The 10 Most Important Things In The World Right Now

Richard DawkinsREUTERS/Chris KeaneWell-known atheist and bestselling author Richard Dawkins.

Good morning. Here’s what people will be talking on Thursday. 

1. The White House revealed that U.S. special forces tried to rescue James Foley and other American hostages in Syria this summer but failed

2. GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni told reporters Wednesday that James Foley’s captors sent the journalist’s family an email threatening to kill their son, days before his death. 

2. A police officer was suspended indefinitely for pointing a rifle and screaming profanities at protestors in Ferguson, Missouri. 

3. Hamas says Israel killed three senior commanders in the Gaza Strip on Thursday. 

4. Gay and lesbian couples still can’t marry in Virginia after the U.S. Supreme Court put a ruling to overturn the state’s same-sex ban on hold.  

5. Bank of America is nearing a $US16.65 billion settlement over “accusations that it duped investors into buying toxic mortgage securities,” The New York Times said

6. Dollar Tree CEO Rick Dreiling says he was misled by Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine in earlier discussions about a potential takeover, Reuters reports. “At no time during this meeting did Mr. Levine indicate that there was a process, that there was any urgency to act or that there were discussions with another potential buyer,” Dreiling wrote in a letter to Family Dollar’s board. 

7. A cyber attack on UPS may have left the payment details, names, and addresses of thousands of customers vulnerable to theft, The Financial Times reports. The breach occurred at 50 branches in the U.S. between Jan. 20 and Aug. 11. 

8. British scientist and author Richard Dawkins is taking heat for saying on Twitter that it would be “immoral” for a mother to continue her pregnancy if she knew the baby would have Down Syndrome. “Abort and try it again,” Dawkins tweeted in response to a user who said she wouldn’t know what to do if she was carrying a child with Down syndrome. 

9. General Prayuth Chan-ocha was appointed as Thailand’s new prime minister on Thursday.

10. A new study suggests that Neanderthals lived among humans for more than 5,000 years, meaning they would have had to time to meet.  

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