They’ve been courted. Now it’s time to reply. Before the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on Obergefell v. Hodges, and prognosticators say it will legalize gay marriage nationwide, agreeing with 60 percent of Americans. That would punctuate recent successes for the LGBT community that include Ireland’s vote to legalize same-sex nuptials and public support for Bruce transitioning to Caitlyn Jenner. But the justices are still out, and if the court defies predictions, it could reignite a cultural battle and send some 2016 presidential hopefuls running for cover.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He said he “had no choice.” As the nation reels from the shooting deaths of eight black churchgoers and their pastor in Charleston, S.C., police say they have a confession. Dylann Roof, 21, reportedly told police he was trying to start a race war with his Wednesday Emanuel AME Church massacre. An online manifesto in his name lamented that among local white supremacists, there was “no one doing anything but talking.” While politicians reopen the gun control debate and victims’ relatives offer forgiveness, America is left wondering what anyone can do to stop the bloodshed.
She was head of the Spokane, Wash., NAACP, graduated from historically black Howard University and taught Africana studies — and yet, Rachel Dolezal grew up white. Her case, full of strange details, has now been laid bare in the press, exposing the complex history of Americans passing for races not their own, and the ethical dilemmas that creates. While Dolezal has been dismissed as a fraud, the truth is Americans have long fashioned their own identities, often driven by their own — and others’ — preoccupation with race.
Capital is still punching its ticket home. A week after global investors yanked some $8 billion out of China and other Asian economies — the biggest drop in 15 years — money is still hightailing out of emerging markets. Investors pulled another $2 billion from fledgling economies in the week ended Wednesday, research firm EPFR Global reported. If the trend continues, the rest of the world will start to feel the effects, portfolio manager Ankur Patel told OZY.
China-based hackers accessed federal data for a year. (NYT)
Police swarm western N.Y. after apparent escapee sightings. (Reuters)
Al-Jazeera reporter jailed in Germany denies Egypt’s charges. (DW)
Greek bank boss says failure to reach debt deal ‘insane.’ (BBC)
Thousands converge on Stonehenge for summer solstice. (AP)
Norway knows its dead. Since 1947, fewer than 20 bodies found there remain unidentified, but investigators were stymied by a corpse they discovered in January. The unusual attire was the clue leading investigators to their Dutch counterparts, who in October had found a body washed ashore wearing an identical neoprene wet suit — purchased at the same time from the same store in Calais, France. That’s where the story unfolded of how a Syrian refugee — desperate to reach Britain but ending up dead in Holland — became a statistic in Europe’s migrant tragedy.
Gals, it’s payback time. Since the camera’s invention, you’ve had to endure body-image issues. Now men are feeling the pressure to look picture perfect. Images of manflesh sculpted as if by Michelangelo — had he known about Muscle Pharm — ripple across billboards and online advertising. They militate for average Joes to post similar images on social media so distant pals can judge their pectoral progress. Such obsessives even have a name: “spornosexuals,” merging the two callings regular guys are least likely to attain: sports heroes and porn stars.
For women, taking the Paris Metro means enduring unwanted attention. A French government study found that an unbelievable 100 percent of French women say they have been sexually harassed — suffering anything from catcalls to rape — on public transportation. Feminist organizations say it’s an indication of France’s deep-seated but little-discussed misogyny. Officials plan to launch an awareness campaign similar to New York’s, with emergency numbers and staff training, but others say catchy stickers won’t change ingrained tendencies. Meanwhile, Simone de Beauvoir is rolling over in her grave.
It’s Quentin Tarantino dangerous. The Nazi-killing theater conflagration scene in his Inglourious Basterds was based on real-world cinema fires: Film made from nitrocellulose, used from 1895 to 1948, is so volatile that once it ignites, the flame will burn under water. Last month, film curators storing 24,000 nitrate reels in Rochester, N.Y., treated preservationists and fans to a rare film festival, where crisp images jumped off the screen but didn’t harm viewers. They’re showing that these relics are worth saving — and might just outlive their fickle-formatted digital heirs.
After a decade atop the sport, Lionel Messi remains a cosmic force in world soccer. The Barcelona star’s uncanny speed, ball control, shooting and assist record have left opponents and sports analysts groping for the proper words and data to assess his unique talents. The 5-foot-7 striker recently lifted his fourth Champions League trophy for Barcelona and is focused on ending his native Argentina’s 22-year international trophy drought. Once chided as selfish, he’s now in Chile at Copa América, trying to show he’s all in for the team.