OBAMA OKs AIR STRIKES, AID DROPS FOR IRAQ President Obama announced late last night that he has authorized both air strikes and aid drops in Iraq. “Today America is coming to help,” he said. However, he was quick to stress that the U.S. would avoid putting boots on the ground at all costs. About 5,300 gallons of fresh drinking water and 8,000 pre-packaged meals were delivered to thousands of members of the Yazidi minority, who are trapped on the top of Mount Sinjar. You can read the full text of Obama’s speech here. [AP]
ISRAEL, HAMAS RESUME FIGHTING “Israel and militants from Gaza resumed cross-border attacks on Friday, after a three-day truce expired and talks brokered by Egypt on a new border deal for the blockaded coastal territory hit a deadlock.” Israeli officials stated they would not consider peace options until Hamas stopped launching rockets. [AP]
‘THERE ARE NO PATIENTS’ People are avoiding Sierra Leone’s top hospital where countless citizens have died from Ebola. Philippe Barboza, the head of the World Health Organization's regional office, said the public perception is “the farther one is from the hospital, the better … Even to have a meeting here is difficult.” The WHO officially declared Ebola an international public health emergency. The FDA has cleared the way for another experimental drug to combat the virus. The families of U.S. embassy workers in Liberia have been ordered to leave for their safety. Meanwhile, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said he was "confident there will not be a large Ebola outbreak in the United States." [Story, Image via NYT]
UKRAINIAN REBEL LEADER RESIGNS The Russian leader of the Ukrainian rebel movement abruptly resigned yesterday. Alexander Borodai, who was the public face of the movement after the shooting down of MH17, gave no reason for his stepping down, other than stating “he considered the job of founding the republic to be finished and that it was time for a Ukrainian to take the reins.” [CNN]
DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR HAWAII The islands are bracing for a tropical storm, which will be followed by a category three hurricane. It's been 22 years since Hawaii was struck by a comparably strong storm. [HuffPost]
BIG BROTHER’S LOOKING OUT FOR YOU Google’s leveraging its clout to increase internet security: From now on, if websites encrypt users' information, Google will list their results higher in searches than websites that don’t. [WaPo]
VITAMIN D, ALZHEIMERS CORRELATION “Elderly people with a moderate-to-severe Vitamin D deficiency are significantly more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published this week, confirming a link that was much stronger than what the researchers had anticipated … The team found that adults who were moderately deficient in Vitamin D were 53% more likely to develop a form of dementia; those with a severe deficiency were 125% more likely to be stricken with the disease.” [Time]
LEBRON GOT HIS LOVE The Wolves and Cavaliers have agreed to trade Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. According to Nate Silver, the trade statistically guarantees Cleveland a shot at the championship. [ESPN]
THE MONEY’S ALWAYS IN THE BANANA STAND Netflix has officially renewed “Arrested Development” for a fifth season. Looks like your favorite crazy family will be back for more roofie circles. [HuffPost]
TALKING TURTLES VS. TALKING RACCOONS While “Guardians of the Galaxy” dominated the box office last weekend, Michael Bay’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” may give it a run for its money this time around. [Story, Image via Entertainment Weekly]
MOVIE IN A BOX Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone are bringing The Lonely Island to the big screen. Judd Apatow will direct the hilarious trio. [Variety]
DON’T SLEEP IN YOUR CONTACT LENSES "‘It's like having a plastic bag over your head when you sleep,’ says Dr. Rebecca Taylor, M.D., an ophthalmologist in private practice in Nashville, Tenn., and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). ‘It's not ideal for oxygen exchange.’" [HuffPost]
HANGER HATE IS REAL Get over your visceral dislike of clothes hangers, and you’ll finally stop leaving your clothes on the floor -- we promise. [HuffPost]
HERE’S HOURS OF YOUR LIFE BACK Every food prep hack you’ve ever wanted is here. You’re welcome. [HuffPost]
ON THE BLOG
DENNIS KUCINICH: GET RID OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS “We must work together to support all efforts to get rid of nuclear weapons, not through appeals to violence but through the instinct to celebrate life. Let us find a path to love so that we can dismantle the destructive forces within our own hearts, which paralyze any sense of compassion necessary for the survival of all life on this planet. Let us build technologies for sustainability, and peace.” [HuffPost]
WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW
~ Depressing fact of the day -- we eat over half of our meals alone.
~ Prince William has a new job, and no, it’s not as a professional ribbon cutter.
~ A toddler squeezed through the White House fence.
~ These parents, who thought their four-year-old daughter had died ten years ago after being swept away in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, were reunited with her this week.
~ Putting a cracker on a dog’s nose is super confusing for all involved.
~ And here’s how to “pregame like a grown-up” -- whatever that means.
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