A Charleston County grand jury has indicted former police officer Michael Slager for murder in the death of Walter Scott. Scott, a 50-year-old African American, was shot and killed in April after being stopped for a brake light problem when the situation escalated and the victim allegedly tried to grab the officer’s stun gun and run away. The shooting was subsequently caught on film by a passerby, and Slager has been in custody ever since. If convicted of murder, he faces a minimum of 30 years.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He’s heading home but will soon be back in court. The South African Olympian jailed for five years in 2014 for the culpable homicide of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is due to be released by August 21. The runner and double amputee shot Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door and said he believed her to be an intruder. He’s eligible for release with “correctional supervision,” having served a sixth of his sentence. But he faces a state appeal against his acquittal in November and several years behind bars if convicted.
They’re keeping his power in check. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) took 41 percent of the vote, winning 258 seats — 18 short of a majority — likely quashing his plan for a constitutional change to extend presidential authority. Now AKP must form a coalition within 45 days to retain power. Erdogan, meanwhile, endured the blow and made the most of it, applauding the high voter turnout and calling on all parties to “preserve the atmosphere of stability.”
They crawled their way to freedom early Saturday, leaving a racist note that said “Have a Nice Day.” Murderers Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, could be “anywhere,” police say, after they used power tools and their hands to carve a way out of the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, just 25 miles from the Canadian border. The state is offering a $100,000 reward for information, more than 200 officers are involved in the search and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned that both men are extremely dangerous.
A video of police breaking up a teenage pool party in McKinney, Texas, went viral this weekend. In it, a white officer appears to assault a black, bikini-clad 14-year-old girl, slamming her face into the ground, sitting on her and drawing his gun on other teens who tried to help her. Many are calling it police brutality. Authorities, who say the juveniles didn’t have permission to be at the pool, have put officer Eric Casebolt on administrative leave, launched an investigation and asked for public patience.
It was an avoidable tragedy. Kalief Browder, who spent three years on Rikers Island for stealing a backpack despite never actually being charged with anything and became a symbol of a broken system after The New Yorker brought his story to light, committed suicide on Saturday at the age of 22. Now Mayor de Blasio is calling for reforms at Rikers, especially to the mental health programs, as the federal government heads forward with its suit against the notoriously violent prison for violating the rights of incarcerated teenagers.
They’re the latest heads to roll. Germany’s largest lender, hit with tougher regulation and legal woes like the Libor scandal, will see its chief, Anshu Jain, step down at the end of June. Co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen, meanwhile, will go next May. The bank has recently suffered job cuts and closed branches, causing widespread criticism. Much of it has been aimed at Jain, though Fitschen is currently on trial for allegedly giving false testimony. John Cryan, a Brit who once headed UBS, will soon take the helm.
Ruling party likely to retain control in Mexico after elections. (BBC)
Sixth MERS death recorded in South Korea, 87 infected. (NBC)
G7 leaders focus on global security. (DW)
Russia and Qatar ‘could lose World Cups’ if bribery proven. (The Guardian)
Northern Italian province says no more migrants. (Al Jazeera)
Forget tectonic plates. A government spokesman in Malaysia is blaming Friday’s magnitude 5.9 earthquake, which killed 13 and left six missing, on a group of tourists who stripped naked while climbing down Mount Kinabalu on May 30. The 10 suspects are believed to have incited the sacred mountain’s wrath by taking it all off. The deputy chief minister of the state of Sabah said “there is almost certainly a connection,” and plans to bring charges against at least five in the group.
Years after expanding its commerce business to cloud web services and hardware products, the web retail giant is now moving into the competitive world of PC video games. Revealed in a series of recruitment ads for game site Gamasutra, the Seattle-based company has already hired veterans from well-known titles such as Portal, World of Warcraft and Bioshock. It also revealed the unnamed project will use Amazon Web Services and incorporate the video game replay site Twitch, which it acquired last year. Jeff Bezos’ company has made smaller mobile games before but none for bigger systems.
Domesticated cats have lived with humans for ages without (much) incident but a new study says they carry parasites that may lead to mental illness. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine say cat ownership in childhood can lead to greater instances of schizophrenia and bipolar disease due to the animals’ carrying of the Toxoplasma gondii organism. The Centers for Disease Control has previously revealed that more than 60 million people in the U.S. carry the parasite and sometimes leads to complications in people with weak immune systems.
Tidal may have been a washout, but this one aims to sink its rivals. A new streaming music service that was announced today at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference will be a $10-per-month subscription plan that will let users stream everything in the iTunes store. It’ll also have a social component and a nonstop radio station —free even to non-users — for which Apple’s already approaching celebrities who might want to play DJ. With 800 million users already using iTunes, this reboot might just beat back the competition.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing. Ground control lost contact with the Carl Sagan-inspired LightSail spacecraft last week, and hopes faded when it failed to unfurl its basketball-court-sized sail on Sunday. But the Planetary Society, headed by Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy), got its sails to deploy on the second attempt, moving a step closer to Sagan’s dream of space travel powered by sunlight. Next up: crowdsourcing another mission into higher orbit in 2016 to see whether Sagan’s baby really can fly.
The ladies got theirs last night. Fun Home, a musical with a lesbian protagonist — and the first all-female team to win best score — won five awards, including best musical, beating out An American in Paris and tying The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with five trophies overall. Broadway faves Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth were at the helm as hosts, and Helen Mirren lent the proceedings a royal air, winning for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience.
The king evened the score. If you thought Cleveland was down and out without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, think again. James netted 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists for his fifth triple-double in an NBA Finals, helping the Cavs top Golden State in overtime last night. The Warriors were less than red hot but managed to rally in the fourth to force OT. But Cleveland held its own, unlike in Game 1, and will be looking to court victory at home in Game 3 on Wednesday.