The identity of the hunter who killed Cecil the Lion, the beloved star of one of Zimbabwe’s national park system, has been revealed. Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, is believed to have lured the 13-year-old lion out of Hwange National Park on July 1 and killed him with a bow and arrow. Palmer reportedly paid almost $55,000 to organize the hunt. The owner of the land on which Cecil was killed, along with professional hunter Theo Brinkhorst, have been charged. The Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe have deemed the killing of Cecil the lion by an American dentist “unethical,” according to court reports. Palmer and two men from Zimbabwean allegedly lured the country’s beloved beast from the National Park by tying a dead animal to their car. Theo Bronkhorst, a professional hunter, and Honest Trymore Ndlovu, a farm owner, are currently standing trial while Palmer has yet to be located. Bronkhorst is being charged with failing to “prevent an unlawful hunt.”
President Obama summoned Jon Stewart to the White House at least twice for secret meetings, Politico reported Tuesday. Both meetings came before key moments: the first during the 2011 budget fight, the second during Russia’s 2014 intervention in Ukraine. Obama didn’t merely lobby Stewart, but occasionally it seems he changed policies after The Daily Show host spoke out. In 2009, the administration proposed removing veterans with private insurance from Veterans Affairs rolls. “That can’t be right,” Stewart said on air. A day later, the proposal was dead.
In the first nationwide telephone poll since Donald Trump's latest collection of gaffes--including his tumultuous McCain remarks--he leads all other GOP contenders with 18% support. He is narrowly followed by Jeb Bush who earned 15%. Trump has climbed 6 points higher since a late June poll, even given the backlash to his criticism of McCain's time as a POW. Yet still, 51% of Republican voters polled still see the race as being wide open. And 59% of all registered voters have an unfavorable opinion of him.
The self-proclaimed Islamic State is the danger “we’re worrying about in the homeland most of all,” FBI Director James Comey told the Aspen Security Forum yesterday. To join the older terror group, you needed to send an email and hope a recruiter gets back to you, he said. “ISIL is buzzing on your hip,” said Comey, using the government’s preferred acronym for ISIS. “If you want to talk to a terrorist, he’s right there... on Twitter.” Still, Comey’s comments are controversial in counterterrorism circles because ISIS—unlike al Qaeda—hasn’t made a priority of attacks on the West. Instead, ISIS has encouraged Westerners to carry out such attacks on their own.
In Sen. John McCain’s first public response to Donald Trump saying he is “not a real war hero... because he was captured,” the former prisoner of war said Trump “owes an apology to the families of those who have sacrificed in conflict and those who have undergone a prison experience in serving their country.” McCain continued: “The great honor of my life was to serve in the company of heroes, I’m not a hero,” but his commanding and the 55,000 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial were. “Those are the people he owes an apology to.” Trump said he was angry that McCain called his supporters “crazies.”
Japanese corporation Mitsubishi apologized for using American prisoners of war as forced labor during World War II earlier today. Senior executive Hikaru Kimura issued the apology at a ceremony in Los Angeles, acknowledging that prisoners had been put to work in mines operated by the company’s predecessor, Mitsubishi Mining Co. The company is believed to be the first Japanese firm to apologize to prisoners and acted independently of the government, which expressed remorse to American prisoners five years ago. James Murphy, one of the few surviving former American prisoners forced into labor, accepted the apology. The apology comes ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war next month.
CBS News’s Major Garrett asked President Obama at a press conference yesterday if he was “content” with four Americans held in Iranian jails while his administration celebrated the nuclear deal. “Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content with all the fanfare around this deal to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?” Garrett asked. “That’s nonsense and you should know better,” Obama bit back. “Nobody’s ‘content’ and our diplomats and our teams are working diligently to try to get them out.” Garrett later brushed off the scolding on CBS’s news streaming network, saying, “Clearly, it struck a nerve. That was my intention...Was it provocative? Yes. Was it intended to be as such? Absolutely.”
Iran and the United States, joined by five other world powers, signed a deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program for more than a decade in exchange for lifting international sanctions on the country today. The accord includes a compromise between the U.S. and Iran to allow United Nations inspectors to push for access to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring role. An arms embargo will continue for another five years, while a ballistic missile embargo will remain for eight more years. It also includes a plan to destroy 98 percent of Iran's weapons-grade uranium, and an automatic snap-back for sanctions in the event of a violation of the deal's provisions.
The Alamo has recently been declared a World Heritage site--but that designation is not setting well with all Texans. Over the past week, a small number of protesters have been spotted at the famous landmark. Their concern: that the United Nations can now exert a greater influence over the site. Last weekend, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, named the Alamo, and four other Spanish colonial missions in San Antonio, as World Heritage sites, a process that was nine years in the making. But there is now creeping concern over local control of the site.
A Republican-led rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law narrowly passed in the House yesterday, curbing the federal government's control in education. The 218-213 vote on the George W. Bush-era bill gives states and local school district more power to assess performance of teachers, schools and their students. The bill also eliminates federal requirements or sets of academic standards, such as the controversial Common Core, and instead allows federal money to follow low-income children to public schools of their choice. Republican leaders had previously pulled a similar bill five months ago ahead of a vote after conservative backlash.
Actor Jim Carrey took to Twitter to condemn a California law that requires mandatory vaccinations for nearly every schoolchild in the state. “California Gov says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in manditory vaccines. This corporate fascist must be stopped,” Carrey posted. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law last week, eliminating the state’s previous exemptions from vaccinations for personal or religious beliefs. Numerous opinion pieces have appeared in national news outlets since the change was announced.
With the Greek economy on the brink of collapse, food and medicine have begun to run low and banks say they have had barely enough money to make it through this weekend. Banks say they have 1 billion euros left, or just 90 euros a head for the country’s 11 million people, until today’s referendum, when the country will decide whether to accept an austerity deal. Food staples such as sugar and flour are running out, along with vital drugs in pharmacies. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is urging Greeks to vote “no” in the referendum and give him the chance to negotiate a better deal. “I urge you to say no to ultimatums, blackmail and fear. To say no to being divided,” Tsipras said.
Following the announcement that Macy's cut ties with Donald Trump over his incendiary comments about Mexican immigrants, the Republican presidential contender defended his remarks yesterday in a CNN interview. NBC Universal and Univision have also dumped Trump after he called immigrants migrating to the U.S. "rapists" and "killers." Trump cited a Fusion article about rape among immigrants illegally crossing into the U.S., to which CNN's Don Lemon corrected him that the article was about women being raped and not about criminals crossing the border. "Well, somebody's doing the raping, Don. I mean somebody's doing it," he said. "Who's doing the raping?"