The Smokey and the Bandit star’s colorful career saw an Oscar nomination for box office hit Boogie Nights, as well as an Emmy and a Golden Globe — though he also had his share of bad press. “I was interested in having a good time,” he admitted in his memoir. He famously lost out out on big roles, such as Han Solo in Star Wars and cop John McClane in Die Hard, but also said, “Nobody had more fun than I did.” He’s survived by his adopted son, Quinton.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Four people, including a woman wearing headphones, were killed after a gunman opened fire near downtown Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. “I looked behind me and saw the guy — he shot and then he shot again,” one witness said. “After that I started running.” The gunman, whose identity and motive are currently unknown, was killed in a shootout with police, though authorities raided an apartment in North Bend, Ohio. Cincinnati Mayor John Granley said, “No other industrialized country has this level of active multiple shootings on a regular basis.”
President Donald Trump lashed out at the newspaper yesterday for publishing an anonymous op-ed by someone claiming to be a senior White House official. The author described “many Trump appointees” covertly working to thwart the president’s “more misguided impulses,” but insisted they were not part of the liberal resistance. Calling Trump amoral and prone to anti-democratic tendencies, the official said, “Americans should know that there are adults in the room.” In response, Trump demanded the newspaper hand over the author “for National Security purposes,” suggesting they committed treason.
LGBT rights campaigners are celebrating the Indian Supreme Court’s reversal of colonial-era legislation that criminalized homosexuality. Chief Justice Dipak Misra called the 158-year-old law — one of the world’s oldest against gay sex — “irrational, arbitrary and manifestly unconstitutional.” Under that legislation, “unnatural offenses” were punishable by 10 years in jail. Though it was rarely applied to consenting adults, the law was sometimes invoked to harass the LGBT community. Yet despite public opinion shifting in major cities, observers say conservative attitudes still dominate in much of India.
In his second day facing questions on Capitol Hill, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh repeated his commitment to remaining politically independent, but side-stepped questions from Democrats about the scope of presidential power. During more than 12 hours of questioning, the 53-year-old federal judge refused to say whether the president could pardon himself or fire prosecutors investigating him. “You’re learning to filibuster,” quipped Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Though liberals are worried Kavanaugh could help overturn Roe v. Wade, he called the 1973 ruling on abortion “an important precedent.”
After meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Thursday, a delegation from Seoul said fresh talks between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have been set for Sept. 18-20 in Pyongyang. Officials hope the summit — the third between the two leaders — will place North Korea’s denuclearization back on track after efforts stalled following the June meeting between Kim and President Trump. A top South Korean official noted that while Kim expressed frustration over the process, he also “particularly emphasized” that he “never said anything negative” about Trump.
Know This: Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he’ll explore whether tech companies are stifling competition and free speech. At least seven people are dead after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit northern Japan Thursday. Britain’s security minister has blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the March nerve agent attack against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Kyrgyzstan, where coffee shops are an unexpected indicator of economic success.
Read This: As the 2018 season kicks off, the NFL still has no concrete plan to address the player protests launched by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. “We have never seen anything like this before in the NFL,” an expert says.
We’re hiring: OZY is looking for a talented business writer and reporter to anchor our globally minded finance coverage, based in either Silicon Valley or New York. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.
For the first time since a devastating tsunami sparked a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant more than seven years ago, the government has acknowledged that a worker died of lung cancer after being exposed to radiation. The man, who was not named, was responsible for measuring radiation levels at the plant and continued working there until 2015, but it’s unclear exactly when he died. Health officials say his family will be provided compensation — the fifth government payout to a Fukushima worker following the disaster.
The Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act would force companies with more than 500 employees to pay workers enough that they wouldn’t require federal benefits — or else pay 100 percent tax on that aid. Introduced yesterday, but unlikely to gain traction in a Republican-controlled Congress, it takes aim at Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who’s been criticized for reaping huge profits while taxpayers fund low-wage workers’ subsidies like food stamps and Medicaid. “That’s what a rigged economy is about,” said Sanders, who’s expected to run for president again in 2020.
The truth is out there. A congressionally mandated study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine urges the U.S. space agency to prioritize the search for exoplanets and extraterrestrial life. The Exoplanet Science Strategy suggests astronomers focus on examining how planets form and predicting their habitability. Over the next decade, the authors say, NASA should develop a powerful new space telescope and invest in Earth-based observatories — and it should make those tools available to other researchers. NASA will now take the study’s recommendations to Congress to secure funding.
Claiming defamation and fraud after appearing on Cohen’s new show, Who Is America?, the former Alabama judge and unsuccessful Senate candidate sued Cohen, CBS and Showtime yesterday. The show flew Moore to Washington to receive a fake award for supporting Israel, and he was later scanned by Cohen — in character as an Israeli anti-terrorism expert — with a pretend “sex offender detector.” Moore, who’s been accused of sexual misconduct against girls as young as 14, says he suffered “extreme emotional distress” and a damaged reputation from the incident.
They’re speeding ahead. Long perceived as a sport for White, middle-aged men, professional racing is increasingly populated by a new generation of women working as pit crew members, engineers and executives. NASCAR’s push to diversify beyond its drivers includes a Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development program to bring more minority and female employees into the race. While female drivers haven’t found as much success on the track, women have made greater strides in pit crews and management roles, and scouts are searching college campuses for diverse new hires.