05/27/2014 04:11 pm ET Updated May 28, 2014

Friday's Morning Email: Lawmaker Says VA Scandal 'Just Tip of the Iceberg'

If you see the sky falling tonight, you aren't losing your mind. You may be witnessing the Camelopardalid meteor shower, the first of its kind... or you're high. This is THE MORNING EMAIL for Friday, May 23, 2014.

The Scuttlebutt TOP STORIES

“Two days ahead of a crucial Ukrainian presidential election, authorities on Friday struggled to keep violence under control in this restive eastern region as a top Russian official said Ukraine had slipped into civil war.” Russia is blaming the Ukranian unrest on the West’s “megalomania”, while The Economist is worried there won’t be much voter turnout Sunday. [WaPo]

“Rep. Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican who heads the House Veterans Affairs panel, on Thursday forecast more serious developments in the national program serving nearly 9 million veterans. ‘We've received some information and some tips that will make what has already come look like kindergarten stuff.’” Here’s everything you need to know about the VA scandal along with a timeline. And CNN asks why no one has been fired. [CNN]

“Six couples filed a federal lawsuit Thursday seeking to block South Dakota's gay marriage ban, leaving North Dakota as the only state in the country with an unchallenged law prohibiting same-sex weddings.” Here's a chart showing how the lawsuits are progressing across the country. [AP]

STATESIDE: Return of the Electric Chair
Several thousand people were exposed to Hepatitis A at Red Robin. Newtown parents are pressuring Chris Christie to pass a magzine capacity limit into law. Guess which state is bringing back the electric chair? And yes, this is 2014. A teen rescued a baby black bear in Oregon. Top military officials want the U.S. to disclose more about its drone program in order to win over public opinion with its effectiveness. And a slew of food recalls are hitting the market: watch out for sprouts, walnuts, and a variety of dips.

In outta nowhere news, this beluga snuck up and surprised this cute toddler.

The Caribbean is being ravaged by a debilitating virus. Watch these two men catch a baby falling from a second-story window in China. A Congolese warlord was sentenced to 12 years in prison by the International Criminal Court. The Thai military continues its crackdown: Over 150 prominent political figures have been barred from leaving the country. And this 75-year-old UK man carved out quite the ridiculously awesome hedge.

In “Make Way for Ducklings” news, cops stopped traffic for this duck family.

BUY! SELL! BUY! Coffee Can Apparently Be Too Hot
Elon Musk isn’t making many friends in Washington these days. HP cut 16,000 more jobs. A woman is suing In-n-Out after allegedly being burned by coffee that was too hot. Anyone having 1992 McDonalds flashbacks? And a new study looks at whether men and women are more comfortable at home or in the office.

In voice of God news, here’s Morgan Freeman on helium.

SCOUTING REPORT: Catch of the Year
Fifty senators signed a letter urging the NFL to change the Washington Redskins’ name. Watch Yasel Puig make what’s sure to be one of the best catches of the year. You won’t believe who didn’t make the World Cup roster for the U.S. And this is what’s behind a “hot” goalie’s bad games. [Image via SB Nation]

In Beyonce parody news, this is what it looks like to be wasted and in love.

CULTURE CATCH-UP: Royals to Rule Netflix
You won’t believe that these on-screen costars are married. As we enter the last days of the Cannes Film Festival, you have to take a look at these breathtaking black-and-white photos of the stars. Netflix has got the Royal bug too: the streaming service is in talks for a drama series focusing on the life of Queen Elizabeth II. You have to watch Brad Pitt join Bruno Mars on stage. A cop says he heard Tupac’s final words. And these photos of the cast of “Friends” from 20 years ago prove the gang will always be there for you.

In cheapskate news, here’s how to eat and drink all day for free.

LIVIN’: Lazy Fridays
Before you eat junk food, ask yourself these four questions. This is why your kid isn’t sending thank you notes (and why he should be). Are you a pre-crastinator or pro-crastinator? One of them is productive, the other involves being on gchat til 4 a.m. Changing seasons got you sneezing away? Here are seven allergy remedies. This is proof exercise changes everything . And if you’re still not gonna hit the gym today (those Friday night drinks are calling), do these six things, instead.

In yearbook quote news, these are the MOST inappropriate ones.

Katherine McPhee has filed for divorce. Paul McCartney is recovering after being hospitalized. Mary Tyler Moore’s sight has deteriorated to the point where she is nearly blind. And this is what it looks like when Kim Kardashian rocks a leather dress.

In jamming out news, this cat really loves his owner’s guitar skills.


@ChelseaVPeretti: As every Memorial Day weekend approaches I'm taken off guard like wait a minute no one invited me to shit

@Transport: #OnThisDay in 1849, Abraham Lincoln became the 1st & only President to register a patent for his dry dock concept.

@SarahKSilverman: If I could only bring one thing on an island I guess it would be sheet cake

@KimKardashian: Night out in Paireeeeee

@HistoryInPics: Steven Spielberg and Drew Barrymore on set of E.T

These are the mistakes you’ll make bbq’ing burgers this long weekend...unless you read this how-to.

Enjoy the long weekend. The Morning Email will be back on Tuesday!

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