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

Republicans grill Hillary Clinton on Benghazi, U.S. commando dies in raid to save ISIS hostages, and more

Hilary in the House.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

1. Republicans grill Hillary Clinton in Benghazi hearing

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton faced hours of sharp questions from Republicans on the House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans when Clinton was secretary of state. In an 11-hour hearing, committee chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and other Republicans suggested Clinton denied potentially life-saving security requests. Democrats accused Republicans of using the committee to hit Clinton with partisan attacks.

The New York Times

2. U.S. commando dies in rescue of 69 ISIS hostages in Iraq

A U.S. special operations soldier died in a raid that freed 69 hostages facing "imminent mass execution" at an Islamic-State-controlled prison in northern Iraq, the Pentagon said Thursday. The Army Delta Force soldier was the first American to die in Iraq since November 2011. The hostages included Iraqi soldiers, local civilians, and ISIS members accused of spying. U.S. and Kurdish commandos launched a helicopter assault after newly dug pits believed to be mass graves for the captives were spotted in the compound.

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3. Paul Ryan officially enters House speaker race

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said Thursday that he would run to become the next House speaker. His decision could fill a GOP leadership vacuum that developed after hardline conservatives helped push outgoing Speaker John Boehner into retirement, and discouraged his expected successor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, from going for the job. Ryan, the GOP's 2012 vice-presidential candidate, said he would be speaker if Republicans united behind him. "I believe we are ready to move forward as a one, united team," he wrote in a letter to fellow Republicans.

NBC News

4. Powerful Pacific hurricane heads for Mexico with 200 mph winds

Residents of Mexico's Pacific coast braced for Friday's expected arrival of Hurricane Patricia, a Category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds of 200 miles per hour, making it the strongest storm ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. "This is an extremely dangerous, potentially catastrophic hurricane," said U.S. National Hurricane Center meteorologist Dennis Feltgen. An afternoon landfall is expected on a stretch of coast that includes Manzanillo, a busy port, and Puerto Vallarta, a popular resort area.

Los Angeles Times Weather.com

5. 42 killed in French bus crash

At least 42 people were killed and eight injured Friday when a bus carrying mostly elderly people collided with a truck in southern France. The truck, used to carry wood, reportedly swerved on a curve on a narrow road, and hit the bus head-on. Both vehicles burst into flames. If the death toll is confirmed, it would be France's worst road accident since one that killed 53 in 1982. A local politician said the bus passengers were members of a seniors' club in the small town of Petit-Palais-et-Cornemps.

CNN The New York Times

6. Nurse sues Chris Christie for Ebola quarantine

Kaci Hickox, a Doctors Without Borders nurse New Jersey forcibly quarantined last October after she treated Ebola patients in West Africa, sued Gov. Chris Christie and other state officials for false imprisonment on Thursday. She said there was no medical or legal justification for holding her. Hickox spent three days in quarantine before she was allowed to return to Maine, where she defied an order to stay at home. A court said she could come and go if she submitted to monitoring.

NBC News

7. Obama vetoes defense spending bill

President Obama vetoed a defense authorization bill on Thursday. The legislation would have tapped overseas contingency money intended for emergencies and war spending to help the Defense Department sidestep budget restrictions imposed by Congress across the board. It was only Obama's fifth veto — two others blocked Congress from approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, one prevented changes to National Labor Relations Board rules, and one involved recognition of notarization from one state to another.

The Washington Post

8. Deadly attack at Swedish school racially motivated, police say

The masked, sword-wielding man who killed a teacher and a student at a school was "driven by racist motives," police chief Niclas Hallgren said Friday after investigators searched the assailant's apartment. The unidentified attacker was shot and killed by police after fatally stabbing the victims in the southern Swedish industrial town of Trollhattan early Thursday. The town has a large immigrant community, and many students at the Kronan school, where the attack occurred, are foreign-born.

USA Today

9. 1 killed, 3 wounded in Tennessee college shooting

One man was killed and three women were wounded in a shooting on the Tennessee State University campus, police said Friday. Investigators said the incident was not a random attack. A fistfight broke out after an argument over a dice game, and "suddenly shots were fired," police spokesman Don Aaron said. The 19-year-old who was killed was not enrolled at the school. Three female students who were wounded by stray bullets were "innocent passers-by." None had life-threatening injuries.

The Associated Press

10. Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy comes out as gay

Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy came out as gay in the cover story in latest issue of ESPN Magazine. Kenworthy says that concentrating on skiing might have been a way to grapple with his sexuality. "I was insecure and ashamed," he says. The silver-medalist makes much of his income from sponsorships, and he is concerned about how his sexuality could affect his livelihood. "The industry isn't the most embracing of someone who's different," Kenworthy says. "I'm nervous about that."


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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.