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SOTU Scoop
September 4th, 2014
04:53 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, September 4, 2014.

1. NATO Summit. A two-day meeting of the alliance is underway in Wales. On the agenda: the ISIS threat, the crisis in Ukraine and dealing with a post-war Afghanistan. President Obama is under intense pressure domestically for a strong U.S. response to ISIS. In a joint op-ed in the Times of London, Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to fight the terrorist group. "If terrorist think we will weaken in the face of their treats they could not be more wrong. Countries like Britain and America will not be cowed by barbaric killers," the two men wrote.

2. Ukraine. The U.S. and E.U. are preparing another round of sanctions against Russia in response to its advances in Ukraine. "At the same time, if there is a peaceful de-escalation, that is preferable," said U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes. Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine could begin Friday. Russian President Vladimir Putin says he and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have agreed in principal on a deal that would implement at least a temporary cease-fire.

3. Ferguson. The Justice Department is opening a civil rights investigation into the St. Louis suburb's police department. The probe will explore previous incidents and complaints involving police, as well as its training of officers. The Ferguson police department came under fire for its response to protests last month over the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

4. Kansas Senate race. The contest is suddenly looking more promising for Democrats, ironically because the Democratic candidate has quit the race. Candidate Chad Taylor announced Wednesday night that he was dropping out. His departure has left an opening for independent candidate Greg Orman, who polls show matches up favorably against incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts. Orman has not said which party he would caucus with in the event he wins, but if the Democrats maintain control of the Senate, he would have more incentive to caucus with them in order to receive committee appointments of his choice.

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