Four years after breaking Ohioan hearts, LeBron James is headed back to the Cavaliers. “I see myself as a mentor now,” James said, citing a desire to lead Cleveland’s talented but young roster. James said the hurtful reaction from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and fans in 2010 was forgiven, and was overshadowed by his responsibility to help the place he calls home. The return is a watershed moment for the NBA, shifting the league’s balance of power like only a king can.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The Germans have shouted Raus! at the CIA’s Berlin station chief following accusations of spying. The ejection signals damaged relations between the allies in the wake of allegations that the NSA tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone and the CIA turned two German intelligence officers into double agents. Merkel says the two countries have better things to do than “waste time spying on each other.” For its part, Germany has the far more pressing matter of how to surveil and stop Argentina’s Lionel Messi in Sunday’s World Cup final.
House Speaker John Boehner was listening when Obama said “so sue me.” The Republican drafted a resolution yesterday authorizing litigation to challenge alleged presidential abuse of power over the Affordable Care Act and the delay of the employer mandate. The GOP’s view? Changes to the Act’s implementation should’ve been up to Congress. The Rules Committee will consider the resolution next week, including whether spending millions to challenge the president in an election year is the healthiest of choices.
President Obama has offered to broker a ceasefire to thwart another Israeli-Palestinian war, and U.S. help may be needed more than ever. Israelis announced that a rocket fired into southern Israel is believed to have originated in Syria or Lebanon. Hamas rocket attacks and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes have already led to scores of Palestinian deaths this week. The U.S. is unlikely to negotiate with Hamas, whom it considers terrorists, but as Gaza hospitals fill with wounded civilians, American involvement may be both sides’ best hope for ending the bloodshed.
Hopes for eliminating the AIDS-causing virus through drugs have suffered a major setback. A Mississippi baby girl believed to be cured of HIV after aggressive treatment within hours of birth has tested positive four years later. Antiretroviral drugs can keep HIV in check, but the virus can hide in body “reservoirs,” which doctors thought they’d eradicated in the girl. Sadly, this means the cure physicians thought they had for the 260,000 HIV-positive babies born worldwide each year is gone.
Kerry arrives in Kabul amid contested presidential election row. (Al Jazeera)
Planned Reynolds and Lorillard merger set to shake up tobacco. (FT) sub
Iraqi Kurds seize two northern oil fields. (BBC)
Portuguese banking concerns bring market jitters. (WSJ)
China bus crash kills eight schoolchildren. (Sky)
The Selective Service is certainly being selective. The agency recently sent notices to more than 14,000 Pennsylvania men born in the late 1800s, ordering them to register for the military draft. The glitch stemmed from a data transfer error in which records from the 1990s were mixed up with those from the 1890s. No centenarians have reported for duty, but confused descendants felt the need to ring and flag the error. “You don’t want to mess around with the federal government,” one said.
Women who eat one or two apples a day enjoy better sex than those who don’t, a new study has found. Apple-eating women might generally be healthier, or the better whoopee could be linked to the fruit’s polyphenols and antioxidants, which boost blood flow to the genitalia. Or maybe it’s linked to the compound phloridzin, similar to the female sex hormone estradiol, which affects arousal. Whatever the reason, an apple a day may keep the sex therapist away.
Heat doth spring eternal in the thermal geology of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and now it’s melted an asphalt road. Potholes and melted patches are par for the course in the park, but the thermal features — aided by unusually warm summer temperatures in the area — caused thick oil to bubble and damage a large section of asphalt on Firehole Lake Drive. The road is now closed, blocking access to the popular geysers just as the tourist season hits a fever pitch.
Transgender women everywhere have a reason to stand a bit taller in their heels. Laverne Cox, who plays the transgender inmate Sophia Burset in the hit prison series Orange Is the New Black, woke up yesterday to learn she’d become the first openly transgender woman nominated for an Emmy. Cox — who only gave up her restaurant job a year ago — is thrilled and hopes the coup helps transgender youth see “they can be who they are and still achieve their dreams.”
It’s been a disappointing season for Yankees fans, but rookie pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was their great imported hope. The Japanese phenom, whose 2.51 ERA and seven-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio made him arguably the best pitcher in the league, will miss at least six weeks with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Doctors are recommending rehab in hopes of avoiding Tommy John surgery, which would leave Tanaka benched and fans listless for at least a year.