More than 33 million people are living under a severe storm threat today as the twister season ramps up. Search dogs checked door-to-door in Van, Texas, as at least 10 people are missing. At least 26 were injured, and one third of the town suffered damage late Sunday. Tiny Delmont, North Dakota lost all of it’s utilities in the storm, while a high school in Lake City, Iowa, lost its roof. Tornado threats remain from Houston to southern Michigan today. Stay safe, everyone.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Share the wealth — and the burden. That’s the message from the European Commission to its 28 member states this week in the face of a raging migrant crisis that has already seen 1,800 die in the Mediterranean this year. On Wednesday, the commission will propose a “mandatory migrant quota system” for splitting the responsibility for resettling asylum-seekers. European leaders will discuss the controversial plan — opposed by Britain, Estonia and Slovakia, and derided as “a crazy idea” by the Hungarian prime minister — at a June summit.
It’s only been three years since Shell’s exploratory oil rig ran aground in the Alaskan gulf. Now the company has made it past the first hurdle to resume drilling: They’ve gotten a provisional OK from the Interior Department, which means they can drill up to six wells in search of undersea oil — as long as they get all necessary permits, have a leak-control plan and don’t disturb the walruses. Environmental activists are horrified and say that Shell’s crude practices could lead to a BP-style oil spill.
And he wasn’t the one that fired. Police say Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the 2012 killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, was shot at by Matthew Apperson in an Orlando suburb and minorly wounded by broken glass when a bullet whizzed through his window. Apperson and Zimmerman were involved in a road rage incident last year — that time, Zimmerman threatened to kill Apperson — but no charges were filed. Police are still investigating, but Zimmerman is known for his history of violent behavior, which may figure in.
First Israel, now this. There’s speculation that President Obama’s Iran policy has just gotten him snubbed again: Saudi King Salman has bowed out of this week’s Camp David summit with allied Arab leaders. The talks, coinciding with a five-day break in Saudi airstrikes in Yemen amid growing concerns of a humanitarian crisis, are aimed at reassuring regional allies in the face of a rising Iran. Participating Gulf leaders, including a Saudi delegation, also want U.S. support in the fight against armed groups in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
It began as a routine traffic stop. But the weekend run-in proved fatal for Hattiesburg policemen Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 24. Authorities have arrested four in connection with the case, charging two with capital murder. This year, 44 U.S. law enforcement agents have died in the line of duty, and the Mississippi incident — Hattiesburg’s first murdered officers since 1984 — is sure to inflame passions on all sides of the ongoing debate about controlling both criminals and cops.
They’re not homesick yet. Five U.S. companies — Apple, Google, Cisco, Microsoft and Pfizer — are hoarding $439 billion, much of it overseas, in a waiting game with an iffy global economy. They’re refraining from repatriating the savings, which constitutes more than 25 percent of the money stockpiled by American firms, preferring instead to take advantage of relaxed foreign corporate tax codes. Some shareholders are pressuring companies to bring back the cash, but many think rising borrowing costs will be key to seeing the money return home.
Bangalore court clears Tamil leader Jayalalitha of corruption. (Gulf News)
IMF weighs contingency plans for possible Greek default. (WSJ) sub
Sweden rejects Assange appeal over arrest warrant. (BBC)
China gets friendly with liberal Latin American economies. (FT) sub
Michelle Obama delivers commencement speech at Tuskegee University. (WashPo)
Maybe those balls weren’t “perfect” after all. Pats quarterback Tom Brady will have to sit out four games after investigators determined that he likely knew about a scheme to deflate the footballs the team was using. Brady is the first NFL superstar to deal with this kind of cheating scandal, so the league is in uncharted territory: They went with a suspension and a $1 million fine for the Pats. Brady’s break is good news for Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s expected to take over until the Pats can sign another QB.
The show that tried to launch a zillion stars will say farewell after next season. The “American Idol” juggernaut, which has given the world chart-toppers and embarrassments alike, will take its curtain call in 2016, the network announced today. Executives say they want to go out on top, but it’s no secret that show ratings have taken a dive this year. Still, even a hobbled Idol trounces the network competition. This year’s winner is slated to be crowned on Wednesday.
They’re supposed to lift healthcare into the 21st century. But staff and visitors at the $1.54 billion, state-of-the-art South Glasgow University Hospital claim they’re getting stuck in the button-less elevators for extended periods of time. The hospital — dubbed the Death Star for its shape — has brought in volunteers to explain the fast-moving elevators. And once personnel grow more accustomed, it’s hoped the lifts, self-service check-ins and linen-delivering robots will ensure that Glaswegian medicine is on the way up.
There was no basking in the glow. A study of 128 couples found that those who were instructed to double their sexual encounters showed a decline in happiness, rather than the expected boost. Sexual satisfaction was linked to contentment, but frequency was not. Scientists say more research is required — it might’ve been the study’s parameters stressing the couples, rather than all the intercourse — but they recommend folks get hot and bothered over the quality, rather than quantity, of their time in the sack.
They say they’re caught in a web of regulation. AT&T and other broadband purveyors requested a stay on the FCC’s Open Internet order, which reclassifies the Internet as a utility. The telecom companies claimed that a delay wouldn’t harm the public interest. But the FCC disagreed, refusing the petition and moving full speed ahead on the assumption that the changes will be for the greater good. The industry’s next step? Taking the FCC to court to challenge the new rules’ “irreparable harm.”
She’s just trying to make a living. The network has green-lighted the first in a series of TV movies about the legendary country singer. Coat of Many Colors uses the Tennessee native’s 1971 song of the same name — reportedly her favorite and based on an actual coat made by her mother — as a backdrop for a rags-to-riches tale about her childhood. Each of the standalone movies will be based on Parton’s songs and stories, with the 69-year-old executive producing and possibly making guest appearances.
Two can play that game. After Derrick Rose banked in a three-pointer as time expired to vault the Bulls into a 2-1 series lead on Friday, King James matched him yesterday with a game-winning shot of his own in equally thrilling fashion. In the Western conference, meanwhile, there were no last-minute chances for a turnaround, with the Clippers routing Houston 128-95 to claim a commanding 3-1 series lead as they head back to the Rockets’ home court.