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Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: August 14, 2016

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Bonnie Kristian
Violent protests in Milwaukee after fatal police shooting
Gretchen Ehlke/Associated Press
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1.

Violent protests, fires in Milwaukee after fatal police shooting

Protest of a fatal police shooting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, turned violent late Saturday night as multiple local businesses, including a gas station and a bank, were set on fire. Some demonstrators also threw rocks at police officers, injuring one. The protest assembled in response to an incident Saturday afternoon in which police shot and killed a fleeing man armed with a stolen handgun after a traffic stop. The officer involved was reportedly wearing a body camera, but footage has yet to be released. Early Sunday morning, the Milwaukee Police Department tweeted that it was "restoring order" and "reducing deployments" in the neighborhood where the protest took place. [USA Today, CNN]

2.

Trump's allies reportedly see him as 'sullen,' 'erratic,' and 'exhausted' by the campaign

A report printed by The New York Times Sunday reveals that advisers and confidants of the Donald Trump campaign are frustrated with their candidate's prospects and temperament. About 20 Trump allies spoke to the paper on condition of anonymity, saying that in private, Trump's "mood is often sullen and erratic" as he obsesses over individual negative news stories and petty disagreements. Trump is "exhausted, frustrated and still bewildered" by politics, the report alleges — a description Trump himself vehemently denied Saturday afternoon in a tweet saying he is "truly enjoying" himself on the campaign trail. Trump also threatened Saturday evening to revoke the Times' press credentials for his events. [The New York Times, The Hill]

3.

Queens imam, assistant fatally shot by lone gunman in suspected hate crime

A respected imam, Maulama Akonjee, and his assistant, Thara Uddin, were both fatally shot in the head Saturday as they walked from afternoon prayers at Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque in Queens, New York. Police say they believe the suspect is a lone gunman, who was described as "tall and dark-skinned, carrying a large handgun, and wearing a dark blue shirt and short pants." It is unknown if the suspect spoke to the two men, who were dressed in identifiably Muslim garb, before he began shooting. Witnesses say they believe the incident to be a hate crime motivated by Islamophobia, and though the NYPD say it is too early to know if that is correct, the investigation will be conducted by the department's Hate Crimes Task Force. [NY Daily News, NBC New York]

4.

Trump surrogate suggests President Obama started the war in Afghanistan

Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson suggested Saturday that President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton started the war in Afghanistan circa 2009. When Obama came into office, she said, "remember we weren't even in Afghanistan by this time. Barack Obama went into Afghanistan creating another problem." While it is true that Obama said during his 2008 campaign that Afghanistan, in contrast to Iraq, was "the right battlefield" and the fight that "has to be won," the war at that point was already seven years old, as it was started by President George W. Bush shortly after the 9/11 attacks. [Politico, CBS News]

5.

United States wins 1,000th Summer Olympic gold medal

The United States hit a big milestone at the Rio Olympics on Saturday, acquiring its 1,000th gold medal for the Summer Games with a win in the women's 4×100-meter medley relay swim. Counting silver, bronze, and Winter Games wins, American athletes have won more than 2,700 medals overall. U.S. Summer gold medals far outnumber those of every other country; the next closest tally in the modern Games belongs to the defunct Soviet Union with 395, followed by Great Britain with 243. [Reuters, Yahoo Sports]

6.

Democrats battered with 'obscene and sick' calls, emails, and texts after contact info hack

Since a hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 released the personal email addresses and cell phone numbers for nearly all Democrats in the House of Representatives on Friday, lawmakers report they have been targeted with a barrage of offensive and spammy messages. "I was in the air flying from Florida to California when the news [of the hack] broke," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "Upon landing, I have received scores of mostly obscene and sick calls, voice mails and text messages." Other representatives and their staff are "getting spammed to death" with vulgar content and phishing emails that seek to infect the user's phone or computer. The FBI is investigating the hack. [USA Today, Politico]

7.

Terrorism not suspected in Swiss train attack that left 2 dead

A suspect described as a 27-year-old Swiss citizen attacked fellow passengers with a knife on a train in Switzerland on Saturday. He also set a train car on fire with flammable liquid. Six people were hurt with burns and/or stab wounds, including one child, and one woman died of her injuries on Sunday. Three other victims remain in critical condition. The attacker, who was also injured, was arrested and taken to the hospital for medical attention where he died as well. The investigation is still in progress, but local police say "so far there are no indications this was a terrorist or politically motivated crime." [BBC News, The New York Times]

8.

Michael Phelps ends his swimming career with more gold medals than most countries

Olympic phenomenon Michael Phelps ended his swimming career on a high note Saturday night, winning one last Olympic gold as part of the U.S. team in the men's 4×100-meter medley relay swim. "It turned out pretty cool,'' Phelps said after that final victory. "It's just a perfect way to finish." With 23 gold medals and 28 medals overall, Phelps has far more medals than any other Olympian (the next highest tally of golds is nine). He also has more gold medals than most nations have earned collectively; placed in all-time international rankings, Phelps personally has more golds than all but 32 of the 205 countries participating at Rio. [ESPN, NPR]

9.

Actor Kenny Baker, Star Wars' R2-D2, dies at 81

British actor Kenny Baker, best known for his role as the endearing droid R2-D2 from the Star Wars series, has died after a lengthy illness. He was 81 years old. Standing less than four feet tall, Baker played R2-D2 in the original Star Wars trilogy as well as the three prequels. He returned as an adviser for The Force Awakens, which premiered in December of 2015, in spite of his failing health. [BBC News, Gizmodo]

10.

Usain Bolt jogged to victory in his first Rio race

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt handily won his first-round heat of the 100-meter sprint at the Rio Games on Saturday, jogging past his rivals with a time of 10.07. Bolt's next step is the 100-meter semifinal Sunday afternoon, followed by the final Sunday night. If he wins as expected, this will be Bolt's third consecutive gold in his signature event. Bolt holds the world and Olympic records in the 100-meter race: 9.58 and 9.63 seconds, respectively. [Yahoo Sports]