Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: September 23, 2015

Pope Francis arrives for an historic U.S. visit, the European Union orders members to take in migrants, and more


Pope Francis starts historic U.S. tour

Pope Francis arrived in the U.S. Tuesday for a six-day visit — his first to America as head of the Catholic Church. President Obama and his family greeted Francis on the tarmac of Joint Base Andrews. Obama will host an elaborate welcome ceremony Wednesday morning. The pope flew to the U.S. from Cuba, where he wrapped up his visit with a call for a "revolution of tenderness." Francis will make history Thursday as the first pope to address a joint session of Congress. Later he will travel to New York and Philadelphia.


EU forces members to take in migrants needing protection

European Union ministers on Tuesday approved a plan requiring member nations to take in a share of 120,000 migrants arriving in Greece and Italy over the next two years. The move applies to people "in clear need of international protection." The decision came over the objections of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Leaders from the 28-nation bloc will hold an emergency summit Wednesday to continue discussing the wave of migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe from Syria, Iraq, and other countries torn by war and poverty.


Chinese leader arrives in U.S. for potentially tense visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, arrived in Seattle Tuesday to start what could be a tense U.S. trip. In the first speech of his visit, Xi promised that his government would not "engage in cyber-theft." The Obama administration blamed China for a summer cyberattack that compromised personal data on nearly 22 million government workers, although China denies involvement. Xi heads Thursday to Washington, D.C., where he will meet with President Obama.


Hillary Clinton announces opposition to Keystone XL pipeline

Hillary Clinton came out in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday, after declining to take a position on the controversial project for months. The Democratic presidential frontrunner said squabbling over the pipeline had become "a distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change." In July, Clinton said she did not want to "prejudge" the Obama administration's environmental impact review, but now she says she opposes the pipeline proposal because it is not "in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change."


L.A. council proposes spending $100 million on homelessness crisis

Los Angeles' elected leaders on Tuesday announced plans to declare a "state of emergency" regarding the city's growing homelessness problem. The proposal calls for spending $100 million on housing and other services for the homeless. Mayor Eric Garcetti's administration also proposed this week to use nearly $13 million in excess tax revenue for short-term housing measures. Councilman Gilbert Cedillo said if L.A. wants to host the Olympics and show off to the world, "we shouldn't have 25,000 to 50,000 people sleeping on the streets."


Senate GOP proposes fix to prevent government shutdown

Senate Republicans moved to avert a looming government shutdown on Tuesday by proposing a temporary measure to keep federal agencies funded through Dec. 11. Democrats are expected to block the first version of the bill because it would cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, but that provision is expected to be dropped. If that happens, the bill could pass would bipartisan support, delaying a showdown over spending until the fall.


CEO promises to lower drug price after hike sparks outrage

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli said Tuesday his company would lower the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim in response to anger over an overnight hike in the cost of a single pill from $13.50 to $750. Daraprim fights toxoplasmosis, a condition that affects patients with immune systems compromised by AIDS, chemotherapy, or pregnancy. Turing bought the drug from Impax Laboratories for $55 million in August. Shkreli said the price hike was supposed to pay for research on toxoplasmosis treatments with fewer side effects.


VW board leaders grill CEO over emissions cheating scandal

Volkswagen board leaders on Wednesday held an emergency meeting in Germany to question CEO Martin Winterkorn about the use of software in 11 million diesel cars worldwide to cheat on emissions tests. The board is due to decide by Friday whether to extend Winterkorn's contract. He has indicated no plan to quit over the scandal, although he has made several public apologies and pledged the "utmost transparency" in ongoing investigations.


Judge says companies had no right to royalties for Happy Birthday song

A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled Tuesday that the companies that collected royalties for the Happy Birthday to You song for decades did not have valid copyright claims. Warner/Chappell had charged for use of the song since 1988 after buying the successor to the firm that claimed the original 1935 copyright. The judge said the rights applied to piano arrangements, not the song. "Happy Birthday is finally free after 80 years," said Randall Newman, a lawyer for plaintiffs who included filmmakers making a documentary on the song.


Famed Yankees catcher Yogi Berra dies

Baseball legend Yogi Berra died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in New Jersey. He was 90. The Hall of Fame catcher helped the New York Yankees reach the World Series 14 times in 18 seasons, winning a record 10 World Series championships. The three-time American League MVP — later a manager and coach — played in more World Series games than any other player. He also delighted fans with a seemingly endless stream of malapropisms, or "Yogi-isms," including, "It's deja vu all over again," and "It ain't over 'til it's over."


Pope Francis hospitalized with respiratory infection
Pope Francis.
get well soon

Pope Francis hospitalized with respiratory infection

Amsterdam launches campaign urging rowdy British men to 'stay away'
Amsterdam Red Light District
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Amsterdam launches campaign urging rowdy British men to 'stay away'

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Cargo of ammunition, weapons and other equipment bound for Ukraine waiting on a tarmac at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware
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Is the U.S. running out of ammunition?

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Paris city center
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France aspires to work by working less. Is it working?

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