10 things you need to know today: September 17, 2015

Rivals clash with Trump in second big GOP debate, police hit migrants with tear gas in Hungary, and more

Fiorina steals the spotlight.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

1. Rivals go after Trump in second prime-time GOP debate

The 11 leading Republican presidential candidates traded sharp criticism in the second prime-time debate of the 2016 GOP primary, with several rivals going after frontrunner Donald Trump. Former CEO Carly Fiorina dismissed Trump as "an entertainer" and shamed him for recent comments he made about her appearance. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush also clashed with Trump. When Trump criticized the Iraq war record of Bush's brother, former president George W. Bush, Jeb Bush said: "He kept us safe."

The Washington Post Reuters

2. Police in Hungary hit migrants with tear gas and water cannons

Hungarian riot police used tear gas, pepper spray, and water cannons to disperse hundreds of migrants massed on the Serbian border Wednesday, after several people pushed through a gate. Migrants and refugees chanted for the border to be reopened, and some threw rocks and plastic water bottles at police. After closing off the main land route refugees from Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere have been using to get to the European Union, Hungary let some refugees in to apply for asylum, but rejected most after 10-minute interviews.

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CBS News The Christian Science Monitor

3. Teen cuffed over homemade clock gets invited to White House

Ahmed Mohamed, a high-school student who was handcuffed and sent to juvenile detention after his homemade clock was mistaken for a hoax bomb, received an invitation to the White House on Wednesday. "Cool clock, Ahmed,” President Obama said on Twitter. “Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.” Obama's staff formally invited the student to the White House for Astronomy Night on Oct. 19 on the South Lawn.

The New York Times

4. Altice to buy Cablevision for $17.7 billion

European telecom Altice announced Thursday that it was buying Cablevision, the fifth largest U.S. cable company, in a deal valued at $17.7 billion. Altice, based in Amsterdam, is run by French billionaire entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, who has expanded aggressively in Europe with bundled cable TV, broadband internet, fixed-line phone, and mobile phone services. Altice's push into the U.S. began earlier this year with its $9.1 billion purchase of Suddenlink Communications. The purchase of the much larger Cablevision is expected to face regulatory scrutiny.

The Wall Street Journal USA Today

5. Investors watch Fed ahead of rate decision

Federal Reserve policymakers began a two-day meeting on Wednesday, as investors and economists split on whether they believed the Fed would raise interest rates for the first time since 2006. The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to announce its decision at 2 p.m. Thursday. The Fed appeared headed for an all-but-certain rate hike before mixed economic data raised questions about the recovery, and slowing growth in China sent global stocks diving.


6. Powerful earthquake strikes off Chile

A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's coast on Wednesday, killing at least five people. Chile's national emergency agency issued a tsunami alert, later canceled, and ordered evacuations of a million people from vulnerable coastal areas. The quake damaged buildings and sent panicked crowds running into streets during the evening rush hour. A tsunami watch also was issued for Hawaii.


7. U.S. weighs Russia's call for military talks on Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that he was talking to the White House and the Pentagon about how to respond to Russia's proposal for military talks on Syria. The discussions come as Moscow is expanding its military presence to support the forces of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Kerry suggested one topic to discuss could be making sure that Russian aircraft do not clash with U.S. warplanes fighting the Islamic State.


8. Presidential guard arrests interim president in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso's presidential guard burst into a cabinet meeting on Wednesday and arrested the interim president and prime minister. The move came less than a month before an election meant to complete a transition back to democracy after the toppling of longtime president Blaise Compaore in a popular uprising last year. The country's military dissolved the interim government and announced it was in control of the West African country.

The Associated Press

9. General says few Syrians trained to fight ISIS remain in battle

The head of the United States Central Command, Gen. Lloyd Austin III, told a Senate panel on Wednesday that only four or five Syrians trained by the U.S. military are still engaged in the fight against the Islamic State. Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the U.S. was far from reaching its goal of training 5,000 Syrians to take on ISIS. The comments came as senators from both parties criticized the effort against ISIS, including the $500 million program to train moderate rebels in Syria.

The New York Times

10. Court halts controversial execution in Oklahoma

An appeals court on Wednesday halted the controversial execution of Richard Glossip, who was convicted of hiring a co-worker to kill the owner of the Oklahoma City motel where they worked in 1997. The decision came just hours before Glossip, who maintains his innocence, was scheduled to die. Glossip was sentenced to death after he refused to confess to ordering the killing. The confessed killer said Glossip was the mastermind and avoided being placed on death row. Glossip's lawyers now say they have a signed affidavit from another inmate who says he heard the killer, Justin Sneed, say he set up Glossip.

The Associated Press

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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.