Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 8, 2014

Jon Terbush
California Chrome can't catch up to win the Triple Crown Rob Carr / Getty Images
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1.

California Chrome falls short in Triple Crown bid

Needing only a win in the Belmont Stakes to pull off horse racing's first Triple Crown in 36 years, California Chrome slogged to a disappointing fifth-place finish Saturday. Tonalist won the 146th Belmont Stakes instead. None of the top three finishers raced in both the Preakness and Kentucky Derby — the other two legs of the Triple Crown — leading Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn to blast their owners for taking "the coward's way out."

2.

Al-Sisi sworn is as Egypt's new president

Former army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in Sunday as Egypt's new president, roughly one year after he helped overthrow predecessor Mohamed Morsi. With the inauguration, Sisi became Egypt's fifth head of state since 2011, the year longtime leader Hosni Mubarak stepped down amid widespread protests. In a nod to the chaos that has since hindered the nation's halting efforts at governance, al-Sisi said Sunday, "the time has come to build a more stable future."

3.

Bowe Bergdahl recounts torture endured during captivity

One week after being rescued in a controversial prisoner exchange, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl says he was tortured while held captive in Afghanistan. Bergdahl told the medical personnel attending to him that he was regularly beaten and, when he tried to escape, locked in a metal cage in complete darkness for weeks on end. "These are Taliban, not wet nurses," a Defense Department official told The New York Times.

4.

Pope to unite Israeli, Palestinian presidents in historic prayer

Pope Francis is slated to host a peace prayer Sunday with the heads of Palestine and Israel in hopes of reinvigorating stalled negotiations between the two nations. During a Middle East trip last month, the Pope invited Israel's Shimon Peres and Palestine's Mahmoud Abbas to meet with him at the Vatican. On Sunday, Pope Francis said he hoped the meeting would "re-create a desire, a possibility" for furthering the peace process.

5.

Obama to announce plans to ease student debt

President Obama on Monday will announce new executive actions aimed at easing the burden of unwieldy college loans. Specifically, the president will expand a 2010 law that capped loan repayments at 10 percent of a borrower's monthly income, a tweak expected to aid about 5 million people. The president is also expected to announce that the Education Department will work with loan providers to incentivize repayment over delinquency and default.

6.

Maria Sharapova wins her second French Open

Maria Sharapova defeated Simona Halep in three sets to capture the French Open title on Saturday. It was Sharapova's second French Open trophy and her fifth major title overall. On the men's side, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will meet Sunday in the final.

7.

Bill Watterson made a secret return to comics

Famed Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson retired from the comic business two decades ago, but he made a surprise return last week to collaborate, in secret, on another comic's work. The reclusive artist contributed a few panels to Stephen Pastis' syndicated strip Pearls Before Swine, and then revealed his involvement this weekend to The Washington Post. The original doodles will be donated to raise money for Parkinson's research.

8.

Truck driver charged in wreck that killed one, injured Tracy Morgan

A truck driver from Georgia was charged Saturday in the multi-car crash that killed one man and seriously injured several others, including comedian Tracy Morgan. Prosecutors charged 35-year-old Kevin Roper with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Morgan remained in intensive care as of Sunday morning.

9.

Kings win in OT again, take 2-0 series lead

The Los Angeles Kings squeaked past the New York Rangers in double-overtime on Saturday to push their Stanley Cup finals edge to two games to none. The Rangers were livid over the outcome because a controversial no-call on what appeared to be goalie interference allowed the Kings to claw within one in the third period. The series shifts back to New York Monday.

10.

Family, friends mourn Maya Angelou

Mourners remembered poet Maya Angelou, who died last month at the age of 86, in a private ceremony Saturday. Among the attendees were former President Bill Clinton and First Ldy Michelle Obama, the latter of whom offered a touching tribute about how Angelou's words "sustained me on every step of my journey" and "carried a little black girl from the South Side of Chicago all the way to the White House."