They may not have gone far. After an abortive western New York manhunt for escaped convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt, authorities are focusing on a burglarized cabin far upstate. It’s within 25 miles of the prison from which they escaped June 6, and police reportedly found the fugitives’ DNA there. Meanwhile, investigators are questioning a second prison employee about possible involvement, while his lawyer says the “master manipulator” lifers had “nothing but time to take advantage of innocent people.” As the search intensifies, the reactions of lawmen and residents alike are now on a hair trigger.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It inspired a man to commit nine brutal murders. The Confederate battle flag, which flies at the South Carolina statehouse, lost a powerful ally today when Republican governor Nikki Haley called for the flag to come down. The decision isn’t hers: Previously-passed legislation says only a two-thirds majority in each house of the state legislature can take the flag down — and some claim it’s a question of Southern heritage rather than racism. Meanwhile, the city prepares to bury its dead and the police continue investigating shooter Dylann Roof’s motives.
The best defense is a good offense. EU leaders are holding an emergency summit today to discuss the Greek debt crisis, but France and Germany are insisting that Athens come up with a workable plan before the group convenes. EU leaders told Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that they won’t consider releasing $8.2 billion in bailout funds unless Athens is able to reach an agreement with creditors beforehand. If Tsipras’ government can’t manage to secure the loan, it’s looking increasingly likely that the 11-million-strong country will default next week.
They made their voices hurt. A car bomb exploded in front of Afghanistan’s parliament today as six gunmen battled security forces in an attempt to enter the building. A Taliban spokesman said they sought to stop the confirmation of the country’s new defense minister, but Kabul’s police chief said all lawmakers were safe and the attackers had been killed. In another setback today, the governor of northern Dashti Archi reported that the Taliban had overrun his district. Officials promised a counterattack to regain the region, but more losses are anticipated as foreign forces withdraw.
It’s not just about a flag. Reports surfaced today that Earl Holt — who wrote that blacks are the “laziest, stupidest and most criminally-inclined race in history” — as well as earning the admiration of confessed killer Dylann Roof, has donated $65,000 to Republican candidates. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign said the Texas senator would be returning $8,500 he received from the Council of Conservative Citizens, which lists Holt as its president. GOP hopefuls Rick Santorum and Rand Paul are also listed as beneficiaries, and are likely to follow suit.
Pakistan heat wave has killed 140 people. (TIME)
Kremlin warns of backlash against ‘Russophobia.’ (WP)
Indonesian court affirms Frenchman’s death penalty. (BBC)
South Korea reports two new MERS deaths. (Reuters)
Cash saves dogs from Chinese canine food fest. (The Telegraph)
As if upending the book business with rock-bottom prices wasn’t enough, the retail giant will now pay some authors by number of pages read. New Kindle software will decide if pages stay on-screen for a long-enough time to read and may benefit genres with fast narratives (i.e. suspense novels). Writers looking to extend their books’ length to take advantage may be able to do so by adding illustrations counting towards the book’s end total. The payment system will first be available to members of its Kindle Select program.
Ultramarathoners usually have such impressive health that they seem indestructible. But a new study by the International Journal of Sports Medicine has found too much exercise may send bacteria from your stomach to your blood and can cause full-body inflammation. The researchers sampled the blood of 17 ultra-marathoners who ran 50 miles or more at a time to find those that released toxins. Incredibly, some of the runners had blood profiles identical to people hospitalized of blood poisoning, which means there are likely a few people running around without knowledge of their potentially dangerous condition.
That’s a lot of lost best friends. Archaeologists investigating Egyptian catacombs dedicated to the canine god Anubis have discovered a staggering number of preserved pooches near the country’s oldest pyramid. While many of the remains had already been plundered for fertilizer, the vast number remaining suggests the total could have been around eight million, many of which were newborn puppies offered to Anubis. Researchers hope to shed light on the tomb’s construction, as well as the afterlife-oriented industry that may have spawned a deadly puppy mill.
She’s got them singing her tune. The “Shake It Off” star criticized Apple Music in a letter to fans yesterday, explaining why she was withholding her latest album, 1989, from the streaming service. She said it was unfair for artists not to be paid during its three-month trial period — and begged the firm to reconsider. The tech giant swiftly responded, with senior exec Eddy Cue tweeting that they would indeed pay artists, capping it with a heartfelt: “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple.”
But are they doing 300 times the work? Executive pay at the top 350 U.S. firms is partially responsible for rising income inequality, a new study by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute says. They noted that while profits are at record highs, wages for most folks are stagnating. The highest income earners, meanwhile, have honed their negotiating skills — but not necessarily their productivity — sufficiently to see their pay triple over the last 20 years, while everyone else scrambles for what’s left of the pie.
They’re widening the web. The half-black, half-Hispanic Miles Morales, who’s been donning the Spidey suit since 2011 in Marvel’s “Ultimate” series — an alternate universe that helped revive the brand — will appear in the main Marvel comics, mentored by a grown-up Peter Parker. Though Morales, a fan favorite, won’t be embodying Spider-Man on screen anytime soon — much-mocked leaked Sony emails specify a white cinematic web-slinger — this is a big step forward for the comic giant when it comes to spinning more diverse stories.
The number three is going to haunt Dustin Johnson. That’s how many putts he needed to cover just 12 feet on the final hole, costing him the U.S. Open. He handed victory to 21-year-old Jordan Spieth, the tournament’s youngest champion since 1923 and only the sixth ever to win both it and the Masters in the same year. Next month, Spieth heads to St. Andrews for the British Open, where a victory would put him just a PGA Championship away from golf’s holy grail: the Grand Slam.