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Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 27, 2016

Harold Maass
Hillary Clinton is nominated for president
Alex Wong/Getty Images
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1.

Hillary Clinton makes history as the first female presidential nominee

Democratic convention delegates formally nominated Hillary Clinton as their party's presidential candidate on Tuesday. The former first lady, senator, and secretary of state is the first woman ever to be nominated for the presidency by a major U.S. party. Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, led a string of speakers aiming to redefine the candidate's image, rejecting what he called the "cartoon" version of her portrayed by Republicans. Bill Clinton delivered a personal tribute, praising Hillary Clinton as a lifelong political reformer and "the best darn change-maker I have ever known." [The New York Times, The Washington Post]

2.

Investigators increasingly confident Russia is behind DNC hack

U.S. intelligence agencies now have "high confidence" that the Russian government was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee's email and computer system, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. The Times' sources, described as federal officials briefed on the evidence, said investigators are not sure whether the breach was routine cyber espionage, or part of an effort to influence the U.S. presidential election. Federal investigators warned the DNC about the potential electronic break-in months before the party hired a private security firm, CrowdStrike, to address the issue in April. [The New York Times, CNN]

3.

Bernie Sanders presses supporters to stop convention booing

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday tried to quiet diehard supporters who have disrupted speeches at the Democratic National Convention, telling members of the California delegation that "it is easy to boo, but it's harder to look your kids in the face who would be living under Donald Trump." Sanders threw his full support behind Hillary Clinton, who beat him in the hard-fought primaries, saying she "must" beat Trump. He called the Republican nominee the "worst candidate for president in the modern history of this country." [Los Angeles Times]

4.

Pennsylvania high court calls for new trial in church sex-abuse case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a new trial for Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Catholic church official convicted for his role overseeing priests accused of sexually abusing children. The state high court rejected an appeal by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office of a lower court decision calling for a new trial. Lynn, 65 was not accused of molestation. As an archdiocesan official from 1992 to 2004, he reassigned pedophile priests to new parishes where they abused more children. He is serving a three to six years in prison. [Philadelphia Daily News]

5.

Judge drops charges against activists behind anti-Planned Parenthood video

A Texas judge on Tuesday dismissed all charges against two anti-abortion activists who secretly shot video of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood officials in Houston. The Harris County District Attorney's office asked District Judge Brock Thomas to drop the charges. A grand jury had indicted David Daleiden, 27, and Sandra Merritt, 63, on charges of tampering with government records for using fake I.D.s to get into the Houston clinic. A defense attorney called the decision "a huge win for First Amendment rights." [Houston Chronicle, NPR]

6.

ISIS claims responsibility for France church attack

ISIS on Tuesday claimed responsibility for an attack on a Catholic Church in northern France, where two men slit the throat of an 85-year-old priest, killing him. Police shot and killed both assailants. The two men burst into the church as a Mass was ending, and forced the priest, the Rev. Jacques Hamel, to kneel, slicing his neck when he refused. The attack occurred in St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray, a suburb of Rouen. It was the fourth attack linked to ISIS in Europe in 11 days. [The New York Times]

7.

Hamas shooting suspect dies in Israeli raid

Israeli forces on Wednesday fatally shot a Hamas fighter blamed for the killing of a rabbi, Michael Mark, in a West Bank drive-by shooting on July 1. The suspect was killed in an overnight raid in Surif, a Palestinian village near the city of Hebron. The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas identified the man killed as Mohammad al-Fakih, a member of its armed al-Qassam Brigades wing. Palestinian street attacks have killed at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans since October. At least 205 Palestinians — 139 identified by Israel as assailants — have died in clashes in the same period. [Reuters]

8.

Shooting deaths of police spike in 2016

Fatal shootings of law enforcement officers jumped by 78 percent between Jan. 1 and July 26 compared to the same period last year, according to a report released Wednesday. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund normally releases data on firearms-related deaths of officers in the line of duty every six months, but this year extended the period to include July ambushes that killed eight officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Thirty-two officers have died in gun-related incidents this year, including 14 in ambushes, up from 18 in the same period last year. The figures remain lower than in the 1970s. [The Associated Press]

9.

Ice Bucket Challenge money helps finance discovery of gene linked to ALS

Researchers using money raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge have identified a gene commonly found in people stricken with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The challenge, in which participants poured ice water over their heads to raise money and awareness, became a sensation two summers ago as the effort raised more than $100 million for the ALS Association. The new research, published this week by Nature Genetics, found NEK1 to be present in 3 percent of patients in North America and Europe, contributing to the understanding of the causes of the deadly neurodegenerative disease. [ESPN]

10.

Injury ends Federer's season early

Roger Federer announced Tuesday that he will miss the rest of the 2016 professional tennis season due to a knee injury. He also will not be able to compete for Switzerland in the upcoming Rio Olympics. In a Facebook post, the world No. 3 explained he will need "more extensive rehabilitation" after knee surgery earlier this year. "The doctors advised me that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover." [USA Today]