10 things you need to know today: September 19, 2015

House votes to defund Planned Parenthood, Croatia is overwhelmed with migrants, and more

Migrants in Croatia
(Image credit: Petr David Josek/Associated Press)

1. House passes bill to defund Planned Parenthood as shutdown looms

In a vote along party lines Friday, House Republicans passed a bill that would end government funding of Planned Parenthood as well as a measure that would restrict certain abortion procedures. Barack Obama has threatened to veto spending bills that don't fund Planned Parenthood, and Democrats have the manpower to block the measures in the Senate. House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have been in talks in the hopes of avoiding another government shutdown.

Newsweek The Hill

2. Croatia forces Hungary to take in migrants

Croatia is busing migrants to Hungary after more than 17,000 people arrived in the preceding few days, having been turned away by neighboring European countries. Hungary, which has sealed off its borders and called up army reservists to defend them, apparently doesn't have a formal agreement with the country to take in more migrants and bus them to Austria, according to Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic. "We made them take the refugees by sending people there," he said. "We'll keep on doing it."

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The Associated Press The Guardian

3. Trump bails on forum after not correcting supporter's claim that Obama is Muslim

Donald Trump, under fire for failing to correct a supporter's claim that President Obama is a Muslim on Thursday night, bailed on attending the Heritage Action forum of Republican presidential candidates Friday in Greenville, South Carolina, due to what his campaign has called "a significant business transaction." Erick Erickson, the editor-in-chief of the conservative website Red State, railed against Trump, calling him a "chicken." Trump tweeted Saturday morning that he is not "morally obligated" to defend Obama.

Erick Erickson Bloomberg

4. Obama nominates first openly gay Army secretary

President Obama nominated Eric Fanning to be secretary of the Army on Friday. If confirmed by the Senate, he'll be the first openly gay secretary of a military branch. Fanning has served as Defense Secretary Ash Carter's chief of staff and acting under secretary of the Army as the current secretary, John McHugh, plans to leave office. The appointment comes as the military tries to integrate gay soldiers, five years after the repeal of the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The Wall Street Journal The New York Times

5. EPA demands Volkswagen recall, saying automaker cheated in smog tests

Almost half a million Volkswagen cars, including recent diesel models of Jettas, Beetles, Audi A3s, Golfs, and Passats, may be recalled in an enormous crackdown on the German carmaker's alleged blatant circumvention of smog standards. The Environmental Protection Agency has demanded the cars be recalled and specifically accused Volkswagen of installing software called a "defeat device" in their vehicles that essentially lies about what a car's emissions are during tests. Car emissions contain nitrogen oxide, which creates smog, as well as pollutants that cause asthma.

The New York Times

6. Video shows 9 cops tackling tearful, unarmed black teen for jaywalking

Footage from Stockton, California, shows nine police officers tackling and arresting 16-year-old Emilio Mayfield, accused of jaywalking in the bus lane. The clip, captured by a bystander on his cell phone, shows an officer using his baton to press the boy's legs into his chest and strike him in the head. Mayfield, an unarmed black boy, was crying by the time other officers showed up. The police department said the incident is under investigation, but that it appears the officer was within policy.

NBC News ABC News

7. Japan approves controversial military expansion

Japan passed a law early Saturday allowing the nation's military to fight overseas for the first time since the end of World War II. Many Japanese lawmakers and citizens opposed the measure, arguing it violates the country's pacifist constitution. China, which has had a tense relationship with Japan in recent months, has spoken out against the move, while U.S. and British officials have welcomed the decision.

The Associated Press BBC News

8. Egypt swears in new government after corruption probe

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi swore in a new government Saturday, one week after a corruption probe led the previous cabinet to step down. Sherif Ismail, the former petroleum minister, will take over as prime minister. Egypt, which has not had a legislature in three years, has been in turmoil since 2011, when an uprising toppled longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

Reuters The Associated Press

9. Police identify Boston's 'Baby Doe,' arrest mother and her boyfriend

The body of the 2-year-old girl found dead in a bag on Massachusetts' Deer Island this summer — who went unidentified for three months despite enormous public attention and campaigns — has been ID'd as Bella Amoroso Bond. Police arrested and charged Bella's mother's boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, with murder and Bella's mother, Rachelle Bond, as an accessory to murder after the fact. A woman walking her dog on Deer Island discovered Bella's body on June 25.


10. Researchers find 87 of 91 former NFL players tested had brain disease

Researchers reported Friday that 87 of 91 former NFL players who donated their brains after death tested positive for a brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The condition is believed to be linked to concussions, a source of ongoing debate in the league. The Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University also found that 79 percent of football players in general tested positive. The results don't necessarily mean 96 percent of all NFL athletes are at risk, because the brains examined came from players who expressed concerned about having CTE.


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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.