Good morning, and happy Wednesday! Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Tea Party challenger defeats Eric Cantor in stunning upset
Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican representing Virginia’s 7th district, lost in a primary challenge Tuesday to Dave Brat, a college economics professor. Cantor’s fall comes after he outspent the political newcomer, who is aligned with the Tea Party, by millions of dollars. It’s extraordinary for a congressional leader to lose his or her primary race and, in this case, one of the big reasons for the upset was the highly charged issue of immigration. Read more in POLITICS.
2. World Cup exposes Brazil’s poor preparations for big event
The world’s biggest sports spectacle opens Thursday, but Brazil appears ill-prepared to host the crush of soccer fans — even seven years after it was first selected as the host country. Workers are scrambling to finish five of the 12 stadiums, major infrastructure projects have been shelved and the new Sao Paulo airport terminal won’t be at capacity. While Brazilians have protested the cost and the waste, President Dilma Rousseff has publicly rebuked the “pessimists” ahead of the tournament. Read more in NEWS.
3. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel must answer about Bergdahl
Hagel will be on the hot seat with the House Armed Services committee today as outraged Republicans are demanding to know why Congress wasn’t briefed about the swap involving Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The Afghan Taliban released him in exchange for five Guantanamo Bay detainees. Among the questions Hagel is expected to be asked include did Bergdahl desert his post when he was captured in 2009 and what is the threat posed by the Gitmo detainees’ release? Read more in POLITICS.
4. Obama calls for ‘soul searching’ after shooting at Oregon school
Another school shooting Tuesday that led to the death of the gunman and a male student prompted President Barack Obama to ask the country to do some “soul searching.” “We’re the only developed country on earth where this happens and it happens now once a week, and it’s a one day story,” Obama said on a Q&A session on Tumblr. Authorities in Troutdale, Oregon, are still investigating why a 14-year-old freshman was killed in the locker room of Reynolds High School’s gymnasium. The shooter was not immediately identified. Read more in NEWS.
5. Al Qaeda offshoot wreaks havoc on Iraq’s second-largest city
The violence rocking the city of Mosul has led nearly half a million people to flee their homes, humanitarians said today. Many of the displaced are forced to flee on foot as government buildings, police stations and the airport have been taken over by Sunni insurgents. Much of the violence has been attributed to militants from the al Qaeda breakaway group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has waged a bloody battle to shake confidence in the Shi'ite-led government. Read more in NEWS.
6. Hillary Clinton reveals why she might not run in 2016
The former secretary of state and senator has one big reason why she isn’t gung-ho about running for president: “I am about to become a grandmother in the fall, which I know is gonna change my life,” Clinton said in a wide-ranging interview on “NBC Nightly News” on Tuesday. Clinton spoke on a variety of topics, from her upcoming role as grandmother to Edward Snowden to Karl Rove questioning her health. Clinton’s latest book, “Hard Choices,” was released Tuesday. Read more in POLITICS.
… What’s trending today?
A Georgia man stuck overnight at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport was all by himself — and had a little fun with it.
Richard Dunn decided to lip-synch to Celine Dion’s cover of “All By Myself” in the deserted airport. And because he was all by himself, he had to record himself by mounting his cellphone to a wheelchair and his suitcase handle.
In one scene, he was all by himself on an elevator and had to get creative with shooting.
“For the escalator shot I had to sprint up the steps after I got my shot so the computer bag didn't hit the top and fall back down,” he wrote on Vimeo. “Quite fun!”