested last July along with his wife Yeganeh Salehi, an Iranian national. She and a photojournalist went on trial alongside Rezaian, a California native who holds dual citizenship. The court proceedings were closed to the public. Post executive editor Marty Baron called Rezaian's treatment "shameful."

The Washington Post

8. Malaysia exhumes suspected migrant remains from mass graves

Malaysia on Tuesday began exhuming the bodies of suspected migrants found in mass graves near the Thai border. Thousands of migrants have left Myanmar and Bangladesh by boat, and overland through Thailand and Malaysia. Many have been ferried by human traffickers. Malaysian authorities found 139 graves holding an undetermined number of bodies in abandoned jungle camps, where they believe traffickers held migrants for ransom — some of them in barbed-wire cages.

BBC News

9. Bears release Ray McDonald after domestic violence charge

The Chicago Bears on Monday dropped defensive lineman Ray McDonald after his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence and child endangerment in California. Santa Clara police accused McDonald of assaulting a woman holding a baby outside his San Jose home. The Bears signed McDonald to a one-year, $1.5 million contract in March, giving him a second chance in the NFL after the 49ers released him over a string of legal troubles.

Chicago Tribune

10. B.B. King's daughters say their father was poisoned

Two of B.B. King's daughters say the blues legend, who died this month in hospice care at age 89, was poisoned by close associates. Clark County, Nevada, Coroner John Fudenberg said preliminary autopsy results did not substantiate the allegations, but that his office was "taking them very seriously." The daughters — Patty King and Karen Williams — pointed fingers at LaVerne Toney, King's business manager, and Myron Johnson, his personal assistant. The attorney for King's estate called the accusations "defamatory and libelous."


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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.