Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 6, 2014

Harold Maass
The greatest generation.  (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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World leaders commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day

President Obama honored D-Day veterans on Friday at an Omaha Beach ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, when more than 150,000 allies stormed French shores held by the Nazis in World War II. America's claim to liberty "is written in the blood on these beaches," Obama said. "It will endure for centuries." Obama also will attend a lunch with two dozen other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. [USA Today]


Acting VA secretary says 18 vets died while on Phoenix wait list

Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson said Thursday that 18 veterans had died while waiting for appointments at a Phoenix VA medical center. Gibson made the revelation during a visit to the Phoenix facility, which has been the focal point of a scandal over inadequate health care treatment for veterans. Gibson said he didn't know whether the 18 were among the 40 patients that VA employees and veterans have said died awaiting care. [Los Angeles Times]


Bergdahl had a history of leaving his post

A classified military investigation found that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had left his post but quickly returned on more than one occasion before his 2009 disappearance and capture by the Taliban, people familiar with the case said Thursday. Some soldiers have criticized a prisoner swap that freed Bergdahl, saying he had deserted. The report said Bergdahl's history of walking off clouded the question of whether he had intended to return. [Reuters, The New York Times]


Man kills one and wounds three in Seattle Pacific University shooting

A gunman walked into an engineering and math building at Seattle Pacific University on Thursday and opened fire, killing a 20-year-old man and injuring three others. The lone suspect was reportedly taken into custody. The man shot the victims with a shotgun. When he stopped to reload, a student security guard doused him with pepper spray before other students pinned him to the ground. [NBC News]


Boko Haram militants slaughter civilians in Nigeria

Boko Haram gunmen disguised as soldiers murdered 200 or more civilians in three Nigerian villages this week, witnesses said Thursday. People in the area had pleaded with the government to send soldiers to protect them after hearing the Islamist militant group, which abducted more than 270 school girls in April, were planning an attack. The gunmen told locals to gather together, witnesses said, then shouted "Allahu Akbar," and opened fire. [Fox News]


Verizon and Netflix argue over streaming speeds

A feud has broken out between Verizon and Netflix over the streaming speeds on the Verizon Fios network. Netflix posted an image to Twitter showing a customer's screen as a video buffered, with a message saying Verizon's network was "crowded" and the video was being adjusted for "smoother playback." Verizon said the image was a "PR stunt," because it's unfair to blame one person's playback problems on the Verizon network. [CNET]


U.S. tourist held in North Korea

North Korea has detained an American for allegedly violating its laws after entering the country on April 29 as a tourist, the state news agency KCNA reported on Friday. KCNA identified the man as Jeffrey Edward Fowle. The State Department confirmed that an American had been arrested — the third now being held in North Korea. Japan's Kyodo News reported that the latest arrest came after the man left behind a Bible at his hotel. [Reuters]


GM chief attributes recall failure to incompetence, not a cover-up

General Motors CEO Mary T. Barra said Thursday that an internal investigation concluded there was no conspiracy to hide a deadly ignition switch defect that ultimately led the company to recall millions of small cars. The failure to recall the vehicles sooner was due to a pattern of "incompetence and neglect," Barra said. She added that GM forced out 15 employees it deemed responsible for neglecting the problem, and disciplined five others. [The Washington Post]


Afghan presidential candidate survives bomb attack

The front-runner in Afghanistan's presidential race, Abdullah Abdullah, survived a bomb attack on his convoy in Kabul on Friday, eight days ahead of the runoff that will decide the election. Police said there appeared to have been two explosions, at least one of which was caused by a suicide bomber. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said at least four bystanders were killed. Several people, including some of Abdullah's bodyguards, were injured. [The New York Times]


Teen becomes youngest girl to scale Everest

Malavath Poorna, a 13-year-old from India, has become the youngest girl to reach the top of Mount Everest. The teen made the climb last month on the Nepalese side of the world's tallest mountain, which straddles the border of Nepal and China, where there is no age restriction. She saw six dead bodies on the way to the 29,035-foot summit. "Oh my god I got some fear," she said, adding that when she made it she "shed joyful tears." [The Associated Press]