Good morning, and happy Friday the 13th! Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl back on U.S. soil
Bergdahl was moved from a military hospital in Germany to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, early Friday. He will not make any public appearances during this phase of his reintegration, and the Pentagon said there would be no media access to his stay. Since Bergdahl’s rescue last month from the hands of the Afghan Taliban after five years, the Obama administration has had to defend a deal that allowed five Gitmo detainees to be released in exchange for the soldier. Read more in NEWS.
2. Iraqi insurgents capture more towns amid chaos
After militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) overran the country’s second-largest city, Mosul, earlier this week, they’ve now pressed south toward Baghdad in a bid to remove the Shiite-led government. Along the way, other towns have fallen to the Sunni insurgents, and fleeing residents have said the fighters have threatened to rape women and take them as wives. U.S. intervention is not off the table. Read more in NEWS.
3. World Cup excitement in Brazil begins with missteps
The world’s most-watched sports tournament started Thursday with an opening ceremony performance from Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull. Global TV viewers, however, took to Twitter to complain about the poor audio levels blamed on a single feed that was used to broadcast the concert worldwide. The first game between Brazil and Croatia found the host country winning 3-1, but not without controversy over a hotly contested penalty call gave the hosts the lead. Matches today include Chile vs. Australia, Mexico vs. Cameroon and Spain vs. the Netherlands. Read more at NBC SPORTS.
4. Ukrainian forces launch attack to reclaim control
Rebels aligned with Russia in the country’s east have claimed control of government buildings and airports since the rise of the pro-Western government in Kiev. But in the rebel-held port city of Mariupol, Ukrainian forces struck back today in a pre-dawn raid. What the operation will accomplish remains to be seen. Read more in NEWS.
5. What happens to migrant border children?
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson wasn’t exactly clear Thursday when he spoke about children who arrive illegally in the U.S. without their parents. Johnson’s response demonstrated the delicacy of the issue the Obama administration has on its hands. But Johnson remained resolute: “I am not encouraging in any way shape or form illegal migration. That’s the message.” Read more in LATINO.
6. Legacies on the line in NHL, NBA finals
Will the Los Angeles Kings get the chance to lift the Stanley Cup on home ice? With a 3-1 series lead, the Kings have the chance to put the nail in the New York Rangers’ coffin at 8 tonight. (Watch all of the action on NBC.) Meanwhile, the Miami Heat fell to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night, meaning their road to a threepeat could end Sunday, when the Spurs (now up 3-1) have the chance to take the series. Read more at NBC SPORTS.
… What’s trending today?
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appeared on “The Tonight Show” for the first time since Jimmy Fallon and Bruce Springsteen mocked his handling of the now-infamous bridge scandal.
Christie didn’t break a sweat, though, when he and Fallon appeared in a sketch called “The Evolution of Dad Dancing.”