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10 Things to Know: This Week's Takeaways

  • Article by: The Associated Press
  • Associated Press
  • June 6, 2014 - 11:05 PM

Looking back at the stories to remember from the past week:

1. RUSSSIAN PRESIDENT, INCOMING UKRAINIAN LEADER MEET

Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko held their first face-to-face talks Friday on resolving the Ukrainian crisis since the billionaire won election on May 25. The diplomatic breakthrough played out amid the pomp of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing along the beaches in Normandy.

2. US EMPLOYERS ADD 217,000 JOBS IN MAY; UNEMPLOYMENT STAYS AT 6.3 PERCENT

It was a substantial gain in hiring for a fourth straight month, fueling hopes that the economy will accelerate after a grim start to the year. Friday's report from the Labor Department signaled that the U.S. economy is steadily strengthening and outpacing struggling countries in Europe and Asia. U.S. consumers are showing more confidence.

3. SGT. BOWE BERGDAHL'S IDAHO HOMETOWN CANCELS WELCOME-HOME CELEBRATION

Organizers and officials in Hailey, Idaho, decided Wednesday to call it off due to security concerns. The town has been flooded with hate mail and angry phone calls from people who thought the celebration would have condoned the actions of Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan after walking away from his unit, unarmed, in 2009.

4. GENERAL MOTORS FORCES OUT 15 FOR ROLE IN DEADLY IGNITION-SWITCH SCANDAL

With an internal investigation blaming engineering ignorance and bureaucratic dithering, the automaker said Thursday it also will set up a compensation fund for crash victims in the scandal. GM took more than a decade to recall 2.6 million cars with bad switches that are now linked to at least 13 deaths by the automaker's count.

5. SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR ASSAD OVERWHELMINGLY RE-ELECTED

Tuesday's victory with 88.7 percent of the vote was never in doubt despite the presence of other candidates on the ballot for the first time in decades in Syria. The election, denounced by the opposition and Western leaders, is certain to prolong the civil war, now entering its fourth year.

6. SPAIN'S KING JUAN CARLOS SAYS HE WILL ABDICATE IN FAVOR OF HIS SON FELIPE

The monarch who led the country's transition from dictatorship to democracy announced the move Monday. He faced damaging scandals amid Spain's financial meltdown. Juan Carlos said 46-year-old Felipe is ready to be king and will "open a new era of hope." The son had a 70 percent approval rating in a recent newspaper poll.

7. EGYPTIAN SATIRIST BASSEM YOUSSEF ENDS LANDMARK TV SHOW, CITING PRESSURES

The comedian known as "Egypt's Jon Stewart" mocked politicians, elites and pro-military fervor. He said Monday that the atmosphere in Egypt no longer allowed for political satire. Youssef's weekly show began after the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak and had its heyday during the one-year presidency of Islamist Mohammed Morsi.

8. SENATE CONFIRMS PRESIDENT OBAMA'S NEW HEALTH SECRETARY

Sylvia Mathews Burwell was confirmed Thursday as the nation's new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Her attention will immediately turn to covering the uninsured under Obama's health care law. Despite a strong finish to open enrollment this year, HealthCare.gov is still dealing with unresolved issues ranging from possibly inaccurate insurance payments to e-commerce basics.

9. 'BRADY BUNCH' ACTRESS ANN B. DAVIS DIES AT 88

Davis, who died Sunday, portrayed the beloved housekeeper Alice Nelson on the TV sitcom that began in 1969. More than a decade earlier, she was the razor-tongued secretary on "The Bob Cummings Show," which brought her two Emmys. She also appeared on Broadway and in movies.

10. DONALD STERLING AGREES TO SELL LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS FOR $2 BILLION

Sterling agreed Wednesday to the deal that would drop his lawsuit against the NBA alleging the league violated his rights by relying on information from an "illegal" recording that publicized racist remarks he made to a girlfriend. The team would be bought by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

© 2014 Star Tribune