Last summer, Christian Benitez, the premier scorer on Ecuador's budding World Cup squad, entered the hospital with stomach pains after a match and never left. He died at 27 of heart failure from an undetected congenital ailment.
Some teams at this World Cup could afford a sluggish start. Not France, which felt compelled to purge ASAP any traces of a hellish 2010 tournament.
There is a website operator who compiles what he has titled "The Complete History of Mario Balotelli's Shenanigans." Must be a full-time job. Even acknowledging that some entrants are exaggerated or manufactured, 46 seems a lot, especially for a 23-year-old.
Through three days, the World Cup has resembled the men's dress code for casual Fridays at the office: No ties.
The armed Taliban fighters who captured Bowe Bergdahl in southeastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, quickly handed him to a far more dangerous group that shuttled him between hide-outs in Pakistan's rugged tribal belt for the next five years. For much of that time, CIA drones trolled the skies overhead, searching for signs of the missing U.S. soldier. Until late last year, the drones fired missiles that killed hundreds of fighters and at least one senior leader of the militant group, known as the Haqqani network. A five-month halt in the CIA drone strikes this year coincided with intensifying efforts to get Bergdahl out. His return on May 31 has freed the CIA to resume the...