Good morning, and happy Tuesday! Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release stirs emotions
Was he a deserter or hero? Should the U.S. have given up Gitmo detainees in order to free him? Bergdahl’s release Saturday from the Afghan Taliban has raised several questions and led to a backlash among some Republican lawmakers and military members. President Obama, who is currently on a tour of Europe, said today that Bergdahl is still recovering and not being interrogated about how he was first captured by the Taliban five years ago. Read more in NEWS.
2. Obama endorses U.S. military activity in Europe
After Russia made its military presence known on the border of Ukraine, President Obama has urged Congress to support a $1 billion initiative to step up America’s own activity in Europe. That would include exercises, training and boosting responsiveness of U.S. forces to reinforce NATO. Obama is on a four-day trip of the continent, and met this morning with President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland. Read more in NEWS.
3. Seattle City Council approves $15 minimum wage
Beginning next April, workers in Seattle will begin to see a higher minimum wage as part of an increase to $15 over time. The hourly wage would surpass San Francisco’s minimum of $10.74 per hour. While worker advocates cheered the City Council’s 9-0 vote on Monday, some small businesses worry the wage mandate will force them to close. Read more in BUSINESS.
4. FBI nabs media consultant at center of manhunt
Ryan Kelly Chamberlain II, a well-known social media expert and political consultant, was on the run since Saturday, when the FBI allegedly discovered explosives and a potentially deadly chemical in his San Francisco home. He was arrested by officers on a routine patrol on Monday night after a credible sighting of him earlier in the day at a San Francisco bar. Read more at NBC BAY AREA.
Chamberlain earlier took to Twitter to defend himself:
5. Dan Marino heads concussion lawsuit against the NFL
The former Miami Dolphins quarterback is leading the charge with 14 other retired players in a federal lawsuit against the league claiming it concealed the risk of concussions. There is no reference to specific medical conditions experienced by the Hall of Famer or any other named plaintiff in the suit other than standard language saying they each suffered from brain injuries and experienced symptoms over time. The NFL didn’t immediately comment. Read more at NBC SPORTS.
6. President Bashar Assad expected to sweep Syrian election
It’s all but a foregone conclusion that Assad, who’s been in power since 2000, will win a third seven-year term. Men and women took to the polls today, and many said re-electing him would give the Syrian leader more legitimacy in finding a solution to the devastating three-year civil war. Western powers, including the U.S. and Britain, along with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have called the vote a sham. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
This “Billie Jean” blows!
A group called the Bottle Boys from Copenhagen, Denmark, released a video last week of their performance of the Michael Jackson classic using beer bottles as instruments.
“Billie Jean is a really great song and it is perfect for trying out our new technique: double bottle playing,” they wrote on YouTube, where their post has more than 463,500 views. “The dentists don't recommend this we can assure!”
Well, at least it sounds good.