He’s ready for a rising son. Emperor Akihito, 82, appeared today in an unprecedented prerecorded 10-minute address about his fitness to serve. An emperor’s reign is lifelong, but Akihito spoke in vague yet forceful terms about his concern that his health will impede fulfillment of his imperial duties. It’s rumored that he’d like his 56-year-old son, Crown Prince Naruhito, to take over — but abdication will require amending imperial law. Some Japanese citizens are opposed, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government must “think carefully” about a way forward.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Will he finally pivot? The Republican nominee plans a speech laying out his economic plan in Detroit today in an effort to move on from the controversies and downward polling spiral that have dogged him since the end of the Democratic convention. His belated endorsements of House Speaker Paul Ryan and others tried to unify the frayed GOP, but former rival and Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday he’s still not sure who’ll get his vote — and Trump’s past attempts to run a traditional campaign haven’t lasted long.
As many as 75 people were killed at a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, today when a huge explosion went off at the gates of a hospital emergency area. Many suspect the target was a group of lawyers accompanying the body of colleague Bilal Kasi, who was shot on his way to work today. Journalists covering the event were also caught up in the blast, and at least one local cameraman has been confirmed dead. No one’s claimed responsibility for the attack, which wounded dozens more, and an investigation is currently underway.
Fasten your seat belts; this could get bumpy. The French aircraft manufacturer is being investigated by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office over allegations of criminal bribery and corruption. Airbus said in April it’d uncovered “inaccuracies” in applications for government credit guarantees, but the company, which says it’s cooperating with the probe, had likely been hoping to avoid a criminal investigation. Last month it was reported that Airbus would get the guarantees by the end of the year, but that looks unlikely as the investigation may take years — a boon to U.S. rival Boeing.
Know This: Hundreds of Delta passengers were left grounded this morning, thanks to a global computer outage, but flights are now slowly setting off. The U.S. government accidentally sold a bag of priceless lunar material. Mexico lost 38 people to mudslides this weekend, and another tropical storm is already forming. With Game of Thrones on the way out, a new George R. R. Martin series may get a TV treatment.
Watch This: Cyberwarfare is nothing new, but documentary Zero Days delves into the Stuxnet virus and the terrifying complexities of fighting cyberterrorism.
Read This: “This is the final nail of proof — if one even were necessary — that the so-called Olympic Spirit and all that blather about humanity and goodwill and fair play is such garbage it should be floating in a Rio river for a kayaker to dodge,” says Dan Wetzel on the ban of Russia’s athletes from the Paralympics.
They’re walking on water. In a big night for Team USA in the pool, 19-year-old Katie Ledecky shaved 2 seconds off her own world record in the women’s 400-meter freestyle Sunday for her first gold and second medal of the Rio Olympics. She has three more chances to chase history in the coming days. Michael Phelps, at 31, brought home another gold in the men’s 4x100-meter freestyle relay — the 19th of his storied career. America’s 12 total medals, including eight from swimming, make USA the team to beat.
This is preaching to the choir. Assault rifles are becoming increasingly popular with Americans — and no one’s giving them a helping hand like the U.S. Army. The Army runs assault rifle workshops tailored for kids aged 9 to 18, teaching skills that blur the line between marksmanship and combat training. Critics say the workshops send the wrong message, given the popularity of assault rifles with mass shooters. But the Army training’s popularity suggests the next generation of gun enthusiasts will have a more casual relationship with weapons of war.
In reality, it might not be Mars attacking us — but the other way around. In the next five years, we’re going to see new Mars-bound missions stoking dreams of space colonization. But NASA’s Office of Planetary Protection is increasingly worried by our Mars obsession. Experts say it’s likely there are very small organisms living on Mars. By sending robots or even people to the Red Planet, we could risk disrupting the evolution of an entire planet’s ecosystem — or wiping out terrestrial life with an alien contagion.
In the mood … for sound mental health? Just as Fitbits track exercise levels, emotion-reading wearables are on the rise to track our anger and stress levels while encouraging a few deep breaths. High-tech rings and wristbands are giving granny’s mood bracelet a run for its money, using sensors to do things like track nervous system changes, heart rate, temperature and even scheduled meetings and social-media activity. As wearable technology becomes more ubiquitous, this mind-reading bling hopes to corner the market in helping us chill.
Just say Pokemon No. Iran’s government, which already restricts Facebook and Twitter, has put the kibosh on the augmented reality game, citing “security concerns.” It had also reached out to the manufacturer, hoping to quash the game within its borders. While Iran is the first government to go so far, others have their misgivings. Hong Kong and Indonesia have forbidden on-duty police officers from playing, and Israel has warned its soldiers against it, saying the game captures visuals and location data that could be dangerous if leaked into the wrong hands.