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Washington's Top News -- Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday - 8/22/2014, 3:42am  ET

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

Warning on militants

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says U.S. airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain a foothold in Iraq.

But Hagel warns Islamic State militants can be expected to regroup. Speaking alongside Hagel at the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey said although the Islamic State group can be contained, it cannot be defeated without attacking it in Syria.

Missouri governor orders withdrawal of Guard from Ferguson

The National Guard is leaving Ferguson, Missouri.

Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the Guard to begin pulling out of the St. Louis suburb after a third night of relatively peaceful protests following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.

American Airlines will charge for solo 12-14 year olds

American Airlines says it will charge a $150 fee each way for minors between 12 and 14 who fly alone.

The change starts Sept. 3. Currently, American charges a fee on top of the regular fare for unaccompanied minors between 5 and 11.

Authorities: Woman accused in New York state kidnapping talks

A New York woman accused along with her boyfriend of kidnapping two young Amish sisters and sexually abusing them says she and her boyfriend planned to turn the girls into slaves, but the couple became frightened by news reports.

Authorities in St. Lawrence County say Nicole Vaisey has admitted that she and boyfriend, Stephen Howells Jr., lured the 7-year-old and 12-year-old sisters to their car and shoved them in. Authorities say Vaisey told them they shackled the girls and intended to turn them into slaves, but released them 24 hours later after hearing news reports.

Study: Wealth gap widened in the last decade

A report from the Census Bureau is the latest evidence that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer.

The study released Thursday divided the U.S. into five groups, from wealthiest to poorest. The median net worth of the richest households rose 11 percent between 2000 and 2011, to $630,754. The next-wealthiest group's net worth also rose. But because wealth dropped for the majority of Americans, the median household net worth for the country overall declined about 7 percent to $68,828.

Don't get hooked by spear phishing scams

You know not to click on links in emails from people you've never heard of promising you untold riches (you do know that, right?), but those are the easy scams to avoid, known as phishing scams. But what if you got an email from your company's CEO with an attachment about the company being acquired, or an email from a co-worker telling you your favorite band is coming to town?

That's called spear phishing, and it's a more devious method of reeling people in because it uses information that's already out there about you on sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to make scam emails look very convincing. On WTOP's Tech page, Ken Colburn, of the Data Doctors, tells you what to look for and how to protect yourself.

The Maryland Renaissance Festival: 38 years of keeping it old-school

The Maryland Renaissance Festival has been celebrating the 16th century since the 20th century -- 38 years, to be precise. It's not just long-running, though - it's considered one of the best fairs of its kind in the country, full of actors, artisans and a bevy of performers whose talents range from sword swallowing to jousting. This year's theme revolves around a royal execution - you don't want to miss that.

On WTOP's Entertainment page, Alicia Lozano takes a look at the last-minute preparations and talks to the organizers, artisans and performers about what makes it special.

The real story behind "When the Game Stands Tall"

The film "When the Game Stands Tall" opens this weekend, based on the real-life story of California's De La Salle High School football team and their epic 151-game winning streak. Jim Caviezel plays head coach Bob Ladouceur, who was at least as committed to building the character of his players as to winning games. But Hollywood always distorts the truth at least a little -- how closely does the film track the reality?

Digital sports editor Noah Frank went to De La Salle during their winning streak, and on WTOP's Sports page, he and film critic talk with Ladouceur about his career, the winning streak, what the film got right and wrong, and why a Hollywood film about his team is a bit of a problem in the first place.

A preview of fall food, wine and beer festivals

Summer may be winding down, but there's plenty of deliciousness to look forward to this fall -- including wine festivals, Oktoberfest celebrations and artisan food pop-up markets. Here's what your taste buds can expect to experience.

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

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