Today’s been one of the deadliest Iraq has seen in months. Officials say 93 have been killed following three car bomb attacks in the capital. A morning blast shook a Shia district this morning, killing 64 and injuring scores, followed by two suicide bombings in the Kadhimiya and Jamia areas this afternoon, which claimed 29 lives. ISIS says it’s responsible for all three attacks. Angry survivors are pinning blame on an already embroiled Iraqi government for not bolstering security, and many of the injured remain in critical condition.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It ain’t over till it’s over. While everyone’s talking general election politics, Bernie Sanders is still battling to win the Democratic nomination. His decisive Mountain State triumph won’t net many delegates, and the Vermont senator still faces a difficult path to overcome Hillary Clinton’s lead before July’s convention. But recent losses reveal Clinton’s struggles with white working-class voters. Sanders has also pulled the former secretary of state to the left on health care — and now she’ll be forced to spend on TV ads in Kentucky ahead of next week’s primary.
The courts were no salvation. Just before a crucial senate vote that could send her to trial over allegations of financial misconduct, President Dilma Rousseff’s appeal was rejected by Brazil’s Supreme Court, which refused to halt the potential impeachment on grounds of bias. Meanwhile, her faithful are blocking roads and setting up barricades nationwide. If the Senate goes ahead with the vote tonight, it only needs a simple majority to put Rousseff on trial. She’d be suspended for six months, leaving Vice President Michel Temer to deal with both the recession and the Rio Olympics.
A judge found Thursday that the man accused of killing three and wounded nine in a Colorado Springs shooting rampage in November is not mentally competent to stand trial. Robert L. Dear Jr. will be held in a state mental hospital until he is deemed fit to be tried. Judge Gilbert Martinez’s ruling means that if and when the trial goes forward, Dear’s lawyers have an opening for a mental health defense. The 57-year-old’s mental health will be re-evaluated in August.
They had to abandon ship. Five men who were on national terror watch lists were found towing a boat through northern Queensland. All of their passports had been canceled in accordance with Australia’s security policies, and investigators say the 7-meter fishing boat was a last resort to flee the country. Authorities believe they were headed for the open sea, which would lead them to Indonesia and eventually to Syria, possibly to join ISIS. The five are not suspected of planning terror attacks in Australia, but the investigation is still underway.
Keep your head out of the cloud. That’s the message from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, which is attempting to keep capital from shifting out of traditional manufacturing industries — hard-hit by the country’s recent economic sluggishness — and into technology, Internet, gaming and media. The regulators plan to tighten merger rules and prevent companies from selling new shares in order to invest in such newfangled industries. Some say the commission is overstepping — but others worry that without intervention, China will fall victim to a tech bubble.
Terror threat level raised over fear of dissidents in Northern Ireland. (The Guardian)
Italian parliament approves same-sex civil unions. (AFP)
Queen Elizabeth II caught on film calling Chinese officials “very rude.” (BBC)
Bangladesh hangs Islamist leader for war crimes. (Al Jazeera)
Investigation into Prince’s death raises new questions. (USA Today)
Scientists say climate change a big factor in Canada fires. (NYT)
Who’d like to slam an American? The “King of Beers” is celebrating summer 2016 by drinking to U.S. patriotism … and profits. Between the Summer Olympics and the November presidential election, Anheuser-Busch VP Ricardo Marques believes we’re set for “the most American summer ever.” So his notably Belgian-owned firm, which has offered special-edition cans sporting national symbols in the past, is temporarily renaming its beer “America.” The promotional cans will be available through Election Day, but there’s no word yet on whether they’ll be accompanied by “America Lights.”
Charity begins at home. As the continent grows economically — the number of Africans with at least $1 million in assets has ballooned 145 percent since 2000 — so does its pool of philanthropists. These millionaire soccer players and oil tycoons have a deep understanding of the places they’re investing in and have their beneficiaries’ trust. They’re looking away from “Band-Aid” solutions and focusing on root causes to problems — and while international charities aren’t about to pack up, many may start partnering with homegrown efforts to get the job done.
That’s far out, man. The Kepler Space Telescope has identified a plethora of new worlds outside our modest solar system, and nine of them fall in the “Goldilocks Zone” — neither too close nor too far from a star, and thus potentially habitable. Kepler has been systematically studying 100,000 stars, looking for possible planets passing in front of them, and it has another 1,327 potential planetary candidates on top of those announced Tuesday. Next year NASA will launch another telescope, TESS, to study closer Earth-like planets for life-sustaining potential.
Party responsibly. The entertainment industry is making its annual pilgrimage to the south of France as the nation remains on high alert for terrorism. The famous festival has gone all-out to watch after its A-list guests, including hiring a top Israeli security consultant. On screen, the buzz ahead of the 69th festival is about Kristen Stewart in Personal Shopper, Joel Edgerton in Loving, Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta — and whether the red carpet selfie ban will hold up. The premiere of Woody Allen’s Cafe Society launches the festivities today.
Will Nevada roll the dice? Mayor Carolyn Goodman said Tuesday she expects the long-time Oakland franchise to relocate to Sin City, saying, “I know we will have a team.” Owner Mark Davis has offered to put $500 million toward a $1.4 billion domed stadium: Combined with $150 million from casino builder Sands Corp., that leaves $750 million on Nevada taxpayers’ tab. The state legislature could hold a special session in August to vote on the deal, and then the Raiders’ move would have to be approved by NFL owners.