10 things you need to know today: October 31, 2015

U.S. to deploy special-ops troops in Syria, Russian plane crash kills 224, and more

Relatives react to news of Russian plane crash
(Image credit: Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press)

1. U.S. to deploy special-ops forces in Syria to fight ISIS

President Obama will deploy a small number of special operations forces to Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria as part of its effort to fight the Islamic State, the White House announced Friday, framing it as an enhancement of current strategy. Obama had long been opposed to putting boots on the ground. Up to 50 troops will be assisting and advising moderate rebels. More than a dozen parties involved in the Syrian conflict, including the U.S. and Russia, agreed Friday to work toward a cease-fire.

The Guardian CNN

2. Russian plane crash over Egypt kills all 224 passengers

A Russian airplane carrying 224 passengers that crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula early Saturday left no survivors, officials said. The pilot of the plane, which was headed from the Egyptian resort area Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, Russia, had reportedly requested an emergency landing before losing contact about 23 minutes after takeoff. There are no signs so far the Airbus A-321 was shot down, Russian news outlets reported.

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CNN The New York Times

3. White House won't release emails between Obama, Clinton

The White House will not release emails exchanged between President Obama and Hillary Clinton from her time as secretary of state until Obama leaves office, an official from his administration reportedly said Friday. The State Department has been releasing the Democratic presidential frontrunner's emails in batches under a court order amid public scrutiny over her use of a private email server while in office. The State Department released 4,400 more Clinton emails Friday, including messages she had sent and received.

Reuters The Los Angeles Times

4. RNC suspends NBC partnership for February debate

Responding to Wednesday's highly criticized Republican primary debate on CNBC, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus penned an open letter to parent network NBC, calling off their debate at the University of Houston on Feb. 26. "The CNBC network is one of your media properties, and its handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith," the letter read. Priebus officially suspended the RNC's partnership with NBC News and its properties, although his letter explains the party still "fully intends" to hold a Feb. 26 debate.

Republican National Committee

5. Jeb Bush campaign loses chief operating officer

Jeb Bush's already struggling presidential campaign suffered yet another blow Friday when its chief operating officer, Christine Ciccone, left her role. The departure comes just one week after the campaign announced it was slashing its payroll by 40 percent and downsizing its Miami headquarters. The former Florida governor, once thought to be the Republican frontrunner, floundered in the party's CNBC debate Wednesday, grabbing less speaking time than any other candidate.

The Wall Street Journal

6. Obama says goodbye to Boehner: 'Man, I'm gonna miss you'

In a teary exit interview with Fox News on Friday, outgoing House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) recounted his farewell to President Obama. Obama said, "Boehner, man, I'm gonna miss you," according to Boehner. His reply: "Yes, you are, Mr. President. Yes, you are." The two spent years clashing over everything from ObamaCare to the debt ceiling to immigration. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was elected to take over as speaker Thursday.

Fox News

7. At least 27 dead in Romanian nightclub fire

A fire in a Romanian nightclub killed at least 27 people and injured 184 during a rock concert late Friday in the nation's capital, officials said. The death toll may rise, and 146 people are still hospitalized, said Raed Arafat, Romania's deputy interior minister. The crowd of 400 stampeded toward the Bucharest basement club's exit when a pillar and the ceiling caught fire, and then an explosion was heard, witnesses said. The concert reportedly featured fireworks.


8. Poland rejects U.S. extradition request for director Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski, the Oscar-winning director behind Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist, will not be extradited to the U.S. from Poland, a Polish court ruled Friday. Polanski pleaded guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles in 1977, when he was 43; he served 42 days in a state prison before fleeing to France, where he has been living. Polanski, who is a dual French-Polish citizen, was visiting Poland to make a film when the U.S. made its extradition request.


9. ESPN shutters Grantland

ESPN pulled the plug Friday on its sports and culture site Grantland, five months after the network split with the founding editor, Bill Simmons. "We have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise," ESPN wrote. During its four-year run, Grantland was known for its sharp blend of sportswriting, longform journalism, and pop culture pieces. Writers will have their contracts honored on other ESPN platforms, the network said.


10. Mets top Royals 9-3 in World Series Game 3

Led by gutsy pitching from rookie Noah Syndergaard and four RBIs from captain David Wright, the New York Mets topped the Kansas City Royals on Friday night. The best-of-7 contest continues in Queens at 8:07 p.m. on Saturday. Steven Matz, a New York native, will look to even the World Series at 2 when he takes the mound against the Royals' Chris Young.

The New York Times

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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.