HUFFINGTON POST
08/21/2014 07:56 am ET

Thursday's Morning Email: U.S. Attempted To Rescue James Foley

TOP STORIES

HOLDER: ‘NEED CONCRETE ACTION TO CHANGE THINGS IN THIS COUNTRY’ “Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that the ‘eyes of the nation and the world’ are on this small suburb of St. Louis where an unarmed teenager was shot and killed by police earlier this month. The issues raised by Michael Brown's death, Holder said, have simmered ‘beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson.’” Meanwhile, video of Tuesday’s fatal police shooting of Kajieme Powell contradicts St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson's version of events. Protests last night were much calmer. The cop who threatened to kill protesters on Tuesday has been put on indefinite leave. And while the name of Darren Wilson has been released, the lack of public information about the officer leaves him “an enigma.” [HuffPost]

U.S. TROOPS TRIED TO RESCUE FOLEY “President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, the Obama administration said Wednesday. Officials said the rescue mission was authorized after intelligence agencies believed they had identified the location inside Syria where the hostages were being held. But the several dozen special operations forces dropped by aircraft into Syria did not find them at that location and engaged in a firefight with Islamic State militants before departing, killing several militants.” ISIS had tried to ransom Foley for $132 million before deciding to execute him. Experts are still trying to decipher who the executioner is, and British Intelligence is worried that he might be a radicalized British citizen. Foley’s parents spoke to the press yesterday, giving heartbreaking tributes to their son and his work. And here’s why radical Islamists often behead their victims. [AP]

THREE SENIOR HAMAS OFFICIALS KILLED Hamas confirmed an Israeli airstrike killed three of its most senior leaders. UNICEF stated that the cost of war in Gaza has been severely underestimated. And as the conflict continues to escalate, it “has brought the secretive guerrilla army of Hamas out of the shadows and into battle against Israel's military for only the second time.”

BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ? “American fighter jets and drones continued to pound Islamic State militants in Iraq Wednesday, and military planners weighed the possibility of sending a small number of additional U.S. troops to Baghdad, U.S. officials said, even as the insurgents threatened to kill a second American captive in retribution for any continued attacks.” [AP]

AMERICAN EBOLA PATIENTS TO BE RELEASED Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, American missionaries who were infected with Ebola, are set to be released later today from Emory University Hospital. Three Liberian health care workers who were also given the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp appear to be recovering. According to the World Health Organization, over 1,350 people have died from the epidemic, and this infographic pinpoints the epicenter of each of the major outbreaks.

GENERAL NAMED THAILAND'S PRIME MINISTER “Three months after overthrowing Thailand's last elected government, this Southeast Asian nation's junta leader is stepping out of his army uniform for good — to take up the post of prime minister in a move critics say will only extend his time at the helm and consolidate the military's grip on power. Thailand's junta-appointed legislature voted unanimously Thursday to name Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha to the new job during a session in Bangkok.” [USA Today]

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU “Some customers of The UPS Store may have had their credit and debit card information exposed by a computer virus found on systems at 51 stores in 24 states. A spokeswoman for UPS says the information includes names, card numbers and postal and email addresses from about 100,000 transactions between Jan. 20 and Aug. 11.” [HuffPost]

CHECK YOUR PEANUT BUTTER “A possible salmonella contamination has led Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Safeway brands of peanut butter to be recalled by the company that makes them, nSpired Natural Foods, Inc., according to the Food and Drug Administration. There have also been recalls for almond and peanut butters made by Arrowhead Mills and MaraNatha after nSpired Natural Foods said there was four reports of illnesses possibly related to their spreads.” [Story, Image via Buzzfeed]

WHAT’S BREWING

CURT SCHILLING DISCUSSES CANCER TREATMENT “Schilling said doctors created a pliable mask to put on his face, an implement the former pitcher said was ‘the straitjacket for when they are giving you radiation...The first day I went in, they clamped [the mask] down, they do the radiation into the tumors,’ Schilling said. ‘The second day they did it. And about the third day I started developing almost a phobia and I literally had to be medicated for the seven weeks to go and do that. I couldn't control myself under the mask.’” [ESPN]

KANYE, MCCARTNEY TEAMUP IS HAPPENING Here’s the first instagram proof of the collaboration. [Story, Image via Vulture]

NO HIDDEN EX REFERENCES?!?! Looks like T-Swift won’t be giving the gossip rags much to go on with her new album “1989.” According to Swift, "[RED] was a devastating record … It was about dealing with an intense heartbreak and '1989' is about the phase after that where you brush yourself off and you're ok." [Fusion]

GET OFF THE COUCH Here are 19 reasons you should put on your running shoes. [HuffPost]

THE STUDENT LOAN APOCALYPSE IS HERE Beware the following charts: they spell doom for the country’s student loan system. [HuffPost]

DRAKE AND RIHANNA: WILL THEY OR WON’T THEY The music superstars may be back together. [Vanity Fair]

ON THE BLOG

’STOP CALLING IT MORNING SICKNESS’ “The best way I can describe the feeling to someone who has never experienced nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is that it's like having food poisoning all the time for months on end … If we all start treating nausea and vomiting of pregnancy like a medical condition worthy of treatment, sympathy and support, it will go a long way toward helping women have a more physically and emotionally comfortable 10 months.”[HuffPost]

WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

~ Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” music video puts “Baby Got Back” to shame.

~ You can watch Anna Wintour get her hair wet for the ALS ice bucket challenge. That sound you hear in the background is every former Vogue intern cackling with glee.

~ This baby French bulldog jumping into his owner’s arms will make your day.

~ Here’s what the size of your wedding means for your marriage.

~ Uber just made it possible to call a car from basically any app on your phone, in case it was just too difficult to hit a few extra buttons to get a ride.

~ And meet the baby gorilla who is a doppelganger for Brad Pitt at the beginning of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

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