Prayers have been answered. A new tribunal will hear cases of bishops failing to protect minors from sexually abusive priests, thanks to the latest bold move by Pope Francis. The decision was based on a recommendation from a new panel on clerical sex abuse. Until now, no bishop has ever been forcibly removed for covering up for other clergy and they could only be held responsible by the pope himself. But this pontiff did accept an American bishop’s resignation recently over the issue, and activists and the U.N. have long criticized the Vatican for not doing more to bolster accountability.
The Presidential Daily Brief
His actions were “indefensible.” That’s what McKinney police chief Greg Conley said as he announced Eric Casebolt’s resignation from the force. Casebolt was put on administrative leave after a video surfaced of him responding to a complaint about a noisy pool party, where he subdued a 14-year-old girl by pushing her face into the ground, sitting on her while drawing his gun on other teens. Crowds in McKinney have protested the brutality, and police are still investigating to determine whether Casebolt’s conduct was racially motivated.
They’re finally coming home. The remains of 44 Germans killed in the Germanwings crash on March 24 — including 16 schoolchildren and two teachers — landed in Duesseldorf last night, where relatives will view their coffins at an airport hangar today. Later, the cortege will drive past the affected school, Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium. Repatriation has been slowed by errors on death certificates, enraging some families. But French authorities say they are back on schedule and that the remaining victims will be sent home in the coming weeks.
In an urgent effort to expel the extremists, President Obama is preparing to send at least another 400 military trainers to help prepare local forces to retake key Iraqi cities. The White House announced the decision today, which includes a new military base in Anbar Province and follows months of debate over how to win back Mosul. But U.S. officials say the central town of Ramadi is becoming the first priority, while a campaign to liberate Mosul may be delayed until 2016.
Is Uber’s bubble bound to burst? Some worry that tech companies are stoking investors’ confidence with numbers that old-school Wall Street wolves don’t understand. They use terms like “run rate” and “bookings,” rather than the traditional “revenue,” in order to drive up valuations — which could leave investors with nothing once businesses go public and get smacked by the real world. The new lingo is legal while the companies are privately owned, and though some think it helps predict potential, critics fear it’s inflating a balloon that will soon pop.
Aung San Suu Kyi visits China in diplomatic effort. (The Guardian)
Greek PM Alex Tsipras to meet with Angela Merkel. (DW)
Dennis Hastert denies hush money charges. (NYT)
Apple’s streaming music foray draws anti-trust probe. (FT) sub
MERS claims ninth victim, officials brace for worst. (CNN)
Will this ever fly? The International Air Transport Association has come up with a solution to crammed overhead bins: shrink the carry-on size allowance. If airlines adopt their new recommendation of 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches — notably smaller than many rolling bags on the market today — we’ll soon have to buy new luggage. Approved bags will carry “IATA Cabin OK” tags by the end of the year, and while airlines aren’t obliged to adopt the restrictions, many reportedly hope the downsizing will take off.
Moscow researchers have developed a tiny biotechnological sensor that can detect viral disease markers that crop up when a person has HIV, cancer or other illnesses. The author says they’lll be able to add thousands of sensors on a single microchip. This discovery from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology will help doctors diagnose illnesses faster than currently available methods. The authors of the study say the chips will be so small, that once they’re completed, they should be able to be placed inside smart phones.
It’s one helluva high-wire act. The forward-thinking billionaire has set his sights on conquering space. Yesterday Musk filed for permission from the U.S. government to begin testing his new pet project: Delivering high speed Internet access to Earth via satellites. His plan eventually calls for 4000 low-flying space conduits, providing connectivity to every corner of the globe. If the tests soar, Musk’s SpaceX company could be marketing its wifi within five years and taking on the likes of telecom giants like Comcast and AT&T.
A Jurassic World is still a ways off. But scientists using electron microscopes have found red blood cells and collagen fibers in 75-million-year-old specimens that weren’t even very well preserved. It’s long been believed that fossilization would eliminate connective fibers and other organic material, but now it looks like soft tissue might be found in any dinosaur remains. While the findings may be a breakthrough for paleobiologists, dino fans note: DNA is more fragile than blood or protein, so hatching dinosaurs isn’t in the cards — yet.
The charge is “spiritual damage.” A Shanghai man is suing prominent actress Zhao Wei for her performance in the Chinese television show Tiger Mom … for staring at him too intensely while he watched the show. New legal regulations in China are making it more difficult to throw lawsuits out of court, and frivolous claims like this — which may have less to do with Zhao’s stare and more to do with her $1 billion net worth — could help authorities tighten the legal reins.
Steph Curry was red hot, scoring 17 in the fourth quarter to lead Golden State back from a 20-point deficit. But it wasn’t enough to topple King James, Matthew Dellavedova and Cleveland, who pulled it out 96-91. LeBron netted a convincing 40 points while Delly had a career playoff-high of 20. Thursday’s Game 4 in Cleveland will give the Cavs a chance to secure a commanding series lead, but the Warriors should be feeling confident now that league MVP Curry has found his stride.