The Pulse: The Violence Continues in Iraq

Germany has coasted to victory with a four-nil thrashing of Portugal in the world cup in Brazil. German forward, Thomas Muller, bagged a hat-trick the first of the tournament. That now puts him in the lead as the cup's leading scorer. Portugal's plight was made worse when Pepe was slapped with a red card for head-butting Muller in the first half.

The International Monetary Fund is cutting its growth forecast for the U.S. economy this year. The organization had earlier predicted growth of 2.8%.
But, now, halfway through the year, the IMF managing director says that estimate has been lowered. The IMF says in addition to the deep freeze the U.S. experienced early in the year, the housing market slowed and exports of american goods declined. The U.S. has been stuck at a 2% growth pace for the past three years.

Two Tennessee teens who police say planned to kill as many students and teachers at their school as possible are in police custody. The Hawkins County sheriff says one of the boys came up with the plan, then tried to recruit other students to help him carry it out. One boy agreed to help. Lawson says then the two boys mapped out where they would carry out the shooting inside the school. A counselor found a journal that detailed the plot and told police. Both teens are now charged with conspiracy to commit first degree murder along, with other charges.

A two-star general, appointed by the pentagon, now investigating the disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. There are new questions as to why the now-freed soldier left his base in Afghanistan. An army investigation in the months after he disappeared found that Bergdahl did deliberately leave his base. But it did not find that the soldier deserted. That would depend on his intent and the answer to that question is still unknown.

The violence in Iraq continues as more towns and cities fall to the militant group ISIS. The Iraqi military struck back today, and Iraqi state TV reported that more than 200 militants were killed in targeted attacks. Now, the U.S. is weighing its options about how to help the Iraqi government fight off the militants. A group that aims to establish an Islamic state across Syria and Iraq and plans to march on the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. This uprising, coming after years of U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

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