The president is feeling better already. On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of federal Affordable Care Act subsidies, allowing income-based financial assistance for healthcare in all 50 states. The case stems from a suit claiming that the act’s language forbids the government from providing aid to people in states without their own “marketplace” healthcare exchanges. Democrats applauded the decision, but many Republicans denounced it, promising to “pick away at the law” until they get a like-minded president in the Oval Office.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They’re throwing up the barricades. Taxi drivers in France’s capital blocked roads and burned tires, smashing up livery cars and forcing many passengers (including rock star Courtney Love) to seek alternate transportation. While Uber (and the French equivalent of UberX, known as UberPop) was made illegal last fall, the company has encouraged its civilian contractors to keep their feet on the gas despite police raids. France’s Interior Minister is now calling for Uber to cease operations completely, and will drive forward with meetings Monday on possibly banning UberPop’s app.
The morgues are full. Officials in Karachi are now storing bodies on the floor, overwhelmed by the number of dead in a heat wave that’s seen temperatures as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Hospitals are overworked too, with 14,000 new patients seeking help with dehydration heat-related ailments, and officials admit they’re burying unidentified corpses — most of which belong to the city’s destitute — as fast as they can in order to make room. Temperatures are down now, hovering around 100 degrees, but NGOs in the area say the death toll is still expected to climb.
He didn’t know the meat was loaded, Your Honor. At least that’s correction officer Gene Palmer’s story. The 57-year-old is accused of aiding murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat by delivering hamburger meat with tools frozen inside, which the pair used to break out of the Clinton County Correctional Facility on June 6. Palmer, who is expected to plead not guilty at his arraignment today, is the second employee to be charged, following a lovesick seamstress accused of smuggling the contraband into the prison. The escapees remain on the lam.
Two recent polls say the senator from Vermont is receiving the support of one-quarter of likely caucus and primary voters in the states of New Hampshire and Iowa, cutting into Hillary Clinton’s sizable lead. The 73-year old is a long-time independent who mostly votes with Democratic Party issues. The former Secretary of State, meanwhile, enjoys a double digit lead over Sanders, with almost half of all likely voters in those states saying she’s their first choice to receive the party’s nomination. With more than seven months to go until the primary, things could change again.
They always lash back. This time the militants couldn’t have picked a better target: The Syrian border town of Kobani, site of last year’s long-running campaign that ended with Kurdish fighters, aided by U.S.-led airstrikes, driving ISIS out. This morning’s assault hit the town from three sides, beginning with a car bomb near a Turkish border crossing that killed 12. An offensive by Kurdish forces had raised Western allies’ hopes in recent weeks, but the jihadists’ latest effort puts any dreams of victory on hold.
In the end it wasn’t even close. Though realpolitik in Congress threatened to kill the bill, which would increase the president’s authority to make trade deals, the Senate has approved the measure 60-38. Some have deemed its powers essential for negotiating the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, opposed by many Democrats as a job-killer. The next stop is the Oval Office, in what’s being called a rare Republican-assisted win for Obama. Once the president signs, he’ll be able to fast-track trade deals through both houses.
It’s crunch time — again. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is no closer to a deal after another day of talks with European creditors, while Athens faces default if it can’t make its $1.8 billion IMF loan repayment by Tuesday. Eurozone bailout monitors are reportedly pushing Greece to cut pensions and drive home a pro-austerity agenda with little wiggle room. Now both sides are looking toward Saturday meetings, by which time, EU officials say, they’ll either need to have a deal — or need to have a plan to protect Europe from Greece’s default.
’Avengers’ TV star dies at 93. (Variety)
Survivors scoff at Boston bomber’s apology. (CBS)
Iran experts warn that nuke deal may ‘fall short.’ (NYT)
Mother and baby survive plane crash, five days in jungle. (BBC)
Obama to heckler: ‘You’re in my house.’ (Bloomberg)
Three teens from England’s Isaac Newton Academy have sex on the brain — but at least it’s safe sex. Daanyaal Ali, Muaz Nawaz and Chirag Shahare were recognized with top honors at the Teen Tech awards this week for their idea of a condom that changes color if worn by someone with an STD. The idea is still in the concept stage and questions remain, such as how such as how it would look if the user has multiple STDs (a quilted pattern, perhaps?). But condom companies are intrigued and have already begun to reach out.
If only he could build a wall between his mouth and his brain. After Donald Trump made some questionable remarks about strengthening the U.S. border with Mexico in order to keep “rapists” out of the United States, Spanish-language media powerhouse Univision announced it was no longer inclined to show Trump’s Miss Universe pageant. Now Trump’s blaming the Mexican government for Univision’s determination to kick him off the world stage, and says he’ll be suing the company for breach of contract. Clearly he’s not aiming for any Miss Congeniality titles.
Do more! That’s the message of the 886 plaintiffs who sued their government and prevailed with a verdict that orders the Netherlands to fight the “imminent danger of climate change” by reducing 1990 emissions levels 25 percent by 2020. Environmentalists in other countries, including the U.S., have tried similar tactics, but it’s never worked — partly because it’s difficult to enforce. This historic verdict could influence planned cases in Belgium and Norway that hope to use judicial pressure to force companies and individuals to do what’s best for Mother Earth.
Naturally, folks don’t like being cheated. The Big Apple is investigating the organic grocery chain after tests showed its packaged foods sold by weight were mislabeled 100 percent of the time, and usually not in a good way. The city has walloped the company with 800 infractions, but the firm — despite having paid $800,000 last year in California for similar violations — is vigorously denying the charges. Now a Department of Consumer Affairs probe must verify who has to take care of that cleanup in Aisle Two.
They can finally call heads or tails. It only took four decades, but scientists have determined whether a little creature named Hallucigenia was coming or going. Discovered in 1977, the 508-million-year-old critter was so odd researchers didn’t know which end was the head. They’ve finally determined its blobbier ballooned end is the backside. The spiny, many-legged creature was named when the scientist who discovered it thought he must be seeing things, and experts hope new research will shed light on its descendants — like the seemingly indestructible tardigrade.
Did Jane Austen characters twerk? Oxford English Dictionary lexicographers have uncovered the word’s earliest known use in the 1820s as “twirk” (a “twisting, jerking movement”) and determined it had acquired its modern spelling by 1901. “Twerk,” meaning the derrière-dangling dance taken mainstream by Miley Cyrus, is one of 500 words, including “meh” and “twitterati,” that have just been added to the OED, an honor that’s only bestowed after a word has been in circulation for at least a decade. Next step? A thousand Scrabble fights.
The improbable Cavaliers triumphed after all. Having lost their first game of the championship, the University of Virginia battled back to take two straight — the second a 4-2 thriller yesterday — over Vanderbilt, last year’s champs. After the Commodores scored a pair in the first, Cavs freshman Pavin Smith equalized with a two-run blast in the fourth. Ever-dependable lefty Brandon Waddell allowed just four hits over seven innings, hurling 104 pitches in a heroic effort to secure the Atlantic Coast Conference’s first title since 1955.