Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 27, 2015

Leading soccer officials are arrested on corruption charges, Cleveland accepts restrictions on police use of force, and more


FIFA officials arrested on corruption charges

Swiss authorities arrested several six top soccer officials on Wednesday so they could be sent to the U.S. to face corruption charges. Plain-clothed officers made the arrests in Zurich as officials were gathering for the annual meeting of FIFA, the sport's global governing body. Investigators suspect FIFA officials of widespread corruption, including more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks involving World Cup bids, and media deals dating back to the early 1990s. FIFA's controversial president, Sepp Blatter, is not named in the indictment.


Cleveland accepts restrictions on police use of force

Cleveland has agreed to let an independent monitor oversee its police and to subject its officers to new restrictions on the use of force under a settlement with the Justice Department announced Tuesday. A federal investigation found a "pattern of unconstitutional policing and excessive use of force" by Cleveland police. The announcement came three days after 71 people were arrested protesting the acquittal of a white officer charged with manslaughter in the killing of two unarmed black suspects.


At least 19 confirmed dead after floods hit Texas and Oklahoma

The death toll from unprecedented rains and flooding in Texas and Oklahoma rose to at least 19 on Tuesday. Another 14 remain missing in Texas, including eight members of two families who were in a vacation home swept off by a "wall of water" on the Blanco River. Four died in Houston, which was already flooded when another foot of rain fell on Tuesday. Drivers in the city abandoned at least 2,500 vehicles to seek dry ground. Another 13 people were killed in northern Mexico by a tornado produced by the same storm system.


Rick Santorum to announce second bid for the White House

Former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is expected to formally announce Wednesday that he is joining the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Santorum was the runner-up behind nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, but he is polling at around 2 percent, far behind his likely rivals. A devout Catholic staunchly opposed to gay marriage and abortion, he even trailed among evangelical Christians in Iowa. "I'm really going to have an uphill battle ahead of me," Santorum said in a fundraising email ahead of his announcement.


Appeals court rejects request to lift hold on Obama's immigration plan

A federal appeals court on Tuesday denied a White House request to lift a ban on President Obama's executive action on immigration. Obama's plan, which he unveiled in November, would shield as many as five million immigrants from deportation — including people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Twenty-six states sued to block the order, and a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction in February to keep the plan from being implemented until the lawsuit is settled.


Nebraska governor vetoes bill to abolish capital punishment

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) on Tuesday vetoed a bipartisan bill to abolish the death penalty in the state. Ricketts said his action was "a matter of public safety" and giving prosecutors "the tools they need to put these dangerous hardened criminals behind bars." Lawmakers scheduled a Wednesday vote to override the veto. The bill would make Nebraska the first conservative state to scrap capital punishment. It passed with two votes more than needed to override a veto, but at least one "yes" vote has publicly changed his mind.


Hackers access 100,000 taxpayers' old IRS returns

Cyber thieves stole tax return information for more than 100,000 taxpayers this year, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said on Tuesday. The criminals used the agency's "Get Transcript" online service to download old tax returns. About half of their 200,000 attempts to get information were successful. The IRS is investigating. "We're confident these are not amateurs," Koskinen said. "These are actually organized crime syndicates that not only we but everyone in the financial industry are dealing with."


Extreme heat kills 1,100 in southern India

A heatwave has killed more than 1,100 people in India, as temperatures rose above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Authorities said Tuesday that most of the victims were elderly, homeless, or construction workers in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The deadly heat reportedly has melted roads in the capital, New Delhi. Weather forecasters said the deadly temperatures, would continue through the week, with no relief until a monsoon hits the Indian mainland around May 31.


Sanders launches bid for the presidency

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) officially launched his campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday. Sanders promised to make fighting income inequality his priority as he appealed to the party's progressive wing in a longshot attempt to beat frontrunner Hillary Clinton. He said there was "something profoundly wrong" when the nation's richest 1 percent have so much while others struggle. "This type of rigged economy is not what America is supposed to be about," he said.


Lebron James is headed back to the NBA Finals

The Cleveland Cavaliers routed the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night 118-88 on their way to another shot at the NBA Championship. It will be the second appearance for Cleveland in the league's premier event, and the sixth for star Lebron James. In sweeping the Hawks in four games, Lebron became the first player in NBA history to average 30 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — a hair short of a triple double — in a playoff series. The Cavaliers will next play the winner of the Golden State-Houston series on June 4 in the first game of the NBA Finals.


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