Mississippi state flag, Fort Hood leadership change, Thunder-Rockets: 5 things to know Wednesday – USA TODAY

VJ Day: World War II’s end came 75 years ago

Seventy-five years ago on Wednesday, a Japanese delegation formally signed surrender documents aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, officially ending World War II. News of Japan’s unconditional surrender had been announced in the United States on Aug. 14, 1945, setting off a frenzy of celebration around the world. The war’s end was hastened by America’s use of atomic bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, respectively. Tensions over nuclear weapons have remained a major issue ever since.

Prefer to listen? Check out the 5 things podcast below and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts:

Proposed design for new Mississippi state flag to be unveiled

The commission responsible for picking a design for Mississippi’s new state flag will meet Wednesday to choose a finalist. The public will vote in November on whether to accept the final design as the new flag. One finalist bears a shield with red stripes and waves; the other features a magnolia flower surrounded by a circle of stars, bordered by red stripes. Both showcase the words “In God We Trust.” The two designs were selected out of about 3,000 submitted. Earlier this summer, lawmakers voted to remove Mississippi’s previous flag, which featured the Confederate battle emblem, a symbol associated with white supremacy.

New leadership at Fort Hood amid investigation

Maj. Gen. John Richardson will assume duties as deputy commanding general for operations of III Corps Fort Hood starting Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. Richardson’s new role at Fort Hood comes after the murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who had complained of sexual harassment, has sparked accusations among her family and on Capitol Hill that the Army failed to act with urgency to find her. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said a survey of soldiers at Fort Hood showed that about one-third said they’d been subjected to sexual harassment.  On Aug. 25, the body of Sgt. Elder Fernandes was found hanging from a tree about 25 miles from the base. Fernandes was the target of harassment after complaining that he had been groped by a superior officer, according to his family’s lawyer. 

Fourteen go on trial in Paris over Charlie Hebdo terror attack 

Fourteen people go on trial in Paris on Wednesday, accused of helping the killers in the deadly Islamist terror attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo more than five years ago. Twelve people were shot dead by brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi in the attack in Paris in January 2015 before the gunmen were killed by police. It was the start of a three-day rampage in which another gunman shot a policewoman and attacked a Kosher supermarket in the French capital. A total of 17 people were killed in the attacks. France suffered a number of terrorist attacks in the ensuing years in which more than 250 people were killed. Charlie Hebdo reprinted controversial caricatures of the prophet Muhammad to mark the beginning of the trial, sparking criticism from Pakistan’s foreign ministry. The defendants face charges including supplying weapons and financing the attackers in the trial, which was postponed by nearly four months because of the coronavirus pandemic and is expected to last until November.

NBA: Thunder, Rockets battle for Western Conference semifinal ticket 

For the second consecutive night, the NBA playoffs will feature a Game 7 elimination game. On Tuesday night, the Denver Nuggets completed an unlikely comeback from a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Utah Jazz in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series. The Los Angeles Lakers await the winner of Wednesday night’s Game 7 showdown between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder (9 p.m. ET, ESPN). Before Thunder-Rockets Game 7, the Miami Heat will attempt to take a 2-0 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).