Daily Dispatches
Gen. Martin Dempsey
Associated Press/Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool
Gen. Martin Dempsey

Midday Roundup: Will Bowe Bergdahl be tried for desertion?

Newsworthy

On the defense. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the media not to assume the military will overlook accusations that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl deserted before his capture. More and more details that support the allegation he deliberately abandoned his unit have surfaced since his release. But Gen. Martin Dempsey reminded reporters Bergdahl is innocent until proven guilty. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama defended swapping Bergdahl for five Taliban operatives, saying he consulted Congress for some time before making the exchange.

Struggling to remember. Today and tomorrow mark the 25th anniversary of China’s Tiananmen Square massacre in which the military killed unnumbered thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators. But don’t expect many on-the-ground reports from inside China, where the government goes to great lengths to intimidate journalists who would report on the anniversary. China has been known to arrest people who hold private memorials of the event, place under house arrest the family members of those killed in the uprising, and censor social media references to the date.

Obama in Europe. During a visit to Poland, Obama promised to increase the U.S. military presence in Europe as a sign of solidarity with the EU against potential Russian aggression. Since Russia annexed Crimea, fears have multiplied that it will attempt to expand its borders in other parts of Eastern Europe. Obama is slated to meet with Ukraine’s newly elected President Petro Poroshenko during his European visit. He might also run into Russian President Vladimir Putin at D-Day remembrance events in Normandy, France, on Friday, though no official meeting between the two leaders is scheduled.

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Pre-teen terror. Two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls are accused of stabbing their friend 19 times to please a mythological creature they learned about online. One of the girls told a detective they were trying to become “proxie” of Slender Man, a demon-like character they learned about on a website about horror stories and legends. According to officials, the girls planned the attempted murder for months before the attack Saturday morning after a slumber party. Both were charged as adults with first-degree attempted homicide Monday in Waukesha County Circuit Court. The victim remains hospitalized with serious injuries.

Rock on. Astronomers using the Kepler space telescope have discovered a planet that is 17 times the mass of Earth and twice as large in size. Typically, planets that large are gas giants like Jupiter, but this one has clearly defined surfaces. 

Lynde Langdon
Lynde Langdon

Lynde lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. She holds degrees from the University of Missouri in journalism, Russian, and business administration. She is in a long-term, committed relationship with the Lutheran church. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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