RSS
10 things you need to know today: June 16, 2014
Insurgents claim they executed 1,700 Iraqi soldiers, San Antonio wins the NBA title, and more
 
Champs. 
Champs.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

1. U.S. pulls some Iraq embassy workers as insurgents boast of executions
The U.S. has beefed up security at its embassy in Baghdad with 50 to 100 Marines and Army soldiers, U.S. officials said Sunday. The U.S. also is evacuating some embassy personnel as a precaution as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threatens to attack the capital. ISIS said it had executed 1,700 Iraqi soldiers, and posted photos online Sunday appearing to show some of the killings. [CNN, The New York Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

2. Spurs crush Heat in Game 5 to win the NBA Finals
The San Antonio Spurs routed the Miami Heat 104–87 on Sunday to win the NBA Finals four games to one, denying the Heat a third straight title. The Spurs bounced back after trailing by 16 points early in the first quarter. Heat star LeBron James had 17 points in the first quarter, but was less effective the rest of the game, finishing with 31 points. "They were the much better team," he said. [Reuters]

………………………………………………………………………………

3. Islamists kill dozens in Kenya attacks
Islamist militants killed at least 48 people in Kenya late Sunday in a series of attacks on two hotels, a police station, and a video hall where soccer fans were watching a World Cup match, witnesses said Monday. About 30 gunman reportedly attacked the sites near the popular tourist destination of Lamu Island with automatic weapons and at least one bomb. It was the deadliest such strike since the Somali group al Shabab terrorized Nairobi's upscale Westgate mall in 2013. [Euronews, Reuters]

………………………………………………………………………………

4. Colombian president wins a second term to pursue peace talks
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was reelected to a second term on Sunday, giving him a mandate to continue his 18-month-old peace talks aimed at ending decades of war with the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. His right-wing challenger, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, had said he would not resume the talks unless the Marxist rebels first put down their arms, and some of their leaders agreed to go to prison. [The Associated Press]

………………………………………………………………………………

5. Kerry joins Netanyahu in blaming Hamas for three teens' abduction
The Obama administration on Sunday said it appeared that the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas was behind the recent kidnapping of three Israeli teens, one of whom has U.S. citizenship. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already pointed the finger at Hamas, and Secretary of State John Kerry said there are "many indications" the group is tied to the abduction. Israeli troops arrested 80 Palestinians while searching for the teens. [Fox News]

………………………………………………………………………………

6. Virginia county votes to permit demolition of Watergate-era landmark
Politicians in Arlington County, Va., have voted to allow the demolition of the parking lot where the once mysterious source known as Deep Throat — later revealed to be an FBI official, Mark Felt — secretly shared inside secrets with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward on the Watergate scandal. Monday Properties plans to replace two 12-story buildings on the Rosslyn site with a 28-story apartment tower and a 24-story office building. [The Washinton Post]

………………………………………………………………………………

7. Starbucks offers to pay college tuition for thousands of baristas
Starbucks said Sunday it would offer thousands of its employees free college tuition through a partnership with Arizona State University. The deal is open to all of the coffee company's 135,000 baristas and other workers. Starbucks will pay partial tuition for some and full tuition for those working at least 20 hours a week with at least two years of college credit — and the grades and test scores to get into ASU. [The New York Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

8. Bergdahl kept in solitary confinement for two years
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl said his Taliban captors locked him in solitary confinement inside a 6-foot-by-6-foot metal box for two years, according to senior military sources familiar with his reintegration treatment. Bergdahl reportedly said that during that time he never saw another soul. "His mental and physical state match this description — and we believe him from what we see," one official said. [Fox News]

………………………………………………………………………………

9. Martin Kaymer dominates in U.S. Open win
Germany's Martin Kaymer won the U.S. Open by eight strokes on Sunday after holding the lead from start to finish, something only six other players have ever accomplished. He started out with record-setting, back-to-back rounds of 65. The win gave Kaymer his second major title — he won the PGA Championship in 2010. Kaymer also won the Players Championship, widely considered the fifth major, in May. [The New York Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

10. Casey Kasem dies at 82
Radio icon Casey Kasem died Sunday, his daughter, Kerri, announced via Facebook. Kasem, 82, had been in declining health for months and hospitalized in Washington state since June 1. Kasem, the TV voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo, hosted radio's American Top 40 for decades. His sign-off advice was familiar to generations of music fans: "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars." [USA Today]

Get '10 things you need to know today' in your inbox each morning. Sign up for the email version here.

 
Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week