Dylann Roof has confessed to the killing of nine African-American church congregates to start a race war. He was arraigned in a South Carolina court while the victims’ families offered him forgiveness and urged him to find God himself. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama noted such massacres don’t “happen in other advanced countries.” Horrific details, including people playing dead to escape the carnage, have also begun to emerge. As crowds gather outside the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., the gun control debate rages on.
The Presidential Daily Brief
At least 41 people are dead in Mumbai after drinking an illicit type of liquor authorities are saying was made and distributed with the intent to harm. Police in the Indian metropolis have arrested three suspects on charges of ”culpable homicide not amounting to murder,” for distilling liquor with hazardous methanol levels. Unlike its chemical cousin ethanol, methanol is a toxic substance often used for car antifreeze and biodiesel production. Twenty more victims lie in the hospital in critical condition, and the death toll may yet rise.
Is your patience over Greece waning? You’re not alone. European finance ministers who met in Luxembourg yesterday failed to resolve the debt crisis, and an emergency summit is scheduled for Monday, with the clock counting down to a possible default. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who’s been instructed to present a feasible plan, says he’s working on a solution. Meanwhile, bank withdrawals in Greece are on the rise, and many demonstrators are demanding a bailout solution. But some young, unemployed protesters — with nothing to lose — hope Tsipras will hold firm.
They can’t even agree on how many delegates should be there. The U.N. has been trying to broker a peace deal over the conflict that has seen a Saudi-led coalition launching airstrikes against pro-Iran Houthis since March. One official noted earlier this week that delegations at the Geneva talks should have just 10 people, but one group insists it needs 22. Saudi Arabia, fighting to restore exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, isn’t even taking part. And a fistfight broke out yesterday between negotiators, signaling just how far they are from securing peace.
Denmark just made a sharp right turn. Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s coalition lost yesterday’s election on a rising tide of populism that could see former leader Lars Lokke Rasmussen regain power. His center-right party was part of the opposition bloc that secured a parliamentary majority, with the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party now the second-largest group in parliament. The shift is fueling speculation that British Prime Minister David Cameron may have a powerful new ally for renegotiating the terms of his nation’s EU membership.
Thailand confirms first MERS case. (BBC)
Al-Qaida says top militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar is still alive. (NYT)
Second American arrested in ISIS-linked N.Y. bomb plot. (CNN)
World’s oldest person, Jeralean Talley, dies at age 116. (USA Today)
NATO commander: Arm Eastern Europe against Russia. (DW)
They’re calling it a social supermarket. Despite a reputation for equality, the 9.5-million-strong Scandinavian nation is feeling the pinch of a pay gap — and opening up its first-ever emporium of discounted food for Stockholm’s poor. Major supermarkets will donate their unwanted or nearly expired foods, helping cut down on hunger and food waste. The move stems from a surge in homelessness, and the store, scheduled to open this autumn, aims to give those with less a little bit more.
Snapchat, meet CNN. The social networking service is working on an app that will wade through the big news of the day, showing users live events that others are tweeting about — everything from music festivals to breaking news. Each event will be linked to a collection of tweets curated by Twitter editors, which will strongly emphasize photo and video. The firm’s foray into the news world rolls out later this year, but please note that you heard it here first.
Listeners are threatening to pull their funding of the public access radio show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! after it featured socialite Kim Kardashian. The Chicago-based program, hosted by writer Peter Sagal, is a current events quiz show that usually features erudite personalities from the music and film world. Fans of the show say Kardashian, out promoting her book of picture selfies and best known for a sex tape, doesn’t fit into the cultured tone of the network. Some media commentators think fans are overreacting but the controversy might force NPR to think twice about using tabloid personalities.
It’s a whole skeleton of contention. New DNA analysis proves that the 8,500-year-old remains from Washington state belong to a relative of modern Native Americans. When the skeleton was found in 1996, anthropologists hoped it could shed light on early Americans, but local tribes demanded a proper reburial. After years of legal wrangling, the courts ruled for the scientists. The new evidence could help Native Americans reclaim the remains, but first they must prove a link to a specific tribe, which researchers hope will encourage donations of genetic samples.
Their negotiating skills weren’t too swift. The computing giant’s new music streaming service secured the rights to the “Shake It Off” star’s back catalog, but not her most recent chart-topper, 1989. The older Swiftian additions are still a kick in the face to Spotify, which lost all access to the former country sweetheart’s tunes last November when she accused them of “devaluing” music. But for now, she’s keeping her big fish — 1989 is the best-selling album of 2014 and 2015 — out of the stream.
At least he isn’t last. The 14-time men’s major champion scored 80 in a disappointing U.S. Open round yesterday, a miserable 10 over par at Chambers Bay, putting him 15 shots back from the leaders. It’s the second straight tournament Woods has hit over 80 — the third this year — despite having only done it once in his entire earlier pro career. He finished the day with eight bogeys, a triple-bogey and just one birdie, and may soon drop out of the top 200 players.