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HeadlinesAugust 27, 2014

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Ceasefire Ends 50-Day Israeli Assault of Gaza

Aug 27, 2014

Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to an indefinite ceasefire, ending Israel’s 50-day assault on the Gaza Strip. Palestinian health officials say 2,139 people, most of them civilians, including more than 490 children, were killed in the Israeli offensive. Israel’s death toll stood at 64 soldiers and six civilians, after two people were reportedly killed by mortar fire on Tuesday. The ceasefire deal was mediated by Egyptian officials in Cairo and took effect on Tuesday evening. It calls for an opening of Gaza’s blockaded crossings with Israel and Egypt and a widening of the territory’s fishing zone in the Mediterranean. Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urged both sides to respect the deal.

Stéphane Dujarric: “The children of Gaza and Israel must be able to start the school year without the sound of rocket alarms and airstrikes. After 50 days of profound human suffering and devastating physical destruction, any violation of the ceasefire would be utterly irresponsible.”

We’ll have more on Gaza after headlines.

Report: U.S. Recruiting Allies for Airstrikes in Syria

Aug 27, 2014

The Obama administration is reportedly mobilizing allies for possible U.S. military action in Syria. The New York Times, citing unnamed officials, says Obama is also planning to expand airstrikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq. On Tuesday, Obama vowed to continue action against the militants after they killed journalist James Foley.

President Obama: “But our message to anyone who harms our people is simple: America does not forget. Our reach is long. We are patient. Justice will be done. We have proved time and time again we will do what’s necessary to capture those who harm Americans, to go after those who harm Americans. And we’ll continue to take direct action where needed to protect our people and to defend our homeland.”

U.S. Citizen Killed While Fighting for Islamic State

Aug 27, 2014

An American citizen has been killed while fighting for Islamic State in Syria. Douglas McAuthur McCain was killed by rebels fighting for the Free Syrian Army.

Afghan Candidate Boycotts Audit of Presidential Vote

Aug 27, 2014

Afghanistan is facing a fresh crisis over its presidential election with one of the leading candidates reportedly boycotting an audit of the vote. The move by Abdullah Abdullah has disrupted a U.N. audit aimed at resolving claims of fraud from both sides. It also comes amid tensions between the United States and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Karzai’s spokesperson told Reuters Tuesday Karzai will not attend a key NATO summit next week because he disagrees with the United States over the future of troops in Afghanistan.

NATO Plans New Bases in Eastern Europe over Ukraine Crisis

Aug 27, 2014

NATO is planning to set up new bases in eastern Europe in response to the crisis in Ukraine. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told The Guardian the organization would approve a plan at a summit next week to deter Russian incursions by deploying troops on Russia’s borders. The announcement came as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met for talks in Belarus.

British Nurse Receives Experimental Ebola Drug

Aug 27, 2014

A British nurse who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone has received the experimental drug ZMapp. The drug maker previously said supplies were exhausted after it went to two U.S. missionaries, three Liberian doctors and a Spanish priest. The priest and one of the doctors have died.

Peaceful Protests Resume in Ferguson and St. Louis

Aug 27, 2014

Peaceful protests have resumed in Ferguson, Missouri, after the funeral of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The unarmed black teen was shot dead by police on August 9. Demonstrators in St. Louis demanded justice for both Brown and Kajieme Powell, an African-American man shot dead by St. Louis police 10 days after Brown. Police say Powell brandished a knife within four feet of officers, but video calls their account into question and shows he was shot within 20 seconds of the officers’ arrival. At a rally Tuesday, community activist Taurean Russell said he had spoken with Brown’s father.

Taurean Russell: “I talked to the father (Michael Brown Sr.) today. He said that the pursuit of justice does not end with a funeral, it begins with the funeral, because people saw that body, they heard the cries, the mother was crying, and they said, 'Keep going.' So I’m going to keep going.”

Coroner’s Report: Handcuffed Black Youth Shot Himself in Chest

Aug 27, 2014

New information has emerged about the death of a 22-year-old African American in police custody in March. Louisiana State Police have claimed Victor White III shot himself in the back inside an Iberia Parish police cruiser while his hands were cuffed behind him. A coroner’s report obtained by NBC News contradicts that claim, saying he was shot in the chest. But it still concludes he killed himself. White’s family says he had a new baby and would not have committed suicide.

Tennessee: Sheriff’s Officer Fired After Photos Show Him Choking Student

Aug 27, 2014

In Tennessee, a Knox County Sheriff’s officer has been fired after photographs showed him choking a college student until he collapsed. A sequence of photographs published in Britain’s Daily Mail showed Officer Frank Phillips squeezing his hands around Jarod Dotson’s neck until Dotson fell to his knees. Police charged Dotson with public intoxication and resisting arrest.

Burger King Deal Renews Criticism of Corporate “Tax Inversions”

Aug 27, 2014

Burger King is buying the Canadian coffee-and-donut chain Tim Hortons for $11.4 billion, creating the third largest fast-food chain in the world. The newly created firm will be headquartered in Canada where the corporate tax rate is lower than in the United States. While Burger King denies it was motivated by lower taxes, the deal has revived the debate over so-called tax inversions, whereby U.S. companies use mergers to move overseas and avoid U.S. tax rates.

Water Shutoffs Resume in Detroit, Michigan

Aug 27, 2014

In Michigan, the city of Detroit has resumed water shutoffs to residents who have fallen behind on their bills. The shutoffs were halted for a month after local protests and criticism from U.N. experts who called them a violation of the right to water. Detroit will now allow residents who can pay 10 percent of their balance to enter a payment plan, but some residents in the economically devastated city still cannot afford to pay.

TEPCO Ordered to Pay Damages in Fukushima Suicide Case

Aug 27, 2014

A Japanese court has ordered the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to pay damages to the family of a woman who killed herself after she was forced to evacuate due to radiation. TEPCO will pay the family of Hamako Watanabe the equivalent of $470,000. It is the first time a court has ordered TEPCO to pay damages for the 2011 nuclear meltdown.

Report: 1,400 Children Sexually Exploited in British Town

Aug 27, 2014

A new report has revealed 1,400 children were sexually exploited over a 16-year period in a single British town. The report’s author, professor Alexis Jay, found leaders in Rotherham knew of the abuse years ago but failed to act.

Alexis Jay: “It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse the child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators. They were trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England. They were abducted, beaten and intimidated. There were examples of children being doused with petrol and threatened with being set alight. They were threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be the next if they told anyone.”

Climate Report Warns Most Fossil Fuels Must Remain in the Ground

Aug 27, 2014

A new draft of a United Nations report warns climate change could become “irreversible” if greenhouse gas emissions go unchecked. The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained by media outlets, says human-driven warming has already fueled extreme heat and rains, as temperatures have risen 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since pre-industrial times. While the report says it could still be possible to cap warming at the globally agreed-upon limit of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, it warns a continued rise in emissions could eventually cause an eight-degree Fahrenheit rise, prompting mass extinction of plants and animals and catastrophic floods. If global warming is to be adequately contained, the report says, at least three-quarters of known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground.

Report: Obama Seeking Climate Accord in Lieu of Binding Treaty

Aug 27, 2014

The new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report comes as President Obama is said to be seeking a nonbinding climate accord in lieu of a binding global treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The New York Times reports U.S. negotiators are crafting a proposal that would not require congressional approval and would see countries pledge to cut emissions on a voluntary basis.

9-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Shoots Instructor with Uzi During Lesson

Aug 27, 2014

In Arizona, a 9-year-old girl has accidentally shot and killed an instructor who was teaching her how to use an Uzi submachine gun. Police say the gun’s powerful recoil caused the girl to lose control and shoot the instructor in the head.

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