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Washington’s Top News – Friday, August 8, 2014

Here’s a look at some of the day’s top stories from WTOP:

Obama authorizes renewed airstrikes in Iraq

President Obama has staked much of his legacy on ending what he has called the “dumb war” in Iraq, but Thursday night he announced that he had authorized airstrikes in the northern part of the country, warning they would be launched if needed to defend Americans from advancing Islamic militants and protect civilians under siege. His announcement threatened a renewal of U.S. military involvement in the country’s long sectarian war.

Good signs for Skins in preseason opener

OK, it was only a preseason game, and the first one at that — most of the New England Patriots’ starters didn’t even play — so new Redskins coach Jay Gruden knows not to read too much into Thursday night’s 23-6 victory. But a few important things went right at FedEx Field. Find out what Gruden called his main goal for the game and whether he accomplished it, as well as what quarterback Robert Griffin III calls a big difference between Gruden and former coach Mike Shanahan.

FDA lifts hold on experimental Ebola drug

Federal health authorities have eased safety restrictions on an experimental drug to treat Ebola, a move that could clear the way for its use in patients infected with the deadly virus.

Canadian drugmaker Tekmira Pharmaceuticals said Thursday the Food and Drug Administration “verbally confirmed” changes to the hold that may allow the company to make the drug available to patients. Currently there are no licensed drugs or vaccines for the disease.

3-day Gaza truce ends

The Israeli military says Gaza militants have renewed rocket fire on Israel after a three-day truce expired Friday.

Israel says at least 10 rockets have been fired at Israel. The truce was not extended and peace negotiations in Cairo have hit a deadlock. Earlier, a senior Hamas official said Israel had rejected all of his group’s demands, including a guarantee in principle that Gaza’s borders would be opened.

GM issues third recall on SUVs that can catch fire

General Motors is warning owners of certain older model SUVs to park the vehicles outdoors until they are repaired because they could catch fire when left unattended.

The latest recall covers about 189,000 Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Ranier and Isuzu Ascender SUVs from the 2006 and 2007 model years, as well as the Saab 97-X from 2005 to 2007. It’s the third recall of the same vehicles in three years.

A big weekend coming up for the Nationals

The Nationals have had a hard time in recent years with the Atlanta Braves, but they head to Atlanta for a weekend series with a burgeoning lead in the NL East as the Braves have been slipping. WTOP’s Noah Frank explains that a strong series — dare we dream of a sweep? — could nearly push the Nats’ nemeses out of the picture. Read a preview of the series, including the pitching matchups, on our Sports page.

Music on demand: Loggins may be headed to a D.C. living room

A D.C. man is looking to raise $30,000 on Kickstarter to get Kenny Loggins to play in his living room. WTOP Tech Guy Greg Stebben says it’s a perfect example of how the Internet is changing relationships between fans and performers — and shares his own story of bringing a musical hero home.

Nixon’s back! (On Twitter at least)

President Nixon resigned 40 years ago Saturday and died 20 years ago, but on Twitter, @Dick_Nixon continues to give his opinions on everything from the Academy Awards to today’s GOP presidential field. Experts and D.C. insiders are astonished at how well the tweets sum up the worldview, and even the phrasing, of the former president. On our Entertainment page, read about who’s really behind the Twitter handle, and how and why he does it.

A course in the (gentle)manly arts

What makes a gentleman? A group of startups in D.C. hosted their first clinic in the kinds of discernment gentlemen have: wine, whiskey, flowers and clothes. It’s not about scoring women (or men), the leaders of the clinic say; it’s just about picking up knowledge and confidence. WTOP’s Rachel Nania was there; on our Living page, you can pick up a few pointers yourself.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.


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