UNC mourns Muslim shooting victims. The President asks for official permission to attack ISIS. And U.S. Special Forces stay behind in Yemen.
It’s Thursday and here are the 5 things to know for your New Day
CHAPEL HILL SHOOTINGS
Outpouring: Thousands showed up for a candlelight vigil last night to honor the three victims of a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All three victims were Muslim.
The families of the victims — Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Razan Abu-Salha, 19 — say the gunman had threatened them before, and they believe the shootings were a hate crime. Police say they’re not dismissing the possibility of a hate crime, although they say there was an on-going parking dispute involving the suspect who has been charged with murder.
Agreement reached: There’s been a breakthrough in peace talks aimed at ending the bloody crisis in eastern Ukraine. All sides have agreed to ceasefire that’s due to start Sunday. The agreement calls for a pullback of heavy weapons. The deal came after a marathon overnight session in the talks between Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany. If the ceasefire holds — which is far from certain — it could bring to an end a 10-month conflict. More than 5,000 people have died in the fighting, which has plunged East-West relations to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.
War powers: The White House officially asked Congress yesterday for permission to wage war against ISIS. If approved, the resolution would formally authorize the already six-month-old U.S. military effort. The draft resolution limits the military campaign against ISIS to three years and the President’s ability to order “enduring offensive ground combat operations.” The President says the U.S. doesn’t need to get involved in another ground war in the Middle East. Reaction to the request is divided along party lines. Republicans think the authorization is too limited, while Democrats feel it’s too open-ended.
Docked: It took judges in Italy just five hours yesterday to decide the fate of the captain of the Costa Concordia. After a 19-month trial, they found Francesco Schettino guilty of multiple counts of manslaughter, causing a maritime disaster, and abandoning ship. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison and ordered to pay court costs. Thirty-two people died after the cruise ship crashed into rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio in January 2012.
Unstable situation: The U.S. Embassy staff is out of Yemen, but U.S. Special Forces are staying behind to conduct counter-terrorism operations. The U.S., British and French embassies all pulled up stakes this week as the troubled Middle East nation became too politically unstable to stick around. The Pentagon wants to be in Yemen to launch attacks against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — a terror group that has hatched numerous plots to attack U.S. interests and other Western targets. A U.S. military spokesman said there’s no doubt the situation in Yemen has affected America’s counter-terror mission.