Puerto Rico's Supreme Court ruled that new Governor Pedro Pierluisi was sworn in unconstitutionally yesterday, less than one week after he assumed office for outgoing Governor Ricky Rosselló. Rosselló, who resigned after ongoing corruption allegations and a scandalous text message dump led to sweeping protests, had effectively picked Pierluisi as his successor. Pierluisi was appointed Secretary of State while legislators were on recess, and only the island's House of Representatives confirmed his nomination. He then became Governor when Rosselló formally resigned - still without Senate confirmation. The Senate filed suit on Monday, challenging Pierluisi's legitimacy. The decision means that Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez - who is deeply unpopular (paywall, NYT) and is viewed as having protected Rosselló - will assume the top office, the island's third governor in less than a week.
Trump Visits Dayton, El Paso.
President Trump signaled he would support some form of expanded background checks for firearms yesterday while throwing cold water on the possibility of an assault weapons ban. The comments came just before the President made stops in Dayton and El Paso, the sites of two deadly mass shootings over the weekend that killed a combined 31 and injured 51 others. The El Paso attack is currently being investigated as a domestic terror attack linked to white nationalism after officials confirmed a manifesto posted just minutes before the attack was authored by the shooter. Though demonstrators demanding action on gun laws turned out in both cities, Trump largely stayed out of public view during both stops, visiting with first responders and survivors of the attacks. Democrats and Republicans in Congress remain far apart on gun legislation, and any discussions will have to wait until lawmakers return from August recess.
Explore state-by-state gun laws here, and a comprehensive look at public polling on various gun issues here.
FedEx Cuts Amazon Ties.
Delivery giant FedEx said it would stop providing ground delivery for Amazon packages by the end of the month, the company announced yesterday. FedEx had already stopped providing Amazon its express delivery service in June. While Amazon represents close to a whopping 50% of the $600B US e-commerce market - representing 5% of all retail sales in the country - the company has also been developing its own in-house delivery services. As a result, FedEx has come to view Amazon as a direct competitor, particularly when competing for contracts to ship Amazon's goods. FedEx officials also said the move will allow them to focus on the broader e-commerce market, though they will need to make up the lost business - Amazon represented 1.3% of FedEx revenues in 2018.
> Cyntoia Brown released from prison after serving 15 years for murder; Brown, who claimed she acted in self-defense, received wide public and celebrity support after killing a man who paid her for sex (More)
> Golf's FedEx Cup Playoffs begin today; season ends with a three-tournament playoff with winner taking home $15M; read about format and preview (More)
> 2019 Emmys will go without a host for this year's show, following a successful Oscars which also went host-less (More) | Emmy-winning casting director David Rubin named President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (More)
Science & Technology.
> Creators of four-decade-old supergravity theory awarded $3M Breakthrough Prize in Physics; unproven theory has made significant impact on string theory and the understanding of ordinary gravity (More)
> First self-driving cars debut in New York City; autonomous shuttle service takes passengers around 1.1 mile loop in Brooklyn's Navy Yard (More)
> Scientists create the world's thinnest self-supported gold film, just two atoms thick; has applications in advanced chemistry and electronics (More)
Business & Markets.
> US immigration agents arrested 680 workers at seven processing plants in Mississippi, in what officials believe is largest worksite operation in a state (More)
> Jeffrey Epstein misappropriated $46M+ from charitable foundation of Les Wexner, founder of L Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works) (More)
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Politics & World Affairs.
> After massive manhunt, two bodies found in Canadian river believed to be suspects that killed three people as they traveled through northern British Columbia (More)
> Pakistan downgrades diplomatic relations with India over Kashmir dispute, expels ambassador and will suspend trade; India revoked autonomy of border region Monday (More)
>Election 2020: Democratic candidates head to Iowa State Fair in election cycle ritual to give soapbox speeches (More) | ...and Beto O'Rourke skips fair to stay in hometown of El Paso after shooting (More)
California Sunday | Mark Arax. The 2018 Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the history of California, nearly wiping out the town of Paradise. Examine the historical forces and recent missteps that brought it to reality - and why it may happen again. (Read)
You Can't Recover if You're Dead.
The Ringer | Kate Knibbs. Drug overdose deaths have soared to record numbers amid a crushing opioid epidemic in the US. There is one proven, but controversial, solution to prevent the deaths - overdose-prevention spaces where addicts can take drugs with medical staff on hand and without fear of punishment. Does the idea have a future in the US? (Read)
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