Perhaps hoping to snag a last-minute invite to D.C's fireworks extravaganza, Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Obama on Friday to wish him a happy Fourth of July. Putin told Obama he hoped the two nations could "continue successful development on a pragmatic and equal basis despite the current differences and difficulties," according to a Kremlin statement.
"The president also stressed that Russia and the United States are both countries bearing particular responsibility for ensuring international stability and security," the statement went on, "and should therefore cooperate not just for the benefit of their own peoples but also in the entire world's interest." Jon Terbush
Climbers making their way up the Shishapangma mountain in Tibet have found the bodies of famed mountaineer Alex Lowe and cameraman David Bridges, who died in an October 1999 avalanche.
— Global Issues Web (@globalissuesweb) May 2, 2016
Lowe, 40, and Bridges, 29, planned to climb up Shishapangma, the 14th highest mountain in the world, then ski down it. At 19,000 feet, as they scouted routes, they spotted snow falling down from 6,000 feet above. Their friend, elite climber Conrad Anker, survived the avalanche. In a statement, Lowe's widow, Jenni Lowe-Anker, said the remains were discovered in a partially melted glacier, and after the climbers described to Anker the clothing and backpacks found with the bodies, he concluded they were Bridges and Lowe. The pair were "captured and frozen in time," Lowe-Anker said. "Sixteen years of life has been lived and now they are found. We are thankful."
Lowe was seen as the world's greatest mountain climber at the time of his death, and he twice reached the summit of Mount Everest and scaled Nepal's Kwangde and Kusum Kanguru. Lowe-Anker and Anker married in 2001, and run the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation from Montana. Anker told Outside magazine that he has not seen any photographs of the remains, but is convinced they belong to Lowe and Bridges. Catherine Garcia
On Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders held a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, outlining his case for why Democratic superdelegates should abandon Hillary Clinton and side with him. His first argument, which he makes frequently, is that polls show him beating Donald Trump by wider margins than Clinton in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup. "They're going to have to go into their hearts, and they are going to have to ask, do they want the second strongest candidate to run against Trump or do they want the strongest candidate?" Sanders said.
Sanders' second argument was that he is "entitled" to the support of superdelegates in states he won by large margins, using Washington State as an example — he won the caucus with 73 percent of the vote, but 10 Washington superdelegates have backed Clinton while none have backed him. "I would ask the superdelegates from the state of Washington to respect the wishes of the people in their state," he said. Even if he flipped all the superdelegates in the 11 states his campaign listed, plus won the uncommitted ones, The Washington Post noted, Sanders would net 77 superdelegates, barely denting Clinton's current 520-39 lead. There are 719 superdelegates (including Sanders himself, but not Hillary Clinton), and they can vote for either candidate.
In the pledged delegate count, Clinton is leading Sanders by 327 delegates, according to the Associated Press tally, meaning Sanders has to win 65 percent of the remaining delegates to catch up with Clinton in pledged delegates. At Sunday's news conference, a reporter asked Sanders senior adviser Tad Devine if the Sanders plan to win by poaching Democratic Party insiders was "strange," given his anti-Establishment campaign message. "Can I use 'ironic' instead of 'strange?'" Devine replied. Peter Weber
Meet John Kasich, wingman.
— Julia Khan (@JuliaTheKhan) April 30, 2016
After participating in a town hall–style meeting Friday in San Francisco, the Ohio governor and long shot Republican presidential candidate assisted Julia Khan, a local high school student, with asking her friend to prom. Khan recorded Kasich saying, "Hey Nico, it would be 'Kay-sick' if you would go to the prom with Julia," and it worked — later that day, she tweeted, "He said yes!!"
Khan revealed to ABC News that she had already decided with Nico last month that they would go to prom together, but she jumped at the opportunity to "have a presidential candidate help me ask my friend to prom." The 17-year-old and her date aren't backing Kasich — Khan said they are both fans of Hillary Clinton — but she does have a "lot of respect" for Kasich and the fact that he took questions from audience members during his Friday event. Kasich isn't holding that against Khan and Nico, and told them on Twitter to have an "awesome time!" Catherine Garcia
Last Week Tonight is on break this week, "but we wanted to quickly address one absolutely huge story," John Oliver said in a web-only video posted Sunday night. That story is the horde of cicadas set to swarm the northeastern U.S. this summer, with the current batch hatching from the ground for the first time since they were conceived in 1999. "And if they're anything like humans conceived in 1999," Oliver said, "I'm guessing all the girl cicadas are named Madison and the boy cicadas are named Tyler."
But these cicadas won't be here for long — they will live for 2-6 noisy weeks, mate, and then die. "So they don't spend too much time catching up on what they missed, I just want to take a few minutes now to get them up to speed on what has happened in the last 17 years," Oliver said. He remembers a lot of things you may have forgotten — or forgotten are just plain weird — and he got in a particularly sly joke about Bill Cosby and a dig at Boston Red Sox fans (but not Curt Schilling). Yes, there is one Donald Trump reference, but you'll have to wait until the end to see it. Peter Weber
It's been five years since Osama bin Laden was killed inside his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound, and neighbors say things haven't been the same since.
The bin Laden compound was razed a few months after his death. Bin Laden's closest neighbor was 84-year-old Zain Baba, who worked with his son as a night watchman for Arshad Khan, a man who lived in the bin Laden compound with his brother. Khan was known to American intelligence as bin Laden's courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, and they traced phone calls he made to the compound.
Baba lived across the street in a small house, and because he had access to some areas of the compound, he was picked up by Pakistani intelligence and held in custody for two months. "They would tie our hands, blindfold us, and take us for long drives from one place to another," he told the BBC. "They wanted to know if we saw Osama in the compound. We kept telling them that we didn't see anyone except the two brothers and some children." Even today, he says, "men in plain clothes riding government vehicles" approach him after he grants interviews to foreign journalists, and warn against "talking to such people." Read more about the neighbors rounded up after the bin Laden raid — including a policeman who still hasn't returned home — at the BBC. Catherine Garcia
For the first time in decades, a cruise ship from the United States is on its way to Cuba.
— Voice of America (@VOANews) May 1, 2016
About 700 passengers are aboard the Adonia, part of Carnival's Fathom cruise line, which set sail Sunday from Miami. The seven-day cruise will feature activities highlighting Cuban culture and will stop in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba. Carnival had said the cruise wouldn't happen unless the Cuban government overturned a ban on letting people born in Cuba arrive in the country by ship, and it was lifted last month. Six of the passengers were born in Cuba.
A small group of protesters huddled on a small boat near the Adonia, holding a sign reading, "Castro why do you ask Cubans for a Visa to visit their own country?" Passenger Gary Carlson told CNN he didn't understand the protest, "because it's time to put those things behind us. Really, the big issue is government to government, not people to people, and that's what we're excited about participating in." Catherine Garcia
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) used his appearance on Sunday's Face the Nation to warn Republicans about the harm he says Donald Trump is causing the party.
"Let me just tell my friends, who I really do respect, if you are embracing Donald Trump, you're destroying conservatism," he said. "You will make it hard for this party to ever regain footing with Hispanics, because his immigration proposal is unworkable, is hateful. When it comes to women, we're alienating women, who should be coming our way after eight years of Obama." There is a "civil war going on in the Republican Party," Graham continued, adding that he believes the Republican frontrunner's foreign policy is "isolationism," which will "lead to another 9/11."
In March, Graham endorsed Ted Cruz, and he said Tuesday's primary in Indiana is a "big test" for the anyone-but-Trump movement. "I'm advising Ted, go to the last vote," Graham said. "Trump's gotten 40 percent of the popular vote. That doesn't give you 1,237 delegates. I think you could still stop, even if you lose in Indiana." Graham also said he is friends with former House Speaker John Boehner, who called Cruz "Lucifer in the flesh," and he believes the only person Trump might be able to beat in the general election is Satan himself. "When it comes to women and Hispanics," he added, "Trump polls like Lucifer." Catherine Garcia