Washington’s Top News — Thursday, August 21, 2014

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

Israeli air strikes kill 3 senior Hamas leaders

The Islamic militant group Hamas says three of its senior military leaders have been killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas says the three (Mohammed Abu Shamaleh, Mohammed Barhoum and Raed al-Attar) were killed in the Israeli airstrike near the southern town of Rafah early Thursday. Palestinian police say a total of at least six people were killed in the strike.

Officials: US rescue mission in Syria failed

The Obama administration is not ruling out the prospect of a military operation in Syria to bring to justice those responsible for an American journalist’s beheading.

The administration revealed Wednesday that President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages held by Islamic State extremists. But the hostages were not at the location intelligence had identified.

UPS says 51 retail stores breached by malware

Some customers of The UPS Store may have had their credit and debit card information exposed by a computer virus found on systems at 51 stores. A spokeswoman for UPS says the information includes card numbers, postal and email addresses from about 100,000 transactions between Jan. 20 and Aug. 11.

UPS spokeswoman Chelsea Lee says the company is not aware of any fraud related to the attack. Atlanta-based UPS says it hired a security firm that found the virus in systems at stores in 24 states, about 1 percent of the company’s 4,470 franchised locations.

US launches more strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq

Despite threats by militants to kill more American hostages in Syria, the U.S. on Wednesday launched a new barrage of airstrikes in Iraq against the militant group Islamic State.

Militants have said that they beheaded American journalist James Foley in retaliation for recent U.S. airstrikes on militants. And they’re threatening to kill another journalist.

Quieter protests in Ferguson

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri say Wednesday’s crowds of protesters were much smaller than they’ve been, since the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.

State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson says there were no fires and no shootings, and officers used no tear gas or mace. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson Wednesday and met with federal officials investigating the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Holder also met with Brown’s parents.

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