's Snapshot: The stories you need to see

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

Making the news a little more digestible,'s Snapshot is your quick guide to the biggest stories of the day.

Today we're following the shocking numbers the World Health Organization released on the real threat of Ebola, the escalating conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and parents who don't want their kids playing football -- unless it's touch.'s Snapshot: The stories you need to see
Are you a pot farmer who is willing and able to "cultivate and harvest, process, analyze store and distribute cannabis (marijuana) for research?" Are you in possession of a "secure and video monitored outdoor facility" with ample acreage to grow ganja for the government? Well, the National Institutes of Health may have a job for you. The NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse is soliciting proposals from growers who can meet their job criteria and want to get in on a yearlong marijuana R&D expedition. The agency is looking into developing plants with altered versions of THC -- the main psychoactive component of pot -- and cannabidiol, which has medicinal applications, according to TIME. Those with paranoia need not apply. 

The spread of Ebola may already be worse than we think. Officials from the World Health Organization said Thursday that outbreak that's engulfed West Africa eventually could exceed 20,000 cases. That's six times as many cases as doctors have recorded so far, and officials believe the spread of the disease is continuing to accelerate. More than 1,500 have died from Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. Meanwhile, in the U.S. researchers will begin testing a new vaccine designed to prevent against the disease. 

ISIS and its role in Syria continues to get more complicated. The Islamic militants released gruesome images of their raid on a Syrian military base Wednesday, and some are starting to believe the U.S. may need to launch airstrikes in Syria in order to stop the group's takeover of the region. That leaves some tricky questions for President Obama, who stopped short of pursuing airstrikes in Syria last year, pushing Congress to formally approve the move. This time, there are signs he may not wait for lawmakers. 
"Russian forces have entered Ukraine." That's what Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced Thursday as Russia's involvement in the conflict escalated. Ukrainian officials announced that two columns of tanks rolled into a strategically important town shortly after missiles originating from Russia were fired towards Ukrainian forces. A NATO military officer said they now believe more than 1,000 Russian forces have entered Ukraine, both "supporting separatists (and) fighting with them." So far Russia continues to deny any involvement. 

Pee Wee sports aren't what they used to be -- and parents are taking note. A new Associated Press-GfK poll revealed that 44 percent of parents aren't comfortable with their child playing football, especially as uncertainty mounts about the long-term impacts of concussions. But football isn't the only sport that has parents saying no to signing up -- ice hockey and wrestling are also raising concerns. Still, that hasn't necessarily stopped their children from playing. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, nearly 1.1. million students played 11-man football during the 2012-2013 school year -- more than 20,000 since 2008-2009. 

There's nothing like a Hollywood happy ending. Perennial tabloid couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie -- or Brangelina --- have finally gotten hitched. The pair married Saturday in Correns, France, according to a spokesman for the couple. The whole Jolie-Pitt brood got in on the wedding festivities, joining the ceremony to walk Angie down the aisle, throw petals for the bride and present the couple with their rings. Congrats, you crazy kids.   

QUICK READ: 10 stories everyone is buzzing about


Stay tuned for more updates, and be sure to follow AOL on other social platforms to see how we inform and entertain across the social sphere:

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube

Read Full Story

People are Reading