Good morning, and happy Wednesday! Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Taliban releases video showing Bergdahl transfer
Pentagon spokesman RADM John Kirby said there's no reason to doubt the 17-minute video that the Taliban said shows the moments in which former prisoner Bowe Bergdahl was released back to American custody, after almost five years in captivity. Bergdahl remains at the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany for treatment, while controversy over the nature of his capture and the exchange of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners stirs in the U.S. Read more in NEWS.
2. New NSA chief says Snowden ‘probably’ not a Russian spy
Adm. Michael Rogers, who became head of the U.S.'s spy infrastructure in April, said it's improbable Edward Snowden is — or ever was — a spy for Russia. Snowden said in a recent NBC News interview that he isn't working with Russia and didn't purposefully end up there. Rogers said Snowden's decision to leak thousands of NSA documents was illegal, but he believes Snowden was doing what he considered the right thing to do. Read more in NEWS.
3. Tiananmen anniversary brings increased security to the square
Thousands of tourists flocked to Tiananmen Square in Beijing Wednesday to mark the 25th anniversary of the democracy movement and bloody military crackdown that left hundreds of people dead. The tourists have been met with long lines and increased precautionary measures, while armed paramilitary patrols on foot and in open jeeps have canvassed a 3-mile radius around the square. Read more in NEWS.
4. Cochran and McDaniel likely headed for runoff in Mississippi
With nearly 98 percent of the votes in early Wednesday, longtime Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran had 48.8 percent of the votes, while tea party challenger Chris McDaniel led slightly at 49.6 percent. If neither candidate reaches 50 percent, the campaigning will drag through to a runoff on June 23. Read more in POLITICS.
5. Severe weather heads to Ohio and Tennessee valleys
After delivering baseball-sized hail and damaging winds to Nebraska on Tuesday, a severe bout of extreme weather is headed east. Over 15 million Americans are in the risk zone of heavy winds and thunderstorms. The Mississippi River Valley could see some tornadoes, and The Weather Channel warns of possible power outages in the heaviest-hit areas. Read more in Weather.
6. Boston bombing suspect Tsarnaev expected he would die
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sent an email to his mother after the bombings at the Boston Marathon that said, "If I don't see you in this life, I will will see you in theakhira," or afterlife. Prosecutors in his trial argue the e-mail showed that "he did not expect to return alive, and this abandoned his expectation of privacy in everything he left behind," giving them the allowance to search his dorm room. Tsarnaev, 20, could face the death penalty if he's convicted. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
Getting to the airport directly before your flight is more efficient and saves time, a mathematician argues. If you get there two or three hours early, you're wasting hundred of hours over the course of your life, Jordan Ellenberg says. What he may not have considered is the five years travelers age when their flight number is being called and the woman going through security in front of them is wearing 48 pieces of chunky jewelry ... and a belt.