10 things you need to know today about yesterday January 20th Edition

10 things10. Amazon, fresh off TV success, decides to make movies, too

Amazon announced Monday that it would begin producing and buying films for streaming on its Prime Instant Video service. The movies will be available for Amazon customers a month or two after they are released in theaters — down from a delay of up to a year for new films now. The move marks a big step deeper into original content production for the online retail giant a week after one of its original shows, Transparent, won a Golden Globe for best TV series. [The New York Times]

9. Oil spills into the Yellowstone River

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) declared a state of emergency on Monday for two counties on the Yellowstone River after a pipeline burst, contaminating drinking water with oil. Bridger Pipeline shut down the 12-inch Poplar pipeline, but not before as many as 50,400 gallons of light Bakken crude flowed into the Yellowstone. Truckloads of drinking water were dispatched to the eastern Montana city of Glendive on Monday after traces of oil were detected in water at the city’s treatment plant. [Fox News]

8. IMF slashes global economic forecast

The International Monetary Fund has cut its global economic growth forecast by the most in three years. In a report released late Monday, the IMF said it expected the world economy to grow by 3.5 percent in 2015, down from the 3.8 percent it projected in October, and by 3.7 percent in 2016, down from a projection of 4 percent in October. Expectations were down just about everywhere but the U.S., despite the economic boost many countries are getting from lower oil prices. [Bloomberg]

7. Massive Chechnya protests target Charlie Hebdo cartoons

Hundreds of thousands of people in Russia’s Chechnya region protested on Monday against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that were published in Charlie Hebdo. Two Islamist extremist gunmen, claiming they were avenging cartoons mocking Islam, killed 12 people at the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine on Jan. 7. Over the weekend, 10 people died when 45 churches in the predominantly Muslim African country of Niger were burned in protests against the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. [USA Today]

6. Batman movie-theater massacre trial begins

The trial of James Holmes for the 2012 Aurora, Colorado, movie theater massacre begins in Denver with jury selection on Tuesday. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting. He is accused of bursting into a midnight showing of a then-newly released Batman movie and opening fire, killing 12 people and injuring another 70. More than 9,000 potential jurors have been called, and selecting 12 jurors and 12 alternates from the unprecedentedly large pool could take months. [The Christian Science Monitor]

5. Overpass collapses, killing a construction worker in Cincinnati

A construction worker was killed late Monday when an old overpass on Interstate 75 in Cincinnati collapsed while it was undergoing demolition. Authorities could not immediately say what went wrong, but something caused a “catastrophic pancake collapse” of the bridge, killing the worker. The driver of a semi-tractor trailer was taken to a hospital with minor injuries after crashing into the rubble. The city is launching an investigation. The damaged section of the interstate could be closed for days. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

4. Alleged Israeli strike kills Iranian general in Syria

An airstrike attributed to Israel killed Gen. Mohammed Allahdadi of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard who was advising Syrian troops in the Syrian Golan Heights, according to reports published on Monday. Tehran said the strike also killed several ranking members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which also has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime against rebels. Israel typically does not comment on such attacks, but Reuters reported that an Israeli security official confirmed that Israel launched the strike. [NPR]

3. Ceremonies honor MLK amid protests of police killings of unarmed black men

Americans held tributes to Martin Luther King Jr. across the nation on Monday, with some observers of the holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader repeating the “Black lives matter” rallying cry of recent protests against police killings of unarmed African-American men. More than 1,800 people attended a service at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King preached, some holding “I can’t breathe” signs in memory of Eric Garner, who died in New York City after being put in a chokehold. [Reuters]

2. Obama enters State of the Union with rising approval ratings

President Obama heads into his State of the Union address Tuesday night with his approval ratings rising as the economy improves. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday puts Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent, the highest level since spring 2013. His current standing is nine percentage points higher than in December and seven higher than in October, just before Republicans regained the majority in the Senate. It will be the first time Obama has faced a Congress fully controlled by Republicans. [The Washington Post]

1. ISIS threatens to kill two Japanese hostages

The Islamic State released a video Tuesday showing two Japanese hostages, and threatening to kill them unless Japan pays $200 million in ransom within 72 hours. Tokyo said it was working on verifying the authenticity of the video, and that it would be outraged if the men shown wearing orange jumpsuits in the clip, identified as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa, were harmed. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the world needs to “deal with terrorists without giving into them.” [CNN]

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