10 Things You Need to Know About Yesterday January 29th 2015 Edition

10 things10. Joel Grey comes out at age 82

Broadway legend Joel Grey, father of Dirty Dancing-star Jennifer Grey, came out as gay in an interview published in People magazine this week. Grey, 82, said he had told his family about his sexual orientation years ago, but kept it private until now. “I don’t like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man,” he said. Jennifer Grey said she was “very happy” that her Tony- and Oscar-winning had found the freedom to “love and accept” his true self.

Source: Mirror

9. Judge vacates Friendship Nine’s 1961 sit-in convictions

A South Carolina judge on Wednesday threw out the convictions of the Friendship Nine, a group of black men jailed for trespassing in 1961 after they sat at a whites-only lunch counter to protest racial segregation. A prosecutor apologized for the state, and Circuit Judge John Hayes said, “We cannot rewrite history but we can right history.” The men, then students at Friendship Junior College in Rock Hill, chose to serve 30 days of hard labor instead of paying $100 fines, launching the civil rights movement’s “jail, no bail” strategy.

Source: The State, CNN

8. Malaysia declares airliner’s 2014 disappearance an accident

Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday formally declared the March 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident. Officials also said none of the 239 passengers and crew survived. The declaration cleared the way for relatives to receive compensation. No trace of the airliner, which was traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, has been found despite an international search covering 5,300 square miles in the southern Indian Ocean, where the plane was presumed to have crashed.

Source: BBC News

7. Raul Castro demands Guantanamo’s return before relations resume

Cuban leader Raul Castro said on Wednesday that his country would not reestablish full diplomatic relations with the U.S. until Washington gives back the Guantanamo Bay military base and lifts a decades-old trade embargo. Castro and President Obama announced in December that the two countries were moving toward renewing relations by reopening their embassies. John Caulfield, former chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, said Castro’s statement might be an attempt to manage his people’s “huge expectation of change,” rather than a sign the thaw is doomed.

Source: The New York Times

6. Stanford swimmer charged with rape

A Stanford University swimmer, freshman Brock Allen Turner, has been charged with raping an unconscious woman on the campus of the California school. The alleged attack occurred over the weekend. Two witnesses who were riding by on bicycles caught Turner as he ran away. The victim, who was intoxicated, met Turner at a party. She was not a student. Turner voluntarily left the school and has been banned from campus. The news surfaced the same day that two Vanderbilt football players were convicted of raping a fellow student.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

5. Supreme Court puts Oklahoma executions on hold

The Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked three Oklahoma executions until it could review the state’s controversial three-drug lethal injection procedure. Lawyers for the condemned men argue that Oklahoma is experimenting on them by using the sedative midazolam — the first drug administered in the execution — because it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a general anesthetic. The state has asked if it could resume executions if it found a replacement drug, and the court did not rule out that possibility.

Source: USA Today

4. New Greek leader halts privatization plans

Greece’s new prime minister, anti-austerity leader Alexis Tsipras, on Wednesday abruptly ordered a halt to privatization plans called for under the recession-ravaged country’s international bailout. The move was a direct challenge to Greece’s European creditors, whose aid Greece needs to pay its massive public debts. Germany has warned it would not negotiate Greece’s $270 billion bailout package. The clash spooked investors, dragging down financial markets.

Source: Reuters

3. Hezbollah missile attack on Israeli convoy kills three

Two Israeli soldiers and a United Nations peacekeeper were killed in a missile attack on an Israeli military convoy in a disputed area near the Israel-Lebanon border, IDF officials said Wednesday. The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility. The attack threatened to escalate tensions between the longtime enemies. Israel responded by dispatching helicopters and firing at least 35 artillery shells into Lebanon, according to Lebanese security officials.

Source: The New York Times

2. Attorney general nominee defends Obama on immigration

Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch in a Wednesday confirmation hearing defended President Obama’s executive actions protecting millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. Skeptical Republicans grilled Lynch on whether she would do things differently than outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, whom they accused of being adversarial toward Congress and too close to Obama. “If confirmed as attorney general,” Lynch said, “I would be myself. I would be Loretta Lynch.”

1. ISIS gives Jordan until sundown to release imprisoned terrorist

ISIS has released an audio message in which a person purported to be Japanese hostage Kenji Goto says the Islamist extremist group will kill captured Jordanian fighter pilot Mu’ath al-Kasaesbeh unless Jordan releases a failed suicide bomber by sundown Thursday. ISIS had previously tied the lives of both Goto and the pilot to the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, a woman imprisoned for her involvement in a 2005 botched suicide attack in Amman. The new message only mentions al-Kasaesbeh’s fate, not Goto’s.

Source: NBC News

%d bloggers like this: