10 things you need to know today: September 9, 2015

Judge releases Kentucky clerk from jail, Hillary Clinton apologizes for using a private email server, and more

Davis with her lawyer Mat Staver and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

1. Clerk who denied same-sex marriage licences freed from jail

Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis was released from jail on Tuesday. U.S. District Judge David Bunning found Davis in contempt of court Thursday for refusing to comply with an order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing her religious objections to gay marriage. Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses in June after the Supreme Court said same-sex couples had the right to marry nationwide. Bunning ordered Davis freed because her deputies had complied with his order.

USA Today

2. Hillary Clinton says she's sorry for using private email server

Hillary Rodham Clinton apologized Tuesday for using a private email server during her years as President Obama's secretary of state. "That was a mistake. I'm sorry about that. I take responsibility," said Clinton, now the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, in an interview with ABC News. A day earlier Clinton told The Associated Press no apology was necessary. "What I did was allowed," she said.

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The New York Times The Associated Press

3. United CEO steps down amid corruption investigation

United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek resigned Tuesday as the company contends with a federal investigation into whether the company traded favors with the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The U.S. attorney for New Jersey is looking into whether United reinstated money-losing service to an airport near the authority chairman's home in exchange for improvements at Newark Liberty International Airport. Two other United officials also resigned. United named board member Oscar Munoz as its new chief executive and president.

The New York Times

4. Freddie Gray's family reaches $6.4 million settlement with Baltimore

Baltimore city officials announced Tuesday they had agreed to pay the family of Freddie Gray $6.4 million to settle civil claims related to his death from a spinal injury he sustained in police custody. Gray, 25, died in April. His death set off protests and riots, and led to the arrests of six officers on criminal charges. The proposed settlement — expected to be approved by a city board Wednesday — does not reflect "judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

The Baltimore Sun

5. European leaders urge countries to share 160,000 migrants

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday unveiled a proposal calling for EU countries take in a share of 160,000 refugees now being accommodated by Greece, Italy, and Hungary. Juncker made an impassioned plea for action to the European Parliament to contain Europe's biggest refugee crisis since World War II. About 500,000 migrants have entered Europe this year, many of them Syrians fleeing the Islamic State. "The refugee crisis will not simply go away," Juncker said. "It is high time to act."

The Associated Press

6. Obama gets more Senate backing for Iran nuclear deal

President Obama chalked up three more Senate votes in favor of the controversial Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday. Obama already had just enough votes to sustain his promised veto of a Republican-backed effort to reject the deal, but the additional votes gave him cushion he might need after what is expected to be heated congressional debate. It is unclear whether Senate Democrats will stick together enough to use a filibuster to block a GOP plan to vote on a disapproval measure on Friday.


7. Queen Elizabeth becomes Britain's longest-ruling monarch

Queen Elizabeth II becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch on Wednesday. She took the throne at age 25 as her nation was struggling to recover from World War II. Her time on the throne is surpassing the 63 years, seven months, two days, 16 hours, and 23 minutes her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria ruled. British Prime Minister David Cameron praised the queen, saying she "has been a rock of stability in a world of constant change." At 89, Queen Elizabeth also is the oldest British monarch ever.


8. Hunter who killed Cecil the lion returns to work

Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer returned to work Tuesday for the first time since he was identified as the bow-hunter who killed a lion named Cecil outside a Zimbabwe park. About 10 protesters — one shouting "extradite Palmer" — were on hand when he arrived, but they were outnumbered by news media. Palmer's guide and the owner of the land where the hunt took place face criminal charges for illegal hunting. Palmer says the hunt was legal, and he had no idea Cecil was a popular and long-studied animal.

Star Tribune

9. Serena Williams moves a step closer to Grand Slam

Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals in the United States Open. Serena Williams now leads her older sibling 16-11 in their head-to-head matchups. The 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, victory left Serena Williams, 33, two matches away from becoming the first woman to win all four major singles titles in a season since Steffi Graf in 1988.

The Guardian

10. Colbert makes Late Show debut

Stephen Colbert launched into his job as host of CBS' Late Show on Tuesday night after nine months of preparation since leaving his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report. Colbert paid tribute to founding host David Letterman. There were cameos by Jon Stewart and Jimmy Fallon. And Colbert's first guests were actor George Clooney and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush who, under Colbert's questioning, conceded, "I don't think Barack Obama has bad motives."

Los Angeles Times The Guardian

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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.