Good morning. It’s Wednesday and the big story this morning is the devastating earthquake in central Italy where the death toll keeps rising by the hour. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
1. Italy earthquake
It’s daylight now in central Italy, which gives rescuers a few precious hours for a mad scramble to dig as many survivors out from the rubble before darkness plunges the region and the lack of electricity makes the job impossible. At least 37 people are dead after a 6.2 magnitude quake struck three villages in a mountainous area. The tremors were so strong they rattled Rome — about 100 miles away. “We’re digging, digging… hoping to find someone alive,” the mayor of one of the villages said. Rescue workers called residents’ cellphones, and tried to get to those who answered. If there was no answer, they moved on to the next person. You can follow the latest on the quake here.
2. North Korea
North Korea test-fired a missile from a submarine – and this one flew 300 miles toward Japan. This means the Kim regime is making rapid progress in its quest to strike nations it has a beef with. The last couple of sub-launched missiles sputtered after only a short distance. There was consternation and condemnation from the usual quarters, but when has that dissuaded the North?
It’s war on two fronts for Turkey. It’s going after ISIS in northern Syria with a new offensive, Euphrates Shield. This was inevitable, especially after that horrific ISIS attack at a wedding ceremony over the weekend. And it’s also shelling Kurdish fighters who’re fighting ISIS. Turkey says they’re linked to the PKK, which it blames for attacks inside its soil since a ceasefire crumbled last year. Here’s an explainer on Turkey’s catalog of enemies.
4. Stanford rape case judge
Judge Aaron Persky — who sentenced ex-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to just six months in county jail for rape — has recused himself from a child porn case he was going to rule on today. Persky mulled reducing a plumber’s felony child porn conviction down to a misdemeanor, but that’ll now be handled by another judge. A recall effort to boot Persky off the bench is still going strong.
5. Email hack
US officials think Russian hackers have launched cyberattacks — not just against the DNC but also against DC think tanks and reporters, all in an effort to gather intel about the government. News organizations are top targets because they can yield sensitive information.
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Catching a break
It’s no homework for the rest of the school year for a class of second graders in Texas. Their teacher said it really doesn’t help.
This 10-year-old Cali kid memorized the entire U.S. Constitution. You spent lazy days on a beach. Who had the better summer again?
Let’s do the twist
Twisted skyscrapers are a lot more common these days. Fifteen now exist, and there’s 13 more on the way.
Lun Lun the giant panda is expecting again. You know what that means: pandemonium as a 24-hour panda cam starts streaming her every move.
Trade you a pack of ramens
The chow in prisons is so bad inmates now trade ramen noodles — and not cigarettes — as currency.
Number of the day
Jennifer Lawrence’s rank on Forbes list of highest-paid actresses in the world. JLaw pulled in $46 million last year.
AND FINALLY …
Anesthesia or not, this guy is going to get his dance on — thanks to Tony Matterhorn’s “Dutty Wine — following oral surgery.