10 things you need to know today: October 11, 2015

Fired Benghazi committee staffer alleges partisanship, experts call Tamir Rice shooting justified, and more

1. Fired Benghazi committee staffer alleges bias against Hillary Clinton

A Republican staffer said Saturday he was fired from the House Select Committee on Benghazi after raising concerns over the investigation's politicization. "My nonpartisan investigative work conflicted with the interests of the Republican leadership, who focused their investigation primarily on Secretary Clinton and her aides," said Bradley Podliska, an Air Force reservist. On Thursday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) drew backlash for suggesting the committee met its goal of bringing down Hillary Clinton's presidential polling numbers.

The Washington Post CNN

2. Police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice justified, 2 outside reports say

Two reports from use of force experts released Saturday said a Cleveland police officer acted reasonably in fatally shooting Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy. In November 2014, Rice was playing in a park with a toy gun officers said they believed was real. The shooting was caught on video. These reports will be among the evidence presented by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor to a grand jury tasked with deciding whether the two officers involved will be criminally indicted.

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The Plain Dealer The New York Times

3. Pentagon approves condolence payments to families of hospital airstrike victims

The Pentagon authorized condolence payments for the families of the civilians killed and injured in a U.S.-led airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan. The U.S. military has said they carried out the bombing to support the Afghanistan troops battling Taliban fighters, and that the hospital was hit by mistake, killing 22 and injuring 39. Another 33 people are still believed to be missing. Three investigations into the incident are underway, but Doctors Without Borders has called for an independent one.

ABC News

4. Army officer recommends no jail time for Bowe Bergdahl

An investigating Army officer said in a court filing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should not face jail time or a punitive discharge from the military, his attorney said Saturday. Bergdahl faces desertion and other misconduct charges after walking away from his Afghanistan base in 2009, after which he was captured and tortured by insurgents. The U.S. recovered Bergdahl in a controversial 2014 deal in exchange for releasing five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

The Wall Street Journal

5. Activists commemorate 20th anniversary of Million Man March

Activists took to the National Mall to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C, on Saturday. In 1995, hundreds of thousands of black men gathered to raise awareness about social and economic inequality. Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, who led the first march, called for other marginalized groups to join in this time under the theme "Justice or Else." The event comes after the Black Lives Matter movement picked up steam protesting police brutality against unarmed black people.


6. Protesters hold anti-Islam rally outside Phoenix mosque

More than 120 people gathered outside of a Phoenix mosque for an anti-Islam protest Saturday, the biggest event so far in a series of nationwide protests planned for the weekend. People held American flags and many, under Arizona's open carry law, had arms ranging from revolvers to assault rifles. Much smaller protests took place Saturday in places like Maryland, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, but many other demonstrations planned as part of the Global Rally for Humanity were reportedly canceled.

The Guardian USA Today

7. Israel-Palestine violence ramps up with civilian casualties

A retaliatory Israeli airstrike against a Hamas military target in Gaza reportedly killed a pregnant Palestinian woman and a toddler Sunday, bringing the weekend's Palestinian death toll to nine. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with leaders of both groups by phone Saturday, expressing concern over the region's mounting violence, which some fear will escalate into a wider uprising.

BBC News The New York Times

8. Apple reportedly disables its news app in China

Apple has reportedly disabled its news app in China, a source told The New York Times on Saturday. Apple News, which launched in June, is only available to users registered in the U.S., but those users are able to use the app when traveling abroad. In China, people are seeing the following error message: "Can't refresh right now. News isn't supported in your current region." The tech giant declined to comment on the issue.

The New York Times

9. Obama playfully addresses potential Kanye West presidential bid

At a San Francisco fundraiser with Kanye West on Saturday, President Obama joked about the rapper's potential 2020 bid. "You got to deal with strange characters who behave as if they are on a reality TV show," he said in a nod both to West's wife, Kim Kardashian, and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. Making fun of himself, Obama quipped, "Do you really think this country is going to elect a black guy from the South Side of Chicago with a funny name to be president of the U.S.?"

The Washington Post

10. Mets fall to Dodgers after controversial slide

The Los Angeles Dodgers notched a 5-2 win over the New York Mets on Saturday to even the playoff series at 1. The Dodgers took control in the 7th inning, when Chase Utley slammed Mets shortstop Rubén Tejada as he slid into second base, breaking up a potential inning-ending double play and allowing the tying run to score. Utley was eventually ruled safe at second, even though footage appears to show that, like Tejada, he never touched the base. Tejada left the game with a fractured right fibula.


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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.