Yesterday, Ukrainian authorities said war correspondent Arkady Babchenko was shot multiple times as he left his apartment in what seemed to be a targeted killing. Today, Babchenko — a dissident journalist who emigrated from Russia last year — appeared at a press conference alive and well, claiming it was a sting operation to expose an alleged plot by Russian agents. Kiev has seen several suspicious killings of Kremlin opponents in recent years. Russia had called for an investigation into Babchenko’s death and said Ukraine is “becoming the most dangerous country for reporters.”
The Presidential Daily Brief
Mamma mia, here we go again. Having been without a government since March, Italy’s latest prime minister-elect, Carlo Cottarelli, has been unable to win support from the country’s major parties and may step down without being sworn in — just days after a coalition choice for prime minister did the same. Such a move could force President Sergio Mattarella to call snap elections as early as July. Meanwhile, Italian two-year bonds had their worst day since 1989 as fears that Italy could exit the eurozone threw markets into chaos.
Elected less than two years ago, Gov. Eric Greitens announced that he’ll resign over a number of scandals he says have put “an incredible amount of strain” on his family. Once a rising star of the Republican Party, Greitens has been under investigation for months, dogged by threats of impeachment. He’s been charged with two felonies for allegedly using a charity’s donor list for political purposes, and is facing claims of coercing a woman into sex by threatening to share a naked photo of her. Lt. Gov. Mike Parson will take over Friday.
“If the U.S. wants to play games, then China would be more than willing to play along.” So said the Global Times, a newspaper run by China’s ruling Communist Party, after the White House said it would move ahead with imposing tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. A final list of the goods being targeted will be released June 15. The tough talk further ignited fears of a trade war — and could jeopardize a $44 billion American deal that requires approval from Chinese regulators.
Know This: Amid continued airstrikes on Gaza, Hamas says Palestinian groups have agreed to a ceasefire if Israeli forces will reciprocate. A major study says hotter weather means students are less likely to perform well on exams. And molestation accusations against famed equestrian trainer Jimmy Williams, who died in 1993, have thrown California’s Flintridge Riding Club into turmoil.
Read This: A new study reveals that Puerto Rico’s death toll from Hurricane Maria may exceed 4,600 — 70 times higher than the official government count of 64 — making it America’s deadliest natural disaster in a century.
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They couldn’t lower the Barr any further. The network jettisoned the popular revival of Roseanne yesterday over what it called an “abhorrent” tweet, in which the comedian compared former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is African-American, to an ape. Barr deleted the tweet and apologized for what she claimed was “a bad joke.” Her show had resonated among conservatives because Barr and her character both support President Donald Trump. But OZY’s Pooja Bhatia points out that “flyover country” is more complex than Roseanne ever made it out to be.
You gotta give ’em credit. The popular ice cream brand is using blockchain technology to buy carbon credits — digital tokens that go to renewable energy projects — to offset every scoop the company sells. For each cone, Ben & Jerry’s pays one penny to a cause that counterbalances the carbon it contains, whether through planting trees or building wind farms. Working with an environmental tech firm, the ice cream maker is hoping to bring the carbon credit idea, previously restricted to industrial-scale purchases, to everyday commerce.
The West African country has long been known for strict libel and defamation laws that have punished journalists for their coverage. But an increasingly vocal civil society has emerged and aims to repeal those rules, pressuring newly inaugurated President George Weah to deliver on campaign commitments to media freedom. It appears to be working: Currently, there are no jailed journalists in Liberia. Meanwhile, efforts to silence reporters are being documented through a media alert program, while journalists themselves are being held accountable by a new National Media Council.
This may be a hard pill to swallow. A University of Toronto meta-analysis of 179 randomized, controlled studies revealed that taking multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C supplements showed no benefits in preventing cardiovascular disease, stroke or early death. Researchers say the pills aren’t harmful, either, though experts say it’s unclear whether supplements can provide nutrients in the same way food does. Meanwhile, folate, B6 and B12 vitamins did show minor health benefits, and study authors say that next they’ll examine such supplements’ impact on cancer.
In her first Grand Slam tournament since recovering from an emergency C-section and serious complications last year, Williams hit the red clay at Roland Garros looking like a superhero in a black Nike catsuit. “It’s a fun suit, but it’s also functional,” she explained, noting the compression fabric to prevent blood clots. Williams, 36, won her first match against 70th-ranked Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets. Meanwhile, the superstar’s unranked return has sparked debate about whether players deserve to have their rankings preserved during maternity leave.