CNN: Rain is coming to douse the heat wave, but weather could get rough
Few people look forward to rainy cold fronts, but one descending from Canada over the weekend should have heat-plagued residents from Massachusetts to Minnesota jumping for joy. It will break the grip of the humid heat wave that has smothered the northeast quarter of the nation this week like a musty wool blanket.
CNN: Detroit files for bankruptcy
Detroit filed for bankruptcy Thursday afternoon, becoming the nation's largest public sector bankruptcy. The move could slash pension benefits to city workers and retirees, and leave bond holders with only pennies on the dollar. The bankruptcy was filed by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and approved by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Snyder said the financial condition of the city left him no choice.
CNNMoney: What's next for Detroit
CNNMoney: Detroit's workers and retirees face big cuts
CNN: Justice system 'didn't work for us,' Trayvon Martin's father says
Trayvon Martin's father, Tracy, said Thursday it was difficult to listen to testimony about his son, particularly the negative comments, during George Zimmerman's trial. "That wasn't the Trayvon that we raised. That wasn't the Trayvon that we knew, and that we love," he said during a Thursday night interview on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360." Still, Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said that she felt the need to sit through every day of Zimmerman's trial because her son was "not here to say anything for himself." She said that she wanted to "show a face" for her son.
SEE ALSO: USA Today: Justice Dept. places hold on Trayvon Martin evidence
WATCH: VIDEO CNN: Trayvon Martin's parents talk verdict
CNN: Photos of Tsarnaev arrest follow Rolling Stone complaints
The backlash over Rolling Stone's cover photo of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev led to the release of new photos of his capture Thursday, images a police photographer said show "the real Boston bomber." In contrast to the tousle-haired, placid-looking 19-year-old on the front of the magazine, the new pictures show Tsarnaev emerging from the boat where he was cornered - his face smeared with blood, his skin ashen in the laser glow from snipers' gun sights.
CBS: Chicago Public Schools to lay off 2,110 teachers, support staff
The Chicago Public Schools has announced the layoff of about 2,100 teachers and support staff, blaming the move on the failure of the Illinois Legislature to enact pension reform. The layoffs announced late Thursday are in addition to the approximately 850 layoffs in June the district attributed to the closing of about 50 schools it considered underutilized.
CNN: As Obama readies to visit Russia for G-20 summit, will he bypass Moscow?
Edward Snowden’s long layover may be over if Russia grants him temporary asylum. But will it? The country has the G-20 summit coming up. And while the White House has said President Barack Obama will attend the gathering in St. Petersburg, it isn’t saying whether he’ll stop in Moscow. That’s not the kind of embarrassment President Vladimir Putin wants to risk over the American intelligence leaker.
WSJ: NASA's Asteroid Plan Is Shot Down in House
The House Science Committee on Thursday voted to bar all spending on plans for a manned mission to an asteroid—rejecting the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's human-space-exploration program through 2025.
Politico: On health law, Obama sells big by talking small
President Barack Obama’s got a strategy for Obamacare: make the big sell by talking small. In a speech on Thursday, Obama got deep into the specifics of the sweeping health care law, from a rule that forces insurers to send rebate checks to some consumers to the price competition in its new health insurance marketplaces— all provisions designed to save Americans money.
CNN: Senate confirms EPA nominee
The Senate on Thursday confirmed Gina McCarthy to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. McCarthy, assistant administrator of the EPA, is the second Cabinet official to be confirmed since senators brokered a deal that ended GOP filibusters of several presidential nominees. The vote was 59-40. Earlier in the day, the Senate confirmed Thomas Perez as labor secretary.
BuzzFeed: House Republicans Cave On Marriage Fight
House Republican leaders announced in a court filing Thursday that they will not defend remaining statutes similar to the Defense of Marriage Act that ban recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages. The move comes three weeks and one day after the Supreme Court ruled in Edith Windsor’s case that the federal definition of marriage in DOMA was unconstitutional because it banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages.
WSJ: Judicial Picks Loom as Next Battle
This week's bipartisan Senate deal ended a dispute over some of President Barack Obama's stalled executive-branch nominees, but a coming fight over judicial nominees may prove even trickier to resolve. Democrats are moving forward on three nominees the president announced last month for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which has been a focus of bitter political clashes, some dating back a decade or more.
The Hill: Pelosi and House Democrats launch economic agenda for women
House Democrats on Thursday launched a new campaign designed to bolster economic opportunities for women. Behind House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the lawmakers are pushing a series of bills to promote pay equity in the workplace, make child care more affordable and encourage a balance between jobs and family for the nation's working women.
HuffPost: No Child Left Behind Rewrite Debated In The House, But Bill Has No Future
Possibly seeking to combat the perception that they're unproductive and obstructionist, House Republicans convened about six hours of debate Thursday on an education bill that has almost no chance of being signed into law.
BusinessWeek: Congress Gets Serious About Saving the Post Office (Finally)
By now, most people know the U.S. Postal Service is on the brink of insolvency. But in the last few years, Congress has sometimes acted as though it was indifferent to the agency’s troubles and the possibility that it might require a taxpayer bailout. Now, Republicans and Democrats in the House seem to have collectively awakened to the crisis.
CNN: Colorado sets recall elections for two pro-gun control lawmakers
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado on Thursday set the date for recall elections for two state senators, marking the first recall effort in the state's history. On September 10, voters in two districts will have the chance to re-elect or oust their incumbent Democratic state representatives who are being targeted for supporting tougher gun laws in Colorado.
The Daily Beast: Immigration Reform Isn’t Dead in the House: Here’s Who Can Save It
Press reports focus on the (very real) civil war within the GOP, the latest rants from the die-hards and the crazies, and the various reasons, led chiefly by congressional redistricting and Tea Party pressure, that immigration reform will go down in flames. But considerably less attention is being paid to a handful of key conservatives, members of both the old and new guards in the House, whose recent moves on immigration are giving high-level staffers, lobbyists, and advocates reason to believe that the chances for reform are still alive in this Congress.
Reuters: McCain: 'We are not winning' push for immigration reform
WX Post: Catholic college officials urge Congress to pass immigration reform
NPR: The United States of Dynasty: Boom Times For Political Families
Another day, another political dynasty. This latest one is taking shape in Wyoming, where Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, that she's challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary. Her announcement is a fitting prelude to the next four years, when voters will witness America's political royalty in its full glory. Cheney is just one of a gaggle of legacy candidates running for the Senate next year. In the South, Sens. Mary Landrieu, daughter of the former New Orleans mayor and sister to the current mayor; and Mark Pryor, the son of former Arkansas Sen. David Pryor, are both seeking re-election. Out west, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich and Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, both sons of congressmen, are also vying for another term. So is Udall's cousin, Tom, who is New Mexico's senator and himself the son of a congressman.
CNN: Peter King for 2016?
A lot of people have been floated as potential candidates for the 2016 presidential race. But few expected Republican Rep. Peter King, a longtime congressman from Long Island, to submit his name to the possible crop of contenders. In media interviews and in a fundraising email to supporters Thursday evening, King did just that, saying he's being nudged to consider a presidential bid because of his national security experience.
CNN: NSA chief strongly defends govt. surveillance programs, but suggests he's open to changes
The director of the National Security Agency on Thursday offered a full-throated defense of a domestic monitoring program that has been at the center of government leaks, while also tacitly supporting an idea to dramatically change the controversial snooping. In a public interview at the Aspen Security Forum, NSA Director Keith Alexander addressed the leaks carried out by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified documents to the media.
SEE ALSO: WX Post: NSA director suggests phone companies, not government, could store calling records
CNN: Lawyer: Air Force officer's sexual battery charge changed
The sexual battery charge against an Air Force officer who had headed a military unit aimed at preventing sexual assaults was changed to assault and battery, his lawyer said Thursday. Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, a 1994 graduate of the Air Force Academy who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was arrested in May for allegedly grabbing a woman's buttocks and breasts in a parking lot in Arlington County, Virginia, near the Pentagon.
WSJ: Palestinians Demand Guarantees on U.S. Peace Plan
Palestinian leaders refused to back Secretary of State John Kerry's proposal to restart long-stalled peace talks with Israel, dashing hopes that a breakthrough was imminent. The leaders were drafting a formal reply to Mr. Kerry that is expected to ask him to make several specific guarantees before Palestinians agree to resume peace talks, a senior Palestinian official said.
SEE ALSO: Jerusalem Post: Obama urges Netanyahu to resume peace negotiations with Palestinians
NYT: Discussing Furlough Concerns at Military Bases, Hagel Has ‘No Good News’
Over three days visiting military bases of all four armed services across the southeastern United States this week, Mr. Hagel, a former Nebraska senator, told everyone that compromise in Washington was unlikely. “There’s no good news,” he said in Charleston to military personnel and civilian Defense Department employees. “Sequestration is a mindless, irresponsible process,” he said. “You know it, I know it. And I’m hoping that our leaders in Washington will eventually get that and come to some policy resolution. I used to be in that business. I’m not in that business anymore.”
TRANSPORTATION, REGULATION and JUSTICE:
CNN: Maintenance light prompts Dreamliner flight to return to Boston
A Japan Airlines flight headed to Japan returned to Boston on Thursday after a maintenance message indicator light came on in the cockpit. "Out of an abundance of caution, the flight was ordered back to Boston," said Matt Brelis, director of media relations at Massport, the authority that oversees airports in Massachusetts. He identified the aircraft as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
SEE ALSO: BusinessWeek: The Battery in the Latest Dreamliner Fire? Radio Shack Sells One Like It
CNN: Man who'd been set to testify against 'Whitey' Bulger found dead
A man who'd been prepared to testify in the trial of reputed Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger was found dead - a day after, a friend says, he learned he was dropped from the prosecution's witness list. Massachusetts State Police are investigating the death of Stephen Rakes, 59, the Middlesex County district attorney's office said Thursday.
CNN: Virgin and Delta team up in bid for world's most lucrative airline route
One of the most valuable routes in the airline industry is the one that joins New York to London. It is the world's busiest route, one particularly frequented by business travelers, and currently, it is dominated by United Airlines. All that is set to change, thanks to a pivotal partnership between Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
Associated Press: NY judge blocks Sept. 11 claims against airlines
The owners of the World Trade Center can't demand billions of dollars more in insurance money for the destruction caused by the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal judge decided Thursday. Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled after hearing testimony by economic experts for the trade center owners and for the airlines linked to the planes that were hijacked in the attacks. The non-jury trial was held to decide whether the owners could collect more than the nearly $5 billion they've already received toward reconstruction.
WSJ: New Jersey Supreme Court Restricts Police Searches of Phone Data
Staking out new ground in the noisy debate about technology and privacy in law enforcement, the New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that the police will now have to get a search warrant before obtaining tracking information from cellphone providers. The ruling puts the state at the forefront of efforts to define the boundaries around a law enforcement practice that a national survey last year showed was routine, and typically done without court oversight or public awareness. With lower courts divided on the use of cellphone tracking data, legal experts say, the issue is likely to end up before the United States Supreme Court.
HuffPost: Justice Alito Finances Explain His Recusals
Justice Samuel Alito bowed out of roughly six dozen matters that came before the Supreme Court in the past 10 months with no explanation. Alito's latest report of his finances clears up the mystery. The justice and his wife, Martha Ann, inherited dozens of stocks when her father, Bobby Gene Bomgardner, died last year. Many of the cases in which Alito did not take part involved companies in which the Alitos now own shares. The information was included in Alito's financial disclosure for 2012, which the federal judiciary released on Wednesday.
Bloomberg: Californians May Lose Federal Jobless Aid as Rate Falls
California’s jobless rate declined to a four-year low of 8.5 percent last month, triggering an end to benefits for more than 100,000 people still out of work, according to the state employment agency. Under U.S. Labor Department rules, residents are no longer eligible for the final 10 weeks of extended federal unemployment benefits known as tier 4, because the state jobless rate has fallen below a moving three-month average of 9 percent, the California Employment Development Department said yesterday.
NYT: Heroin in New England, More Abundant and Deadly
Heroin, which has long flourished in the nation’s big urban centers, has been making an alarming comeback in the smaller cities and towns of New England. From quaint fishing villages on the Maine coast to the interior of the Great North Woods extending across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, officials report a sharp rise in the availability of the crystalline powder and in overdoses and deaths attributed to it. “It’s easier to get heroin in some of these places than it is to get a UPS delivery,” said Dr. Mark Publicker, an addiction specialist here.
Delaware Online: State student test scores flatten out in latest report
A year after double-digit gains on the standardized test, statewide scores fell slightly or plateaued this year. State education officials on Thursday unveiled the results of the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System, or DCAS, the computerized test all public school students take in third through 10th grades. Last year, test scores soared by double digits.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: 3 councilmen propose gay-marriage ordinance
Three members of the Richmond City Council have proposed an ordinance to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed in other states and to extend benefits to legally married same-sex partners who work for the city. Sponsored by City Council President Charles R. Samuels and fellow council members Parker C. Agelasto and Chris A. Hilbert, the ordinance was inspired by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Samuels said.
Dallas Morning News: Dallas-area housing market hits an all-time high in first half of 2013
With Dallas-area home prices in many neighborhoods up by 10 percent or more so far this year, 2013 is shaping up to be one of the best years for the local housing market in decades. Local pre-owned home sales in the first half of this year are running more than 20 percent higher than in the same period of 2012. They’ve set a North Texas sales record for a six-month period. Some Dallas-area residential districts are experiencing the largest home price gains this area has seen since the 1980s.
CNN: History energizes rival rallies planned Friday in Egypt
Friday is a revered day on the Egyptian calendar, increasing the fervor for another day of rallies and possible confrontations between the interim government and backers of deposed President Mohamed Morsy. Both sides called for Tenth of Ramadan demonstrations in the streets of the capitol of Cairo. Ramadan's tenth day in October 1973 marked the beginning of a war with Israel which is remembered with pride in Egypt.
CNN: Latest developments in the royal baby watch
Could the world's media be camped outside the wrong hospital? Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports that a contingency plan is in place for Catherine to give birth at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, if she goes into labor while staying at her parents' home in Berkshire, and its swift progress means the journey back to London is impractical. Royal watchers eagerly await the arrival of a child that will be heir to the British throne.
WATCH: VIDEO CNN: Meet a royal baby super fan
TIME: After Much Heartbreak, Some Good News at Last for Bangladesh
All the grief coming out of Bangladesh in the wake of April’s Rana Plaza collapse has obscured one piece of good news. The World Bank quietly announced back in June that the country reduced the number of people living in poverty from 63 million in 2000 to 47 million in 2010. This sharp decline means Bangladesh will reach its first U.N.-established Millennium Development Goal, that of poverty reduction, two years ahead of the 2015 deadline.
Telegraph: Police 'too busy' to walk the streets and prevent crime
The officers, who traditionally pounded the streets, talking to residents and businesses, are now also required to carry out investigations and respond to 999 calls. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary warned on Thursday that budget cuts risk “eroding” neighborhood policing where the constables on the ground prevent crime and provide reassurance.
BBC: Opposition leader Sam Rainsy returns to Cambodia
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy has returned to Cambodia, days before a general election. Mr. Rainsy had been living in France after being jailed in absentia in 2010 on charges he said were politically motivated. But he was granted a royal pardon last week and was greeted by thousands of cheering supporters as he arrived back in Phnom Penh. Cambodia goes to the polls on 28 July, with PM Hun Sen expected to win.
Reuters: Moody's eases off threat of U.S. rating cut, affirms AAA
Moody's Investors Service on Thursday raised the U.S. sovereign outlook to stable from negative and affirmed the country's triple-A rating, citing steady growth despite reduced government spending. The rating agency's move eased the threat of a cut to the world's biggest economy.
WX Post: Middle class still left behind in U.S. economic recovery, data show
The economic recovery of summer 2013 is playing out in an all-too-familiar way for poor and middle-class Americans: Gas prices are up, growth is slowing, and there still aren’t nearly enough new jobs to employ the almost 12 million people seeking work. An improving housing market and rising stock prices appear to have done little to increase the take-home pay of the typical U.S. worker. And while the economy continues to heal faster than that of almost any other Western nation, evidence remains strong that the recovery has done little to boost the fortunes of people in the vast economic middle.
Bloomberg: Honda Overhauls Fit Hatchback After Enlisting Supercar Designers
Tensions already ran high at Honda in October 2011, two months after Consumer Reports ridiculed the onetime favorite Civic as a substandard car, when President Takanobu Ito saw drawings of the next Fit. He ripped up the plans and summoned his top two designers. Almost two years later, Tokyo-based Honda is unveiling the overhauled Fit today with a stretched front grille, tapered headlights and indented doors. Ito has said much is riding on the Fit, singling out the car as a driver of Honda’s global growth until at least 2015, especially in emerging markets, as motorists increasingly shift toward smaller automobiles.
NYT: Big Banks, Flooded in Profits, Fear Flurry of New Safeguards
The nation’s six largest banks reported $23 billion in profits in the second quarter, but they could end up victims of their own success. In recent weeks, the Treasury Department, senior regulators and members of Congress have stepped up efforts intended to make the largest banks safer. The banks have warned that more regulation could undermine their ability to compete and curtail the amount of money they have to lend, but the strong earnings that came out over the last week could undercut their argument.
CNBC: Microsoft, Google disappoint; shares pay the price
Tech giants Google and Microsoft tumbled in after-hours trading after both companies missed Wall Street forecasts for the second quarter. Weakness in both stocks weighed on the broader indices after-hours. The Powershares QQQ ETF is off nearly 1 percent and S&P futures are weakening.