British Investigators say they're close to identifying the ISIS militant in the video of the violent beheading of American journalist James Foley from last week (NY Times). The British Ambassador to the United States said in an interview with CNN that investigators were working to match the killer's voice against recordings of known British militants now in Iraq and Syria in order to identify him. Foley was abducted in Syria in November of 2012 while covering the Syrian Civil War (Fox News). In a letter to his parents before he was murdered, Foley wrote he was being held with 17 other hostages. According to the Washington Post, yesterday another American journalist named Peter Theo Curtis was released after being held hostage for two years in Syria.
According to the LA Times, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit the Bay Area yesterday morning. About 120 people were sent to the hospital in the biggest earthquake to hit Northern California in 25 years. ABC News reports California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency after the earthquake, while dealing with structure fires, water main leaks and power outages in the aftermath.
A senior administration official said Saturday that President Obama has ordered a review of the programs that enable local law enforcement to buy military equipment (CNN). This, in the aftermath of protests in Ferguson, MO, after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. The equipment used in Ferguson includes armored vehicles and stun grenades. MO Governor Jay Nixon requested the National Guard presence to help calm tensions. The National Guard arrived one week ago on August 18th (NY Times) and has since left. On the subject, Obama said, "There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don't want those lines blurred."
The Huffington Post, which is owned by AOL, is requesting reader money to keep a journalist in Ferguson, MO, after other outlets leave (Media Bistro). The Ferguson Fellowship is so far 38% funded with 16 days left in the project. Ryan Grim, the Washington Bureau Chief for the Huffington Post wrote, "with reader support, we'll hire a local citizen journalist who's been covering the turmoil and train her to become a professional journalist." According to Beacon Reader, At $5000, your donation will get you lunch with Ryan Reilly, one of the HuffPo reporters arrested in MO, and the new Ferguson reporter in the McDonalds that served as a media staging ground during the protests. On the need for HuffPo to stay in Ferguson, Grim wrote, "the local police will still be there, along with the structural inequality and racial disparities that sparked the crisis."
According to NBC News, we've had a weird year of weather. NBC reports climate researchers say this year is on track to set a temperature record so unique, it hasn't been seen since 1900. This past week the AP reported the Farmers' Almanac, the "chronicler of climate" predicts a "super-cold" winter (again), even using the term "refriger-nation." Unfortunately, the Almanac also predicts California's drought will continue. The Huffington Post reports the Almanac has about an 80% success rate in its trends.
Last night at the MTV Video Music Awards, Beyonce stole the show in what seemed like a Super Bowl-sized-halftime show that actually closed the show. Performing every track from her new album in a quick 15 minutes, she began by saying, "MTV, welcome to my world." Just to put things into perspective. BuzzFeed recapped the performance here, and you can catch the 15 minutes in its entirety here. After her performance, Beyonce was awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award which has previously been awarded to Madonna, Britney Spears, the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson. The award, also known as a Lifetime Achievement Award, is given to musicians who have had a profound effect on the MTV culture. . After her performance, Beyonce was awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award which has previously been awarded to Madonna, Britney Spears, the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson. The award, also known as a Lifetime Achievement Award, is given to musicians who have had a profound effect on the MTV culture.
My favorite part of the entire thing, though, was Beyonce's daughter, Blue Ivy, dancing along to the beat from her dad Jay Z's lap. I also love how Jay Z is like, 'is anyone seeing what I'm seeing?' Jay Z and Blue Ivy presented Beyonce with the Award, and while walking up to the stage Blue can be heard saying, "Yay, Mommy!" into the microphone.
University of Miami students are heading to the first day of class today. Good luck, Hurricanes! Also, this is our first Need to Know since the launch of www.jordanschuman.com, and lastly, tonight are the Emmy Awards!
Jimmy Fallon felt the news was too sad lately, so he offers you some good news : )