They’re fighting to the finish. Hillary Clinton’s Kentucky squeaker may have slowed Bernie Sanders’ momentum, but the insurgent won Oregon and shows no signs of bailing. The former secretary of state diverted her attention from Donald Trump to compete hard in the Bluegrass State, and declared victory with a tiny lead — but it’s close enough that the Sanders campaign could request a recount. Though the delegate split makes Sanders’ chances at the nomination even more remote, he told supporters in California: ”We are in until the last ballot is cast.”
The Presidential Daily Brief
He’s there to listen. So says Zhang Dejiang, the senior Chinese official responsible for Hong Kong affairs, who arrived today in the 7 million-strong Special Administrative Region of China. More than 6,000 police are on hand to protect Zhang, who was partially responsible for the infamous decision to limit Hong Kong’s election choices to a list of Beijing-approved candidates, sparking mass protests in 2014. Demonstrations are planned, but Zhang — in town to speak at an economic conference — is vowing “to listen to all sectors of society.”
ISIS is ramping up its deadly attacks on the Iraqi capital. After a market bombing last week that killed more than 70 people, today the city has been rocked with four separate explosions, which together slaughtered more than 60. The largest was a suicide bombing, for which ISIS has claimed responsibility, that tore through a market in the Shia neighborhood of Shaab. Now many Iraqi citizens are asking for more state protection, especially for crowded public areas like markets, as ISIS, losing ground on traditional battlefields, steps up terror attacks instead.
They’re on the run. Roughly 8,000 oilsands workers have been ordered to leave camps north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, in the face of fires spreading up to 130 feet a minute. At least 19 camps between the evacuated city and Fort MacKay have been forced out — the new departures coinciding with Canada’s efforts to boost production after wildfires ground business to a halt two weeks ago. The oil facilities are reportedly not at risk, and yesterday’s strong winds were expected to yield to more favorable conditions today.
They need to mind their flanks. Under pressure from liberal activists, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro is set to announce changes to a controversial program to sell off bad mortgages. HUD says it’s purely a coincidence that the new rules arrive as Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential search heats up, though the former San Antonio mayor tops many lists. Meanwhile, Nebraska Republicans rebuked their own Sen. Ben Sasse for his persistent #NeverTrump talk, raising further questions about a much-discussed conservative third-party bid.
It’s no longer forbidden fruit. Famously averse to tech stocks, Warren Buffett has gambled big on the Cupertino-based computing giant — news that saw the iPhone maker’s shares jump 3.5 percent to $93.65 yesterday. Long a fan of predictable, slow-earning stocks, Buffet’s investment, some analysts say, reflects that Apple is no longer a tech-only firm attracting growth and high-risk investors. And with Buffet also reportedly backing a bid to buy Yahoo, it looks like the legendary value investor has finally gotten online.
As many as 31 athletes could be banned from Rio over drug tests. (BBC)
Supreme Court sends contraception case back to lower court. (NYT)
Oil prices near half-year high of $50 a barrel. (DW)
IMF seeks debt relief for Greece through 2040. (WSJ) sub
World leaders ready to lift Libyan arms embargo. (DW)
Thailand to close off island of Koh Tachai to tourists. (BBC)
It isn’t brain surgery, but still … Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons, who completed the nation’s first genitourinary reconstructive transplant last week, aren’t feeling cocky but are “cautiously optimistic” about the outcome. Patient Thomas Manning, 64, who lost his penis to cancer in 2012, reported little pain and hoped his success would encourage other men stigmatized by similar amputations. The organ, from a deceased donor, could take months to become as functional as the world’s first successfully transplanted penis, which helped father a child after being attached in South Africa in 2014.
They killed it with kindness. Visitors at Yellowstone National Park saw a baby bison that appeared cold and alone last week, so they put it into the back of their SUV. The father and son took the animal to a ranger, who ticketed them for interfering with wildlife. Park authorities tried to return it to its herd, but the rejected calf simply approached other vehicles, risking deadly interactions. Rangers were forced to euthanize the animal and hope this tragic mistake will teach others to look, but not touch.
Ready for super-sized Mario? The Japanese software giant plans to take its video game stars to the silver screen, with 3-D animated and live-action films featuring the likes of Wario and Link — a move that will be funded by selling the company’s share of the Seattle Mariners. Nintendo had previously licensed characters like Pokemon for use in other films. But amid slumping sales of core products, President Tatsumi Kimishima says Nintendo will start making movies in-house for worldwide distribution within the next few years.
Call it Captain Crustacean. Like Superman, the mantis shrimp is tougher and more perceptive than humans. That’s why biomimicry experts love the brilliantly hued critter. They’re hoping this biological wonder’s shell can teach them how to make lighter, stronger bullet-deflecting armor, which could also revolutionize airplane and automotive design. Scientists hope tapping into the shrimp’s hyperspectral optics — its unrivaled number of color receptors and ability to see light waves differently — might also help us gain superhuman vision and even an edge in early disease detection.
Can he prowl the leaderboard again? Promoting a Bethesda, Maryland, golf tournament hosted by his foundation, the brittle 40-year-old Californian told reporters yesterday that he’s still eyeing Jack Nicklaus’ major championship record, which he trails by four. He’s also four wins away from his goal of breaking Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record. But the scandal-scarred former champ chunked three wedge shots into the water during practice. Recovering from multiple back surgeries, Woods says he doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play in June’s U.S. Open.