1. The U.K., Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands join anti-ISIS airstrikes
Today, the British Parliament voted by a large margin in favor Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to add aircraft to the U.S.’s attack on the militant group in Iraq—but not in Syria. Danish, Belgian and Dutch governing bodies approved similar measures. Oh hello, Iraq War II. [LA Times]
2. Thousands of flights grounded after fire in Chicago
An act of arson at an FAA radar center has led to the cancellation or delay of almost 2,000 flights connected to Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports. No terrorists or volcanoes this time—just a pissed-off employee with an axe to grind. The fire starter, who was found injured inside the blaze, is injured but expected to survive. At least, that is, until the hordes of vengeful commuters get their mitts on him. [Chicago Tribune]
3. Ello gives Facebook a run for its money
With Zuckerberg’s social network getting increasingly hostile (ads all over the place, selling your identity, transphobia), a collective of designers and artists have stepped up to the plate with a mercifully simple new alternative called Ello. Sure, the search function is a little glitchy and it’s still in beta mode, but we’ll take a minimalist interface and no advertising any day.
4. Who killed Staten Island Chuck?
In perhaps the world’s first recorded case of mayor-on-groundhog crime, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio stands accused of offing beloved land-beaver Staten Island Chuck when he accidentally dropped the furry guy on Groundhog Day last February. Chuck (who was actually a stand-in groundhog named Charlotte) died a week afterwards of internal injuries—a fact which the Staten Island Zoo kept secret from hizzoner. This is totally exactly as bad as Watergate. [NY Post]
5. Ferguson police chief apologizes
In a prime case of too little, too late, Ferguson, Missouri, police chief Thomas Jackson apologized on video for the hundred billion things his department did wrong in the Michael Brown shooting and its wake. He also denied allegations of racial profiling and said he wasn’t going to resign. Unsurprisingly, Ferguson residents were less than impressed by this hedged mea culpa. [CNN, New York Times]
6. New True Detective leads announced, plus “Tiny Detectives”
HBO’s critically adored crime series just got its season two leads: Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn will be stepping in to fill the shoes of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. That’s all well and good, but we’d rather have a whole season with Ellen Page and Kate Mara, whose excellent parody about being detectives who are egregiously short, went viral this week. [Rolling Stone, AV Club]
7. Water vapor discovered on exoplanet
In a we-are-not-alone moment, NASA researchers have found evidence of gaseous water on a planet called HAT-P-11b, a whopping 124 light years away from Earth. The thing is the size of Neptune and way too close to its sun to be habitable, so don’t book a SpaceX flight just yet. [BBC]
8. Eric Holder to step down as attorney general
The nation’s first African-American attorney general, who was an original member of Obama’s Cabinet, announced his resignation on Thursday. Holder’s time in office has been marked by progressive decisions that have drawn liberal praise and conservative ire. A nominees for his replacement will probably not be announced until after mid-term elections in November. [Washington Post]
9. Woman beheaded at Oklahoma food-distribution plant
Violence broke out at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, when a newly fired employee—and convicted felon—stabbed one of his ex-coworkers and beheaded another. The assailant was eventually taken down by gunshots from CEO and reserve sheriff’s deputy Mark Vaughan. The FBI has been called in to investigate the attack. [Wall Street Journal]
10. John Malkovich apes poses of iconic portraits
The master of being a million different versions of himself posed in the guise of Albert Einstein (above), Salvador Dalí, Marilyn Monroe (above) and many other icons for a photo series by photographer Sandro Miller. The name of the exhibit? What else: Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich.