KNOW IT ALL: Wednesday's Top Stories at NBC News


Iraqi Shiite tribal fighters wearing military uniforms chant slogans against the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Baghdad's Sadr city, Iraq, Tuesday, June 17, 2014, after authorities urged Iraqis to help battle insurgents. Thousands of Shiites from Baghdad and across southern Iraq answered an urgent call to arms Saturday, joining security forces to fight the Islamic militants who have captured large swaths of territory north of the capital and now imperil a city with a much-revered religious shrine. AP

Good morning, and happy Wednesday! Here are some of the stories we're following today:

1. U.S. forces capture alleged Benghazi mastermind

Special Operations forces essentially swooped in and out to capture alleged Libyan terrorist Ahmed Abu Khattala on Sunday, officials announced Tuesday. Khattala has been wanted in the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya. A U.S. official told NBC News that the operation was made easier because Khattala was “persona non grata” with the Libyan government. “He was on the run from both us and them,” the official said. Read more in NEWS.


2. Militants march closer to Baghdad, attack oil refinery

Sunni insurgents began threatening Iraq’s largest oil refinery late Tuesday, about 155 miles north of the capital of Baghdad. The attack continued into the morning, with fighters targeting it with mortar shells, while a small fire started on the facility’s periphery. This is only the latest siege in what could escalate into a sectarian civil war with the nation’s Shiite-led government. Some 275 armed American forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to help secure U.S. assets. Read more in NEWS.

3. First death-row inmates executed since debacle

About two months after a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma left an inmate writhing in pain, two of the nation’s first executions have been carried out: One in Georgia on Tuesday night, and the other in Missouri just after midnight. Observers at both executions reported no complications. Efforts to stop Georgia prisoner Marcus Wellons’ death less than an hour before execution time failed after a federal appeals court declined to intervene. Read more in NEWS.

4. Obama’s approval ratings fall to lowest level: poll

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are tanking. In a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, a majority of respondents — 54 percent — believe he is no longer able to lead the country, and his overall approval rating is at 41 percent. That’s tied for his all-time low in the survey. But Obama is in poor company in Washington. Only 32 percent of voters say their member of Congress deserves to be re-elected, compared with 57 percent who want to give a new person a chance. Read more in POLITICS.

5. 3-D smartphone? Amazon to unveil new product

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will lead the launch of a tech gadget at its Seattle headquarters. But what is it? While the company has stayed mum, analysts believe it will be Amazon’s first smartphone. A Wall Street Journal report in April first floated the possibility that the phone could allow for 3-D images. But could Amazon be making a big mistake? Read more in TECH.

6. Dr. Oz’s diet claims get scolding from Congress

A Senate subcommittee had sharp words for celebrity host Dr. Mehmet Oz as they investigate bogus diet product ads. Oz admitted he uses “flowery” language on his shows, and said he realizes that the moment he recommends a product, the scammers use his words to sell spurious products. “I concede to my colleagues at the FTC that I am making their job more difficult,” he said. But Oz himself has sued some of the companies using his image, and said he never actually sells products. Read more in HEALTH.


… What’s trending today?

Here they go again.

Los Angeles alternative rockers OK Go are no strangers to complex music videos after choreographing a routine on treadmills for their 2006 single, “Here It Goes Again.”

Now, they’re hoping to give fans a new perspective for their latest trippy video, “The Writing’s On the Wall.”