10 things you need to know today: August 1, 2015

Dylann Roof pleas not guilty to hate-crime charges, Hillary Clinton calls for end to Cuba trade embargo, and more

Hillary Clinton
(Image credit: Gaston De Cardenas/Associated Press)

1. Suspected Charleston church shooter pleads not guilty to federal hate-crime charges

Dylann Roof pleaded not guilty to federal charges including hate crimes and obstructing the practice of religion for allegedly murdering nine people in a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof had wanted to plead guilty to his 33 charges, but because prosecutors haven't revealed if they're seeking the death penalty, his defense attorney couldn't advise a guilty plea. Roof also faces charges for nine counts of murder in South Carolina, and the state could also decide to seek the death penalty.

The Associated Press

2. Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations stall

The 12 Pacific Rim countries working in Hawaii to establish the biggest free trade deal in history failed to reach an agreement Friday, the end of their latest round of talks. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would cover 40 percent of the global economy. Negotiators say significant progress was made, but there's no date set yet for the next round of talks. It's bad news for President Obama, who had all but ensured a deal would cruise through Congress.

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3. Hillary Clinton calls for Congress to end the Cuba trade embargo

Speaking at Florida International University, Hillary Clinton urged Congress on Friday to end the trade embargo on Cuba. "We were unintentionally helping the regime keep Cuba a closed and controlled society, rather than working to open it up to positive outside influences, the way we did so effectively with the Soviet bloc and elsewhere," Clinton said. "The choices we make will have lasting consequences, not just for more than 11 million Cubans, but for American leadership across our hemisphere and around the world."

The Associated Press

4. WikiLeaks: The U.S. has been spying on Japan for at least 8 years

The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks charged that the U.S. has spent the past eight years or more spying on Japanese cabinet officials, banks, and other companies. The National Security Agency apparently targeted at least 35 Japanese telephone numbers, including those linked to the Bank of Japan, Mitsubishi, and government ministries and offices. The U.S. allegedly snooped on discussions on trade, climate change policy, and nuclear policies. Japan is a close U.S. ally.

BBC News

5. Hundreds flee California wildfires

Hundreds of people are fleeing their homes as more than a dozen large wildfires burned across drought-stricken Northern California on Saturday. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Friday. About 8,000 firefighters are working to contain the fires, many caused by lightning strikes, according to the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Most of the fires are at least 60 percent contained, but they have damaged tens of thousands of acres so far. One firefighter died Thursday battling the blazes.

CNN The Associated Press

6. New Taliban leader calls for unity among insurgents

New Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor purportedly promised to continue the group's 14-year insurgency in audio released to journalists Saturday by a Taliban spokesman. "We should keep our unity, we must be united, our enemy will be happy in our separation," Mansoor purportedly said. The Afghan government announced Wednesday that the group's previous leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, has been dead since April 2013.

The Associated Press

7. India and Bangladesh swap territory in historic deal

India and Bangladesh swapped about 160 enclaves at midnight Friday, ending a decades-old disagreement between the neighboring countries. Most of the 50,000 residents affected will stay where they are, but change nationalities. The deal, formally signed in June, means those formerly stateless residents will have easier access to basic resources and education.

BBC News

8. New Ebola vaccine is '100 percent effective' in trials

An expert panel deemed Merck's new Ebola drug to be 100 percent effective when it was tested on more than 4,000 people who were in close contact with people infected with the disease in the African nation of Guinea, according to a study published Friday in the Lancet medical journal. A panel overseeing the trial said a late-stage trial of the vaccine should proceed. The Ebola outbreak that gripped West Africa last year — killing 11,000 people — has subsided, but the virus is stubbornly sticking around. New confirmed cases were reported this week.

Bloomberg Business

9. U.S. Olympic leaders eye 3 cities to replace Boston in 2024 bid

U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst said Saturday a decision on which city will replace Boston in the nation's bid to host the 2024 Olympics will be made by the end of August. Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., are all in the running. The committee cut ties with Boston on Monday after the mayor, for financial reasons, refused to sign a contract locking the city into the bid. The International Olympic Committee's deadline for filing a bid is Sept. 15.

The Associated Press

10. Jon Stewart reveals final Daily Show guests

Fellow comedians Amy Schumer, Denis Leary, and Louis C.K. will join Jon Stewart on stage as his final guests on The Daily Show, the comedian announced. Stewart has said in the past that Leary and C.K. are two of his favorite guests, and Schumer reportedly turned down an offer to take over The Daily Show after Stewart's departure (the job eventually went to Trevor Noah). Stewart's finale, which will air on Thursday Aug. 6, will run an extended 50 minutes.

The Washington Post

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Julie Kliegman

Julie Kliegman is a freelance writer based in New York. Her work has appeared in BuzzFeed, Vox, Mental Floss, Paste, the Tampa Bay Times and PolitiFact. Her cats can do somersaults.