At least he’s read part of the constitution. Donald Trump caused fresh outrage by saying if Hillary Clinton wins and appoints gun control-loving judges: “Nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is.” In what has become a cycle of outlandish remarks that Trump claims were jokes or taken out of context, the GOP nominee later said he was talking about gun lovers’ political sway, not inciting assassination. The Secret Service, which protects both candidates, said only that it was “aware” of the comments.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Can he galvanize #NeverTrump? Evan McMullin, 40, a top House Republican aide, jumped into the presidential race Monday saying Donald Trump is a narcissistic “inhuman” fraudster, and neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton is fit for office. While McMullin has some conservative money behind him, it’s too late to get on the ballot in most states as an Independent. Undaunted, Trump pushed ahead with an economic speech pledging tax cuts, public works spending and a tough trade stance, but Maine Sen. Susan Collins and 50 national security experts renounced him, continuing the GOP exodus.
All bets are off. U.N. officials had already lamented that the deal resettling Europe’s refugees in Turkey had been “de facto suspended” given the unrest in the country following a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But now another plank’s fallen: Turkey’s hopes of visa-free travel in the EU rested on reforming its terror laws, which EU Minister Omer Celik says won’t happen now. Meanwhile, Erdogan’s headed to Russia to “reset” ties with President Vladimir Putin after a breakdown last year when Turkey shot down a Russian military plane.
So much for standing down. Though China’s said it won’t militarize the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in order to shore up territorial claims, the photos are pretty clear. New satellite images from July show reinforced hangars that experts say strongly indicate military intentions. Fighter jets and other aircraft that fit the structures could deeply complicate policy for the Philippines and others who stake a claim to the South China Sea — entitlements supported by last month’s Hague ruling that China was overstepping its rights.
Their reliability is up in the air. Last month, a computer glitch canceled 2,300 Southwest flights. Yesterday, thousands of people were grounded when Delta’s internal systems failed and hundreds of flights were canceled. Now some are asking: With four carriers responsible for 85 percent of domestic flights, are systems largely built in the ’90s and grafted together through multiple mergers too vulnerable? For now, Delta’s investigating the cause — and shouldering the cost, which is expected to be millions — but has yet to address questions about how well its technology is grounded.
Know This: Belarus may be playing fast and loose with nuclear safety standards. India’s “Iron Lady” activist has ended her grueling 16-year hunger strike. And House Speaker Paul Ryan’s battling an unexpectedly powerful primary challenge in Wisconsin.
Listen to This: Claressa Shields was the first woman to win a gold medal in boxing for Team USA. Radio Diaries has her on the record before she competes in Rio next week.
Read This: “Our leader argues it’s more effective to sell Trump by looking someone in the eyes than by trying to convince them over the phone.” — what it’s like to campaign door-to-door for Donald Trump.
Their record won’t tumble anytime soon. Simone Biles and her cohorts so thoroughly dominated the team competition that the scoring gap between the U.S. and second-place Russia was double the points between Russia and last place Brazil. Meanwhile, Michael Phelps reached a record-obliterating 21 career gold medals, after winning two yesterday, while Katie Ledecky took her second Rio gold swimming the 200 freestyle. That’s nine golds so far for Team USA — and Biles is expected to pick up at least three more in individual events.
If Donald Trump won’t read it, the rest of America will. Khizr Khan, the father of an American Muslim soldier killed in Iraq, famously asked at the Democratic Convention if Trump had read the Constitution — and brandished a pocket-sized copy. Now everyone wants one: The ACLU reported exhausting its supply within days after getting orders from 50 states and some 30 nations. A controversial $1 “Christian nation” excerpted Constitution outsold the latest Harry Potter on Amazon. Now anti-Trump demonstrators are holding them aloft, eliciting jeers from the real estate mogul’s supporters.
Game on, parents. It turns out that playing online games corresponds to superior school performance. In a study of more than 12,000 Australian students, young people who played online games scored well above average in math and science. But students who visited Facebook and similar sites daily were statistically more likely to underperform in those and other subjects. Teachers have been encouraged to incorporate gaming — preferably the non-violent kind — into lessons, but it’s up to parents, teachers and kids to curb the social media brain drain.
It’s a rising tide. The low-lying capital of the Netherlands could be in place to regain the financial glory of centuries past, with companies looking to shift away from London in the wake of the Brexit vote. Tesla, Uber and Netflix have established European hubs there, and banks could be next. Though it boasts a population smaller than Columbus, Ohio, Amsterdam is an English-fluent multinational city with a high quality of life and startup-friendly culture — the ideal ingredients to woo the masters of finance.
Who you gonna call? Leslie Jones! The Saturday Night Live star drew widespread Internet acclaim for posting fired-up tweets and videos of herself watching the first days of the Olympics. “Pedal, girl … like you’re delivering weed!” she shouts at a pack-leading U.S. bicyclist. The buzz made its way to NBC executives, who offered her a ticket to Rio and a seat in their studio. Jones abandoned Twitter last month after suffering sexist and racist taunts as she promoted her Ghostbusters reboot, but is re-emerging victorious on all platforms.
This year in particular, it’s a powerful image. Ibtihaj Muhammad lost in the second round of the women’s sabre event Monday, but she made history nonetheless. The 30-year-old New Yorker said she wants to “break cultural norms” about Muslim women in competition. Amid a media swarm, she dodged a Donald Trump question, saying she hopes her appearance will educate people about the integration of Muslims into American society. And her Rio spotlight moment’s not over: She’ll compete Saturday as part of the U.S. sabre team.