The Brief

FIFA Vice President Prince Ali bin Al Hussein speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Kuala Lumpur on March 21, 2012.
Lai Seng Sin—AP

U.S. Takes Side in FIFA Vote

The U.S. delegate in Friday's FIFA presidential election will vote for Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Hussein rather than embattled incumbent Sepp Blatter, the head of U.S. Soccer said Thursday, in the wake of a corruption scandal that has rocked the global soccer community

Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, and Gokul Venkatachalam, St. Louis Missouri lift the trophy after becoming co-champions after the final round of the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee

National Spelling Bee Ends With Co-Champions Again

In a dramatic, flawless final round, two eighth-graders proved to be joint winners at the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Vanya Shivashanka, 13, and Gokul Venkatachalam, 14, put both their hands on the trophy and thrust it into the air on Thursday evening

House Speaker Dennis Hastert sits for a portrait in his Capitol Hill office on June 15, 2007.

Former House Speaker Indicted on Bank-Related Charges

Federal prosecutors announced charges against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, 73, on Thursday, accusing him of structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000


How Disbanding the Iraqi Army Fueled ISIS

The U.S. decision 12 years ago has provided the enemy with some of its best commanders and fighters, officials say. Instead of giving Iraq a fresh start with a new army, it helped create a vacuum that ISIS has filled

Homicide Spike Baltimore

Baltimore Sees Worst Month for Homicides in 15 Years

Thirty-eight people have been killed in Baltimore so far this month, the deadliest in 15 years for a city still recovering from the protests surrounding the death of Freddie Gray. The increase comes as arrests in May are down 56% compared with last year

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at a town hall meeting at the Londonderry Lions Club in Londonderry, N.H., on April 15, 2015.

Chris Christie to Pull New Jersey Out of Common Core

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will announce Thursday he is pulling his state out of the Common Core education standards, bowing to pressure from teachers and parents, as well as conservative fears about government overreach

Urban Cowboy

Urban Cowboy Remake Is in Development at Fox

Fox is developing a remake of Urban Cowboy, the 1980 movie that starred John Travolta as a young cowboy looking for love in a Houston bar. The network has commissioned a script from Craig Brewer, who would also direct the pilot if it advances

Death Penalty Nebraska

Which State Will Be Next to Abolish the Death Penalty?

Nebraska became the first Republican-leaning state in four decades to abolish the death penalty on Wednesday, the latest signal that momentum is on the side of those who oppose capital punishment. Several more states will likely outlaw the practice soon


California Drought Leads City to Cancel Fireworks

The city of Cupertino in central California announced this week that its annual fireworks display had been canceled because the field where it's held requires 100,000 gallons of water, which is too much in the midst of a severe drought

Rescue personnel search the floodwaters along Brays Bayou in southwest Houston, Texas

Flash Flood Warning for Texas

The National Weather Service issued a new flash flood warning for Texas on Thursday, as the state reels from extreme flooding that has killed at least 17 people. Even "short periods of rain" could produce new floods in the already saturated state, the warning said

full house lori loughlin john stamos

Lori Loughlin Will Join Fuller House

Aunt Becky is back, as Lori Loughlin says she will be part of the upcoming Full House spin-off Fuller House, premiering next year on Netflix. Loughlin, 50, is eager to reunite with her former cast mates and longtime friends

teenager skateboard

U.S. Teens Are Smoking and Drinking Less

The latest statistics on teenagers paint a rosy portrait of American teens: they're drinking, smoking and bullying less than they used to, and fewer are getting pregnant. Here's a snapshot based on several recent reports