Monday News Brief: 6.23.2014

By Alex Honeysett 06.23.2014 blog

Wonder what’s happening in the world this week? Here are a few highlights — including yesterday’s crazy U.S.-Portugal game.

Earlier today, rebels promised to honor a cease-fire declared by the Ukrainian president and engage in more talks to help resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The announcement came on the first day of talks between a former Ukrainian president, the Russian ambassador, European officials and the eastern separatists who have declared independence.

President Barack Obama is hosting a daylong summit today to encourage more employers to adopt family-friendly policies, even though the U.S. government doesn’t always set the best example. The United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t mandate paid leave for mothers of newborns, although Obama says he’d like to see that change.

Confronting the threat of civil war in Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Baghdad to personally urge the Shiite-led government to give more power to political opponents before a Sunni insurgency seizes more control across the country and sweeps away hopes for lasting peace.

ICYMI, our American soccer team was 30 seconds away from assuring a spot in the final 16 and winning consecutive World Cup games for the first time since 1930. But 4 ½ minutes into the five added minutes of stoppage time, Portugal scored a second goal, making the score 2-2. “It’s tough, but it’s just the way it goes,” U.S. captain Clint Dempsey said. “We’re Americans. I think we like to do things the hard way.”

Finally, one for the can’t miss list: It’s a frog, it’s a gorilla? Nope. It’s Pig the dog.

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