Ten Things to Know Today

From our friends at The Week

1.Negotiators reach Ukraine cease-fire deal

Leaders from Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany on Thursday announced a new deal on ending the fighting in eastern Ukraine. The agreement, reached in all-night negotiations, calls for starting a cease-fire between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists on Saturday, Feb. 15, then withdrawing heavy weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin said all sides agreed “on the main issues,” suggesting differences remained. The deal came as the IMF announced a $17 billion emergency bailout for Ukraine, which is on the verge of default.

Source: ReutersThe New York Times

2.Obama makes the case for ISIS war resolution
President Obama on Wednesday asked Congress to give its approval for using military force against the Islamic State, suggesting that “limited” combat troop operations might be necessary to defeat the Islamist extremist group in Iraq and Syria. If unchecked, ISIS “will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States homeland,” Obama said. He added that ISIS was “going to lose.” His proposal asks for authority to use force for three years, and rules out “enduring offensive ground combat operations.”

Source: Fox News

3.House approves Keystone pipeline, setting up Obama veto
The House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Senate has already approved it, so the bill heads to President Obama, who has vowed to veto it because of the pipeline’s potential environmental impact. Advocates of the pipeline, which would carry Canadian tar-sands crude to Gulf Coast refineries, call it a job creator. Republicans vowed to make approval a priority after taking full control of Congress in the 2014 midterms.

Source: The Associated Press

4.Police say Muslim students killed over parking spot, but victims’ father disagrees
Police said Wednesday that a dispute over a parking spot was the motive for the execution-style killings of three young Muslim students in Chapel Hill, N.C. The alleged killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, had posted anti-religious messages on Facebook, lashing out at Christians and Muslims alike. The father of two of the victims — N.C. State students Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19 — called the killings a hate crime, saying Hicks, a neighbor, had quarreled with his daughters before.

Source: Reuters

5.Tiger Woods temporarily drops out of golf
Tiger Woods, once the undisputed king of professional golf, announced Wednesday that he was swearing off tournaments until his game is “tournament-ready.” Woods said he would take time to work on his game. Woods, whose play has suffered as he contended with injuries, said he hoped to return soon. “I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I’m ready, I’ll be back,” he said. “I am committed to getting back to the pinnacle of my game.”

Source: CBS Sports

6.60 Minutes‘ Bob Simon killed in car crash
Veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon was killed Wednesday night in Manhattan when the livery cab he was riding in crashed on the West Side Highway. Simon was in a Lincoln Town Car that sources say collided with a Mercedes before losing control and hitting a pedestrian expansion near 30th Street, the New York Post reports. Simon, who before joining 60 Minutes in 1996 was a foreign reporter, was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he died. He was 73.

Source: New York Post

7.CIA scales down Yemen counterterrorism after embassy closes
The CIA has had to sharply cut back on its counterterrorism work in Yemen following the closure of the U.S. embassy there. The U.S., France, and Britain have all called home their diplomats over security fears after Houthi rebels toppled the government. The CIA then had to pull dozens of its operatives out of the country, reducing the spy agency’s ability to thwart operations by one of al Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliates.

Source: The Washington Post

8.Costa Concordia’s captain convicted of manslaughter
Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino was convicted Wednesday of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years in prison for the fatal wreck of the cruise ship off the Italian coast in 2012. In a rocky 19-month trial, prosecutors depicted Schettino as an cowardly “idiot” who abandoned the capsized ship with passengers still trapped on board. Defense attorneys said Schettino lost his balance and fell into a lifeboat, and was an easy mark for people looking for someone to blame for the wreck, which left 32 people dead.

Source: CNN

9. Little League champs lose crown
Little League Baseball stripped Jackie Robinson West from Chicago of its championship, and suspended its coach for violating a rule against recruiting players from other areas. Little League officials found that leaders of Jackie Robinson West, the first all-African-American team to win the U.S. championship, had met with coaches in nearby Illinois districts to pick up strong players. Little League International CEO Stephen Keener said the “heartbreaking decision” was necessary to promote “fair play.”

Source: ABC News

10.Ex-UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian dies at 84
Hall of Fame basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian has died at the age of 84. Tarkanian spent 19 years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he earned a 509-105 record overall and led the Runnin’ Rebels to four Final Fours and one national title with his high-scoring running offense and stifling defense. Tarkanian’s career was not without controversy, however. The NCAA suspected him of dodgy recruiting practices, and was eventually ousted from UNLV due to alleged gambling ties.

Source: USA TodayESPN


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