Today’s Top World News from The Washington Post

Today’s Top World News from The Washington Post


Morning Mix Headlines: Garth Brooks returns with new music and a new tour, on his own terms; Meet America’s richest families; The Mississippi doctor who tried — and ultimately failed — to cure a child with HIV; Ebola claims more lives; In honor of 7/11: How Japan slurped up 7-Eleven; Beyoncé and Jay Z are bringing ‘On The Run’ to HBO



- Rockets from both Gaza and Lebanon strike Israel-- Rocket fire from both Gaza and Lebanon struck Israel Friday morning as fears of a possible Israeli ground invasion rose in the Gaza Strip as Israel issued warnings to residents of the coastal enclave’s northeast corner, advising them to leave their border-area homes and stay away. A rocket from Hamas-controlled Gaza hit a gas station in the Israeli city of Ashdod, seriously injuring one and wounding two others, the Israeli military said. Israel’s air force said the site of the rocket launch was hit in an airstrike soon after the station was hit. Rockets were also intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system over Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial capital. By William Booth, Ruth Eglash and Griff Witte


- Russian official says extension of Snowden’s asylum likely soon-- Russia will likely approve NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s application to continue his asylum in the next few days, a Russian migration official said Friday. “I do not see any problem in extending the temporary political asylum,” Vladimir Volokh, head of a key advisory council to Russia’s federal migration service, told Russian news service Interfax. “Circumstances have not changed. Snowden’s life is still in danger; therefore the Federal Migration Service has every basis to prolong his status.” Snowden’s Russian attorney, Anatoly Kucherena, told reporters on Wednesday that Snowden had formally applied to stay in Russia past the expiration of his current temporary asylum on July 31. By Karoun Demirjian


- Kerry pushes for solution in Afghan election dispute-- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the Afghan capital Friday to push for a resolution to a weeks-long political crisis centered on the country’s fraud-hit presidential election. The dispute over last month’s run-off has U.S. officials worried Afghanistan, already roiled by a Taliban-led insurgency, could collapse before its first democratic transfer of power. Kerry was scheduled to meet both rival candidates — ex-foreign minister, Abdullah Abdullah, and World Bank executive, Ashraf Ghani. He met earlier Friday with Afghan President Karzai and United Nations officials here. The U.S. has threatened to cut financial assistance to Afghanistan, which relies heavily on foreign aid to stay afloat, if the two sides do not end the impasse. By Erin Cunningham


- Germany orders CIA station chief to leave over spying allegations-- The German government ordered the CIA’s top officer in Berlin to leave the country Thursday in an extraordinary escalation of a conflict between the two allies over U.S. espionage. The move amounts to a high-profile expression of German anger over alleged CIA operations uncovered by German investigators in recent weeks, as well as continued public outrage over the exposure last year of widespread U.S. surveillance programs whose targets included Chancellor Angela Merkel. A spokesman for the German government, Steffen Seibert, confirmed the expulsion of the CIA station chief in a statement that made clear Berlin regards U.S. espionage efforts as a breach of trust. By Greg Miller and Stephanie Kirchner





- ‘The bear is loose’: Is Obama breaking free or running away?-- Bears, beer and horse heads: What exactly is going on with the leader of the free world? On a single day this week in Denver, President Obama scarfed down pizza and drinks with strangers, shot pool with Colorado’s governor and shook hands with a guy on the street wearing a horse mask. His top staffers are promoting these stops on Twitter with the hashtag #TheBearIsLoose — a term one of Obama’s aides coined in 2008 when the candidate would defy his schedule. More than five years into his presidency, Obama is trying to free himself from the constraints of office, whether by strolling on the Mall or hopscotching the country as part of a campaign-style tour. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer says the president “just wants to get out” and influence “our overall political conversation” by connecting with ordinary Americans. By Juliet Eilperin


- GovBeat: How many state legislative seats are up for election in 2014?-- Election Day isn’t just about control of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives, or even gubernatorial races in more than 30 states. Voters who head to the polls Nov. 4 will also decide which party controls 91 legislative chambers across the country. From northern Maine to San Diego, from the Orcas Islands in Washington to the Florida Keys, 6,049 of the country’s 7,383 state legislative seats are on the ballot this year. Legislative seats from 46 states are on the ballot this year. That includes some 4,957 state House seats, and 1,092 state Senate seats. At least half the Senate and the entire House is up for grabs in 45 states; Nebraska, the lone oddball, has a unicameral, nominally nonpartisan legislature. By Reid Wilson


- The Federal Eye: A brief history of the federal government’s information-security problems-- U.S. officials confirmed Thursday that hackers may have breached an Office of Personnel Management’s network that contains personal information about federal employees. Details of the impacts of the attack are sparse at this time, but cybersecurity experts said the incident could have compromised an OPM program for processing security-clearance applications. The system contains sensitive data that ranges from financial and travel histories to the names of applicants’ children, relatives, neighbors and close friends. By Josh Hicks and Alice Crites


- The Fix: Re-re-re-debunking the Benghazi ‘stand down’ rumors-- Testimony from closed-door interviews with military leaders who were stationed in Tripoli on the night of September 11, 2012, should lay to rest the rumor that American forces were told to "stand down" instead of traveling to Benghazi to assist in repelling the terror attacks that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other men. But it almost certainly won't lay the rumor to rest, since the testimony was already essentially public. The Associated Press reported on Thursday that there was an order given "to remain in Tripoli and protect some three dozen embassy personnel rather than fly to Benghazi some 600 miles away after all Americans there would have been evacuated" -- an order that has been mischaracterized, according to the officers involved. By Philip Bump


- In Texas trip, Obama highlights optimistic news about economy--President Obama has made one thing clear while traveling from the Rocky Mountains to Texas this week: The economy is the best it has been in years and is only getting better. Obama has seized on five months of job growth to describe the economy in optimistic terms, cutting back on some of his usual caveats and declaring that his administration’s policies helped build a foundation for the economy to do well. “There’s almost no economic measure by which we are not better off now than we were when I took office,” Obama said at a Dallas fundraiser Wednesday night. “We are indisputably better than when I was elected — in part because we took some really tough decisions early.” By Katie Zezima



- Netflix has hits, Emmys and subscribers. But can it survive its fight with cable?-- Reed Hastings, the lanky and goateed chief executive of Netflix, is on a mission: to turn his company into the Internet’s first television network. On Thursday, Netflix collected 31 Emmy nominations for its shows, more than double its haul last year, for hit programs such as “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards.” Last month, the company surprised the TV industry by signing comedian Chelsea Handler for a talk show that will be exclusive to Netflix subscribers, the latest move by the company to prove that it can create high-quality programs. “We are defining the way consumer entertainment ought to work,” Hastings said in an interview at Netflix’s headquarters. The company that took down Blockbuster and transformed how people watch movies — even as analysts predicted its demise a number of times along the way — now has its eyes set on television. By Cecilia Kang


- Fed official urges financial stability mandate-- Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on Thursday suggested that banking regulators should seriously consider broadening their goals to include financial stability as policymakers around the world debate strategies for preventing another global crisis. Fischer argued that an explicit stability mandate could give regulators more firepower to combat risks as they emerge. The issue of how central bankers should address nascent bubbles has become a flash point in economics, with some worrying that years of ultralow interest rates and easy monetary policy could be fueling hidden excesses. In a speech in Cambridge for the National Bureau of Economic Research — his first as vice chairman — Fischer warned that the U.S. structure for overseeing the financial system may not be up to its task. By Ylan Q. Mui


- Samsung accused of using child labor in China, again-- Samsung is facing accusations that one of its Chinese suppliers uses child labor. The New York-based watchdog China Labor Watch (CLW) published a report Thursday about a factory known as Shinyang Electronics, which provides parts for cellphones sold by Samsung.  The group said that  by the third day of its “undercover investigation,” it had found five workers under 16 were working at the Shinyang Electronics factory. The workers did not have contracts, worked 11 hours a day, and were underpaid, according to the group’s report. The accusation conflicts with a report published in June by Samsung, which said an external audit examined 94,236 employees working for its 138 suppliers in China in 2013, and “no instances of child labor were found.” At the time of audit report, Samsung was already under fire in South Korea, where the company was accused of making its own workers sick and even causing death from chemicals released from a Samsung’s chip factory. By Jiaxi Lu


- Payday lender Ace Cash Express to pay $10 million over debt-collection practices-- When customers fell behind on repaying their short-term, small-dollar loans, Ace Cash Express threatened jail time or pressured them into taking out new loans with exorbitant fees to cover the debt. Ace was so intent on squeezing money out of customers that its training manual included a graphic of a step-by-step loan process that could trap delinquent borrowers in a cycle of debt, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday. Those sorts of abusive debt-collection practices are at the heart of the $10 million settlement the government watchdog reached with Ace, one of the nation’s largest payday lenders. The Irving, Tex.-based company agreed to the deal but denies wrongdoing. By Danielle Douglas


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