Good morning and TGIF from NBC News. Here’s some of what we’re working on.
1. World Cup Sweet 16: Belgium is next for Americans
No more draws, no more worrying about goal differential: It’s time for bracketology, World Cup style. The United States will face Belgium in the Round of 16 on Tuesday in Salvador, Brazil. This after the Americans lost to Germany but escaped the so-called Group of Death. Soccerly has a rundown on the Belgians, and NBC Sports has everything else you need to know about the knockout stage.
2. Saudi Arabia’s complex role in Iraq conflict
Secretary of State John Kerry, trying to keep Iraq from splitting apart, is focusing on how Saudi Arabia can help. Kerry is in Jeddah for talks with King Abdullah. The Sunni insurgents rampaging across Iraq get money from individual Saudis, but they don’t like the cozy relationship that the Sunni kingdom has with the United States. Read more in NEWS.
3. Did missing boy fear exercise punishment?
A report from an NBC affiliate says the Detroit boy who was missing 11 days before he was found in his father’s basement might have been afraid of punishment for stopping in the middle of a strict exercise routine. WDIV in Detroit reports that the boy, Charlie Bothuell, was required to do 4,000 strides on an elliptical trainer without a break. Read more in NEWS.
4. Device that helps paraplegics walk gets FDA OK
The Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to a robotic exoskeleton that helps paralyzed people walk again. Studies show that the device, called ReWalk, also helps the paralyzed regain muscle strength, stamina and other benefits. Says one Marine who uses it: “It will be incredible for me to regain independence, to use the system to walk and stand on my own.” Read more in HEALTH.
5. Christian woman in Sudan takes refuge at U.S. Embassy
Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian mother in Sudan who was sentenced to death for denouncing Islam, has taken refuge at the U.S. Embassy after being released from police custody for a second time. She wants to fly to the United States, but she still faces forgery charges related to the travel documents she tried to use to leave the country. Read more in NEWS.
6. Convict caught after 40 years on the run
Investigators say they’ve caught a convict who eluded them for more than 40 years — and was living in Iowa under the identities of two 5-year-old boys who died in the 1940s. Ronald Dwaine Carnes, now 69, has been charged with misusing Social Security numbers and aggravated identity theft. Investigators say he spent decades underground after escaping from a North Carolina prison in 1973. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
He’ll never know how it ended: Shia LaBeouf was marched out of a Broadway performance of “Cabaret” by police at intermission on Thursday night. The “Transformers” film star was smoking in the theater and yelling during the first act, the cops said. It’s not the first time LaBeouf has been in trouble. Read more from NBC New York.