The very organization it failed to repay $1.7 billion this week now supports sending more money to Athens, with two-thirds of the funds coming from the EU. The IMF also recommends comprehensive debt relief structured to give the Greek economy room to grow, including a 20-year extension for repayments. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras today urged voters to reject the “blackmail” in Sunday’s referendum. EU officials, meanwhile, are demanding a “Yes” to reforms in exchange for a bailout, and president of the European parliament, Martin Schulz, wants Tsipras to resign.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It could save them years of litigation while costing them a fortune. BP has agreed to pay the biggest-ever settlement by a single firm over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The deal, reached with the U.S. Department of Justice but yet to be approved by a judge, aims to settle federal and state claims linked to the deadly and environmentally devastating 2010 disaster. News of the agreement, which BP expects will increase its total outlay to around $54 billion, saw BP shares rise 4.6 percent.
Herd immunity is vital. This unwanted comeback has claimed its first American casualty in 12 years, killing a woman in Washington state. It’s a disease “we know we can control with effective immunizations,” one doctor said, noting how unsurprising the tragedy was given the state’s high rate of vaccine exemptions. The woman, who suffered other illnesses, died of measles-related pneumonia after apparently contracting the disease at a medical facility. Her death is raising fears of a possible resurgence, as well as calls for increased immunization to prevent an epidemic.
And then there were five. The former senator from Virginia and Reagan-era Navy secretary joined four other Democratic presidential candidates yesterday, promising to challenge the “shadow elites” of federal government. Famous for wearing combat boots inside the Capitol, Webb can be politically unpredictable. On Wednesday, for example, the Vietnam veteran and populist hinted at decriminalizing drugs just days after defending the Confederate flag’s heritage. He faces a steep uphill climb but promises to add intrigue — and a frank discussion on drug policy — to the campaign.
Deadly magnitude 6.4 tremor hits northwestern China. (DW)
First JetBlue flight for Havana takes off. (Reuters)
Aetna plans to buy Humana for $37 billion. (WSJ) sub
Top ISIS leader ‘killed’ by coalition airstrike. (CNN)
Malaysia pushes for MH17 criminal tribunal. (BBC)
Kuwait beefs up security following ISIS threats. (Al Jazeera)
The biggest hurdle is complete. The Solar Impulse 2 completed the most challenging leg of its journey to fly around the world using only the sun’s energy as fuel. Pilot Andre Borschberg landed in Oahu Friday morning and into the history books, his 118 hours and 5,200 miles of solo flight time setting a world record. After touching down, he rested in the cockpit for 50 minutes receiving leg massages before attempting to stand. The Impulse’s next leg of the global trek is on hold till 2016 as the team awaits more favorable weather patterns.
Luckily, she got cold feet. Amber Roof, whose brother confessed to killing nine worshippers at a Charleston church last month, was scheduled to get married just days after the attack. She postponed, but in an attempt to recoup the costs — and enjoy a “dream honeymoon” with her new husband — Roof set up a GoFundMe page seeking $5,000. While she promised to give 10 percent to the devastated congregation, outcry over her questionable priorities prompted her to shut down the campaign — but not before she’d raised $1,700.
This will burst your bubble. Sealed Air, seller of the original stuff since 1960, is rolling out an improved — disappointingly unpoppable — variety. The new iBubble wrap takes up one-fiftieth as much space, saving on transport and warehouse costs. Packed in flat rolls, shippers inflate it themselves, and the redesigned shape aligns bubbles in a chain, making them more resilient. The company has struggled in recent years and aims to reinvent itself in a ballooning delivery market. But die-hard fans may send the new pop-resistant stuff packing.
They’re a whole lotta sorry. “Straight up, we made some mistakes,” said a Whole Foods executive yesterday in a video apology, responding to an inquiry last month alleging that the chain overcharged customers for many prepared items. They initially denied wrongdoing, but now say they’ll tackle the problem with improved employee training and a third-party auditing system. The debacle could result in hefty fines, but to restore trust, execs say they’ll report on their progress — and let shoppers who notice overcharges at the cash register get their goods for free.
She’s blocking out some time for herself. Sonia Manzano, 65 — better known as human Sesame Street resident Maria Rodriguez — is calling it a day after 44 years. Manzano, who shares 15 writing Emmys for her work, tweeted the news, telling fans “don’t be bummed.” Her character started as a teenager working in the library, eventually becoming a mother running her own business. Sesame Workshop has yet to reveal how they’ll address her departure, but they were quick to applaud Manzano as a role model for young girls.
His son has been charged with murder. Police say Phil Walsh, the 55-year-old coach of the Adelaide Crows, was stabbed to death today following a domestic dispute. His wife was hospitalized with minor injuries, and his son Cy, 26, is reportedly in custody and undergoing a psychiatric assessment. A former player and championship-winning coach, Walsh — known for “boundless energy and enthusiasm” — got his first head-coaching gig last year. Devastated by the news, his club has canceled its Sunday match against Geelong.