Residents of the former British colony are growing weary of China’s oppressive thumb. At least 150,000 demonstrated yesterday, the anniversary of Hong Kong’s 1997 return to China, to demand greater electoral freedom. The result? 500 arrests on grounds of illegal assembly, despite Hong Kong’s supposed freedom to protest. Frustration with the mainland has peaked over the right to nominate candidates for Hong Kong’s 2017 election, as well as Beijing’s recent declaration of ultimate authority over the seven-million strong city-state.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The president clearly isn’t scared of House Speaker John Boehner or his threat to sue him over use of executive actions. Obama defiantly said he’s ready to use his executive power to get things done, like he’s threatening to do with immigration reform, and has urged his Cabinet to find more areas where he can do so. Obama’s response to Boehner’s threat? “So sue me,” the president said. “I’m not going to apologize for doing something.”
Just when things were quieting down … Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called time on a 10-day ceasefire, blaming the rebels for undermining it, and unleashed furious ground and air assaults against pro-Russian separatist strongholds. This has prompted Vladimir Putin to threaten Russian intervention yet again, noting that Ukraine should not be allowed to “turn into an infectious disease.” Berlin is hosting talks with Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France today to try and regain last week’s calm.
A lawsuit filed by two former female employees describes the investment banking giant as a “boys club” where women are “either sexualized or ignored.” The plaintiffs complain of work events at strip clubs and allege that female vice-presidents are paid 21 percent less, on average, than their male counterparts. The firm denies the accusations, but it’s proving a costly week: Goldman just agreed to pay an $800,000 fine for 2011 “dark pool” transactions linked to nearly 400,000 mispriced trades.
U.S. celebrates 50th anniversary of 1964 Civil Rights Act. (CBS)
Former French President Sarkozy formally charged in corruption probe. (DW)
Compromises by justices cover up Supreme Court divide. (NYT)
Palestinian youth’s body found amid upheaval over Israeli teens’ deaths. (Al Jazeera)
Firms prepare to invest if Iran sanctions ease. (WSJ) sub
Knox’s former boyfriend — who’s facing 25 years in prison — seems to be changing his tune. Raffaele Sollecito says the two weren’t together the whole evening the crime took place, possibly poking holes in her alibi, and describes Knox’s version of events surrounding her British roommate’s murder as “hallucination.” Both are preparing to appeal their conviction in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher. Sollecito said he didn’t want to ”pay for someone else’s peculiar behavior.”
The pre-teen hangout and home of dreaded holiday crowds is dying. Half of U.S. malls will close in the next 10 years, thanks to rising suburban poverty and online shopping, representing a sea change in American consumerism. While some may cheer the demise of these temperature-controlled consumer shrines, the net result may be even bleaker. Cities can’t afford to rejuvenate downtown shopping districts, and most people can’t afford boutiques. The winners? Amazon algorithms and delivery drones — not a soul in sight.
We are hopelessly incapable of assessing our own “pushiness” levels in the workplace, according to new research. Participants in the study were broken into pairs to participate in mock business negotiations and asked to rate their own assertiveness levels and those of their partners. The results? People can accurately guess how others view them only about 50 percent of the time. So if you’re trying to assess your own workplace persona, remember that self-analysis is about as useful as a coin toss.
After nearly 35 years and 80 million albums sold, metal-glam hedonists Mötley Crüe are kicking off their farewell tour today in Grand Rapids, Mich. The 72-date North American extravaganza runs through November ahead of an international tour through 2015. The “band of brothers” unanimously agreed to disband, opting to ”check out at the top,” says bassist Nikki Sixx, 55. What else might the future hold for the Crüe? As Mel Brooks would say, ”merchandising!”
Americans finally warm to soccer …. and Team USA gets shut out in the cold. The U.S. lost to Belgium 2-1, but they didn’t go down without a fight. Jurgen Klinsmann’s men held off the Red Devils in a scoreless tie until the 93rd minute, when Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne found the net, followed by Romelu Lukaku in extra time. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard racked up an amazing 16 saves in the defeat, a World Cup record.