They’re shooting blanks. Four proposals fell short of the required 60 votes yesterday, eight days after a gunman massacred 49 people in Orlando with a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle. Republicans blocked proposals to close background check loopholes and ban sales to suspected terrorists, saying they wouldn’t stop mass shootings. Democrats in turn blocked less-restrictive Republican measures. Now GOP Sen. Susan Collins is drafting a compromise barring sales to people on two airport security lists — disliked by both party leaders — that may appear in Congress later this week.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He won’t be managing the Donald’s bid for the White House after all. A spokesman says that Lewandowski will “no longer be working with the campaign.” While no official reason was given for the departure, two people reportedly said he was let go. The billionaire’s campaign thanked Lewandowski, who’s had a tough working relationship with the press and been at loggerheads with Trump’s chief strategist in recent months, “for his hard work and dedication.” The move signals a gear change by the real estate mogul as he prepares for November’s general election.
The winds of war are at their backs. Conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia exacerbated the world’s refugee problem in 2015 to the point where 65.3 million people — up from 60 million in 2014 — had fled war zones seeking better lives. The United Nations refugee agency’s Global Trends Report noted that Lebanon, Turkey and many European countries are struggling to deal with the influx. Filippo Grandi, the high commissioner for refugees, urged action to stop such wars, warning, “If you don’t solve problems, problems will come to you.”
Record-breaking and dangerous. That’s what the National Weather Service is calling temperatures on this first day of summer. The hottest-ever start to the season has already claimed four lives in Arizona, where the mercury’s expected to hit 116 degrees in Phoenix. Normally mild Los Angeles may reach 106 degrees, which is especially troubling when combined with high winds and dry conditions. The heat’s already helped burn some 38,000 acres in coastal California, central Arizona and northern New Mexico combined, and is expected to continue hampering firefighting efforts.
He’s sticking to his guns. The presumptive GOP nominee called profiling Muslims “common sense” a week after a shooter pledging allegiance to ISIS killed 49 in Orlando. Though the billionaire broke with the National Rifle Association’s stance earlier in the week, he said Sunday that he “understands exactly” the gun lobby’s concerns about blocking weapon sales to people on controversial terror watch lists. The Senate will vote today on modest gun control measures, including a “no fly, no buy” watch list proposal, but none is expected to overcome Republican opposition.
Score one for the common market. This morning’s surging global shares were a reminder of the EU’s trading-bloc origins. London’s FTSE 100 opened 2 percent higher on news that weekend polling indicated Britons, after favoring Brexit last week, now tilt slightly toward voting to retain EU membership. Economic separation anxiety reportedly prompted the shift, rather than outrage over last week’s murder of pro-EU Labour MP Jo Cox. But with three days to go, there’s still no telling whether Britain will be holding firm or selling.
Bahrain strips Sunni-ruled kingdom’s most prominent Shia cleric of citizenship. (BBC)
Bomb attack kills 14 Nepalese guards for Canadian embassy in Kabul. (CNN)
‘Free hugs’ offered as 50,000 gather for Orlando attack vigil. (NBC)
Venezuelans ransack stores in search of food. (NYT)
Six killed as Mexican police clash with protesting teachers. (BBC)
Indonesia defiant after China accuses it of firing on ship. (Reuters)
“Cleveland, this is for you,” declared Ohio native LeBron James, who notched another triple-double and delivered a spectacular late-game block to help give the city its first major professional sports title since before many fans were even born. The 93-89 Game 7 win completed a stunning comeback: Trailing 3-1 in the series, the Cavaliers returned to Oakland to knock out Golden State, once considered unbeatable after their record-setting season. Now long-cursed Northeast Ohio prepares for a championship parade and King James’ coronation.
The 27-year-old Russian, who played Chekov in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, died early Sunday. After he failed to attend a rehearsal, friends found him at the bottom of his steep L.A. driveway, pinned against a mailbox pillar by his car, which police say began rolling after he exited it. Yelchin will appear posthumously in Star Trek Beyond next month, and was set to co-star in Mr. Mercedes, adapted from a story by Stephen King, who mourned the “crazily talented actor gone too soon.”
Sharing isn’t always caring. Researchers tracking Twitter links for top news sites estimated that 59 percent of those shared on social media are never clicked, despite some being shared thousands of times. “People form an opinion based on a summary,” one study author explained. This leads to ill-informed views and stokes clickbait headlines, hoax websites and parodies or conspiracy theories being passed off as actual news. But even with low click rates, social media still drives most online traffic to news organizations, which are increasingly caring about sharing.
They’re flying into the heart of darkness. The National Science Foundation has ordered an evacuation so risky that it requires two planes — one to conduct a search-and-rescue if the first crashes — to airlift an ailing contractor from the Amundsen-Scott research station, home to 48 workers. Only two winter rescue operations have been conducted since the South Pole facility’s 1956 construction due to the unforgiving weather and terrain. The mission will take place in complete darkness: The Antarctic sun set in March and won’t rise again until August.
Mitt Romney’s not the only Mormon wary of Donald Trump. As a presidential hopeful, Romney won a whopping 93 percent of Utah’s 2012 caucus, but this year’s GOP leader got just 14 percent in the state’s March caucuses — after questioning Romney’s faith and saying he’d “choked” vs. Obama. A March poll showed Hillary Clinton beating Trump by 2 percent; a recent one indicates the Donald barely leading. But whatever the outcome, the famously conservative Beehive State has not been this close to choosing a Democratic nominee since 1964.