Submit or die. That’s what Prime Minister Tony Abbott says is the ISIS “death cult” approach to fulfilling its global ambitions. At a summit featuring leaders from 25 Asia-Pacific countries, Abbott pushed for a regional approach to quashing the extremists, and delegates are looking for ways to combat online propaganda and radicalization of young recruits. Abbott applauded President Obama’s plan to send Iraq 450 more military advisers to train local forces, helping them retake land from the militants. But progress, experts warn, will be slow.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They’ll have one less character. Just hours after Rupert Murdoch’s own pending resignation was leaked, the company announced its own embattled CEO would be resigning, effective July 1. Costolo had been weakened by Twitter’s disappointing financial returns and stagnant user growth. He will be temporarily replaced by founder Jack Dorsey while the company searches for a permanent replacement. Some employees were reportedly surprised by the announcement but shares surged more than 8 percent amid speculation the company could potentially be sold to Google or another major investor.
A former leader of China’s government elite, Zhou Yongkang was found guilty of bribery, abuse of power and disclosing national secrets by the Communist government. The 72-year old retiree, who had a closed-door trial in Tanjin, said he would not appeal the finding and that he regretted his crimes. The conviction is another feather in the cap of President Xi Jinping’s stated campaign against corruption. It is the first time a senior Communist party official has been convicted of corruption since the party was established. Officials say Yongkang’s property has already been seized.
Lock the doors. Authorities have closed a road just three miles east of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, to chase a lead involving escaped murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt. Searches for the duo, who escaped early Saturday, had previously focused on the Canadian border and Vermont shoreline. Police said yesterday they’d spoken with a female prison employee who may have befriended the inmates, but it remains unclear whether or how she aided their escape. Residents, meanwhile, are being told to stay inside and turn on exterior lights.
Something — or someone — has to give. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has reportedly capitulated to European demands on pensions and VAT, but the negotiations among France, Germany and Greece haven’t progressed much further. This means Athens is still on the road to default if it cannot pay $1.8 billion to the IMF by the end of June. All sides have agreed to “intensify” talks in hopes of a breakthrough, but with the S&P cutting Greece’s credit rating further into junk territory, anticipation of a Grexit is running high.
While higher-income countries were reeling from the financial crisis, markets like India, China and Brazil stepped up their growth and filled the gap. That party may be ending: The World Bank says the U.S. and Europe are taking the lead again and developing countries might have to get used to a new age of sluggishness, thanks to low commodity prices and cooler trade relations. But while an anticipated Fed interest rate hike this year would be “an important risk” to emerging economies, experts believe most will weather the storm.
Va. Teen Admits Being Voice of Pro-ISIS Twitter Account, U.N. Says Peacekeepers are Trading Goods for Sex
Va. teen admits being voice of pro-ISIS Twitter account. (WP)
Bernie Sanders calls on Hillary Clinton to take trade stance. (NYT)
Delayed ISS astronauts set to return to Earth. (BBC)
U.N.: Peacekeepers are trading goods for sex. (DW)
Russian groups crowdfund for Ukrainian fight. (NYT)
Nestle takes Maggi noodle ban to high court. (Times of India)
Bill Clinton defends family charity. (FT) sub
Judge finds cause to charge police in Tamir Rice case. (NBC)
One of Jazz music’s great innovators, who made his name developing new types of melodies that moved away from their traditional structures, died in Manhattan earlier today. Known for his work that touched on folk music, Coleman made many hits with Atlantic Records, including the seminal “The Shape of Jazz to Come.” He was revered by fellow players, including John Coltrane, who said in 1961 that the 12 minutes he spent on-stage with Coleman was “the most intense moment” of his life. Coleman’s last public performance was a year ago in Prospect Park, NY. He was 85 years old.
The sun also rises. The 84-year-old mogul will reportedly step down as CEO of 21st Century Fox, bequeathing the title to his 42-year-old son James. Murdoch’s other son Lachlan will take on a power-sharing role with his brother. The shake up extends beyond immediate family members, as COO Chase Carey will also reportedly transition into an advisory role. Company shares dipped after the announcement but have since largely rebounded, most likely because of word that Murdoch intends to stay on as executive chairman and retain final say on all matters.
Will they say yes? Athens may be showing willingness to adopt some reforms after all. Yesterday, the Ministry of Justice proposed legislation that would enable same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships and enjoy protection over property rights and inheritance. Activists applauded the move but expressed concern over the legislation stopping short of allowing same-sex partners to legally adopt. And it remains unclear whether parliament, which will debate the question in July, will accept the proposal.
This could put mad cow disease to pasture. One of the three forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, was once common in a Papua New Guinea tribe that traditionally ate the brains of its dead. But in a triumph of evolution, some tribe members developed genetic protection against the prion disease — and that gene mutation could work against all types of CJD. Researchers hope to harness this and find a cure for the estimated 30,000 Britons who may have contracted the disease in the ’90s but haven’t shown symptoms — yet.
The classic thespian who played some of the film world’s most villainous characters, including Frankestein and Dracula, has died at the age of 93. Known recently for his work as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the English-born Lee started off adult life with distinguished service in the Royal Air Force during World War II. After years of toiling futilely in the post-war film industry, the deep-voiced Lee found his calling playing the heavy in Hammer Horror production films. Lee was to appear in an Uma Thurman movie due next year that will likely be recast.
This is more civilized. The famously outspoken community site — known as either a bastion of free speech or a lawless haven for anonymous abuse — has closed five offensive subreddits (including ”fatpeoplehate,” the only one with over 5,000 subscribers) for breaking its updated rules on harassment. Some users are bemoaning this as the beginning of the end for unfettered expression online. But execs insist they’re “banning behavior, not ideas,” and many have applauded them for fostering a safer network and encouraging trolls to hide under a different bridge.
Panic is going viral. Following an outbreak that’s seen 107 South Korean cases of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, the Shanghai International Film Festival has canceled some activities and asked Korean invitees to stay home. They’re afraid someone might bring the deadly virus with them. Several countries are urging travelers not to visit South Korea, where more than 1,000 people are quarantined, unless absolutely necessary. Whether the festival still plans to screen Korean films Shameless and Salut d’Amour is unknown, but those behind the films will clearly not be welcome.
It’s now a best-of-three series. Chicago held off Tampa Bay for a 2-1 victory, tying the NHL championship series 2-2. The Lightning retain home-ice advantage, but that’s little solace considering the Blackhawks have gone 6-5 on the road in the playoffs. Besides, they seem to be getting better with age, going 41-14 in Games 4-7 of playoff series since 2009. This year’s Stanley Cup, which continues Saturday, has been the closest since 1968, with each match decided by a single goal.