Daily briefing

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

Gunman kills two Virginia journalists during live broadcast, U.S. stocks soar after days of massive losses, and more

1

Two Virginia journalists killed during live TV broadcast

A gunman fatally shot two Roanoke, Virginia, TV journalists — reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27 — during a live broadcast on Wednesday. The suspect was a former employee of their station — Vester Flanagan, also known by his on-air name, Bryce Williams. Flanagan, who was black, reportedly faxed ABC News after the white reporters were killed saying the attack was sparked by a June mass killing at a black Charleston, South Carolina church. He shot himself in the head after a high-speed chase, and died later in a hospital.

2

U.S. stocks end rout with huge gains

China's battered benchmark Shanghai stock index gained 5.3 percent Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up by 619 points on Wednesday — its third largest one-day gain ever. The dramatic rally ended six days of heavy losses fueled by a market nosedive in China, which stoked global fear of a slowdown of the world's second largest economy. The S&P 500 soared 3.9 percent higher Wednesday as investors snapped up bargains after the big-stock index lost $2.1 trillion of value in six days.

3

Walmart stops selling assault-style rifles

Walmart will stop selling AR-15s and other assault-style rifles, a company spokesman said Wednesday. The decision reportedly stems from a drop in demand for the weapons, not the renewed pressure from gun-control advocates following a series of high-profile shootings. It was the second recent example of Walmart yanking merchandise connected to a hot-button debate. The retail giant this summer discontinued sales of Confederate flag merchandise after the Charleston church massacre suspect was linked to the flag and racist beliefs.

4

China arrests executives over Tianjin explosion

Chinese police have arrested 12 people in connection with this month's massive Tianjin explosions, which killed 129 people, the state Xinhua news agency reported Thursday. The suspects included the chairman, vice-chairman, and three deputy general managers of the logistics company whose warehouse, which was storing volatile chemicals, blew up. A day earlier China fired its top work safety regulator under suspicion of corruption.

5

Trump surges to biggest national polling lead yet

Donald Trump's polling lead over the rest of the GOP presidential continued to grow on Wednesday. A new survey conducted by Gravis Marketing for the conservative One America News Network showed Trump with 40 percent, his strongest showing yet in a national poll and a nine-percentage-point gain since Gravis' July poll. Ben Carson placed a distant second with 12 percent, followed by Jeb Bush at 10 percent, Ted Cruz at 7 percent, and John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, and Marco Rubio with 5 percent each.

6

South Sudan president reluctantly signs peace deal

South Sudan's president, Salva Kiir, signed a long-awaited peace deal Wednesday to end a 20-month fight with rebels. Kiir, who has led the country since it seceded from Sudan in 2011, cautioned that he still had "serious reservations" about the agreement. He had asked for more time to consider it last week, but faced threats of United Nations sanctions if he didn't sign within a two-week deadline. Rebel leader Riek Machar, who is expected to become vice president under the deal, signed last week in Ethiopia.

7

Biden questions whether he has "emotional fuel" for presidential run

Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he does not know whether he has the "emotional fuel" for another election campaign, countering mounting speculation that he was preparing to launch a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Biden reportedly said in a conference call with Democratic National Committee members that he would only run if his "whole heart and my whole soul" were in the race, but that both were "pretty well banged up." Biden's son Beau died of cancer in May at age 46.

8

Aurora theater killer gets 12 life sentences plus 3,318 years

A Colorado judge on Wednesday gave Aurora movie-theater killer James Holmes 12 life sentences — one for each person he murdered during a July 2012 screening of a Batman movie. Judge Carlos Samour Jr. added 3,318 years in prison for attempted murder and other crimes. It was the maximum sentenced allowed after the jury ruled out the death penalty. "The defendant will never be a free man again — ever," an emotional Samour said. "He will be behind bars in a locked facility every day for the rest of this life."

9

Appeals court tells Kentucky clerk she has to issue same-sex marriage licenses

A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a ruling ordering Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis, citing religious objections, stopped issuing the licenses in June, the day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state gay-marriage bans were unconstitutional. Two straight couples and two gay couples sued Davis and won. The lower court delayed its order to give Davis time to appeal, but the appellate court denied her request for a stay.

10

Civil rights activist Amelia Boynton Robinson dies at 104

Amelia Boynton Robinson, one of the organizers of the 1965 Selma civil rights march known as Bloody Sunday, died Wednesday in Montgomery, Alabama. She was 104. Boynton Robinson was bloodied and knocked unconscious by Alabama troopers who attacked 600 black marchers with billy clubs, whips, and tear gas as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in an attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights. Earlier this year, President Obama pushed her across the bridge in a wheelchair in a commemoration of the historic march.

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