Alexis Tsipras appeared defiant today, publicly urging a “No” vote in Sunday’s referendum, and making it clear that his government couldn’t negotiate further with eurozone creditors until after the vote. Earlier, Tsipras reportedly told creditors via letter that Greece would be willing to meet most of the creditors’ demands to secure a bailout package, which buoyed markets. But ATM and pension collection lines are still growing outside Greek banks, and European Central Bank officers met today, stoking fears they might increase the collateral needed for the emergency loans currently keeping Greece’s banks afloat.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Stop by for a visit. On July 22, America will formally re-open doors to Havana. Both nations have so-called special interests buildings in each other’s capital, which will be renovated in the coming months. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Havana later this month to attend the embassy opening. Congress could still try to block the renovations through budget restrictions, but the buildings will still transition to full embassy status in the coming weeks for the first time since the Kennedy administration shuttered doors on diplomatic relations back in 1961.
Scores of extremists attacked several military and police stations across the northern part of Egypt today, killing at least 35. The violence has prompted Israel to close its border crossings with Egypt. ISIS supporters reportedly tweeted about plans to “eradicate the military’s presence in Sinai,” before the attack, and Cairo has deployed fighter jets to fight back, killing at least 22 militants. Local reports say there is no official death toll yet because the violence continues, and the numbers are expected to rise.
The Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal church in Greeleyville, S.C., caught fire last night, stoking fears it was started by racists. The same church was burned down by KKK white supremacists 20 years ago, and authorities are on the lookout for any problems following the recent Charleston church shooting. Authorities said there’s a chance the fire was caused by lightning, but with multiple other fires breaking out at black churches following Dylann Roof’s massacre, they’re considering more sinister causes as well.
They’re tightening the screws. China’s National People’s Congress has unanimously passed a new law that many fear will place more restrictions on civil rights. Proponents say it will allow them to protect Chinese sovereignty while giving them the right to take full control of China’s Internet infrastructure. And while Beijing has said the law will not be implemented in Hong Kong or Macau — they’re responsible for their own national security legislation — opponents fear a greater dent in freedom of speech will hurt foreign business while riling democracy activists.
Someone is cutting the fiber-optic Internet cables that connect San Francisco Bay Area communications to the rest of the world. An FBI spokesman revealed today that there have been 11 such attacks over the last year where a cable is physically cut by hand, including the latest one this week in the Sacramento area. The U.S. government is not revealing if the act has significantly affected citizens’ web-based service, though similar attacks have previously affected thousands of people. Expect municipal governments to try to protect the lines with extra security.
Authorities say all 122 passengers have died, in addition to at least 20 people on the ground, after a C-130 Hercules carrying military families slammed into a residential area in Medan just after takeoff. The accident’s cause remains unknown and has led to questions over the archipelago’s aviation safety record, with the air force alone having suffered five other plane crashes in the past decade. Search teams, meanwhile, continue sifting through the debris in the capital of the North Sumatra province as hopes fade for the discovery of survivors.
Tunisian killer ‘trained in Libya.’ (BBC)
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie gets started on presidential bid in N.H. (Yahoo)
Jailed American executive resigns from Toyota. (NYT)
Houthi rebels hit Yemen’s Aden, killing at least 17. (Al Jazeera)
Senior officials ‘knew about Clinton’s private email use.’ (NYDN)
They are severing ties. The retail giant announced it has pulled all of the mogul’s clothing line from its stores in light of Trump’s comments criticizing Mexican immigrants. Trump insisted he was the one ending the relationship but it’s clear his business partners are facing intense pressure from outside groups who have successfully circulated anti-Trump petitions to groups including NBC. Despite the business setbacks, Trump continues to climb in Republican presidential polls and announced he is suing Univision, owned by NBC, over what he called a breach of contract.
Saudi Arabia Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced he plans to give away his $32 billion fortune over the next few years. In a press conference in Riyadh today, the prince pledged to use his money to fight disease, improve cultural understanding between cultures, and build new schools, among other goals. Al-Waleed is the chief executive of the Kingdom Holding Company, which invests in industries as varied as oil, aviation and media. The 60-year old follows the philanthropic steps of business giants Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who’ve also pledged to give away their fortunes.
It came with strings attached. A troop in western Washington says it turned down the massive donation, a gift that would have sent 500 scouts to camp, because the donor specifically requested that it not be used to help transgender girls. Now the group, which has long advocated for inclusion, is running a campaign on IndieGoGo to replace the cash — one that’s raised nearly two and a half times its goal, around $240,000 — and say they’re committed to ensuring that all girls feel welcome as scouts.
They’re throwing the book at ’em. A federal appeals court has shot down the tech giant’s challenge to an earlier ruling, ordering that it pay $450 million, mostly to consumers, for colluding with a group of publishers to set inflated prices for e-books. The cartel, according to the court, was concerned that lower prices would drive down consumer willingness to shell out for hard copies, and hoped to use Apple to battle the Amazon juggernaut. Instead, they’re looking at a 15 percent drop in sales and a huge fine.
Freedom comes at a price. A new NOAA study shows that Independence Day sees a 42 percent nationwide increase in airborne particulates, and a whopping 370 percent increase in the areas near fireworks displays. These tiny particles, which exist in smog and exhaust, get stuck in the lungs and can damage hearts and blood vessels. Long periods of exposure lead to greater risks, but most folks — other than those with respiratory illnesses, who are advised to stay upwind — should feel free to enjoy the rockets’ red glare.
She’s dancing into history. Yesterday, the Missouri native and advocate for diversity was named the first female African-American principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater’s 75-year history. It’s been a memorable run for the 32-year-old, who last week became the first black ballerina to dance the lead in Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera House. Copeland has campaigned for the position since becoming an ABT soloist in 2007, and with her promotion, she’s expected to diversify the popularity of ballet while honing her solo moves.
They’re in a league of their own. Germany missed a penalty with the game tied at zero, thanks to goalie Hope Solo’s stalling tactics psyching out forward Celia Sasic. American midfielder and Olympic gold medalist Carli Lloyd then showed the opponents how it’s done, putting away a strong shot in the 69th. Fifteen minutes later, she crossed the ball to a slashing Kelley O’Hara, who scored and sealed the game 2-0, earning the team a shot at the title on Sunday against either England or Japan.