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News Wrap: Former POW Bergdahl begins recovery in the U.S.

June 13, 2014 at 6:02 PM EDT
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is in stable condition and undergoing treatment at a military medical center in Texas. He flew there overnight from Germany, where he’d been recovering after being held captive by the Taliban for five years.

This afternoon, an Army psychologist at the San Antonio facility said one of the key elements in Bergdahl’s so-called reintegration progress is helping him relearn how to make choices.

COL. BRADLEY POPPEN, Psychologist, U.S. Army: Those decision making processes have been fundamentally removed from him.

When he was told when to eat, what to eat, where to eat, where to go to the bathroom, all those sorts of things. So one of the big concepts is to get him to have a sense of predictability and control of his environment.

JUDY WOODRUFF: One of the decisions Bergdahl will be required to make is when to reunite will his family. So far there has been no word on when that will happen.

The candidates in the race to become the next majority leader in the House of Representatives changed again today. Tea Party-backed Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho entered the running hours after Pete Sessions of Texas withdrew, but Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California still appears to have the most support.

A showdown is already under way to succeed McCarthy as the next second in command. The top contenders for the whip post are Marlin Stutzman of Indiana, Peter Roskam of Illinois, and Steve Scalise of Louisiana. The GOP’s leadership elections are set for next Thursday.

General Motors is recalling more cars for an ignition switch problem. This time, it’s for 500,000 Chevrolet Camaros, mostly in North America. GM said a driver’s knee could bump the key fob and move the ignition switch out of the run position, causing the engine to shut off. GM says this recall is not related to its earlier recall of more than two million vehicles that had ignition switch problems.

Oil prices edged up again today, on worries the escalating insurgency in Iraq could disrupt oil exports. Oil futures had their biggest weekly gain of the year. Tech stocks helped boost Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 41 points to close above 16755. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to close at 4310. The S&P 500 added six points to close at 1936. For the week, the Dow lost nearly 1 percent, the Nasdaq fell a quarter of a percent, and the S&P dropped less than a percent.

In Ukraine, government forces took back the Southern port city of Mariupol from pro-Russia separatists. About 100 Ukrainian soldiers drove rebels from buildings they’d occupied in the city. An Interior Ministry aide said that at least five separatists and two soldiers were killed during clashes. Also today, the State Department confirmed that Russian tanks, rocket launchers and other heavy weapons went to separatists fighting in Ukraine.

Thailand’s military government fully lifted a nationwide curfew today. It was put in place last month when the military seized power. But officials said there’s now no threat of violence and tourism needs to be revived. The junta’s ban on political protests and criticism of the coup remains in place.

Elephants in Africa are under attack by poachers, with 20,000 slaughtered on the continent in 2013. International wildlife regulators reported that finding today. In the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 68 elephants were killed in the past two months alone. The director said that’s 4 percent of the park’s entire elephant population. He said poachers shoot the elephants with rifles from helicopters and they then use chain saws to remove their tusks.