Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 1, 2014


Lone American P.O.W. in Afghan conflict is freed

After nearly five years in captivity, the Taliban released U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on Saturday, in exchange for five Afghan detainees. Bergdahl was reportedly in good condition, able to walk and expected to first transfer to a military base in Germany, then continue on to the United States. The lone prisoner of war from the Afghan conflict was reportedly held by the militant Haqqani network in Pakistan's northwest tribal area. Qatari officials acted as intermediaries between U.S. officials and the Taliban to work out the deal, which traded Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners who were being held at Guantanamo Bay.


Indian police make fifth arrest in gang rape, murder case

Following the gruesome gang rape and murder of two teenage cousins in India, police arrested a fifth suspect in the case on Saturday. Three brothers and two police officers face charges in the case, which played out in India's Uttar Pradesh state, an area of the country long known for its violence and lawlessness. The case gained national, and then international, attention after the father of one of the girls, Sohan Lal, refused a federal payoff, despite his living in extreme poverty. Instead, Lal demanded an investigation, and subsequent protests pushed the government into action.


FBI, SEC reportedly investigating Phil Mickelson for insider trading

Federal investigators are examining trades made by investor Carl Icahn, golfer Phil Mickelson and Las Vegas bettor William "Billy" Walters. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are reportedly focused on trades made on two different stocks: The consumer products company Clorox, in which all three men are being investigated for a string of 2011 trades; and Dean Foods, in which Mickelson and Walters reportedly placed trades around the same time in August 2012. "I have done absolutely nothing wrong," Mickelson said in a statement. "I have cooperated with the government in this investigation and will continue to do so."


Mount Rainier fall claims lives of 6 climbers

Two guides and four clients are presumed dead following the discovery of a debris field along Mount Rainier's Carbon Glacier on Saturday. Alpine Ascents International, a Seattle-based company, contacted the Park Service when a climbing group did not return on Friday, as planned. Searchers discovered tents and clothes mixed into rock and ice, leading officials to believe the group suffered a 3,300-foot fall along a steep northern slope. The tragedy is the worst on Mount Rainier in more than 30 years; the last climbing disaster to claim so many lives was on June 21, 1981, when an avalanche swept away 11 climbers on Ingraham Glacier.


Two more restaurants ask customers to leave guns at home

Following the lead of other stores, including eateries Starbucks and Chipotle, Chili's Grill & Bar, along with Sonic, each requested patrons to refrain from openly carrying firearms while at the establishments. "We recognize that the open carry of firearms in restaurants creates an uncomfortable atmosphere and is not permitted under many local liquor laws," Ashley Johnson, a Chili's spokeswoman, said. Two open carry events held at Chili's restaurants in Texas prompted complaints from customers earlier this year.


Spain reveals plans for $8.6 billion stimulus package

The latest attempt to boost a struggling economy in Spain is a stimulus package worth $8.6 billion, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced on Saturday. Details will be revealed in a Cabinet meeting later this week, but corporate tax will reportedly be sliced from 30 percent to 25 percent. While the prime minister said the country had seen job growth over the past two quarters, Spain still struggles with a 26 percent unemployment rate.


Fabien Cousteau aims to break grandfather's 30-day record living undersea

Fabien Cousteau, the 46-year-old grandson of legendary oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, will make a dive today, with the goal of remaining in an underwater laboratory called Aquarius for 31 days. That amount of time would break Cousteau's grandfather's record, set in 1963 when he lived, along with a half-dozen others, in an undersea lab near the Port of Sudan. The younger Cousteau says he hopes to Skype into classrooms around the world to talk about oceanography, and his team will spend the extended stay monitoring the effects of living in such conditions.


Atlantic hurricane season begins

Today marks the beginning of the annual hurricane season, and those making landfall on the United States have been relatively rare since October 2005, when Hurricane Wilma hit southwest Florida. That means that the U.S. begins this season with a record 3,142 days since the last major hurricane made landfall. Such a drought is the longest in nearly a century, although scientists note there is no way to tell if the streak will continue this season or not.


EA Sports, college athletes reach $40 million settlement

College football and basketball players finalized a $40 million settlement with video game maker EA Sports, along with the licensing arm of the NCAA, for improper usage of athlete's likenesses in the games. That leaves the NCAA on its own to defend itself in the upcoming case brought by former UCLA star Ed O'Bannon. The settlement could deliver money to as many as 100,000 former and current athletes, whose likenesses and jersey numbers were used in EA Sports games beginning in 2003.


San Antonio Spurs make it to second-straight NBA Finals

The San Antonio Spurs defeated Oklahoma City, 112-107 in overtime on Saturday night, stopping league MVP Kevin Durant and his Thunder teammates from forcing a Game 7. The victory sends the Spurs home to San Antonio, where they will face LeBron James and the Miami Heat on Thursday night, in a rematch of last year's NBA Finals. After leading Miami 3-2 in last year's series, the Spurs dropped Game 6 in overtime, then Game 7. "People keep talking like we weren't close to winning, but we were ready to win last year," Tim Duncan said. "We're happy it's the Heat again. We've got that bad taste in our mouths still."


Regions around the world are adapting to climate change in real time
Flooded cemetery in Jakarta
In depth

Regions around the world are adapting to climate change in real time

Ukraine says Kahkovka dam destruction won't derail counteroffensive
Flooding in Kherson after dam failure
A wash

Ukraine says Kahkovka dam destruction won't derail counteroffensive

Why does India have so many train crashes?
Balasore train crash
Today's big question

Why does India have so many train crashes?

Iran claims to have built its first hypersonic missile
The Fattah missile unveiled by Iran.
Iranian Weaponry

Iran claims to have built its first hypersonic missile

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What is Mike Pence thinking?
Former Vice President Mike Pence on a motorcycle
Talking point

What is Mike Pence thinking?

Ban the Bible?
Holy Bible.

Ban the Bible?

Actors union votes to authorize strike
A writers strike picket line outside Sony Studios in Culver City
strike two?

Actors union votes to authorize strike