4 things you need to know for today

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(CNN) — A mission to rescue James Foley before his death fails and protests in Ferguson abate.

It’s Thursday, and here are the “4 Things You Need to Know for Today.”

JOURNALIST BEHEADING

Failed mission:

Earlier this summer, Special Ops units flew into Syria on a mission to rescue American journalist James Foley and others. But when they reached the target location, no one was there. That’s the latest revelation about Foley’s finals days in the hands of ISIS, which taunted his family in an e-mail a week ago, saying he would be killed. That’s what ISIS did, in a gruesome videotaped beheading.

FERGUSON PROTESTS

Two months:

It looks like it might be that long before a local grand jury decides whether to bring charges in the death of Michael Brown. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch began presenting the case yesterday. The same day, the crowds were smaller and calmer in Ferguson – a departure from the confrontations between police and protesters the last couple of nights.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Not yet:

In Virginia, residents voted to ban same-sex marriage. An appeals court struck down that ban last month and said the state should start providing marriage licenses to gay couples. Yesterday, the Supreme Court stepped in and issued an order that effectively said: No, gay and lesbian couples can’t legally wed in the state for now.

EBOLA OUTBREAK

Heading home:

Dr. Kent Brantly, who contracted the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa while helping fight its largest outbreak in recorded history, will be released from Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital today. Emory will also have information on fellow missionary Nancy Writebol.