Good morning, and happy Monday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Pistorius returns to the court room
The trial resumed Monday after experts who have been evaluating Oscar Pistorius for a month determined he did not suffer from any mental illness when he shot and killed his girlfriend. The trial was stalled for a month when a psychiatrist called by the defense said she diagnosed him with generalized anxiety disorder, leading the judge to order four experts to analyze if Pistorius was capable of telling right from wrong. They determined he could. Read more in NEWS.
2. Obama picks former Procter & Gamble CEO as head of VA
Robert McDonald will be nominated as head of Veterans Affairs, following Eric Shinseki's resignation amid explosive charges of mismanagement, falsification of records and systemic problems at veterans health facilities. The former Procter & Gamble CEO is also a veteran who spent five years as a paratrooper and still mentors cadets. Read more in NEWS.
3. ISIS declares themselves a caliphate
The Sunni insurgents marauding across Iraq changed their name, warning all other jihadi factions — there and beyond — to pledge themselves to the "Islamic State." Experts said the rebranding is a strategic effort by the militants to gain more ground and more supporters. The al-Qaeda off-shoot has garnered confidence in the past month as it makes strategic seizures of cities and towns in Iraq. Read more in NEWS.
4. Supreme Court to rule on Hobby Lobby case
A U.S. Supreme Court decision expected on Monday will determine whether for-profit corporations can object to a mandate in President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law that insurance for their employees cover contraceptives. The justices will weigh in on the controversial case at 10 a.m. ET., on the last day of their term. Read more in HEALTH.
5. Obama to ask for $2 billion for border crisis
Obama will send a letter to Congress on Monday requesting $2 billion to mitigate the growing number of illegal border crossings. Obama will also ask that the Homeland Security Department be granted the authority to fast track the screening and deportation of all immigrant children traveling without their parents, and for harsher penalties for those who smuggle children across the border. More than 52,000 unaccompanied children, most from Central America, have been apprehended entering the U.S. illegally via the Mexican border since October. Read more in NEWS.
6. Netherlands, Costa Rica advance at World Cup
Two late strikes by the Netherlands were enough to erase Mexico's advantage. That makes six consecutive tournaments that Mexico has made out of group play only to falter in the round of 16.The Netherlands, the 2010 runner-up, will play Costa Rica next. The tiny Central American nation eliminated Greece from the competition on Sunday. Read more in SPORTS.
Nigeria, France, Germany and Algeria will play today to join them in the quarterfinals.
... What's trending today?
Phone dies. Nervous breakdown ensues. Some can't go 5 minutes without their cellphones, but now there's scientific evidence to prove that nearly half of the American public wouldn't last a day. According to a new study commissioned by Bank of America, 91 percent of people called their phones "very important" and 47 percent said they couldn't go 24 hours without their phones.
First published June 30 2014, 4:25 AM