10 things you need to know today: October 6, 2015

Negotiators seal historic Pacific trade deal, flood dangers continue after South Carolina rains, and more

A truck and home swamped with floodwater near Florence, South Carolina.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

1. Historic Pacific trade deal reached

Negotiators from the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations reached a trade deal on Monday after years of talks. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the largest regional trade accord in history, joining nations that represent about 40 percent of the global economy. The agreement is meant to help set global standards on commerce, worker rights, and pollution control, and to check China's growing power. Next, all 12 nations must approve the deal, which faces opposition from skeptics in Congress from both parties.

The New York Times

2. Death toll rises from South Carolina floods

Flood waters continued to rise in parts of South Carolina on Monday after three days of historic rainfall. The statewide death toll attributed to the once-in-a-millennium rains rose to at least 11 — seven from drowning and four in traffic accidents. Two died in North Carolina. About 550 roads and bridges were closed on Monday, and at least 18 dams were breached or failed. Further flood dangers were expected Tuesday, Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said, as a "wall of water" drains from inland areas to the low-lying coast.

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The Charlotte Observer The Washington Post

3. U.S. commander says Afghanistan called for strikes that hit hospital

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Monday that Afghan forces had called for the Saturday airstrikes that hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital. The U.S. military is investigating the incident, which killed 22 people, but Doctors Without Borders is calling for an independent inquiry. The international aid group on Sunday closed the hospital in Kunduz, which was briefly taken over by the Taliban last week before Afghan government forces regained control of key areas.

ABC News

4. Missing ship likely sank in Hurricane Joaquin, Coast Guard says

The U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday that a missing Florida-based cargo ship is assumed to have sunk off the Bahamas in Hurricane Joaquin, as feared. The heavily loaded ship, El Faro, had not been heard from since its crew sent out a distress call on Thursday saying they had lost power and were taking on water. The body of one presumed crew member has been found. The Coast Guard is searching for the rest of the 33-member crew — 28 Americans and five Polish nationals.


5. Two scientists win Nobel Prize in Physics for work on neutrinos

Scientists Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur B. McDonald of Queen's University in Canada have won the Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Tuesday. Neutrinos, subatomic particles left over from the Big Bang, zip around the universe near the speed of light. The discovery that they have mass, contrary to what was previously thought, has helped scientists understand how the universe has evolved.

Los Angeles Times The New York Times

6. NATO calls Russia "irresponsible" for violating Turkish airspace

NATO on Monday denounced Russia for violating Turkish airspace twice since starting its new bombing campaign against Syrian rebels. NATO's 28 members held an emergency meeting in Brussels and said Russia would be held responsible for any clashes that resulted from "such irresponsible behavior." Secretary of State John Kerry said there could have been a "shootdown" if Turkey, which scrambled jets, had fired. Moscow said a fighter plane had entered Turkish airspace along the Syrian border for just "a few seconds."


7. California signs right-to-die law

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed an assisted-suicide bill into law on Monday, making his state the fifth in the nation to let doctors prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally patients asking to die. The other states to pass similar measures are Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont. The Catholic Church strongly opposed the legislation, and Brown had studied to enter the priesthood as a young man. "In the end," he said, "I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death."

Los Angeles Times

8. Train jumps tracks in Vermont, injuring 5

An Amtrak train derailed in Vermont on Monday, injuring five of the 98 passengers on board and two crew members. The train hit a rock ledge that broke off and fell onto the tracks about 10 miles south of Montpelier, the state's capital. Gov. Peter Shumlin called the debris a "freak of nature" that the driver could not have avoided. The locomotive, lead car, and three other cars jumped the tracks when the train hit the rocks. One car fell into a brook.

NBC News

9. Pilot falls ill and dies on American Airlines flight

A 57-year-old American Airlines pilot, Capt. Michael Johnston, died Monday on a flight from Phoenix to Boston. The flight was diverted to Syracuse after Johnston fell ill, and the co-pilot landed the plane, which had 147 passengers and five crew members on board. Johnston's wife told television station KUTV in Utah that she was told her husband appeared to have died of a heart attack. She said her he had a double bypass in 2006 and got a physical every six months.

The Republic

10. Fantasy sports sites shaken by insider trading allegations

Two major fantasy sports companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, released a joint statement defending their integrity on Monday after a DraftKings employee last week admitted to inadvertently releasing data on National Football League fantasy teams before the start of the third week of games. The employee won $350,000 at FanDuel the same week, sparking allegations that employees were betting using information not available to the public. "It is absolutely akin to insider trading," sports and gambling lawyer Daniel Wallach said.

The New York Times

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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.