TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 28

Tug of War

President Barack Obama and lawmakers in Congress are mulling whether he needs formal authorization to expand the fight against the militant group ISIS, a politically perilous question for both sides as the midterm elections loom

Uncle Sam Wants a Gram

Calling all pot farmers: the federal government is looking to buy, soliciting proposals to “harvest, process, analyze, store and distribute” cannabis

Israel and Gaza Count War’s Cost

Israeli and Palestinian leaders set out Wednesday to explain to constituents what was achieved during the latest fighting between the two sides

Russia Blasted for Escalating Ukraine War

Ukrainian and U.S. officials accused Moscow of sending heavily armed columns across the border into southeastern Ukraine on Wednesday — a move seen as part of a “Russian-directed counteroffensive” against Ukrainian forces in the five-month-old conflict

Apple Loses Bid to Ban Sales of Samsung Phones

A U.S. judge rejected Apple’s bid to permanently ban sales of some Samsung phones that were found to infringe Apple patents. Apple and Samsung agreed earlier this month to drop patent disputes against each other outside the U.S.

CDC Director: Ebola Is ‘Worse Than I’d Feared’

On Wednesday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a “much bigger problem than anyone anticipated.” Over 1,400 people have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

Howard Dean’s Group Endorses Mary Burke in Wisconsin

Democracy for America, the 50-state group pulled together by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, endorsed Mary Burke’s campaign against Republican Governor Scott Walker. Burke is a millionaire former executive at Trek Bicycles

USC Suspends Football Player for Fake Drowning Story

University of Southern California’s cornerback Josh Shaw said on Wednesday he lied when he told his coaches he sprained his ankles while attempting to save his drowning nephew. In response, the USC Trojans suspended Shaw indefinitely from the athletic program

What it Really Takes for Schools to Go Digital

President Obama hailed Mooresville, N.C., as a model for the future of public education. But the neighboring Iredell-Statesville Schools District offers a more accurate picture of the challenges most schools face in bridging the technological divide

Sopranos Creator Calls Tony Soprano Comment ‘Inaccurate’

“The final scene of The Sopranos raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer,” David Chase said in a statement released by his publicist, responding to an interview published by Vox. “Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point”

Erasing Bad Memories May Soon Be Possible

Using state-of-the-art laser and gas techniques, researchers working with mice have made stunning breakthroughs in stripping the painful and negative feelings associated with a traumatic memory to neutralize its effects on a subject

TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 27

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Ferguson’s New Chapter

The St. Louis suburb faces uncertainty as it figures out how to turn a tragic moment into a lasting movement in the days after Michael Brown’s funeral. “We are required to leave here today and change things,” the Reverend Al Sharpton said in his eulogy

Why Waiting Makes You Happy

Several studies published in the journal Psychological Science suggest that people are more excited when they wait to buy an experience

Gaza Cease-Fire Deal Reached

The truce ends the seven-week war between Israel and Hamas, but it’s an open question whether longer-term political talks will continue

How 10 Seconds Could Save Lives During Earthquakes

California is looking to develop an early warning system for earthquakes, and the one that rocked the Napa area last weekend has brought new urgency to the project; experts say even 10 seconds would be enough to mobilize precautionary measures

Apple Appears Slated to Launch Larger iPad in Early 2015

Apple is reported to have been developing larger touch-screen devices in order to turn around sluggish sales; the new 12.9-in. iPad will apparently be launched in the spring, following the company’s release of a larger 4-in. iPhone next month

Ebola Forces Closure of WHO Lab in Sierra Leone

The World Health Organization shut down a lab in Sierra Leone and pulled its staff after a health worker contracted the virus; the closure is likely to impede efforts to contain a massive outbreak that has killed at least 1,427 people

American Writer Freed From Syrian Captivity Arrives in U.S.

Peter Theo Curtis returned home to the U.S. on Tuesday, two days after being released by al-Nusra Front, the Syrian extremist group that held him hostage for 22 months. Curtis said he was “deeply indebted” to the U.S. officials who worked to get him released

Landon Donovan to Join U.S. Soccer Team One Last Time

Donovan will make his final appearance for the U.S. men’s national team in an international friendly match against Ecuador in October. The game will allow fans to thank him for “all the memories he’s provided over the years,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati

Doug Ducey Wins GOP Primary for Arizona Governor

The state treasurer and former CEO won the Republican primary for Arizona’s governorship on Tuesday, riding to victory with a campaign that focused on his experience in serving as a state official and building an ice cream company into a national brand

Snapchat Is Valued at Roughly $10 Billion, Reports Say

A number of reports say the startup, an ad-less disappearing-messaging service, is raising funds from investors based on a $10 billion valuation; if true, this represents an enormous valuation for a company that has effectively no revenue source

Doll Play Predicts Couples’ Parenting Style, Study Finds

Researchers at Ohio State University videotaped almost 200 dual-earner couples playing with a “doll” — actually pajamas filled with 7 lb. of rice and a green fabric head attached — that they were told represented the child they were about to have

Report: Lake Bell to Direct The Emperor’s Children Film

The actress and promising auteur is reportedly booked to direct the film adaptation of Claire Messud’s 2006 novel The Emperor’s Children, with the screenplay penned by indie-film stalwart Noah Baumbach, but there is no word yet on when the movie will hit theaters

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TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 26

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Emmys: Much Ado About TV

Modern Family continued its dominance with Best Comedy while Breaking Bad ended its Emmy run with another impressive display: The show earned Best Drama and Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn picked up acting honors

Foreigners Flee Ebola’s Wrath

Some fear that the exodus of international families and businesses from West Africa due to the outbreak could cripple the region’s growing economies

No ISIS Plot Yet, U.S. Says

Governments are concerned over ISIS fighters with passports from Western countries, but the U.S. has found no evidence of a plot against the homeland

California Quake May Cost Wine Country Billions

Experts say the total economic losses from Sunday’s quake that rattled Napa Valley may reach billions of dollars, but that things would have been much worse had the current year’s grape harvest been fully picked when the quake hit

No Proof Veterans Died Because of Delays, VA Says

The Veterans Affairs Department says investigators have found no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at a VA hospital in Phoenix, deflating an explosive allegation that helped expose a troubled health care system in which veterans waited months for appointments

Airbnb Hands Over Data of 124 New York Hosts

The online accommodation company gave the personal information of 124 past and present hosts, the vast majority of them no longer on its site, to the New York attorney general, who is seeking those who “flagrantly” misused the service

Watch Billy Crystal’s Moving Tribute to Robin Williams

“He was the greatest friend you could ever imagine,” Crystal said in the tribute, an improvement of the unexpectedly brief nod to Williams at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards. “It’s very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in all of our lives”

Hopes for a Cease-Fire Rise as the Gaza War Drags On

Media outlets were abuzz with reports on Monday that various factions were close to agreeing on a cease-fire deal to end the Gaza conflict, now in its eighth week as casualties mount, following renewed efforts by Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Report: U.S. Begins Surveillance Flights Over Syria

Officials said the flights began with President Obama’s approval, which could lead to airstrikes against militant targets; Obama has not approved military action but additional intelligence on the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria would likely be needed before a next step

States With Medical-Pot Laws Have Less Opioid ODs

New research finds that states with medical-marijuana laws have 25% lower rates of anticipated opioid-related deaths from medicine prescribed for chronic pain, like OxyContin and Percocet, than states where weed isn’t legal — though it’s not totally clear why

Kill Switches on Smartphones Are Now Mandatory in California

Gov. Jerry Brown signed historic legislation on Monday, mandating that every smartphone sold in California after July 1, 2015, be equipped by default with a kill switch, a feature that can render the device useless if stolen

The Bacteria That May One Day Cure Food Allergies

A team of scientists hopes after a promising new study on mice that the bacteria strain Clostridia, which resides close to the immune system in the human body, could hold the key to treating common allergies to foods like peanuts or lactose

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TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 25

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

The Good, the Bad, the Beyoncé

Beyoncé delivered a mind-bogglingly perfect medley of tracks from her self-titled album, dancing around the stage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, as Jay Z and Blue Ivy watched from the sidelines. She was clearly having more fun than anyone else in the room

Burger King Eyes Canada Move

The fast-food giant is reportedly in talks to buy Canadian chain Tim Hortons, a deal aimed at lowering taxes by moving its base outside the U.S.

American Held in Syria Is Freed

The U.N.-facilitated release of writer Peter Theo Curtis from an al-Qaeda affiliate comes days after the execution of American journalist James Foley

Actor-Director Richard Attenborough Dies at 90

The acclaimed actor and Academy Award–winning director of 1982’s Gandhi, whose film career on both sides of the camera spanned 60 years, died at age 90; British Prime Minister David Cameron called him “one of the greats of cinema”

6.0-Magnitude Quake Strikes Northern California

The largest earthquake to hit California’s Napa Valley in 25 years struck near the Bay Area, prompting Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency; at least 87 people were injured early Sunday morning and power outages were reported

Pediatricians’ Rx for Schools: Later Start Times

The American Academy of Pediatrics wants to prescribe later start times for teens, saying that delaying the start of the school day until at least 8:30 a.m. would help curb their lack of sleep, which has been linked to poor health, bad grades, car crashes and other problems

Men More Likely to Make Dumb Decisions at U.S. Open

Male tennis players embarrass themselves more often than their female counterparts, according to a new study that analyzed data from line-call challenges; the authors chalk up these gender differences to overconfidence, pride and shame

Man Arrested After Climbing Brooklyn Bridge for Photos

A 24-year-old was arrested on Sunday after scaling the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, where he took the opportunity to snap some photos with his iPhone; the stunt comes about a month after two American flags on the iconic structure were replaced with white flags

Civil War Hangs Over Ukraine on Its Independence Day

While President Petro Poroshenko gave an emotional address to citizens and oversaw a military parade in Kiev, Ukrainian prisoners of war were marched by pro-Russian separatists through the streets in rebel-held parts of the east, to jeers and bottle throwing

2 People Die of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo

The two deaths of Ebola in Congo are unrelated to the outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria that has killed more than 1,400 people; Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said Sunday: “This epidemic has nothing to do with the one in West Africa”

American Swimmer Katie Ledecky Leaves Her Mark in Australia

The 17-year-old wiped almost six seconds off her own world record in the 1,500-m freestyle to win her fifth gold medal of the Pan Pacific championships, rounding off a phenomenal season of competition

Sony Says User Data Safe After PS Network Attack

It’s been a rough weekend for Sony, with reports of hackers hitting its huge Playstation network and a bomb threat made against a flight carrying a top Sony executive in the U.S. Sony says none of the data of its 53 million Playstation users was compromised

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TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 22

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

‘Direct Invasion’

Russia sent a convoy said to be carrying aid without a Red Cross escort into rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Friday, saying its patience had worn out after delays it blamed on the Ukrainian government, whose security chief told reporters the move was a ‘direct invasion’

How Some People Survive Ebola

Two Americans who became infected with Ebola in Liberia and were evacuated to Atlanta for treatment were discharged and declared virus-free on Thursday

Why ‘Hacktivists’ Are in Ferguson

What the hacker community Anonymous does and how it dealt with the affiliated member who misidentified unarmed teen Michael Brown’s killer

Hamas Leader Admits Israeli Teens’ Kidnap, Killing

A senior Hamas leader has said the group carried out the abduction and killing of three Israeli teens in June, which helped spark the current war in Gaza, marking the first time anyone from the Islamic militant group has said it was behind an attack

Access to Screens Is Lowering Kids’ Social Skills

Researchers out of UCLA have highlighted a potential downside of the prevalence of digital data in early development and education, in a study that found kids who were deprived of screens for five days got much better at reading people’s emotions

U.S. Judge Strikes Down Florida’s Gay Marriage Ban

A judge in Tallahassee ruled that the ban added to Florida’s constitution by voters in 2008 violates the 14th Amendment, then issued a stay delaying the effect of his order, meaning no marriage licenses will be immediately issued for gay couples

What Bank of America Did to Warrant a $17 Billion Penalty

It’s the largest settlement ever between the U.S. government and a private corporation — restitution for BofA’s role in the financial crisis. Here’s what the Justice Department’s breakdown of the bank’s actions reveals about how bankers inflated the housing bubble

Aaron Paul Plans Breaking Bad Scavenger Hunt for Emmys

Prizes scattered across Hollywood will include signed Breaking Bad scripts, posters, dolls, action figures and art from the show. Paul, who won two Emmys for his role as Jesse on the show in 2010 and 2012, is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor again this year

U.S. Diplomats Banned From Ice Bucket Challenge

Lawyers at the State Department have forbidden U.S. diplomats (like, say, John Kerry) from participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, because of an ethical issue that forbids using public office for private gain — even for a worthy cause

Malaysia Receives First Bodies of MH17 Victims

Malaysia came to a standstill on Friday morning as the remains of its nationals killed on the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 began to arrive home amid a minute of silence. But while many in the nation grieved, others were already focusing on the next step: seeking justice

Mo’ne Davis Draws Record Little League Viewership

Davis might not have thrown a no-hitter on Wednesday, but she did draw the most viewers of a Little League game in ESPN’s history. Nearly 5 million viewers tuned in for the Little League World Series game between Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons and Las Vegas’ Mountain Ridge

You Can Sleep in Ikea for a Night Thanks to Airbnb

Airbnb and Ikea have partnered to allow a group of Australians to sleep in the Scandinavian furniture store for one night only on Aug. 21 in Sydney for a mere 11 Australian dollars. They won’t even have to assemble the beds themselves

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We will hold an #AskTIME subscriber Q&A this Friday, August 22, at 1 p.m., with TIME Washington correspondent Alex Altman, who has been covering events in Ferguson, Mo., this week and who co-wrote this week’s TIME cover, “The Tragedy of Ferguson.” He covers all things politics, and you can read his recent stories here.

You can submit your questions beforehand on Twitter using the #AskTIME hashtag or in the comments of this post. We depend on smart, interesting questions from readers.

You will need to be a TIME subscriber to read the Q&A. ($30 a year or 8 cents a day for the magazine and all digital content.) Once you’re signed up, you can log in to the site with a username and password.

TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 21

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Ferguson Protests Stay Peaceful

Dr. Kent Brantly, one of the two Americans infected with Ebola while in Liberia and sent to an Atlanta hospital, is set to be discharged Thursday

U.S. Attempted Hostage Rescue

The U.S. launched a rescue operation this summer to free hostages held by ISIS, including slain American journalist James Foley, the Pentagon said

Israeli Air Strike Kills 3 Senior Hamas Leaders

An Israeli air strike in Gaza killed three senior leaders of the Hamas military wing on Thursday, the group said. The attack near the town of Rafah was one of 20 the Israeli military said it carried out after midnight on Wednesday

Get Ready, SoundCloud Users: Ads Are Coming

SoundCloud, the popular free music-sharing platform that’s helped artists like Lorde skyrocket to fame, is introducing advertisements. The company said Thursday that select content creators will be able to play ads beside their tracks and collect some of the revenue

Record Fine Expected From Bank of America

Authorities are reportedly about to impose a $16.65 billion fine to settle allegations that the bank knowingly sold toxic mortgages to investors, fueling the financial crisis. Since the crisis’s end, the bank has been instructed to pay more than $60 billion in fines and other claims

Blood Transfusions May Help Kids With Sickle-Cell Anemia

Regular blood transfusions could significantly reduce the risk of strokes in children who have sickle-cell anemia. A study of nearly 200 children with the condition found that monthly transfusions could reduce the chance of strokes by more than half

Instant Ramen Can Hurt Your Heart

A study showed that eating instant noodles at least twice a week was associated with 68% more cardiometabolic syndrome—a collection of risk factors for heart disease, type-2 diabetes and stroke—in women, regardless of what else they ate

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Digs in for a Fight

Perry pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in the abuse-of-power case against him, waiving a formal arraignment that had been scheduled for Friday and again signaling his readiness to fight a prosecution that he has decried as a “farce”

Study: Yoga Makes You a Quicker, Better Thinker

Practice hatha yoga consistently for eight weeks, and you’re likely to think faster and better remember things, whereas just stretching and toning yielded no improvement, according to a new study of more than 100 adults with ages ranging from 55 to 79

Winona Ryder Will Join David Simon’s Show Me a Hero

Winona Ryder will embark on her “largest TV commitment to date,” starring alongside Oscar Issac, Catherine Keener, Alfred Molina and The Walking Dead‘s Jon Bernthal in the new HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero, created by The Wire‘s David Simon

UPS: Customer Data May Have Been Compromised

Malware may have affected customers’ credit- and debit-card information at 51 franchises in 24 states, according to the United Parcel Service. UPS says the threat was eliminated as of Aug. 11 and that customers can shop safely at all locations

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We will hold an #AskTIME subscriber Q&A this Friday, August 22, at 1 p.m., with TIME Washington correspondent Alex Altman, who has been covering events in Ferguson, Mo., this week and who co-wrote this week’s TIME cover, “The Tragedy of Ferguson.” He covers all things politics, and you can read his recent stories here.

You can submit your questions beforehand on Twitter using the #AskTIME hashtag or in the comments of this post. We depend on smart, interesting questions from readers.

You will need to be a TIME subscriber to read the Q&A. ($30 a year or 8 cents a day for the magazine and all digital content.) Once you’re signed up, you can log in to the site with a username and password.

TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 20

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Nobody Wins in Ferguson

Virtually no one connected to the tumult in the St. Louis suburb — whether by proximity, profession or ideology; by happenstance or choice — has escaped the nightly clashes without suffering in ways big or small, writes TIME’s Alex Altman

Exercise Boosts Kids’ Brain Power

A new study finds, for the first time, that children who are more fit have more white matter in their brains — a key factor for attention and memory

Video Claims Journalist Execution

A video posted online Tuesday purportedly shows an Islamist extremist beheading American journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2012

Patient Tested for Ebola at California Hospital

Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center has not divulged personal details about the patient or whether they had recently been in West Africa, the virus’ epicenter

Mark Wahlberg May Star in BP Oil Spill Movie

The actor is in talks with Lionsgate over a movie to be called Deepwater Horizon—about the deadly marine oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010—that would have him play the part of a manager who seeks to rescue his crew members

Your Twitter Favorite Button Just Got a Lot More Powerful

Twitter has updated its help document with information explaining why mysterious new tweets, in addition to sponsored tweets and ads, now show up in your timeline alongside the regular digest of tweets from accounts that you follow

Hopes of Prolonged Truce Fade as Gaza Conflict Reignites

Fighting continued into Wednesday after rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, which retaliated with renewed airstrikes; the trade in firepower led to the collapse of talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Cairo

Perry Booked in Politically Charged Abuse-of-Power Case

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has vowed to contest the two felony charges stemming from a threat and ultimate veto of funding to the state’s public integrity unit, surrendered himself to sheriff’s deputies to be fingerprinted and have his mug shot taken

Aid Group Slams Global Response to Ebola Outbreak

Brice de le Vingne, operations director of MSF, has slammed the world’s “lack of willingness and professionalism” to tackle Ebola in West Africa: “We have been screaming for months. Now the situation is even worse,” he says; the World Health Organization reports more than 1,200 people have died

Flash Floods Wreak Havoc in Arizona

Fast and furious rainfall in the Phoenix area damaged houses, left nearly 3,000 homes without power, stranded drivers and forced at least one airborne rescue. The normally arid state experienced up to two inches of rain in the span of an hour

The Real Wolf of Wall Street Is Co-Writing a TV Show

Jordan Belfort, now a motivational speaker and author, is co-writing a show with Rush Hour director Brett Ratner and Australian billionaire James Packer. The upcoming series will be based on the excesses of Wall Street in the 1980s

Hacking Traffic Lights Is Apparently Really Easy

Security researchers at the University of Michigan reveal vulnerabilities in crucial roadway infrastructure, which make traffic control systems susceptible to a system-wide attack that would have been impossible in a precomputerized era

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TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 19

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Trayvon Martin’s Mom: ‘If They Refuse to Hear Us, We Will Make Them Feel Us’

“I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence,” Sybrina Fulton writes for TIME. Fulton’s son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed in 2012

Violence Flares Anew in Ferguson

The deployment of the National Guard and the lifting of a curfew failed to prevent another night of violent clashes between protesters and police

Obama’s Mission Creep in Iraq

U.S. airstrikes to help Iraqis retake a key dam raise questions about President Barack Obama’s strategy, writes TIME’s Michael Crowley

The Ice Bucket Challenge May Change Fundraising Forever

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge became a virtual, and virtually frictionless, cost-free way to raise funds. The ALS Association has taken in nearly $16 million from July 29 through Aug. 18—an incredible figure given that it pulled in $19 million throughout 2012

Israelis, Palestinians Resume Talks on Gaza Deal

Following Egypt’s announcement of a 24-hour extension of a cease-fire, Palestinian and Israeli leaders met in Cairo to negotiate details about the future of the Gaza Strip. The extension of the truce fanned hopes of a deal, though wide gaps remain on key issues

Facebook Could Start Labeling Satirical Posts

The social network is experimenting with satire tags on News Feeds, a spokeswoman says, having “received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units.” The company did not divulge further details

Slaughterhouse in California Indicted Over Condemned Beef

Rancho Feeding Corp., a slaughterhouse in Petaluma, Calif., was indicted on Thursday for processing carcasses that had been condemned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and for selling beef that came from cancerous cattle

Saturday Night Live Announcer Don Pardo Dies at 96

Don Pardo, the Saturday Night Live announcer who spent nearly four decades with the hit show and whose effusive baritone has ushered in its weekly episodes since it aired in 1975, died on Monday evening at the age of 96

Good Neighbors May Reduce Your Risk of Heart Attacks

A recent study from the University of Michigan shows that close community ties can help slash the risk of heart attack in people over the age of 50; participants who rated their communities the highest had an almost 70% reduction in heart-attack risk

California Mayor Urges Cops to Wear Body Cameras

Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown is calling for the city’s police officers to use body-worn cameras following the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., which has sparked violent protests. The use of body cameras in the field remains rare

Rebels in Luhansk, Ukraine, Reportedly Reinforced

Separatist rebels fighting to maintain control of Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, appear to be aided by a supply of men and weapons from over the border in Russia. A humanitarian crisis is also developing in the city, with food, water and medical supplies in critically short supply

John Slattery and T.I. Join Ant-Man

Marvel’s upcoming superhero comedy, starring Paul Rudd, has gathered together a motley crew for its cast, including Mad Men’s John Slattery, Archer’s Judy Greer, Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale and rapper T.I. The film is set to release on July 17, 2015

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TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 18

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Ferguson Explodes Again

Violence erupted once again in the troubled city of Ferguson, Mo., on Monday as multiple gunshots were fired, police launched dozens of tear gas canisters, a main thoroughfare became a battle zone and Gov. Jay Nixon deployed the National Guard

Ferguson, Racism, Class Warfare

Ferguson is not just about systemic racism, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writes for TIME, but rather about class warfare and how America’s poor are held back

The Other Side of Ferguson

Peaceful protesters worry that violence will thwart a just cause in Ferguson, especially as clashes broke out again Monday, TIME’s Alex Altman writes

Julian Assange to Leave Ecuadorian Embassy ‘Soon’

The WikiLeaks founder said on Monday he is preparing to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London “soon” after more than two years of sheltering inside, but didn’t elaborate on the reasons; he is wanted for questioning over rape allegations in Sweden and faces extradition

Failed Diet? Blame Gut Bacteria

A new study suggests the gut microbiome, the collection of all the microbes in our digestive tracts, may influence our food choices and behavior; it works both ways, however, as what humans eat may also affect what food gut bacteria need

More Than a Third of Americans Have No Retirement Savings

A new survey commissioned by Bankrate.com finds that 36% of people in the U.S., more than one-third of the population, have no retirement savings; young Americans are the least prepared, as 69% don’t have a nest egg, but neither do 14% of those aged 65 and older

Kurdish Fighters Regain Some Control of Vital Iraqi Dam

Peshmerga forces pushed deeper into territory held by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) throughout Sunday to gain more control over the strategically vital Mosul Dam, as U.S. warplanes launched fresh airstrikes against the Sunni insurgents

Twitter Experiments With Timeline Changes

Basically, your favorites are no longer semiprivate, but treated like retweets, since people who follow you will get a notification when you favorite a tweet; some users are also getting notifications when someone they follow begins to follow a new user

Ebola Crisis Intensifies as West Africa Struggles to Cope

Chaotic conditions in West Africa are severely hampering efforts to contain the deadly Ebola outbreak; now a humanitarian crisis is developing alongside the medical one, with more than a million people in quarantined communities lacking basic necessities

Pope Leaves South Korea After Urging Peace

The Pontiff laid out these themes from the start of his visit, which was clouded by the firing of five rockets from Pyongyang into the sea; Pope Francis called for a rejection of the “mind-set of suspicion and confrontation” that clouds relations in the war-divided peninsula

Optimism Fading as Gaza Peace Talks Resume

A Palestinian negotiator said on Sunday his side is “less optimistic” about indirect talks with Israel over the Gaza war, with the current temporary cease-fire due to end late on Monday; negotiations have been going on between the sides since early last week

World’s Most Pierced Man Denied Entry to Dubai

German national Rolf Buchholz, whose 453 piercings — 278 of which were around his genitalia, as of 2010 — earned him a Guinness World Record, claims the United Arab Emirates’ officials said they were worried about black magic

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TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 15

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Tensions Cool in Ferguson

A change in police leadership and tactics created a calmer atmosphere after days of violent protests in Ferguson, Mo., a de-escalation of the crisis that followed the fatal police shooting last weekend of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown

Robin, Parkinson’s and Depression

Williams was privately battling the early stages of Parkinson’s, his widow has revealed, on top of his more public struggles with anxiety and depression

Iraqi Prime Minister Steps Down

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki bowed to intensifying pressure and gave up his post after eight years in power to the man nominated to replace him

Russians Pay the Price for Putin’s Ukraine Adventure

Russians have started asking whether they are ready to make sacrifices for President Vladimir Putin in light of a food ban on some Western products, hinting that the Ukraine crisis may finally be hitting close to home

Your Next Blood Test Could Cost $10,000

That’s how much one California hospital charges for a routine cholesterol test, while others charged as little as $10 for the exact same assay. The thousand-fold difference demonstrates just how seemingly random health care pricing can be

Barry Diller Wants to Save Ask.fm

In purchasing Ask.fm, which is used by 120 million people worldwide, the Internet mogul is betting he can clean up the Latvia-based social network, presently best known for its connection in media reports to more than a dozen teenager suicides over the past two years

Sony Will Amend Seth Rogen’s The Interview

Executives at Sony Pictures appear to have yielded in the face of increasing anger from Pyongyang over an upcoming Seth Rogen comedy, which follows two American tabloid journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un

Baseball Has a New Commissioner

Rob Manfred was chosen to be the new Major League Baseball commissioner by the league’s owners on Thursday, replacing Bud Selig. Manfred, who has been working in baseball since 1988, will be the 10th MLB commissioner

Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police

Anyone who thinks race does not skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention, Sen. Rand Paul writes for TIME, amid violence in Ferguson, Mo. over the police shooting death of Michael Brown

Ukraine Inspects Russian ‘Aid’ Convoy

Ukrainian officials have begun inspecting a Russian convoy that Moscow says is bringing aid but Kiev suspects is carrying military equipment. The inspections come after journalists witnessed 23 Russian armored personnel carriers and trucks crossing into Ukraine

Mike Birbiglia Joins Cast of Orange Is the New Black

The actor will join the cast of the critically acclaimed Netflix show about a women’s prison. His role is still under wraps, but most men on the Emmy-nominated show play love interests, relatives of the prisoners or prison guards, so perhaps he’ll be a sleepwalking guard?

Coca-Cola Gets Its Claws Into Monster

Coke and Monster Beverage Corp., known for Monster Energy drinks, will enter a long-term partnership — one that Coke, which has purchased a 16.7% equity stake in the company for a $2.15 billion cash payment, hopes will buoy its business

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We will hold an #AskTIME subscriber Q&A this Friday, August 15, at 1 p.m., with TIME correspondent Elizabeth Dias, who has been covering Pope Francis, spirituality, and all manner of other religion and politics news around the country. She co-wrote TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year story on Pope Francis. You can read her recent stories here.

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