Good morning, and happy Monday! Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release raises questions
The unexpected release of Bergdahl, the only American soldier captured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was cheered by his family, military brass, politicians and his hometown in Idaho. But his safe return came at a cost: The U.S. agreed to turn over five Taliban commanders who have been locked up at Guantanamo Bay since 9/11. Some Republican lawmakers say the deal creates a grim precedent and worry the release of terrorists will embolden the Taliban. Read more in NEWS.
Bergdahl’s parents, meanwhile, spoke Sunday saying they can’t wait to see their son, who is recovering in Germany before he returns to the United States:
2. EPA to announce major cuts for carbon emissions
The Obama administration today will unveil its proposal that existing U.S. power plants will have to cut their carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030. The announcement will work through the Clean Air Act, which requires states to adopt performance standards for existing sources of pollution. Environmental Protection Agency data show the nation’s power plants have reduced carbon emissions by nearly 13 percent since 2005 — but Republican lawmakers say putting further benchmarks on power plants will raise costs and hurt jobs. Read more in POLITICS.
3. Deadly jet crash takes life of Philadelphia Inquirer owner
A private plane that crashed during takeoff in Massachusetts late Saturday killed seven people on board, including Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner and former New Jersey Nets owner Lewis Katz. The National Transportation Safety Board is sifting through clues in the crash, and one witness told investigators that the plane never even got off the ground. Katz last Tuesday had just won a deal to buy out other partners for the newspaper company and gain control of the Inquirer. Read more in NEWS.
4. Spain’s King Carlos abdicates throne to son
After nearly four decades as The Crown, 76-year-old Juan Carlos announced today he is stepping down so his 46-year-old son, Prince Felipe, can take over. King Carlos’ popularity took a hit following royal scandals, including an elephant-shooting trip he took in the middle of Spain’s financial crisis. During the vacation, the King broke his right hip and had to be flown from Botswana back to Spain for medical treatment aboard a private jet. Read more in NEWS.
5. Ailing radio icon Casey Kasem hospitalized after family feud
Kasem, the former “Top 40” radio host, was in the spotlight last month after his children said they were being kept in the dark from his wife about his whereabouts. He was later found recovering in Washington state as the family battles in court over his care. The drama, however, took another turn Sunday when his wife reportedly threw a pound of hamburger meat at his eldest daughter as paramedics were called to take her father to the hospital. Read more in POP CULTURE.
6. 'Brady Bunch' fans remember Ann B. Davis as witty Alice
Davis passed away Sunday at age 88 after suffering a fall at her San Antonio, Texas, home, and never regaining consciousness. The sitcom stalwart found fame as the sharp-tongued secretary on “The Bob Cummings Show,” in which she won two Emmys, but it was her turn as Alice the housekeeper on “The Brady Bunch” that cemented her place in pop culture history. Read more in POP CULTURE.
… What’s trending today?
Controversial video leaked over the weekend of teen idol-turned-wild child Justin Bieber telling a racist joke that included the N-word.
The clip was reportedly taken while Bieber was 15. The now-20-year-old has apologized amid the fallout, saying his “ignorance has no place in our society and I hope the sharing of my faults can prevent others from making the same mistake in the future.”