President Barack Obama attended Friday's 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasions in France, as did Russian President Vladimir Putin. While the Obama administration had been mum in the run-up to the event as to whether or not the two leaders would break their silence, which began early this spring in the midst of the Ukraine crisis, Obama and Putin did engage in a brief conversation. Obama reportedly urged Putin to end his support of Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, but the Kremlin media spun the meeting as a positive, saying Putin is once again welcome with his Western counterparts.
Presidents Obama, Putin, meet for first face-to-face since Ukraine crisis
United States adds 217,000 new jobs in May
The U.S. added 217,000 jobs in May, a bit ahead of Bloomberg's survey of economists who predicted 215,000 new jobs. While the unemployment rate remained at 6.3 percent, the U.S. is now nearly at its pre-recession employment level, of 138,365,000 total jobs. Economists consider that number a benchmark for the ongoing economic recovery.
Lawsuit filed challenging North Dakota's same-sex marriage ban
North Dakota, the last remaining state without a court challenge to its same-sex marriage ban, no longer holds that distinction. On Friday, seven couples filed a federal lawsuit doing just that, challenging both the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage, along with its refusal to recognize same-sex couples who were legally married in other states. The newly entered lawsuit means each of the 31 states that currently have gay marriage bans also currently have pending cases challenging those bans.
Ukraine's new president delivers inaugural address
Petro Poroshenko, one of the world's richest men, added "Ukrainian president" to his list of credentials this morning. The man who made billions as a chocolate maker took the oath of office in front of Vice President Joe Biden and several European presidents. "I don't want war. I don't want revenge," Poroshenko said. But, "who comes with the sword will fall from the sword."
Uber gains more than $1 billion in funding, now valued at $18 billion
Mutual funds and other investors have contributed $1.2 billion to Uber, Inc., the rides-on-demand service that began as a Silicon Valley startup. The company is now valued at $18.2 billion, one of the highest valuations ever for such a startup. The four-year-old service did not give details on its new investors, but the support bodes well for the company, which currently operates in 128 cities and 37 countries.
Children exposed to bacteria less likely to develop asthma, allergies
A new study published Friday in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that children exposed to both allergens and bacteria as babies were less likely to develop asthma and allergies. The new study offers a caveat to the hygiene hypothesis, which says that kids exposed to bacteria gain immune systems trained to fight bad bugs. Instead, the authors of this study say children must be exposed to both bacteria and allergens - one or the other, but not both, found children just as likely to suffer from allergies and asthma. "It adds a degree of precision," Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.
'30 Rock' actor Tracy Morgan in intensive care following fatal pileup
A multi-vehicle accident on the New Jersey Turnpike left at least one dead and several hospitalized early this morning, including actor and comedian Tracy Morgan. Two tractor-trailers, an SUV, two cars and Morgan's limo bus accounted for the six-car pileup, although officials said they did not yet know what caused the crash. Morgan, 45, starred on the NBC comedy 30 Rock and spent several years as a performer on Saturday Night Live. A scheduled comedy performance in North Carolina tonight has been canceled.
Poll: Half of Americans view gay marriage as constitutional right
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll reveals that half of Americans view gay marriage as a constitutional right, versus 43 percent who do not. The poll showed that age and ideology correlate closely with opinions on gay marriage; 77 percent of respondents younger than 30 support gay marriage, compared to 38 percent of seniors. Public opinion has shifted rapidly in recent years, with 19 states and the District of Columbia now allowing gay couples to legally wed.
Daytime Emmy Awards will not broadcast on live television
For the first time in its 41-year history, the Daytime Emmy Awards will not be broadcast on live television. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday that it could not secure an agreement with any network, so it will live-stream the June 22 ceremony on its website instead. In the early 1990s, nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to the awards show, but in recent years ratings have dropped drastically, with fewer than two million viewers tuning in each year.
'Singing nun' wins 'The Voice of Italy'
Italy's singing nun, Sister Cristina Scuccia, won The Voice of Italy on Thursday night after gaining international fame for her catchy pop covers. Scuccia's audition back in March, when she sang Alicia Keys' "No One," has gone viral on the internet, racking up more than 50 million views so far. "My presence here is not up to me, it's thanks to the man upstairs," Scuccia said in Italian after learning of her victory.