The Presidential Daily Brief

important

  1. Police investigate outside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., where a gunman opened fire on a prayer meeting and killed nine people last night.

    Police Arrest S.C. Church Shooting Suspect

    Authorities have their suspect in custody. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white male, was captured on Highway 74 in west Shelby, N.C., today. He is believed to have shot and killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., last night. President Obama called the attack “particularly heartbreaking.” Roof reportedly prayed with the congregation for an hour before opening fire. Six women and three men were killed, including pastor and state Senator Clementa Pinckney — all victims of what Police Chief Gregory Mullen called a “senseless” hate crime. 

     

  2. Pope Francis during the Sunday Angelus' prayer in Saint Peter's square.

    Pope Francis Calls for Revolution to Save Planet

    The pontiff is urging humans to stop ruining Mother Earth by declaring a “bold cultural revolution.” Worshiping technology and relying on fossil fuels must end, Francis said today in a message traditionally sent to more than a billion Catholics worldwide. But this year he’s addressing it to “every person living on this planet” and asking the developed world to cut back on energy consumption. Environmentalists are thrilled, but some American politicians are criticizing the rhetoric, which is sure to stir a wider debate before the U.N. climate conference in December.

  3. Protesters in Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong Rejects China-Backed Election Reform

    They dropped the yellow umbrellas and raised ballots instead. Lawmakers decrying the notion of “fake democracy” today rejected the Beijing-backed election reform bill that inspired months-long protests last year. It was aimed at giving the city of seven million long-awaited elections — but only from a pool of Beijing-approved candidates. Thirty central-government supporters walked out during the debate, leaving the remaining legislators to vote down the motion 28-8, thus retaining the old system, where a 1,200-member committee chooses the chief executive.

  4. Fed Chair Janet Yellen

    Yellen Says Rate Rises Will Be Gradual

    They’re going to tighten the belt slowly. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated yesterday that short-term interest rates will rise in the future — possibly as soon as September — but at a gradual pace, so as not to upset the global economy. Despite a slow start this year, Yellen believes the U.S. economy is regaining its momentum, but her team will await  “decisive” proof before approving a hike. And they remain confident that world markets can handle a gradual approach to tighter monetary policy.

  5. Greece delivers reform plan to Brussels, and things are looking up.

    Talks Prove Fruitless for Greece

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is “still convinced” a bailout deal can prevail. But she also said Greece must be willing to adopt reforms to appease eurozone creditors. Brussels wants more than Athens is willing to give, and only two weeks remain to secure new loans. A meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg today yielded no solutions, and Greece’s Yanis Varoufakis warned that the country’s state of mind may be veering toward the reckless. Talks are expected to continue this weekend before an emergency meeting on Monday that will see ministers attempt to prevent Grexit.

  6. U.N. Says Displaced People at Record High, Christian Church Targeted in Israel

    U.N. says number of displaced people hits record 60 million worldwide. (BBC)

    Israeli Catholic church hit in possible arson attack. (DW)

    Influential Wall Street banker James B. Lee Jr. dies at age 62. (WSJ) sub

    ISIS-linked group claims responsibility for deadly Yemen bombings. (Al Jazeera)

    Berkeley apartment builder reportedly paid millions in balcony lawsuits. (SFGate)

intriguing

  1. A ten dollar bill

    Female Face to Grace American $10 Bill

    Will they settle for half? The Women On 20s campaign wants Harriet Tubman promoted to the $20 bill, but the U.S. Treasury has just announced that it’ll be replacing Alexander Hamilton’s mug on the $10 note with a woman’s visage in 2020 — though it’s unclear which woman will be honored. Social media erupted with outrage over Hamilton getting the boot rather than Andrew Jackson, who’s fallen out of favor in recent years. And Hamilton’s descendants, opposing the change, are vowing to give the feds a run for their money.

  2. Lithium-ion Batteries Could Get Longer Shelf Lives

    New Battery Innovation Could Lead to Longer Charges

    A Stanford University research group has found a new chemical combination that reduces lithium-based batteries’ tendency to overheat and catch fire. The team added chemicals to the electrolytes of coin cell batteries to ensure their structure stayed stable over time, allowing charges to last up to ten times longer. This finding, led by associate professor Yi Cui, of the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, could lead to batteries that are not only longer-lasting but also lighter, allowing manufacturers of electric vehicles to promise longer rides between charges.

     

     

  3. James Murphy Wants to Change the Subway's Tonal Sounds

    James Murphy Wants to Change NYC Subway’s Beeps 

    The subway turnstiles in New York City’s subway system are famous for their harsh tonal beeps but the LCD Soundsystem front man wants to improve them. In the Subway Symphony campaign launched today, the 45-year old musician says he’d love to create music specific to different stop signs and debuted possible samples. One problem he might face is the current subway tones are there for persons with disabilities to know if and when a card has sufficient fare. But Murphy and his partners are working with the MTA to work with this issue.  

  4. Happy TV

    Happy Memories May Alleviate Depression

    Maybe the past really can set you free. Research has shown that going over positive experiences from earlier times can help thwart stress-induced depression. Scientists at MIT tagged neurons in rodents’ brains that they believed stored positive memories and then stimulated them with light when the mice seemed depressed. In turn, the critters’ listlessness and lack of appetite fell away — even more than in mice experiencing new uplifting events. Further research is needed, but this signals hope that the brain itself could someday help treat human mental disorders.

  5. A photo of communication lines zooming over a city.

    Telecom Giant Faces Record $100M Fine

    They want to get us up to speed. The FCC has slapped its largest fine ever — $100 million — against AT&T for misleading customers over “unlimited” usage data plans. The feds are accusing the firm of drastically slowing speeds after users reached a certain data threshold, a practice dating back to 2011. The FCC has received thousands of complaints, with the average customer having access throttled 12 days each month. AT&T plans to challenge the assertions, and a settlement is expected … though it may not be very quick.

  6. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams to Assume New Role at NBC

    They’re not gunning for him after all. While the network isn’t giving Brian Williams his NBC Nightly News anchor chair back when his suspension lifts in August, it’s not firing him either. Some pin Williams’ salvation on friend and NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, who’s said to have helped secure a solution. NBC has announced that the disgraced anchor will assume a leadership role at MSNBC, while interim anchor Lester Holt will be taking over the evening newscast on a permanent basis.

  7. Shannon Boxx #7, Abby Wambach #20, Ashlyn Harris #18, and Christie Rampone #3 of the United States celebrate their team's 1-0 victory over Nigeria.

    USA Beats Nigeria, Wins Group of Death

    They only needed one. In the last play before halftime, Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick found veteran Abby Wambach and then the back of the net, which proved enough to vault the Americans into the knockout stage in good stead. Had they lost, the U.S. would have faced Brazil, who won Group E. But thanks to Wambach’s goal, her first in this tournament but her 14th in World Cup play, the U.S. will face off against Colombia — who they’ve never lost to — in Edmonton on Monday.