10 things you need to know today: June 23, 2014

Team USA
(Image credit: (Elsa/Getty Images))

1. Portugal's last-minute goal deprives the U.S. of a World Cup win

The U.S. on Sunday missed a chance to clinch a berth in the World Cup knockout round, giving up a last-minute goal to Portugal to finish in a 2-2 draw. The goal came when Portugal's superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, rushed down the field and bent a perfect pass to a diving teammate, who headed the ball into the net with seconds left. The U.S. is now tied with Germany at the top of Group G. The two teams will face each other on Thursday.

Los Angeles Times

2. Kerry visits Iraq as ISIS grabs more turf

With al Qaeda-linked Sunni insurgents gaining ground, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Iraq on Monday to urge Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to rise above "sectarian motivations" and make his Shiite-led government more inclusive. So far the Iraqi leader has failed to reach out to moderate Sunnis and Kurds. Kerry's visit is also intended to show U.S. support for Iraq as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) advances toward Baghdad.

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3. Bergdahl released from hospital

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a Taliban prisoner, has been discharged from a Texas military hospital to begin outpatient care, the Army said Sunday. "It's a sign of progression, showing he's no longer a patient of a hospital," Army spokeswoman Lieutenant Col. Carol McClelland said. The next step in recovery for Bergdahl, who was released May 31 in a controversial prisoner swap, will include more psychological treatment tailored for former POWs.


4. Search for prominent Washington hiker stopped after body found

Rescuers in Mount Rainier National Park halted the search for Karen Sykes, a well-known Washington outdoors writer and photographer, on Sunday after they recovered the body of a woman. Sykes, 70, was hiking with her boyfriend at 5,000 feet, east of Mt. Rainier's 14,410-foot summit. They came across snow on the trail. He stopped, she went on. The local medical examiner is working on confirming the identity of the body.

The Associated Press

5. Successful test puts missile defense system back on track

A U.S. missile defense system hit a soaring target over the Pacific Ocean in the program's first successful intercept test since 2008, the Pentagon said Sunday. The destruction of the simulated enemy missile marked a significant victory for the ground-based Midcourse Defense system, which is run by Boeing and provides the U.S.'s only defense against long-range ballistic missiles.


6. South Korean soldier allegedly kills five comrades near North Korean border

A South Korean army sergeant accused of killing five comrades was captured alive on Monday after he shot himself during a standoff with thousands of soldiers. The suspect, identified only as Sgt. Lim, had fled after allegedly opening fire on members of his unit at an outpost on the North Korean border. The military had brought Lim's father and brother to the scene to urge him to surrender.


7. Kerry tries to start rebuilding ties with Egypt

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday promised Egypt's new military-backed government that Congress would soon approve the delivery of Apache helicopters. The U.S. has suspended military aid over concerns about human rights abuses since a coup last year. The release of the helicopters, which the Egyptian military badly wants, would mark a significant step toward rebuilding ties with the key Middle East ally.

The Washington Post

8. Egyptian court sentences three Al Jazeera journalists to seven years

A court in Egypt on Monday convicted three Al Jazeera journalists of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to spread "false news" to destabilize the country, and sentenced them to seven years in prison. The defendants — Australian Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy, and producer Baher Mohamed — have been held since December and were put on trial with 17 others. Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, said Egypt didn't have a "shred of evidence" to back the "false charges."

Ahram Online The New York Times

9. Former teen sensation Michelle Wie wins her first golf major

Michelle Wie bounced back from a double-bogey on the 70th hole to win the U.S. Women's Open on Sunday, two strokes ahead of world No. 1 Stacy Lewis. It was Wie's fourth LPGA tour win but her first major championship. She nearly won the tournament nine years ago when she was 15, and came close to taking three other majors when she was 16. Wie said the win meant more after a decade of ups and downs than it would have as a teen.

USA Today

10. Katie Couric gets married

Katie Couric, 57, married financier John Molner at her East Hampton home over the weekend. The former Today host and the 51-year-old partner in the Brown Brothers Harriman investment firm got engaged in September after dating for nearly two years. Couric, who anchored the CBS Evening News for five years, is now global anchor for Yahoo News. Her first husband, Jay Monahan, died from colon cancer in 1998.


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Harold Maass

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 Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.