It’s no laughing matter. A Pennsylvania judge has set a trial date for the famed comedian, who stands accused of three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. Former Temple University employee Andrea Constand alleges that the TV star drugged and molested her in Philadelphia in 2004, and prosecutors hope to hear testimony from 13 other women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault. The 79-year-old funnyman’s trial is set to begin on June 5, 2017, and if he’s found guilty, he could face up to 10 years behind bars.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Sometimes #nofilter can be a liability. The White House has canceled today’s scheduled meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte after he called President Obama a “son of a whore,” an insult he’s also deployed against Pope Francis. The beef? The U.S. president said he wouldn’t hesitate to bring up human rights abuses, including alleged rampant extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers, at the session. Duterte, who’s known for his colorful language and inflammatory, populist rhetoric, has apologized — but now his first overseas trip must be spent making amends rather than friends.
The streak has ended. After nine months without a full press conference, the Democratic nominee chatted with reporters on her plane for 20 minutes, intimating that Russian hacking sought to elect her opponent and saying she would work to close Guantanamo Bay prison. As both candidates ran parallel Ohio trips with reporters on their planes, Donald Trump denied impropriety by his foundation — which donated $25,000 to a campaign linked to Florida’s attorney general, then considering investigating Trump University — and declared that he planned to participate in all three presidential debates.
Can Afghanistan protect its own? Monday saw a double bombing in the capital, claimed by the Taliban, that left 35 dead and scores wounded — and the day wasn’t done. Today an 11-hour siege of the compound of Care International ended with one civilian and three attackers dead. Six others were wounded in the attack, for which no group’s announced responsibility. Such violence over the last few months has prompted many in the city to question their government’s ability to keep them safe and has left Kabul streets deserted.
This one might take root. In July, Monsanto’s board said a unanimous “no” to Bayer’s $125-per-share buyout offer. Though analysts say $130 or $140 is closer to the right price, Bayer’s not quite there yet — the German pharmaceutical firm has offered $127.50, hoping to create the world’s largest agrochemical conglomerate. It’d be the latest of several huge mergers in the chemical sector. Monsanto says the discussions are “constructive” but notes it’s weighing other proposals, while Bayer says any deal will still have to be negotiated and approved.
Know This: Black Lives Matter protestors temporarily shut down London City Airport today. Mexico’s bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Newton. And Phyllis Schlafly, who embodied female opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, has died at 92.
Read This: A new book tells the stories of black female “computers” who shored up the midcentury Space Race.
Remember This Number: More than 200 in two weeks. That’s the number of overdoses Cincinnati saw as states across the Midwest found drug users trying elephant tranquilizer carfentanil — which is so strong that a tiny speck can kill a person.
Is a climate change coming? The lawsuit that blew open the doors on a culture of rampant sexual misconduct and brought down Fox News CEO Roger Ailes has been settled, with 21st Century Fox reportedly agreeing to pay a huge sum to the former anchor, the first in a parade of women to come forward. In an unprecedented move, Fox News’ parent company offered Carlson an apology as well. Now Carlson says she’s ready for a “new chapter” of focusing on empowering women in the workplace.
She was a shock to the system. Elevated out of obscurity in 1984 by Democratic nominee Walter Mondale, the New York Congresswoman gave a jolt to the badly trailing campaign as the first woman on a major party ticket — 32 years before Hillary Clinton’s glass ceiling-shattering run. Ferraro’s veep bid drew huge crowds of mothers and daughters, swarms of volunteers and new donations. It did not prevent Ronald Reagan’s landslide re-election, but the greeting she received at the convention in San Francisco, said one participant, “made everything possible.”
What’s restraining American workers’ output? While the trend’s generally baffling economists, some blame Facebook – and the plethora of other social media distractions. Productivity’s stagnated in recent years, and Princeton economics guru Alan Blinder suspects that can’t be helped by workplaces being infiltrated by such recreational distractions. While innovation also fuels productivity growth, the internet revolution was the last big shift — and offices have already upgraded. That means workers’ efficiency isn’t improving, especially when they’re busy using Snapchat. Why worry? If that work output doesn’t grow, neither will living standards.
Batten down the hatches. The destructive typhoons that slam into Asia are strengthening — and the weather shows no sign of letting up. A recent study found that overall typhoon intensity’s gone up about 12 percent in the past 39 years. But most alarmingly for countries like the Philippines, which suffered the catastrophic killer Typhoon Haiyan three years ago, storms with winds topping 130 mph are coming much more frequently. Science is attributing the shift to climate change, while coastal communities are scrambling to prepare for unpredictable storms.
He will space rock you. In honor of the late frontman’s 70th birthday, a hunk of rock orbiting Jupiter and Mars will forever be known as Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury. It was discovered in 1991, around the time of the legendary singer’s death. Queen guitarist and real-life astrophysicist Brian May teamed up with the International Astronomical Union to reveal the name change at a celebration for Mercury (the person) in Montreux, Switzerland. The asteroid’s elliptical orbit keeps it 217 million miles away, meaning it’ll never hit Earth and make us bite the dust.
Another heart-stopping start: The No. 4 Seminoles trailed by 22 points in the first half Monday night before rallying against No. 11 Ole Miss, finishing with a 45-34 victory that closed college football’s action-packed opening weekend — as adjustments from coach Jimbo Fisher helped dual threat freshman quarterback Deondre Francois to overcome a shaky start and thrive in his debut. Through one week of big matchups, the SEC is already scrambled and outsider Houston — after topping Oklahoma — is emerging as a playoff threat.