The top news stories of the weekend, brought to you by StandUnited.
Here She Is, Miss America
The new, swimsuit-free version of Miss America debuted last night. Miss New York, Nia Franklin, is your new Miss America. Franklin impressed the judges with her musical talent. The trained opera singer plans to use her crown to advocate for arts education.
Following a scandal that rocked the Miss America Organization, former Miss America Gretchen Carlson took the helm. The pageant’s board decided to discontinue the swimsuit portion and instead focus on each contestant’s scholarship, talent, and poise.
Hurricane Florence is gathering power off the southeastern coast of the United States. Most forecast models predict that the storm will make landfall on the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia. Weather Underground predicts that Florence will become a Category 4 storm by Tuesday.
Naomi Osaka won the U.S. Open Women’s Final over Serena Williams despite several hotly contested penalties. Umpire Carlos Ramos penalized Williams for receiving coaching from the sidelines. After Serena lost that set, she broke her racket on the ground. At that point, Williams approached Ramos and yelled, “How dare you insinuate that I was cheating? You stole a point from me. You’re a thief too.”
The verbal altercation disrupted a stunning performance by Osaka, a 20 year old from Japan. Williams told the crowd to support the winner. She said, “I don’t want to be rude but I just want to tell you guys that she played well and this is her first grand slam.” Williams continued, “I know you guys were here rooting and lets make this the best moment we can. Lets not boo any more, lets be positive. Congratulations Naomi, no more booing.”
NEWS: Cuban Mystery Illness, Chicago Protests, Cardinal Wuerl Controversy
The top news stories of the weekend, brought to you by StandUnited.
San Bernardino Shooting
A shooting erupted over a dice game at an apartment complex in San Bernardino late on Sunday night. Police say 10 people have been shot, and 3 of those remain in critical condition.
Cuban Mystery Illness
In the Fall of 2017, two dozen American diplomats left Cuba while suffering from strange symptoms. The diplomats reported headaches, dizziness, ear pain, and other symptoms that left them unable to function normally. A team of U.S. scientists now says that microwave attacks caused the string of illnesses. Microwave weapons take advantage of the Frey Effect, which causes sufferers’ brains to interpret microwaves as sound waves.
Hundreds of people plan to march down the Kennedy Expressway on Monday afternoon in protest of Chicago’s gun violence epidemic. The Chicago Tribune reports that marchers carried signs reading “white silence = violence” and “North side against white supremacy.”
Shutting down part of the Kennedy Expressway could cause chaos for travelers on this holiday weekend, because the major roadway leads to O’Hare Airport. As a result, police say they will only allow protesters to access part of the highway.
Outburst Against D.C. Archbishop Wuerl
After the Catholic Church neglected to directly address serious accusations of child abuse coverups, one lay Catholic took matters into his own hands. A man who describes himself as a lifelong Catholic yelled “Shame on you!” at Cardinal Wuerl as the embattled Cardinal addressed churchgoers. Another woman turned her back towards the Archbishop as he spoke. Wuerl asked forgiveness for his “errors in judgement” but so far, has not admitted to covering up child abuse.
Giuliani Stumbles, A Box Office Hit, and FLOTUS’ Schedule
Giuliani vs. Truth
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Rudy Giuliani struggled to explain his views on truth. He told host Chuck Todd, “Truth isn’t truth.” Todd tried to get Giuliani to admit to the existence of objective truth. Deliberately, Giuliani said no. Todd knew what would come next. He told Giuliani, “This is going to become a bad meme.”
Mainstream Media Falters Again
ABC News reported that ICE arrested and detained a father while he was driving his wife to the hospital to deliver their baby. Several outlets later repeated their claim. Instead, the truth is far more nuanced. The man has a warrant out for his arrest on homicide charges in Mexico. His wife was not in active labor; they were en route to a scheduled c-section.
“Crazy Rich Asians” a Smash Hit
Warner Brothers’ romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the American box office this weekend, taking in $25.2 million in the U.S. and Canada. The movie’s all-Asian cast represents a significant departure from typical Hollywood casting. Following the successful premiere, stars like Constance Wu and Awkwafina hailed the movie as a step forward for the romantic comedy genre.
FLOTUS to Speak at Cyberbullying Summit
First Lady Melania Trump will offer remarks at a cyberbullying summit today. She is expected to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of social media use for teens. The event supports her “Be Best” initiative, which aims to encourage kids to be their best selves.
Reality star Omarosa Manigault-Newman released the audio recordings of John Kelly firing her from the White House. Omarosa secretly taped the conversation inside the situation room. This week, Omarosa will continue her press tour for her upcoming memoir release. Meanwhile, experts say she may have committed a crime by recording in the Situation Room and later publishing the tapes.
According to tabloid reports, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill and surrounded by family and friends. The legendary singer has been battling cancer since 2010. In 1987, Franklin became the first woman ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her chart-topping hits, including “Respect” and “Say a Little Prayer” earned Franklin the title “Queen of Soul.”
A group of roughly 30 white supremacists rallied in D.C. on Sunday, on the anniversary of the Charlottesville attack. Tens of thousands of counter-protesters drowned out the Nazis, who had a police escort for their protection. In response to the “Unite the Right” rallies, AntiFa and Black Lives Matter also protested.
A disgruntled airport employee stole a plane from Seattle-Tacoma Airport on Saturday. He took off, flew for an hour, and then crashed the plane into a wooded island. The culprit did not survive the crash landing. Via radio, he told air traffic controllers that he had “a few screws loose.”
Golden Home Run
Chicago Cubs rookie David Bote hit a walk-off grand slam to give his team a 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals. Before Bote stepped up to the plate, the Cubs were losing by 3 runs. With the bases loaded and 2 strikes, Bote hit a home run. Those 4 runs gave the Cubs a win on the last possible pitch. Before Sunday night, Major League Baseball’s latest Golden Home Run happened in 1988.
The Venezuelan opposition attempted to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro during a televised speech on Sunday. Two drones flew over the event and attempted to bomb the site as Maduro spoke. The Venezuelan government has arrested 6 people. Maduro promised to inflict “maximum punishment” on those behind the attack.
In Memoriam: Charlotte Rae
Beloved television star Charlotte Rae passed away on Sunday at the age of 92. Rae won the hearts of Americans as the wacky, lovable housekeeper Edna Garret on Diff’rent Strokes. She reprised her role on the spin-off The Facts of Life. Later in life, Rae guest starred on several television shows and appeared in films. In her eighties, Rae was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She fought that cancer and won, but it returned last year in her bones. Fans remember Charlotte Rae for her wise, warm, and funny personality both on screen and off.
MS-13 Takes Over Maryland School
William Wirt Middle School in Prince George’s County, Maryland finds itself in an unlikely crisis. MS-13 gang members have infiltrated the school and begun using it to recruit young teenagers. Speaking on condition of anonymity, teachers and parents reported drug dealing, gang fights, and graffiti throughout the school’s neighborhood. These people feared for their jobs and livelihoods if they mentioned MS-13 using their own names, according to Judicial Watch. One teacher called the school “a ticking time bomb.”
Hero Postal Worker Saves Trafficked Girl
When Ivan Crisostomo headed out for his daily round of postal deliveries one day in June, he had no idea what he would find. While delivering mail in South Sacramento, he heard crying coming from behind a tree. There, he found 16 year old Crystal Allen. Allen had jumped out of her captors’ car and was desperate to reunite with her family. Crisostomo helped her call her family and the police, and he waited with her for help to arrive.
CA Wildfire, Obama Library, and a Viral Act of Kindness
A wildfire in Northern California has claimed the lives of 6 people as it ravaged nearly 90,000 acres of land. Two of the victims were firefighters, two were children, and one was the children’s great-grandmother, who died trying to save them. Roughly 12,000 firefighters are still battling the blaze. The Shasta County Sheriff’s office says it still has 7 open missing persons reports.
The Obama Foundation announced that the much-anticipated groundbreaking for Obama’s presidential library will happen in 2019, far behind schedule. Because the project involves expanding roads near Jackson Park, the federal government requires itself to conduct a thorough review of how the center will impact the surrounding area.
A group of kids in Colorado found a wallet with $700 in it and returned the wallet to its rightful owner. They tracked down the owner using information in the wallet, and they rang the doorbell. The owner’s doorbell prompted the kids to leave a video message. A young boy spoke into the camera, “We found your wallet outside of your car, and we just thought we would give it back to you so…I’m going to put it over here so no one takes any money.” The Drake family (whose son lost the wallet) shared the video online, where it has become a viral act of kindness.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she will spend 5 more years on the nation’s highest court. The 85 year old spoke following a screening of a movie about her late colleague, Justice Antonin Scalia. She said, “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so I think I have about at least 5 more years.”
Duck Boat Tragedy, Obama-Era Wiretaps, Jason Spencer, and More
A duck boat excursion ended in tragedy when a storm capsized a boat on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri. In total, 17 people lost their lives. One of the survivors, Tia Coleman, lost 9 members of her family. The boat tour went on as planned despite an inclement weather warning, and the captain told passengers that they need not wear life jackets. Recovery efforts to raise the sunken boat will begin today.
In Los Angeles, a gunman held hostages inside a Trader Joe’s for several hours before surrendering to police. The suspect, 28 year old Gene Evan Atkins, allegedly shot and killed one Trader Joe’s employee during the standoff. Police say that Atkins led them on a chase after shooting at his grandmother and another woman. Atkins allegedly crashed his grandmother’s car near the Trader Joe’s and ran inside with his gun.
The Trump administration published the FISA warrants that the Obama administration used to wiretap Carter Page. The F.B.I.’s main source for information used to obtain a wiretap was Christopher Steele, the same man behind the infamous Trump-Russia dossier. The Trump team claims that the FISA warrant shows political motivations for spying on the campaign. The Obama administration allegedly believed that Carter Page was acting as a Russian agent.
Comic prankster Sacha Baron Cohen duped Georgia state legislator Jason Spencer on an episode of “Who Is America?” that aired last night. Spencer participated in several embarassing stunts. Under the guise of filming an anti-terror training video, Cohen enticed Spencer to repeatedly shout a racial slur, mock a foreign accent, and more. Spencer claims the video was exploitative and vowed to pursue legal action if possible.
Trump and Putin, Sinaloa Cartel, and Police Under Fire
Trump and Putin To Meet
Following a brief visit to the United Kingdom, President Trump has arrived in Helsinki, Finland, where he will meet with Vladimir Putin. Trump will meet one-on-one with Putin for 90 minutes today. This meeting will be entirely between the two men, without any aides present. In total, Trump and Putin have 4 hours of scheduled talks. Trump told CBS Evening News, “I go in with very low expectations.” The President also took to Twitter to congratulate Putin on hosting the World Cup.
World Cup Protest and Victory
Four members of the anti-Kremlin band “P***y Riot” staged a protest that interrupted the World Cup Final. The group intended to publicize Russia’s many abuses of human rights. They dressed in police uniforms and charged onto the field. Three made it onto the pitch, while stewards tackled the fourth on the sidelines. Russian authorities arrested them all and will likely charge them with wearing police uniforms and disrupting a sporting event. The French team defeated the Croatians 4-2.
Hillary Speaks to Teachers’ Union
The American Federation of Teachers hosted Hillary Clinton as their featured speaker this weekend in Pittsburgh. In her speech, Clinton railed against the Trump administration’s policies and called the Supreme Court’s Janus decision “wrongly decided.” She discussed sexism on the basketball court and in the newspaper. Could she be gearing up for a 2020 run?
Illegal Immigrant Indicted in Alabama
Two men have been indicted in Alabama in the beheading of a 13-year-old girl last month. The young girl and her grandmother traveled with the grandmother’s boyfriend and another man to Norcross, Georgia, in order to buy meth. During the trip, the two men became violent. They allegedly killed the grandmother and then executed the girl, since she had witnessed her grandmother’s murder. Both the grandmother and her boyfriend had affiliation with the Sinaloa drug cartel; he is an illegal immigrant. The other suspect lives in America legally with a green card.
Police Under Fire
A murder suspect exchanged gunfire with Kansas City police while leading them on a chase from a motel to an empty house. Police fatally shot the suspect, who is suspected of killing a college student. Three police officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries. In Boston, Officer Michael Chesna responded to a call about an erratic driver. The driver then pelted Chesna with a stone, seized his gun, and fatally shot a bystander and Chesna himself. The suspect now faces two homicide charges.
Thai Cave Rescue, Hillary’s Next Move, Harassment of Republicans, and More
Thai Cave Rescue
Four teenage boys are recovering in a hospital in Chiang Rai, Thailand after being rescued from a cave. A youth soccer team and their coach have been living in the cave for two weeks after becoming trapped by rising water. Rescuers engineered a method for delivering food and potable water. However, they struggled for weeks to find an escape route for the trapped group. Divers had to teach the boys how to swim and dive before tethering themselves to each boy to make the three-mile journey to safety. A Thai Navy Seal lost his life in the rescue effort; all of the trapped people continue to survive.
Writing in The New York Post, commentator Michael Goodwin claims Hillary Clinton may be gearing up for a third presidential run. She has not faded into retirement, but instead maintains a large public presence. She vocally opposes the Trump Administration and has ramped up her commentary in recent weeks. The Democratic Party has no other clear frontrunner for the nomination, and Hillary could choose to try again.
Public Intimidation of Republicans on the Rise
A bookstore owner in Richmond, Virginia called the police on a woman who shouted at Steve Bannon while he browsed the shelves. The woman left before the police arrived. In Kentucky, Democratic Socialists and others confronted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he left a local restaurant. The harassment is not limited to Trump’s associates: A man in Texas approached a teen wearing a MAGA hat, snatched the hat, and threw a drink at him.
Drug Crime in Courtroom
A 24 year old woman in Kentucky is accused of attempting to sell methamphetamine in court. Telby Fields appeared in court on July 2nd on charges of third degree terroristic threatening. Before the judge arrived in the courtroom, Telby allegedly asked no fewer than three people to buy methamphetamine from her. A courtroom security officer heard her try to sell drugs, and the officer followed her out of the courthouse. After the hearing, Telby dove into the back of a car with two men in it. Those two men tried to help her escape, but police tracked them down. Now, all three face charges of trafficking in a controlled substance.
The Most Expensive Rents in the World Are In…
San Francisco tops the list of the world’s priciest place to rent housing. Based on a meta-analysis, San Francisco residents pay more than those in Tokyo, London, New York, and other famously expensive cities. The average renter in San Francisco pays $3,500 per month.
This weekend, President Trump interviewed potential candidates for his next Supreme Court nominee. Trump confirmed to CNN that he will announce his Supreme Court nominee on July 9th. Following Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, Trump plans to nominate a conservative justice to fill the seat. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to hold the confirmation hearings in the early Fall, forcing Democrats to vote on a nominee just prior to the midterm elections.
Harassment from “Resistance” Continues
On Friday, FBI agents arrested a man who threatened FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s children. The 33 year old man from California repeatedly emailed Pai, saying he would find and kill his children. One of the emails contained a list of preschools near the Pai family home in Arlington, Virginia.
The night before, liberal documentary filmmaker and author Michael Moore talked tough to Stephen Colbert. Moore said, “The only way that we’re going to stop this is eventually we’re all going to have to put our bodies on the line. You’re going to have to be willing to do this.”
2020 Hopefuls Want to Abolish ICE
Massive “Keep Families Together” rallies took place in at least 36 cities on Saturday. MoveOn.org funded these mass gatherings in protest of President Trump’s detention policies at the Southern Border. Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand have all come out in favor of abolishing ICE. As part of the Department of Homeland Security, ICE is the government agency that handles deportations of illegal immigrants. Nearly 3 in 4 swing voters oppose abolishing ICE.