1. “Hagel Said to Be Stepping Down As Defense Chief Under Pressure.” Obama Dissatisfied, Officials Say, Amid Global Crises.
“The president, who is expected to announce Mr. Hagel’s resignation in a Rose Garden appearance on Monday, made the decision to ask his defense secretary — the sole Republican on his national security team — to step down last Friday after a series of meetings over the past two weeks, senior administration officials said. The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.”
2. “Marion Barry, Washington’s ’Mayor for Life,’ Even After Prison, Dies at 78.” D.C.’s infamous mayor died yesterday at the age of 78.
“Marion S. Barry Jr., a sharecropper’s son and civil rights pioneer who became a flamboyant and polarizing mayor of Washington, went to prison on a cocaine charge and then recaptured City Hall in one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of American politics, died early Sunday in Washington. He was 78.”
3. “What The Hunger Games Could Learn from Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days.” The 1995 dystopian techno-thriller would be hugely influential, if anyone bothered to notice.
“Back in October 1995, audiences greeted the release of the Kathryn Bigelow techno-thriller Strange Days with, at best, indifference: The sci-fi film failed to recoup even a quarter of its $42 million budget, proving that audiences may not have been quite ready for Ralph Fiennes as a neurotic drug-dealing action hero. But looking back at Bigelow’s millennium-fever-dream from the dystopia-clogged cinematic landscape of 2014, Strange Days feels almost painfully ahead of its time, bursting with ambition, technological insight, and early glimpses at the pre-Y2K jitters that ramped up as the 1990s came to a close. As Fiennes’ character Lenny Niro tells a prospective buyer of his illegal virtual-reality clips early in the film: ’This is not like TV only better… This is life.’ “
4. “House Panel Finds No Intelligence Failure in Benghazi Attacks.” An investigation by the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee dismisses allegations against the Obama administration.
“After a two-year probe that involved the review of thousands of pages of classified documents, the panel determined that the attack could not be blamed on an intelligence failure, and that C.I.A. security operatives “ably and bravely assisted” State Department officials who were overwhelmed at a nearby but separate diplomatic compound. The committee also found “no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support,” rejecting claims that have fed persistent conspiracy theories that the U.S. military was prevented from rescuing U.S. personnel from a night-time assault that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.”
5. “New Bill Cosby Accuser: ’We May Be Looking at America’s Greatest Serial Rapist’.” Former model Jewel Allison is the latest woman to accuse the comedian of sexually assaulting her.
“As more women come forward with stories of sexual assault by comedian Bill Cosby, another woman has shared her own violating experience of her time with the star, adding to his fraught new legacy. Former model Jewel Allison, who was represented by the same agent who discovered Janice Dickinson, told the New York Daily News she was introduced to Cosby in the 1980s.”
Video of the Day: Watch Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea perform “Booty” at last night’s American Music Awards:
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