It’s over — criminally, at least. The Justice Department closed its case Wednesday with no charges against Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information on her personal email server, with Attorney General Loretta Lynch following the FBI’s recommendation. As congressional Republicans vowed to stoke the scandal flames by inviting FBI Director James Comey to testify Thursday, their nominee continued to distract from the news. In a rambling rally speech, Donald Trump lashed out at the media and continued to defend his “Star of David” tweet and praise of Saddam Hussein.
The Presidential Daily Brief
There’s no running from justice. Though the South African Olympian’s conviction for killing his girlfriend in 2013 comes with a minimum sentence of 15 years, a judge can reduce it for “substantial and compelling reasons” — and that’s just what Judge Thokozile Masipa did this morning. Citing his previous prison time and the fact that nothing can bring Reeva Steenkamp back, she sentenced Pistorius to just six years in prison. It’s a compromise that’ll also displease the defense, which was hoping to see Pistorius hospitalized instead.
This fuse has been burning for seven years. That’s how long Sir John Chilcot’s official inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war has taken to prepare — and it’s come to some explosive conclusions. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair promised U.S. President George W. Bush support months before he got permission for war from parliament, and the report questions both Blair’s military strategies and the intelligence he trusted. Though Blair says this ”should lay to rest allegations of bad faith,” current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could still call for criminal charges against him.
“They didn’t have to shoot him,” said Abdul Muflahi, who owns the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the site of Tuesday’s police shooting of Alton Sterling. Following street protests and calls for action, the Department of Justice will lead an investigation into the 37-year-old Black man’s killing. The Department conducted similar months-long investigations after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, whose shootings by police triggered massive protests in Ferguson, Missouri and New York. Baton Rouge’s police chief says both officers’ body cameras fell off during the incident, and both are on administrative leave.
Investors are looking for any safe port. With the pound at a 31-year low and falling, those safe ports are bonds, gold and the yen. U.K. asset managers are now prohibiting investors from pulling out of commercial property funds, sparking fears of a real estate slide. Meanwhile, the yen rose in Tokyo trading and the yield on 20-year Japanese government bonds fell below zero for the first time — a trend that’s expected to continue as investors watch the Bank of Japan’s probable rate reduction later this month.
University of Tennessee reaches settlement on athlete sex assault cases. (ESPN)
Soccer legend Lionel Messi gets 21-month jail term for tax fraud. (BBC)
U.N. speaks out against Internet shutdowns. (Buzzfeed)
Taiwan braces for 2016’s first super typhoon. (CNN)
Human head found on Fiji beach. (BBC)
The invaders are already among us — just check your local subway. Cities all over the world are seeing a serious spike in rats, with tourism and public health suffering as a result. The real problem? Surprisingly few extermination methods, high-tech or otherwise, work in major urban areas. That’s not to say people are short of ideas. Somerville, Massachusetts, encourages citizens to call 311 whenever they see a rat, and a recent Roman mayoral candidate suggested enlisting half a million feral cats to get the job done.
Never mind the potential long-term health effects. Dozens of smokers have filed lawsuits against e-cigarette companies with far more immediate complaints: Their devices are exploding. E-cigarettes run on lithium ion batteries, like hoverboards, which are banned by most airlines for their tendency to catch fire. These unexpected detonations have had serious consequences for some smokers, including amputated fingers and reconstructive facial surgery. As the FDA begins regulating e-cigarettes as tobacco products, manufacturers must now work on more than one front to make these alternatives safer.
No need to say basta pasta! Researchers have found that, contrary to popular belief and low-carb diet promoters, noodles and shells have been associated with weight loss. The Italian study of over 23,000 participants revealed that eating pasta as part of a Mediterranean diet can reduce chances of obesity — perhaps, researchers theorized, because pasta tends to come with healthful additions like olive oil and garlic. Those involved say spaghetti and macaroni should be eaten in moderation, but that Italy’s modern pivot away from pasta could be a mistake.
They’re holding on to what they believe. Mumford and Sons, who played last weekend’s Bravalla music festival, announced they won’t be returning next year after five rapes and 12 sexual assaults were reported during the three-day event. “We’re gutted by these hideous reports,” they wrote on Facebook, demanding that authorities do more to combat the problem. Police at the festival reportedly handed out bracelets saying “Don’t grope.” Another recent Swedish festival had 35 reported groping incidents, leading the prime minister to vow to tighten sexual assault laws.
The votes are in. The entire Cubs infield — including sluggers Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant — will suit up in San Diego for next week’s MLB All-Star Game, a first for a single team since 1963, and part of a group of seven Chicago National League All-Stars. Boston sends David Ortiz and five others to compete for the American League, though the Red Sox could tie the Cubs for entries if second baseman Dustin Pedroia wins the fan vote to fill the final slot.