Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 23, 2013

The royal baby finally arrives, Brazilians welcome Pope Francis, and more

1. BRITAIN WELCOMES A NEW PRINCEThe Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, gave birth to a son on Monday, culminating months of royal baby frenzy. The royal family did not announce the name of the baby, who becomes third in line to the British throne. An official birth announcement placed on an easel in front of Buckingham Palace for public viewing said mother and baby were doing fine. The new father — Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge — issued a brief statement, saying, "We could not be happier." [Bloomberg]………………………………………………………………………………

2. POPE FRANCIS ARRIVES IN BRAZIL Pope Francis arrived in Brazil Monday on his first international trip as head of the Catholic Church. Francis, the first Latin American pope, was greeted enthusiastically by tens of thousands of Brazilians as he toured Rio de Janeiro in an open car. The Argentine-born pontiff traveled in his typical no-frills style, toting his own carry-on luggage. He went to Brazil to celebrate World Youth Day, but Brazilians expect him to call attention to the region's pressing social problems. [Los Angeles Times]………………………………………………………………………………

3. 10 INJURED AFTER SOUTHWEST JET'S LANDING GEAR FAILS AT LAGUARDIAThe landing gear in the nose of a Southwest Airlines jetliner collapsed as it touched down at New York City's LaGuardia Airport Monday night. About 10 of the 149 people on board suffered minor injuries. The incident briefly closed one of the nation's busiest airports, causing delays for dozens of flights. Authorities could not immediately say what caused the landing gear to fail as the Boeing 737 arrived from Nashville, Tenn. [Wall Street Journal] ………………………………………………………………………………

4. OBAMA CLEARS OBSTACLES TO SENDING ARMS TO SYRIAN REBELS President Obama is preparing to go ahead with a plan to send weapons to Syrian rebels after addressing concerns expressed by members of Congress, Reuters reported late Monday. Obama announced in June that he intended to provide military aid to carefully vetted opposition groups, but some politicians objected over fears that the arms could wind up in the hands of Islamist militants in Syria. Skeptics still have reservations, and have asked for updates once the covert effort starts. [Reuters]………………………………………………………………………………

5. MILITANTS BREAK OUT OF IRAQI PRISONHundreds of prisoners, including high-ranking al Qaeda militants, escaped Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail on Monday with the help of allies who launched an attack from the outside. Suicide bombers blasted the gates using cars packed with explosives, and gunmen stormed into the prison, which is on the outskirts of Baghdad. The jailbreak came as Sunni Muslim insurgents are regaining momentum against the Shiite-led government that took power after the U.S. toppled longtime dictator Saddam Hussein. [Reuters]………………………………………………………………………………

6. JUDGE BLOCKS TOUGH NORTH DAKOTA ABORTION LAWA federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked North Dakota's a tough new law banning abortion as early as six weeks after fertilization. The law — the toughest of its kind in the nation — prohibits abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and was scheduled to take effect Aug. 1. U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland called the measure "clearly unconstitutional," and ruled that it couldn't be enforced until a legal challenge was settled. [Washington Post]………………………………………………………………………………

7. GEORGE ZIMMERMAN HELPS PULL FAMILY FROM WRECKED CARJust four days after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin, he and another man helped pull four people out of an SUV that overturned on a Florida highway, a Seminole County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said Monday. Callers to 911 said the vehicle flipped and slid onto a median last Wednesday. "There was tons of smoke," one caller said. Zimmerman, who has been in seclusion since the verdict, left after speaking with a deputy. [CNN]………………………………………………………………………………

8. FORMER AIDE FILES HARASSMENT SUIT AGAINST SAN DIEGO MAYORA former aide filed a sexual harassment lawsuit Monday against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. Filner, a former 10-term congressman, recently tearfully admitted to inappropriate behavior toward female staffers, but said he wouldn't step down. Former Filner press secretary Irene McCormack Jackson, who filed the lawsuit, was the first woman to come forward with a harassment allegation since the scandal broke. She accused Filner of asking her to "get naked" and kiss him. [Reuters]………………………………………………………………………………

9. LAW & ORDER STAR DENNIS FARINA DIES AT 69Actor Dennis Farina died in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Monday after recently suffering a blood clot in his lung. Farina, 69, spent 20 years as a police officer in Chicago before launching a Hollywood career as a character actor. He was best known for playing detectives — starring in the TV shows Law & Order and Crime Story, but he also occasionally played the bad guy in movies such as Get Shorty. [New York Times]………………………………………………………………………………

10. BREWERS STAR RYAN BRAUN SUSPENDED FOR VIOLATING DRUG PROGRAMMilwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended Monday without pay for the rest of the season in Major League Baseball's first move to punish players tied to alleged doping at the Biogenesis lab. League officials didn't go into detail, but a baseball source said Braun, the 2011 National League MVP, had to accept the penalty because of overwhelming evidence he had used a sophisticated doping regimen. Braun insisted he was clean after getting a 2011 positive drug test overturned on a technicality. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

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