Good morning, and happy Monday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Iraqi terrorists share grisly photos depicting massacre
Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants posted graphic photos of what looks like hundreds of Iraqi soldiers being killed. Those photos have not been independently verified by NBC News. The militants have taken several cities in Iraq, but an uprising of Shiite men are fighting to defend the capital city of Baghdad. The U.S. will not send troops back, President Barack Obama said Friday, but the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush and two other U.S. Navy ships arrived to the Persian Gulf on Sunday to keep Americans safe. Read more in NEWS.
2. Search continues for 3 teens missing in Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Hamas kidnapped three students who went missing in the West Bank on Thursday night. Israeli officials believe the abducted teens — Gilad Shaar, 19, and Eyal Yifrach, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16 — are alive. "The family is keeping their hopes up," said Ittael Fraenkel, the aunt of Naftali, who is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Israel. Read more in NEWS.
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3. Formula One legend Michael Schumacher out of hospital
Retired Formula One superstar Michael Schumacher was no longer in a coma and released from a French hospital at which he was being treated since a skiing accident in December. The seven-time world champion was with his son at the French resort of Meribel when he fell and hit his head on a rock. His manager said he still had a long road of recovery ahead. Read more in NEWS.
4. Somali extremists kill dozens in Kenya
Witnesses in a small Kenyan town where gunmen killed nearly 50 people overnight say the attackers gave residents religion and language tests before slaughtering those who gave incorrect answers. The witnesses said Monday that the gunmen refused to spare residents who weren't Muslim or didn't speak Somali. Similar kinds of religion tests were given by gunmen who assaulted Nairobi's Westgate Mall last year. Read more in NEWS.
5. Russia will cut off cash-strapped Ukraine’s gas supply
Talks between Russia and Ukraine on a long-running gas pricing dispute failed Monday, and Russia said they had no responsibility to provide gas to Ukraine since they hadn't paid for it. The Russian gas extracting company Gazprom has tolerated the late payments but now says Ukraine owes a total of $4.458 billion for gas from last year and this year, and won't revert to a previous low rate for Ukraine. Read more in NEWS.
6. Spurs beat Heat for 2014 NBA title
San Antonio won a third straight game over Miami to run away with a 104-87 Game 5 victory Sunday night. The Spurs take home their fifth championship in 16 seasons. Kawhi Leonard was named Finals MVP, after finishing a breakout performance with a team-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. For LeBron James and the Heat, four consecutive trips to the Finals are bookended by disappointing runner-up finishes.
7. United States kicks off at World Cup
The United States finally gets its World Cup underway Monday, hoping to reverse its record against Ghana, which has ended the American run at the last two World Cups. Anything short of victory would leave Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad in a precarious situation heading into daunting matchups against Group G favorites Germany and Portugal. Klinsmann has said repeatedly, “we need to beat Ghana" in the so-called Group of Death.
… What’s trending today?
Some coffee shops only give their employees the stale baked goods left over at the end of the day, but Starbucks is offering an education. Starting Monday, Starbucks employees who work at least 20 hours a week and have two years of college credits will have the opportunity to take Arizona State University online classes, on the house. Employees who don't have two years of credits racked up will get partial payment for school from the coffee chain. Good thing employees have access to an unlimited supply of caffeine.