10 things you need to know today: July 7, 2016

Attorney general closes the Clinton email case, the Justice Department investigates Alton Sterling's killing, and more

Hillary Clinton in New Jersey
(Image credit: AP Photo/Mel Evans)

1. Attorney general closes Clinton email case with no charges

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday that she would accept the FBI's recommendation not to file criminal charges over Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Lynch closed the government's investigation into the case, removing a cloud over Clinton's presidential campaign. After an uproar over a meeting she had with Clinton's husband, former president Bill Clinton, Lynch promised not to overrule the FBI. Congressional Republicans summoned FBI Director James Comey to explain his recommendation against filing charges.

USA Today The New York Times

2. Justice Department investigates fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling

The Justice Department is launching a civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old African-American man, by a Louisiana police officer. The decision came after disturbing video surfaced showing two Baton Rouge officers, who responded to reports of an armed man, holding Sterling down before at least one of them shoots him several times in the chest at close range. Witnesses said Sterling had a gun in his pocket but did not reach for it. The shooting sparked local protests and renewed national attention to police killings of African-Americans.

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The New York Times

3. Minnesota officer fatally shoots black driver in traffic stop

Protests broke out in Minnesota after a police officer fatally shot an African-American man, Philando Castile, during a traffic stop less than two days after the fatal police shooting of another black man, Alton Sterling, in Louisiana. A woman and a child in Castile's car were not hurt. The woman — Lavish Reynolds, who identified herself as Castile's girlfriend — livestreamed a video on Facebook that started right after Castile was shot. She said Castile, a public school kitchen director, told the officer he had a legal firearm and was taking out his license and registration before the officer fired.

The Washington Post NBC News

4. Obama leaves more troops to help with Afghanistan security

President Obama announced Wednesday that he would leave 8,400 troops in Afghanistan at the end of his presidency next January, slightly more than his previous target of 5,500. "The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious," Obama said. "I strongly believe it is in our national security interest ... that we give our Afghan partners the best opportunities to succeed." The number represents a slight drawdown from the current level of 9,800 U.S. service members in Afghanistan, which has seen a surge in Taliban attacks recently.


5. Tony Blair defends Iraq war after scathing report

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday defended his government's decision to join the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq after a scathing report on his country's involvement in the war. The report on the seven-year inquiry blamed Britain's government, military, and intelligence officials for dragging the country into six years of unnecessary war, largely justified with flawed warnings of weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Blair said, "I did it because I thought it was right," but now he feels "more sorrow and regret and apology than you may ever know."

The Washington Post

6. Ex-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson accuses Roger Ailes of sexual harassment

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit Wednesday saying that her former boss, network CEO Roger Ailes, fired her last month because she refused his sexual advances. The former Miss America said Ailes told her last year they "should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you'd be good and better and I'd be good and better." Carlson also accused Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy of sexual harassment. Ailes called the allegations "false" and "defamatory."

The Hollywood Reporter Star Tribune

7. U.S. sanctions Kim Jong Un for first time

The U.S. on Wednesday imposed sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over human rights abuses for the first time. The move marked the latest step in an effort to increase financial punishment against the isolated communist nation's government after its recent violations of international bans on testing its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. The U.S. also added 10 other senior North Korean officials to a black list for their work running prison camps, torture programs, and propaganda for the regime.

The Wall Street Journal

8. Corker takes himself off Trump's list of possible running mates

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) withdrew from consideration as a possible running mate for Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he felt "better suited to other kinds of things," and suggested he would be open to serving in a Trump cabinet. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a rising GOP star, also appeared to be bowing out, saying she had made it clear to Trump she was "focused on Iowa." Trump said he was looking at 10 candidates, including two military generals.

CNN Reuters

9. Chelsea Manning reportedly hospitalized after suicide attempt

Chelsea Manning, the Army whistleblower who was convicted of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, has been hospitalized after reportedly attempting suicide by hanging herself in her cell in a high-security military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Manning, 28, was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 after pleading guilty to 10 charges related to theft and espionage. Born Bradley Manning, she revealed at sentencing that she identified as a woman and wanted to be known as Chelsea.

New York Post

10. Taiwan braces for super typhoon

A super typhoon being described as "near perfect" is expected to hit Taiwan early Friday morning. With top sustained winds of 170 mph, super typhoon Nepartak is as powerful as a category 5 hurricane, and almost as strong as Soudelor, a super typhoon that killed at least 36 people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage in Taiwan and China last year. Taiwan has deployed thousands of troops to help deal with emergencies, and the Taiwan Power Company is estimating more than 3.1 million homes will experience power outages.


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