It’s Greek to us. First they wouldn’t budge to secure a bailout. Then they had a last-minute change of heart, but it was too little, too late. Now the world waits for either Athens or the EU to blink. The European Central Bank decided not to halt funding that’s allowing Greeks to withdraw cash and access pensions. But Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused creditors of “blackmailing” voters ahead of Sunday’s referendum, for which he’s encouraging a “No” vote. And EU finance ministers refuse to negotiate further until the ballots have been counted.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The oil spill from 2010 that spilled 4.9 million barrels of petrol into the Gulf of Mexico will cost BP $18.7 billion over 18 years to resolve claims by five U.S. states and the federal government. $5.5 billion of the settlement will be paid to cover penalties under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, exceeding the previous Act record of $1 billion. The spill included the explosion of an oil well that killed 11 people, as well the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the settlement is the largest with a “single entity” is U.S. histor
Northeastern Nigeria is in mourning. Militants attacked mosques and homes in three small villages in Borno state yesterday, reportedly killing more than 100 people (news is just emerging now). Boko Haram extremists slaughtered residents and set homes on fire, murdering nearly 100 in one village alone. The region is often targeted by Boko Haram, but this was the bloodiest day since President Muhammadu Buhari took power in May. The Nigerian army is carrying out a rescue mission, but many fear the death toll will rise … along with the violence.
The U.S. Labor department announced that 223,000 new jobs were added in the month of June, indicating a healthy economy, along with a rise in consumer spending and home sales. The positive report stands in contrast to the high unemployment and general economic malaise in Europe, where Greece’s long-standing loan debts are shaking the foundations of the Euro currency. The labor report also says finance, software, marketing and insurance fields are seeing the highest levels of demand for jobs, with the technology industry unsurprisingly leading that pack with the highest median salaries.
They’re just plane suspicious. The feds have confirmed they’re investigating whether U.S. airlines have been colluding to keep fares artificially high by limiting routes and seat availability. After a series of high-profile mergers, there are few airlines left in the market, and those that remain have enjoyed rising fares, despite plunging fuel costs, normally a prime driver of ticket prices. A few airlines admit they’ve been approached about the probe — news of which made their shares dive — as speculation takes off over further legal action and possible fines.
The Washington Navy Yard facility in the U.S. capital is “all-clear” after being in lock-down mode due to reports of a shooter on the loose earlier this morning. NCIS agents have completed their inspection of the Humphreys building in question and did not find a shooter or any victims. A 911 call from the building’s second floor had earlier identified a possible gun incident. The Yard is the same location of the 2013 shooting that killed 12 people and serves as an administrative and command center of the U.S. Navy.
Will they play ball on American soil? U.S. authorities have formally filed extradition requests for seven FIFA execs arrested in Zurich in May. The men, currently being held in Swiss prisons, are wanted on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering following an FBI probe. The defendants’ lawyers have two weeks to respond, at which point the Swiss Federal Office of Justice will rule on whether to extradite. But that decision could be challenged in lower and supreme courts — so they may not be going anywhere soon.
Extremism is rearing its ugly head in Egypt at an accelerated clip. Yesterday, attacks by militants reportedly killed more than 100 in Northern Sinai, including 17 soldiers. The Egyptian military, which scrambled war planes and helicopters to fight the jihadists, claims the region is again under control. But the attack came just days after extremists killed a top prosecutor in Cairo. And it raises fears that the militants could be increasingly coordinating with ISIS, adding pressure to Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s presidency — and greater instability to the region.
Ferry capsizes in the Philippines, killing at least 36. (CNN)
Tunisian authorities detain 12 over last week’s terror attack. (France 24)
Afghan court spares young woman’s mob killers. (BBC)
Tennessee train fire prompts evacuation of 5,000. (USA Today)
Tens of thousands of Sydney dental patients in HIV scare. (SMH)
Dustin Brown is a name he won’t forget. Playing for the first time on Centre Court, the relative unknown Jamaican-German defeated Rafael Nadal in four sets on Thursday. Despite the upset it was actually the two-time champion’s fourth consecutive loss at Wimbledon to a player falling outside the world’s top 100 rankings. In fact, he’s only ever lost 11 times to players ranked below 100 and it’s his first time losing to a qualifier at a Grand Slam. Previously best known for his four-foot-long dreadlocks, Brown heads into the next round with a world of attention at his back.
And now there are five. The former U.S. Senator from Virginia and Reagan administration Naval Secretary joined the four other announced Democratic presidential candidates, promising to challenge the “shadow elites” of federal government. Famous for wearing his Navy boots inside the Capitol, Webb can be unpredictable in his policies. On Wednesday, he hinted at decriminalizing drugs if elected but last week caused a stir defending the Confederate Flag’s heritage. Webb faces a steep uphill climb against his Democratic colleagues but is already a presence on the campaign trail in early primary states.
What a royal gain. The Saudi prince — and world’s 20th richest person — plans to give away his sizable wealth. Alwaleed, 60, is the chief executive of the Kingdom Holding Company, which invests in industries as varied as oil, media and aviation, and he’s vowing to follow in the philanthropic footsteps of business giants Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Yesterday, the prince pledged to use his money in the coming years to fight disease, build new schools and “create a more tolerant and accepting world.”
Did we read it or simply feel it? Facebook’s founder thinks it’s just a matter of time before we share our emotions telepathically, thanks to advancing technology. In a public Q&A session, the 31-year-old entrepreneur shared his views on the future of social networking, noting how communications are improving relationships. “You’ll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too,” he said. We could write what we think about this … but Zuckerberg already knows.
Addiction may be in the eye of the imbiber. A new study found that European-Americans with lighter eyes tended to suffer a higher dependence on alcohol. Researchers caution that eye color isn’t the cause, and is merely correlated, but they suspect the same genes responsible for blue eyes may also bestow a leaning toward addiction. It could be that doctors are simply quicker to diagnose light-eyed patients, but scientists are eager to research whether genes can offer new insight into substance abuse by diving into the baby blues.
General Lee has been defeated again. The hit ’80s show featuring cousins who regularly ran into trouble with the law — and their battle-flagged Charger named after the Confederate Army commander — has been erased from the rerun schedule, just days after Warner Bros. stopped licensing associated merchandise. John Schneider, who starred as Bo Duke, says the decision was “reactionary and overly PC,” insisting Dukes was anything but racist. He’s hoping it’ll be reinstated — after all, they were just “good ol’ boys, never meanin’ no harm.”
The Lionesses are licking their wounds. Yesterday, the English side — having advanced further in the tournament than expected — were hoping to reach their first-ever World Cup final. But in the last seconds of the match, with the score tied 1-1, Laura Bassett tried to clear the ball away from Japanese striker Yuki Ogimi when it bounced off the crossbar and mercilessly across the line … for an own goal. This knocks England out of contention, pitting defending champion Japan against the U.S. in Sunday’s final.