They’ve just been thrown in the deep end. A Michigan judge filed criminal charges today against two state officials and one local administrator over the water crisis in the Great Lake State’s seventh largest city. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality District Engineer Michael Prysby faces six charges; DEQ’s Office of Drinking Water’s Lansing and Jackson District Supervisor Stephen Busch faces five; and Michael Glasgow, the city’s utilities administrator, faces two charges. But these three won’t be the only ones to get their days in court; one source says more indictments will soon drop.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Was he yelling bloody murder? The man who killed eight in an Oslo bombing before gunning down 69 others at a teenage political rally on a nearby island in 2011 has won his legal case against Norway for “inhuman” treatment. Judge Helen Andenaes Sekulic said some of Anders Breivik’s treatment in prison was “inhuman or degrading,” emphasizing that even killers must have their rights upheld in a democratic state. The court did tell the Nazi-saluting murderer, however, that his right to a private and family life had not been violated.
There’s no place like home. Real estate mogul Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the state’s former senator, racked up big wins in the Empire State. As results rolled in, Trump appeared to have exceeded expectations, with projections awarding him about 89 of the 95 Republican delegates at stake. Ohio Gov. John Kasich should pick up a few delegates, but Ted Cruz got none, leading Trump to gloat that he’s “just about been mathematically eliminated.” Meanwhile, Clinton won big over Brooklynite Bernie Sanders, whose uphill battle for the nomination just became steeper.
A 6.1-magnitude temblor struck off the coast of the battered South American country, already devastated by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Saturday. No new damage has been reported today, but the official death toll from Saturday’s quake now stands at 525, with hundreds still missing and thousands left homeless. President Rafael Correa estimates at least $2 billion damage was inflicted, and aid groups are swooping in to try to rebuild. But oil-producing Ecuador is already hampered by rock-bottom petroleum prices, and many expect a difficult recovery.
This will drive down shares. The Japanese company has admitted to cheating on tests to make four of its minicars look more fuel efficient than they really are. It didn’t provide mathematical details, but the fake numbers will affect more than 600,000 vehicles, and the company has put the brakes on production and sales of those models. Mitsubishi, which has a spotty recall history, has been working to turn its reputation around — but this scandal, which saw shares drop 15.2 percent, is unlikely to grease those wheels.
LGBT advocates are relieved. A tense federal appeals court hearing ended with transgender teenager Gavin Grimm winning the right to use the boys’ bathroom at his Virginia high school, despite school rules forcing him to use the girls’ facilities. The case cited Title IX prohibitions against sex discrimination and could affect laws and bills on the table in several states regulating bathroom usage for trans people. Conservative activists are calling the appeal an assault on social norms, but it could be a turning point in the so-called bathroom wars.
The search for a buyer is on. Verizon, the Daily Mail and TPG have all reportedly submitted bids of roughly between $4 billion and $8 billion to buy the internet portal — even though the company’s revenue dropped below $1 billion for the first time in CEO Marissa Mayer’s four-year tenure. While some complain that Yahoo’s been uncooperative and disorganized throughout the sale process — and that shares have dropped 18 percent in a year — there are still plenty of potential buyers, with the smart money on Verizon to win it all.
Saudi king snubs President Obama with chilly reception. (CNN)
U.S. opens criminal investigation into schemes exposed by Panama Papers. (BBC)
Ice cream moguls Ben and Jerry arrested at U.S. Capitol protest. (CSM)
Ex-NYPD officer will see no jail time for shooting Akai Gurley. (CNN)
India demands return of Koh-i-Noor diamond. (The Guardian)
EU accuses Google of abusing its market dominance. (FT) sub
Philippines presidential front-runner calls daughter “drama queen” over rape claim. (Time)
It’s a white-out. Scientists say 93 percent of Australia’s famous coral was affected in a recent mass bleaching event. The cause was a combination of warm El Niño currents and climate change. The northern part of the reef was most damaged, with the equivalent of 10 cyclones hitting it at once, according to a government task force. Bleached coral can recover when cooler water returns, but the reef — the world’s biggest living-organism structure — has been shrinking as warming seas kill off coral, with no end in sight.
The hits keep coming. Hard-partying Johnny Football says he’s trying to turn things around. This week Drew Rosenhaus became the second agent to drop the QB in three months, saying Manziel needs substance abuse treatment. Manziel’s top sponsor, Nike, and the Cleveland Browns, have also dumped him. The Heisman winner spent 10 weeks in rehab after his rookie 2014 season but has continued to pop up on the party scene, and he’s facing a possible indictment for alleged assault.
The smiles are wearing thin. The country’s ruling junta, which seized power to “restore happiness to the ‘Land of Smiles’,” is asking foreigners to list their bank accounts, social media profiles and favorite places to eat or drink during routine immigration checks. The incident is the latest to rattle Thailand’s sizable expat community, which has complained of arbitrary arrest and harassment under the junta. Authorities say they want the information for “national security” but won’t force the matter … as long as incomers “aren’t doing anything wrong.”
It costs a mint. The Lincoln-emblazoned coin costs the U.S. nearly twice its worth to make, and drops from circulation almost as fast as it’s produced. Americans have long discussed pitching the penny — but now Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has reportedly added new weight to the idea with a memo to the president saying he plans to suspend production on the one-cent piece. Lew didn’t give a deadline for the penny’s demise, but other countries, including Sweden, Australia and Canada, have made similar moves with little negative impact.
The best defense is a good offense. Bacterial infections that have evolved to resist medications claim 700,000 lives worldwide annually, yet only two new classes of antibiotics have been introduced since the late 1990s. Scientists are racing to boost the effectiveness of existing drugs with new chemical compounds, remodeling some meds and turning back to antibiotics that haven’t been used in years. With drug resistance growing — the death toll from infections like multidrug-resistant tuberculosis could hit 10 million by 2050 — experts say the race to outsmart bacteria is on.
Sin City is becoming sim city. Porn platform VR Bangers and headset maker AuraVisor are teaming up on a new service in several hotels on the Las Vegas strip. Customers will pay $20 to rent a headset — hopefully one that’s been sanitized — and pick their virtual partner’s gender to start the “immersive” experience, filmed in a hotel room similar to their own. It’s still not clear which hotels will offer the service, but impatient customers can already try out VR perversion on PornHub using a headset at home.
It was a battle royal. Luke Skywalker made way for true blue bloods at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England, yesterday as the princes visited with cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill and even Chewbacca — who gave Harry a hairy hug. The brothers battled with lightsabers, the heir to the throne taunting his opponent, “Are you scared?” The royal siblings were celebrating British contributions to the sci-fi series, while rehearsals are underway for Episode VIII, which hits cinemas Dec. 15, 2017.
Will he fight another day? The 27-year-old UFC star shook the mixed martial arts world Tuesday, tweeting that he’d “decided to retire young,” adding, ”Thanks for the cheese.” The announcement left analysts and fans perplexed over whether the featherweight champion has formally quit, especially after news broke that he won’t fight his scheduled July 9 rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 200. Last week McGregor was ringside at the “heartbreaking” MMA fight where Joao Carvalho suffered fatal injuries, and some now wonder if that triggered his own exit.