The Brief

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Marco Longari—AFP/Getty Images

72-Hour Cease-Fire in Gaza

The cease-fire begins Friday at 8 a.m. local time and will allow both sides to negotiate while the dead are buried and the injured receive aid. More than 1,400 Palestinians and dozens of Israelis have died since the strikes began earlier this month

CDC Ebola

Ebola Patient Headed to the U.S.

Emory University Hospital in Atlanta announced that it expects to receive a patient with the Ebola disease within the "next several days"

Wreckage of vehicles are seen amongst debris after an explosion in Kaohsiung

Taiwan: Gas Explosions Kill 24

A series of underground gas explosions killed 24 people and injured 271 others late on Thursday in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second-largest city

Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan delivers remarks at a Council on Foreign Relations forum in Washington on March 11, 2014.

Hacking Bad: CIA Says Sorry for Senate Snooping

A report from the CIA's inspector general faulted agency employees for accessing Senate staffers' computers during an investigation into CIA interrogation practices. In a reversal of his previous comments, CIA director John Brennan apologized for the overreach

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CDC Issues Travel Warning in Face of Ebola Outbreak

Calling the disease a "dreadful and merciless virus," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director advised against all nonessential travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in response to the outbreak ravaging those West African countries

Former North Korean defectors living in South Korea release balloons containing snacks called "Choco Pie" and anti-Pyongyang leaflets near DMZ in Ganghwa

Activists Send Choco Pies Floating Into North Korea

A year after North Korea cracked down on Choco Pies — marshmallow-filled chocolate cakes originating from South Korea — activists from the south sent thousands of the beloved confections over the border via helium balloons

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City on July 30, 2014.

Dow Plunges Over 300 Points

Geopolitical worries weighed on investors Thursday, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping 317 points — its biggest drop since February. In addition to the Dow’s sharp slide, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq both fell 2% in afternoon trading

Alexander Hug deputy head for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) monitoring mission in Ukraine, looks on next to armed pro-Russian separatists on the way to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site, near Donetsk on July 30, 2014.

Investigators Reach Malaysia Airlines Crash Site

International investigators have reached the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 for the first time since the jet was downed by a missile in eastern Ukraine on July 17; they had been blocked by fighting between pro-Russia separatists and the Ukrainian military

Ilham Tohti

China Charges Uighur Scholar Ilham Tohti With Separatism

Tohti is a moderate but determined critic of China's treatment of ethnic minority groups. He has been held since January, but was not allowed to see his lawyer until June. His lawyer only heard about the charges when the local government posted the news online

Sharknado 2: The Second One

This Shark Didn't Tank: Sharknado 2 Reels in Viewers

The campy action/comedy by Syfy drew 3.9 million viewers on Wednesday night, 183% more than the 1.4 million people who tuned in for the original in July 2013, beating CBS's Halle Berry drama Extant and Fox's So You Think You Can Dance

Argentina's Economy Minister Axel Kicillof speaks to the media at a press conference at the Argentine Consulate in New York, July 30, 2014. Economy Minister Axel Kicillof speaks to the media at a press conference at the Argentine Consulate in New York

Argentina Defaults After Debt Talks Collapse

The South American nation failed to strike a deal to avert its second debt default in 13 years, leaving political leaders in a state of deep denial. "Who believes in credit rating agencies at this stage?" said the nation's Economy Minister

Doctor Who Series 8 Iconic

Doctor Who Season Premiere Will Debut on Big Screen

BBC America announced on Thursday that it will hold midnight theatrical screenings for the premiere of the new season of Doctor Who on Aug. 23 in 12 cities. Season 8 is the first to star Peter Capaldi in the lead role of the long-running sci-fi series