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News you might have missed: Afternoon links for Friday, May 25

U.S. Marines examine a Japanese machine gun emplacement dug into the jungle floor at the Guadalcanal in September 1942. Japan and Russia may be close to signing a peace treaty to formally end World War II. (Keystone/Getty Images)

Japan and Russia may finally be ready to sign a post-World War II peace treaty  (The Mainichi)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he is willing to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin on signing an official peace treaty between those two nations. In World War II, Japan was one of the Axis powers, while Russia, the U.S., and the United Kingdom made up the allies. While fighting ended more than 70 years ago, Japan and Russia have never been able to agree on terms for a peace treaty, due to a disagreement about who owns a group of islands.

Trump signs an executive order making it easier to fire government employees who perform poorly (Talking Points Memo)

The new orders would significantly weaken unions, and make it easier to fire government employees. Among other changes, it would encourage agencies to fire low-performing employees instead of suspending them.

Ireland is voting on whether or not to legalize abortion (BBC)

Voters in Ireland are deciding Friday whether or not to repeal the eighth amendment to that nation's Constitution, which outlaws abortion. Pro-abortion citizens have reportedly traveled back to Ireland from all over the world to vote. The amendment was added to the Constitution in 1983. The wording of the amendment "acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right." The move to repeal the amendment is led by Leo Varadkar, the nation's youngest and first openly gay prime minister.

A cop in Georgia saved a choking baby (ABC News)

Responding to a 911 call, Marietta, Georgia, officer Nick St. Onge found a woman holding an unconscious 2-month-old baby. St. Onge performed CPR until fire department paramedics arrived. The baby recovered, and is back at home with her family.

A formerly homeless teen got accepted to Harvard (CNN)

Eighteen-year-old Richard Jenkins said that when he was younger, bullies would call him "Harvard" because of how much he liked to study. Now, despite a difficult upbringing that included being homeless for two years, Jenkins got accepted to that same Ivy League school on a full scholarship.


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