President Barack Obama addressed the recent chaos in Iraq on Friday, saying that despite an advancement toward Baghdad by Sunni-extremist insurgents, the United States will not use ground forces to assist the Iraqi government. However, Obama did say that a national security team is currently preparing options, including possible air strikes. "People should not anticipate this is something that is going to happen overnight," he said. "We want to make sure that we have good eyes on the situation there."
Obama rules out ground forces in Iraq conflict
General Motors makes new round of ignition-switch related recalls
Another 511,528 General Motors vehicles were recalled on Friday, a relative blip on the automaker's 16.5-million total recalled cars in 38 separate actions this year alone. The most recent round is cited as stemming from an ignition switch problem (separate from the ignition switch problem linked to at least 13 deaths only made public earlier this year), in which drivers of the Chevrolet Camaro could bump the current-model key fob and cause the engine to abruptly shut off. While the company said no fatalities have been reported as a result of this problem, there have been several minor accidents.
Raúl Labrador announces he will run for Majority Leader
Tea Party favorite Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) said on Friday that he will run for the Majority Leader position being vacated by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Also vying for the position is current House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is considered a favorite to win the June 19 election. Labrador, a sophomore lawmaker from Eagle, said he is "in it to win it. I didn't get into (the Majority Leader race) to send a message."
Los Angeles Kings win the Stanley Cup
The Los Angeles Kings netted their second Stanley Cup in three seasons on Friday night, defeating the New York Rangers in double overtime, 3-2. Alec Martinez fired Game 5's winning shot at 14:43 in double OT, finding a crack in Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist's solid defense (Lundqvist had 48 saves on the night).
Scientists discover massive water reservoir beneath Earth's surface
Researchers announced evidence of enough water to fill the world's oceans buried deep beneath the Earth's surface this week. While the water is not in liquid form (rather, it's embedded in magma pockets about 400 miles beneath Earth's surface), the discovery bolsters an idea held by some geologists that instead of arriving via comets striking the planet, water gradually oozed from the early Earth's interior.
FCC announces investigation into Netflix's dispute with ISPs
Following traffic disputes between Netflix and Internet Service Providers such as Verizon and Comcast, the Federal Communications Commission announced on Friday that it will investigate the issue. Netflix claims that streaming speeds are being slowed by ISPs, in order to force the service to pay more for its videos to reach subscribers. "We don't know the answers and we are not suggesting that any company is at fault," Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman, said. "What we are doing right now is collecting information, not regulating." The FCC is also in the midst of drafting new net neutrality rules.
Priceline buys OpenTable for $2.6 billion
Online travel website Priceline announced on Friday that it is purchasing restaurant-reservation site OpenTable for $2.6 billion. The move marks Priceline's first foray past acquisitions of car, hotel and air flight reservation websites. OpenTable reportedly serves nearly 15 million people each month, booking reservations at more than 30,000 restaurants.
CDC releases report on teenagers, says they are 'choosing health'
A wide-ranging report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday concludes that teenagers are "choosing health," Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said. A survey of 13,000 high schoolers showed that teens are smoking less (36.4 percent in 1997 compared to 15.7 percent in 2013), getting into fewer physical fights, and having less sex. However, of teenagers who are sexually active, one statistic was troubling, as 59 percent reported using condoms, down by four percent since 2003.
U.S. says Russia has sent tanks, weapons to Ukraine separatists
The State Department reported on Friday that Russia sent tanks, rocket launchers and other military vehicles across the border, to be used by separatists in Ukraine. The move comes after Western nations have repeatedly warned Russia to de-escalate the pro-Russian separatists' maneuvers. The State Department called the situation "unacceptable," and warned that Russia will face "additional costs" if it continues the operations.
Chuck Noll, former Steelers coach, dies at 82
Chuck Noll, the legendary coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers who won a record four Super Bowl titles with the team, died Friday night. He was 82 years old. The Hall-of-Fame coach took over a rag-tag team in 1969 that had never reached postseason play and turned the Steelers into a winning machine throughout the 1970s (the team won its Super Bowl titles in 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979). While he coached plenty of future Hall-of-Famers, one of Noll's most iconic players was Terry Bradshaw, drafted No. 1 in 1970, who would throw the "Immaculate Reception" two years later.