He got the rose. In a reality show-style primetime reveal, President Donald Trump announced Neil Gorsuch, 49 — one of two finalists summoned to Washington — as his Supreme Court pick. An impeccably credentialed conservative and former clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Coloradan is known for being skeptical of regulators’ power to interpret laws governing companies. After Senate Republicans held the seat open for nearly a year, Democrats could mount a blockade of their own, amid the public and civil service uproar over Trump’s controversial immigration ban.
The Presidential Daily Brief
This he knows how to do. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama administration holdover, told Justice Department employees yesterday that she couldn’t defend Donald Trump’s executive order halting all refugees and visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries, questioning its legality and whether it was “wise or just.” Hours later, Trump replaced her with another placeholder, adding an extraordinary statement that Yates “betrayed” the DOJ. As the controversial order divided Republicans on Capitol Hill, Trump moved his announcement of a nominee for the Supreme Court from Thursday to tonight.
He entered no plea. Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old student, was known to local refugee advocates as an online troll. He’s now charged with murdering six people during evening prayers at a Quebec City mosque. Police initially arrested two men, but the other is now being identified as a witness. Bissonnette appeared in court yesterday, as people kept vigils across Canada and mosques requested increased security. Meanwhile, U.S. officials cited the attack as justification for their new immigration ban, saying anti-terrorism measures must be “proactive.”
Where’s that diversity merit badge? After a century of only accepting boys whose birth certificates list them as male, the Boy Scouts of America say transgender boys are now welcome. The organization was forced to consider the question late last year, when a New Jersey troop expelled a member for being transgender. Activists say they’re heartened by the Scouts’ quick turnaround — openly gay people weren’t welcome in the 2.3 million-member organization until 2013 — and the boy who was expelled has been invited to return to his Cub Scout troop.
You can take that to the bank. Shares in Deutsche Bank rose slightly as the lender announced it’ll pay $425 million in fines to regulators in New York and $204 million to the U.K., ending two probes into suspicious mirror trades that the bank allowed despite anti-money laundering laws. Billions were transferred from Russia to accounts in Latvia, Estonia and Cyprus, ringing alarm bells for potential financial crimes. The bank, which has agreed to improve its financial security measures, is still being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department.
Know This: Bangladesh is moving forward with a plan to relocate Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled Myanmar to an island thought uninhabitable. Thousands protested yesterday in Britain against Donald Trump’s planned state visit, but the U.K. government says it has no intention of canceling. And one defendant in a massive art heist involving a thief nicknamed “the Spider-Man” says he threw away paintings worth a combined $100 million, including a Picasso and a Matisse.
Read This: A former member of the Russian Parliament wants to buy three uninhabited South Pacific islands and re-establish his country’s monarchy in a $350 million project he’s calling “alternative Russia.”
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Ni hao, highway. As car ownership and international travel soar among China’s rising upper class, America’s West Coast has become a vacation destination for visitors eager to hit the pavement. While there can be some cultural bumps in the road, tour agencies are starting to cater to Chinese RVers, who want to pack a ton of sights into a typical 12-day excursion and who love the camaraderie that forms with fellow campers. Their homeland is starting to take notice, as China aims to build 2,000 campgrounds by 2020.
The 12th Doctor is ready to regenerate. Capaldi, 58, who’s been starring in the UK’s long-running sci-fi hit since 2013, says he’s exiting the show. He made the surprising announcement — after indicating last month that he wanted to stay — on BBC Radio yesterday, saying, “One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best.” Show-runner Steven Moffatt is also leaving, but reassured fans that Capaldi’s Time Lord will be “fighting the good fight” until the end of 2017.
Whip and hat are optional. GlobalXPlorer hopes to change the face of Earth exploration by training laypeople to be remote archaeologists who sift through thousands of square miles of high-resolution satellite imagery of the planet’s surface. Launched by TED Prize-winning archaeologist Sarah Parcak, the online platform, designed with game-like elements, enlists amateurs to spot visual anomalies that could indicate potential archaeological sites or evidence of illegal looting or destruction. Parcak hopes that crowdsourcing the first stage of exploration will help guide and focus scientists on the ground.
Life’s no longer nasty, brutish and short. Until recently, it was much more common for death to be sudden or violent. Now, people often die over months in hospice care or nursing homes — but health care expectations, financial and emotional, have yet to catch up, and experts say it may take time to adjust to having a long end-of-life phase. Extended dying can take a psychological toll on families, but living wills and advanced directives can help prepared patients keep control until the end.
The saga is closed. St. Louis says scouting director Chris Correa went “rogue” when he hacked into the Astros’ computers to steal internal data, including player evaluations and medical reports. But the commissioner stripped the organization of its top two picks in June’s draft: They’ll go to Houston instead, along with a $2 million check. The Cardinals’ punishment is light compared to penalties against the Red Sox for eluding international signing rules, but Correa is hardly getting off easy: He was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison.