Will it ever stop? After two mass shootings Wednesday, Americans were again faced with the issue of gun violence. An attack in Virginia left Majority Whip Steve Scalise critically wounded, while San Francisco was left to wonder why a UPS employee was able to kill three colleagues with an assault pistol. After visiting Scalise last night, President Donald Trump said Thursday the congressman was “in some trouble.” The attack, which took place at a baseball practice, also left two Capitol police officers, a Capitol Hill staffer and a lobbyist injured. But their involvement in 2017’s 154th mass shooting isn’t expected to empower either side in the gun debate.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He might miss James Comey. The ex-FBI director assured President Trump he wasn’t under investigation. Now, the Washington Post reports the FBI did, in fact, launch a presidential probe — after Comey’s firing. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now reportedly investigating whether the president obstructed justice, and sources say Daniel Coats and Mike Rogers, who head national intelligence and the NSA, respectively, have agreed to participate. Trump blasted the report as an “phony,” and experts say Coats and Rogers may refuse to quote Trump on tenuous grounds of executive privilege.
He wasn’t alone. College student Otto Warmbier may have arrived home on Tuesday, but three fellow Americans are still imprisoned by Pyongyang. Two of them, Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song, were working at North Korea’s first private university when they were detained this spring. Businessman Kim Dong Chul has been in custody since October 2015 on espionage charges. If there’s any silver lining to Warmbier’s dismal condition — he remains in a coma after allegedly being “brutalized” by his captors — it’s that it could boost efforts to free the others.
It likes what it sees. The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point on Wednesday to 1.25 percent, reflecting the bank’s belief that the U.S. economy is sound. There’s hard evidence for that: after 80 straight months of job creation, unemployment fell to its lowest level since 2001. With that in mind, the Fed’s also unveiled its plan to begin paring down — possibly by September or October — its economy-stimulating $4.5 trillion in bonds and other investments, testing the economy’s ability to keep chugging along without its assistance.
Know This: Fire officials say they don’t expect to find more survivors of Wednesday’s London tower fire that killed at least 17 people, and more remains may be discovered. A video has surfaced of Australia’s prime minister mocking Donald Trump. And the Pentagon has said Iranian forces trained a laser on a Marine Corps helicopter over the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday.
Story Put to Rest: “We are pleased to be able to close the book on that trying ordeal and its aftermath.” — University of Virginia’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter, after accepting a $1.65 million settlement for its defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone over a discredited campus rape exposé.
Love This: We want your best stories about dad, or the person who served as your dad, in anticipation of Father’s Day on June 18. Email your heartwarming, hilarious or heroic tales with a photo from the family albums to firstname.lastname@example.org. Go deep. We’ll include the best ones in our Daily Dose.
Their education is taking them places. Some U.S. college grads are migrating to states where they can best cope with crushing student loan payments. That’s prompted a mass exodus from states like Pennsylvania, home of the nation’s second-highest level of student debt. It lost 13,000 millennials in 2014 alone to places like Kansas, which repays $3,000 in higher education debt for each year the borrower puts down roots in designated rural counties — a practical option now that web-based economies let employees work from the middle of nowhere.
You can stop snickering. Long recognized as an unabashed booster of conservative politics, America’s biggest 24-hour cable news channel has taken a lot of flak — along with praise from a powerful fan base — for its “Fair and Balanced” slogan since late chief Roger Ailes and publishing mogul Rupert Murdoch launched the network in 1996. But Ailes was booted amid a sexual harassment scandal, and Murdoch’s sons James and Lachlan are now trying to repair Fox’s image, favoring “Most Watched, Most Trusted” as the network’s next tagline.
It’s not sharia, it’s science. The world uses empirical data to inform many social and governmental policies, including national security. A Muslim travel ban, however, doesn’t survive rigorous statistical analysis, argues predictive analytics author Eric Siegel. A religious test for screening immigrants is far less effective, he says, than collecting information based on individual behavior such as personal and professional activities. Treating potential threats as individuals with specific histories, rather than identity groups, is key to beefing up security — at least that’s what three out of four analytics gurus might tell you.
Lyrics may count as literature, but Sparknotes? After the music legend delayed accepting his $923,000 Nobel Prize for Literature in the first place, he finally delivered the required lecture — pre-recorded — speaking about Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front and The Odyssey. However, sharp-eyed viewers noticed several phrases he cited that weren’t featured in Herman Melville’s novel, but in Sparknotes’ page about Moby Dick. With Sparknotes, unlike the original novel, still under copyright, Dylan might want to consider checking his sources.
It’s finally happening. Boxing great Floyd Mayweather has agreed to fight MMA champion Conor McGregor in McGregor’s professional boxing debut. With 49 wins and no losses, the 40-year-old Mayweather is unsurprisingly the favorite, though UFC’s Dana White says McGregor, a tattooed 28-year-old from Ireland, is absolutely certain he’ll wipe the floor with the more experienced boxer. Commentators say that if Mayweather goes down in the August 26 bout — his first fight in two years — it could damage his legacy. Either way, both men are expecting a huge payout from the spectacle.