Nearly everyone’s a winner. Bernie Sanders lost to the former secretary of state in Nevada, 53 to 47 percent, but he exceeded expectations. In South Carolina, Donald Trump prevailed yesterday despite recent polling slippage, forcing his favorite punching bag, Bush, to bow out, while downtrodden Marco Rubio can brag that he came in second, ahead of rival Ted Cruz. As the field thins, people are asking about potential VP picks, while Republicans stump for Nevada’s Tuesday caucuses and a victorious Clinton heads for next Saturday’s Democratic Palmetto State primary scraping for campaign cash.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It’s a “worst-case scenario,” says Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas — a gunman prowling streets for six hours and killing six random victims. But it may also be a nightmare for Uber, as Jason Brian Dalton, 45, arrested in the rampage, was one of their drivers and reportedly ferried passengers last night, when the shootings occurred. The carnage took place at a residential subdivision, a Kia dealership and ended at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. Authorities say they seized a pistol from Dalton, but the motive remains a mystery as another American community must bury its dead.
All they agree on is that it’s historic. The death of Antonin Scalia holds the potential to drastically alter America’s legal landscape. Glenn Beck says it’s godly intervention to help elect a “constitutionalist” president, aka former Supreme Court clerk Ted Cruz. Vowing to block any successor Obama nominates to the bench, Republicans argue that subjecting a nominee to a doomed process would be cruel. But the president’s apparently ready for battle: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says Obama is taking a “very, very personal” interest in the process and will name a candidate in about three weeks.
Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Russians has yieled an agreement on implementing last week’s truce accord for Syria, and hostilities could cease within “hours.” But the killing continues, with reports of two car bombs at a bus stop in a government-held area of Homs claiming nearly 100 lives. It’s not clear if Russia has reversed its vow to continue airstrikes supporting Bashar Assad’s assault on Aleppo, and Damascus’ cooperation with Kurdish fighters, whom Turkey is shelling, has Ankara considering a ground war. Meanwhile, an Aleppo doctor says local conditions are “worse than everything that has come before.”
It’s a departure. Defying his Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister David Cameron, London’s charismatic Mayor Boris Johnson says he’ll campaign for Britain’s divorce from the European Union, saying he wanted “a better deal for the people of this country, to save them money take back control.” This follows Friday’s EU vote granting Britain special status to entice it to remain, and the setting of a June 23 referendum asking Britons to decide on standing alone. It’s thought that Johnson’s support will boost the “Brexit” campaign, and may also aid his suspected bid to become the top Tory.
Is Beijing’s rice bowl half full, or half empty? Uncertainty is rattling global markets after botched efforts to shore up the country’s stock market and reform its currency prompted Chinese investors and businesses to send half a trillion dollars overseas, the likely impetus for firing the government’s top securities regulator. But Yale economist Stephen Roach says that with 11 million new urban jobs in China in each of the last three years, the transition to consumer-led growth isn’t going too badly, and the economy is not on the brink of a “hard landing.”
Deadly riots cut off water supplies, lead to New Delhi rationing. (Al Jazeera)
Five dead after cyclone flattens villages on Fiji islands. (Reuters)
Pope calls for execution ban during Catholic holy year. (Daily Mail)
Russia backs out of cooperation with U.S. on Afghanistan. (NYT)
Bill Cosby’s wife fights deposition order in sexual assault case. (AP)
The author of To Kill a Mockingbird died in a nursing home a stone’s throw from where she grew up in Monroeville, Alabama. Lee got her big break after friends offered to support her for a year so she could “focus on her passion without distraction,” writes OZY’s Sean Braswell. That arrangement led to her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 masterpiece — her only novel in 55 years — which became one of the most widely read books about American racism. Lee’s second book, Go Set a Watchman, hit bookstores in July, and today she’s being remembered as a literary legend.
She’s a whirlwind. On a mission to make Liberia’s capital more attractive to tourists and foreign investment now that the nation has been declared Ebola-free, “Hurricane” Mary Broh, the city’s former mayor, is blowing through town and bringing down the hammer. She and her team demolish vendor stalls and slum housing, aiming to bulldoze their way to a cleaner Monrovia — one that appeals to outsiders. But some locals say Broh’s creating a quasi-police state, going after dissenting citizens and destroying legal property, while leaving rubble in her wake.
How do you smell? African giant pouched rats are plentiful in Tanzania, and so is tuberculosis. One quarter of the world’s 9 million annual diagnoses of treatable TB occur in Africa, and the standard detection method is only 60 percent effective — even less so when patients also have HIV. But last year, rats sniffed cough and spit samples, successfully identifying 9,127 infected people previously told by health clinics they were TB free. Meanwhile, experimental studies are looking into whether dogs can sniff out cancer in a trend that may replace ineffective clinical procedures with whiskered whiffers.
Digital rights expert Pranesh Prakash tells OZY’s Sanjena Sathian that his government did well to reject Facebook’s free but limited web access for the masses. Indian regulators said no to Zuckerberg’s “Free Basics” program, implicitly nodding to net neutrality — the idea that all web content should be accessed equally. But Prakash worries that his country’s response was more sledgehammer than scalpel, and that overregulation will create a minefield down the road. And it’s a long road: While 300 million Indians are connected, three-fourths of the population remains off-line.
E.T. may not phone. Earthly conjecture on extraterrestrials is constrained by human behavior, achievement and science fiction, says British science writer Philip Ball. Speculation about space beings hasn’t evolved much since the first sci-fi novel in 1657, and it may be limiting the alien-hunting SETI program. The recent suggestion that unusual light fluctuations from star KIC 8462852 might be the passing shadow of a massive energy collector built by alien engineers sparked a media frenzy. But how likely is it that “they” would construct — or even want — something we’ve determined they need?
Putin said he looked like Karl Marx. But the bearded New Yorker was actually a shrewd capitalist who generated impressive — and partly illicit — revenue while successfully promoting U.S. soccer. Until infighting prompted FIFA to sanction Chuck Blazer, making him an easy target for soccer-loving FBI and IRS agents who were suspicious of Russia’s winning bid to host the 2018 World Cup. A five-year investigation culminated in May with indictments against global soccer leadership, which relied on a bugged key chain wielded by the jilted Blazer, who had vowed in 2012 to “get the bastards.”