10 things you need to know today: July 18, 2016

A gunman kills three police officers in Baton Rouge, the Republican National Convention gets underway in Cleveland, and more

Police officers on the scene in Baton Rouge
(Image credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

1. Gunman kills three police officers in Baton Rouge

A gunman killed three police officers and wounded three others on Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where tensions have been high since the fatal shooting of CD vendor Alton Sterling outside a convenience store two weeks ago. After the officers died, the mother of Sterling's son Cameron, Quinyetta McMillon, said the family "rejects violence of any kind directed at members of law enforcement or citizens." President Obama condemned the attack as "cowardly and reprehensible." Police shot and killed the alleged gunman — Gavin Eugene Long, a 29-year-old ex-Marine who served in Iraq — and searched for two other "persons of interest."

The Washington Post USA Today

2. GOP convention offers Trump opportunity to win over skeptics

The Republican National Convention gets underway in Cleveland on Monday, with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump hoping to use the event to unite a party still fractured after divisive primaries. Trump ran as a Washington outsider, defeating 16 major challengers and drawing open opposition from party insiders with controversial comments about women, Mexican immigrants, and Muslims. Trump took a step toward making up with mainstream Republicans ahead of the convention by naming Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a former member of the House leadership, as his running mate.

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Fox News

3. Convention security in focus after Baton Rouge attack

Heading into the GOP convention, Donald Trump on Sunday renewed his call for "law and order" in response to the killing of three police officers in Baton Rouge, blaming the violence on a national leadership vacuum. The head of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association said after the attack that open carry laws should be suspended in Cleveland during the convention. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said he does not have the power to "arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws."

The New York Times NBC News

4. Baton Rouge officer posted emotions online days before gunman killed him

One of the Baton Rouge police officers killed by a gunman on Sunday said in an emotional Facebook post days before his death that he was "physically and emotionally" exhausted by tensions stoked by recent fatal shootings of black men by police, and of five Dallas police officers by a sniper. The officer, Montrell Jackson, said that he faced suspicion both as a police officer, and, when out of uniform, as an African-American man. "I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me," Jackson, 32, wrote.

The Associated Press

5. Turkey fires thousands of police after failed coup

Turkey's government continued a purge following a thwarted coup attempt, firing 8,000 police officers on Monday as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tightened his grip on power. About 6,000 people, mostly members of the military and judiciary, were detained a day earlier. The U.S.-led coalition resumed air operations against the Islamic State from a Turkish base on Sunday after Erdogan's government restricted the country's airspace due to Friday's failed coup.

The Washington Post Time

6. France detains two more people in connection with Nice attack

French authorities on Sunday detained two more people in connection with last week's attack in Nice, in which Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel mowed down and killed 84 people with a truck at the end of a Bastille Day fireworks display. Three others arrested earlier remained in custody, but police released Bouhlel's estranged wife without charging her. The Islamic State has claimed it influenced Bouhlel, a Tunisian man who was living in Nice, but authorities said they had no evidence he was linked to the Islamist terror group.

Reuters CNN

7. Venezuelans stream across border to buy food

More than 100,000 Venezuelans crossed the border into Colombia over the weekend hoping to buy food and medicine, which are scarce at home. Venezuela shut down crossings on the 1,378-mile border a year ago in a bid to stop smuggling, but the government has opened the gates two weekends in a row to let desperate Venezuelans, some in chartered buses, travel for hours in search of supplies they can't find in their home country, which is struggling with triple-digit inflation, currency controls, and a sharp drop in the government's crucial oil revenues due to tumbling crude prices.

The Associated Press

8. UC Berkeley student confirmed among Nice dead

A University of California, Berkeley, student — Nicolas Leslie, 20 — was among the 84 people killed Thursday during an attack targeting people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, the university announced Sunday. Leslie, an environmental sciences major, was in Nice for a study-abroad program. His death came two weeks after another Berkeley student was killed in a terrorist attack in Bangladesh. UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said the university community was "heartbroken to learn that another promising young student has been lost to senseless violence."

UC Berkeley Los Angeles Times

9. The Secret Life of Pets beats Ghostbusters at weekend box office

The Secret Life of Pets held off Sony's all-female Ghostbusters, which was making its debut, to hold onto the top spot at the North American box office over the weekend. The Secret Life of Pets saw its haul drop by 52 percent to $50.6 million to bring its total to $203.2 million by Sunday. Ghostbusters opened in the No. 2 spot, bringing in $46 million. Finding Dory added $11 million to bring its total in the region to $445.5 million, officially making it the top-grossing animated film ever in North America.

The Wall Street Journal

10. Pakistani social media star murdered by her brother in so-called honor killing

A Pakistani man reportedly confessed Sunday confessed to killing his sister, social media star, model, and feminist activist Qandeel Baloch, in what he said was a so-called honor killing. Baloch — whose real name was Fouzia Azeem, but was often referred to as the Pakistani Kim Kardashian — was known for posting provocative photos of herself on Facebook and Instagram. She sought refuge recently in her parents' house after receiving death threats for posting a picture of herself with a Muslim cleric. Her brother, Muhammad Wasim, said he drugged then strangled her to restore "family honor."

The Daily Beast CBS News

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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.