The invitations are in the mail. In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today to allow gay marriages in all 50 states. The ruling means that 14 states with bans on such unions will now be forced to join the other 36 states, plus Washington D.C., where it’s already legal for same-sex couples to wed. President Obama applauded what he called a “thunderbolt” of justice for eliminating the patchwork system that has left hundreds of couples uncertain of their legal status. And while some Republicans criticized the decision for redefining the institution of marriage, others, like presidential contender Jeb Bush, were more restrained.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He’s taking it to the streets. Though EU creditors were planning to decide Greece’s bailout fate at a meeting on Saturday, the country’s prime minister has thrown a curve ball and called a public referendum, where he says the Greek people will decide how to handle Europe’s demands that Greece raid pensions to win financial leniency. Public referendums had been previously dismissed as an option, so the weekend’s plans have been thrown into turmoil by the announcement. The referendum is scheduled for July 5, several days after Greece’s $1.8 billion IMF loan comes due on Tuesday.
Authorities have shot and killed New York prison escapee and convicted murderer Richard Matt. His fellow escapee David Sweat is reportedly now being chased by police, likely signaling the end of an intense, three-week manhunt. Matt was reportedly brought down by police in the vicinity of Lake Titus, New York where authorities had been narrowing their search in recent days. The search had intensified after police found evidence the pair had broken into a nearby cabin and were suspected of making a run toward the Canadian border.
Terrorists struck on three continents today, including a decapitation in France, a shooting on a Tunisian beach that killed 39 and an explosion at a mosque in Kuwait city that reportedly killed more than two dozen. ISIS claimed credit for the latter, which injured at least 227 others. While no direct link has been established between the three incidents, the attacker in France was reportedly carrying an Islamist flag, stoking fears that the attacks may have been inspired, if not directly coordinated, by ISIS to coincide with Ramadan.
With the deadline to draft an accord with Iran over its nuclear program coming up, Saturday’s meeting between the U.S. Secretary of State and the Iranian Foreign Minister will be key to its final resolution. The preliminary deal conceived three months ago, which forces Iran to curb its nuclear capacity in exchange for financial help, still needs key details ironed out. One such item is the full restriction on nuclear research, which the Iranian Supreme Leader said must be left out. Analysts expect a final agreement will be reached within two weeks.
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.
They want to drive the competition out of business. Striking French taxi drivers blocked roads, burned tires and smashed livery cars yesterday, forcing many passengers — including rock star Courtney Love — to seek alternate transportation around the capital. While Uber was outlawed in France last fall, the company has encouraged its contractors to keep their feet on the gas, even paying drivers’ fines. In response to Thursday’s violence, France’s interior minister will steer policy in the cabbies’ favor by compelling Uber to hit the brakes.
Obama to eulogize church killing victims. (USA Today)
European leaders agree to take in 40,000 migrants. (BBC)
Kurds say they have ISIS fighters encircled in Kobani. (AP)
Alaska tourist floatplane crash kills nine. (WP)
Label to re-release Nirvana album on vinyl. (Diffuser)
This isn’t pretty. After Donald Trump made some questionable remarks about strengthening the U.S.-Mexico border in order to keep “rapists” out, Spanish-language media powerhouse Univision announced that it was no longer inclined to broadcast Trump’s Miss Universe or Miss USA pageants — the latter of which is scheduled to air July 12. Trump’s now blaming the Mexican government for pressuring the network to punish him. He plans to sue the company for breach of contract and defamation … though it may ruin his chances for the Mr. Congeniality tiara.
Commemorative brass cobblestones bearing the names of Holocaust victims have been installed all over Europe — except in Munich, where their absence is causing controversy. The stones, known as Stolpersteine, or “stumbling blocks,” are part of an initiative that seeks to become the world’s largest ceremonial project. But according to city officials, its participation has been halted because of serious concerns, including possible defacement by local neo-Nazis. An upcoming city council vote will reconsider the motion and more than 90,000 citizens have already signed a petition to make it happen.
This won’t net them many friends. Out of 1,231 new U.S. hires in 2013, the social network hired just seven black employees — and that was in the midst of a diversity push. In 2014, only 2 percent of its workforce was black. The gender numbers also underwhelm: Of more than 10,000 employees, 32 percent were women in 2014, up one point from the previous year. To combat these disappointing gains, Facebook is adopting the NFL’s successful “Rooney rule,” requiring HR to consider at least one qualified candidate from underrepresented groups.
Knowledge is power — as is knowing about all the treatment options. A new CDC report reveals that 13 percent of the 1.2 million Americans infected with the AIDS-causing virus are ignorant of their condition, and government efforts to improve those numbers have had spotty results. Undiagnosed positives cause both personal and public health to suffer, as 30 percent of new cases are infected by someone who unwittingly carries the virus. Medical experts hope the public will use tomorrow’s national HIV testing day to get in the know.
Fans will be buggin’. Amy Heckerling, who wrote and directed the 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma set in a Beverly Hills high school, has confirmed that a musical version is in development. She’ll do the script, and pre-existing songs will complete the jukebox musical. But it’s not out of the Valley yet: Heckerling said the process is slow going, and that they still have to cast a stage-friendly Cher Horowitz — played originally by Alicia Silverstone — and the haute homies she’ll be rollin’ with.
She insists it’s not a prequel. Author J.K. Rowling announced there’s more wizardry coming soon, with a new entry to her ongoing series entitled, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” Rather than a book or film, this episode will play out on the stage at London’s West End theatre next year. The announcement comes on the 18th anniversary of Rowling’s first Potter novel. She wouldn’t spoil the full plot but it will reportedly chronicle in part the “untold part” of Harry’s young, including the lives and deaths of his parents.
And the last shall be first. With an unrivaled 66 losses last season and the coveted prime pick of college stars, Minnesota chose Karl-Anthony Towns, star-stacked Kentucky’s versatile big man. It was a night of surprises, with the L.A. Lakers opting for D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State’s pure scorer and excellent passer, in the second spot — passing over arguably the most NBA-ready player in the draft, Jahlil Okafor of NCAA-champion Duke. That gave Philadelphia the freedom to tap Okafor for their ailing 76ers.