06/12/2014 09:58 am ET

Thursday's Morning Email: Insurgents March on Baghdad

The World Cup kicks off today, and here’s a primer so you can talk smack about Lionel Messi with the best of them. This is THE MORNING EMAIL for Thursday, June 12, 2014.

The Scuttlebutt TOP STORIES

“Iraqi Kurds seized control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk on Thursday, while surging Sunni Islamist rebels advanced towards Baghdad, as the central government's army abandoned its posts in a rapid collapse that has lost it control of the north.” Meet the Islamic State of Iraq, a group too extreme for al Qaeda that’s behind the country’s takeover. Iraq had previously asked for U.S. airstrikes that the White House denied for fear of re-entering a conflict U.S. troops had exited in 2011. The countries are currently trading insults about who is to blame for the current military failure. And here’s a map of where the ISIS is taking over. [Reuters]

“The House is now in the throes of one of the most competitive contests in recent memory, one that will completely reorder the GOP hierarchy … Prominent names — [current GOP Whip Kevin] McCarthy, Texas Reps. Jeb Hensarling and Pete Sessions — are all eyeing the majority leader post. And other ambitious lawmakers — Reps. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Peter Roskam of Illinois — are eyeing McCarthy’s whip job.” In the meantime, is the GOP rebranding over? [Politico]

Brace yourselves for some crazy weather: looks like El Nino is headed our way this year. Here’s a refresher on what El Nino is, and why you should care. [The Guardian]

STATESIDE: Seafood for Everyone
The FDA is calling for pregnant women to eat two servings of seafood a week. A shooting at a Catholic Church in Phoenix left one priest dead and another injured. In honor of George H.W. Bush’s 90th birthday, here are the ten longest-living presidents. Bowe Bergdahl’s writings reveal “a fragile young man.” The Senate has approved a bill that’ll hasten care for Veterans on the waitlist for appointments. Cops had three other run-ins with the extremist couple who killed two police officers and a civilian in Las Vegas on Sunday. And American political polarization is at a record high.

In new best friend news, watch this beagle meet his family’s new baby.

Remember that time the White House accidentally revealed the name of the top CIA official in Afghanistan? No one is getting canned. If confirmed, the U.S. just executed its first drone strike in Pakistan in six months. Meteorologists now have the worst job in North Korea. And here’s how you can order a beer around the world.

In adorable news, meet a wolf pup who has the hiccups.

BUY! SELL! BUY! Don’t Mess With Cabbies
Cab strikes in protest of Uber have created havoc across Europe; here’s the main reason you won’t see one here in the U.S. These super luxurious Japanese trains will make Amtrak's dining car seem even sadder. PF Chang’s may have suffered a credit card information breach. Amazon plans to launch a major local marketplace AND a music streaming service. Economists worry lingering growth is signaling an incomplete recovery. And start saying goodbye to your frequent flier perks. [Image via WaPo]

In casual news, this girl has a falcon on her head.

SCOUTING REPORT: Goalies Are Pretty Great
Here’s how Michael Jordan raked in $90 million last year. Grantland looks into whether Ivory Coast’s soccer team actually stopped a civil war. Landon Donovan’s making the most of not getting picked for the U.S. team by joining ESPN’s World Cup TV analyst team. Cesepedes made another awesome throw to throw out a baserunner for the second game in a row. And you won’t believe how many saves Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist made to hold off a Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup rout.

In hero news, this bumblebee saves his friend from a spider.

CULTURE CATCH-UP: Bridesmaids Writers Have A Project
In case you’re pining for more tearjerkers (but watch out for the crying hangovers), here’s where the rest of “The Fault in Our Stars” author John Green’s novels are at in their timelines for the big screen. Watch Shailene Woodley’s shed her doe-eyed good girl act in a clip from her latest movie. Infamous anonymous artist Banksy may have released a trailer for a documentary about his residency in New York. Get excited for the next movie coming from the “Bridesmaids” scribes. Check out a scene George R.R. Martin wishes wasn’t cut from “Game of Thrones.” Those Jay Z/Kanye feud rumblings may be more than rumors. And Seth Rogen and James Franco’s latest movie about assassinating Kim Jong Un finally got a trailer.

In Westeros news, Puff Daddy sat on the Iron Throne.

LIVIN’: Teenagers Know How to Use Tech and Stuff
We feel old: check out how to use tech like a teen. See if your state is the “drunkest state in the union” and read the full report on U.S. drinking habits by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This is what you need to do if you are confronted by someone with a gun. Here’s everything you wanted to know but were too afraid to ask about laser eye surgery. We’re never trying on shoes without socks again after reading this. Take a look at what your Facebook activity says about your personality.

In scooting around news, this corgi loves to run under the bed.

OTHER PEOPLE’S BUSINESS: Kimye Candid Wedding Pictures
Sophia Grace Brownlee of Ellen Degeneres fame got a big break. “Full House” alert: Uncle Joey is getting married. Kat Dennings’ new haircut is straight out of the 80s. Turns out losing on “The Bachelor” means you get to be Kate Upton’s best friend? And take a look at the candid wedding shots Kimye shared.

In fatherhood news, these are the most quintessentially dad texts of all time.


@IMKristenBell: Im quite positive if i worked for the President he would be cool with me calling him "Mr. P" .

@NASA: This isn't a sci-fi movie, but rather how it looks inside the #ISS while the crew is asleep

@samantharonson: In the world according to TV and Film- there is a mole for every 4 people in all fields of law enforcement.

@TheEllenShow: Why did the sourdough win the Westminster Dog Show? He was well-bread. #ClassicJokeWednesday

@HistoricalPics: Friends.

You’re eating watermelon wrong.

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