Good morning! Forty-two years ago today, Richard Nixon signed the Higher Education Act of 1972, which included the groundbreaking Title IX legislation that barred discrimination in the funding of higher education programs. It led to, among other things, an explosion of women’s participation in collegiate sports.
The Big Story…
- The BBC reports that ISIS militants seized four towns in Iraq’s Anbar province over the weekend, including a key border crossing with Syria.
- After a slew of casualties and desertions, the Iraqi military faces the prospect of a “psychological collapse” that could leave it incapable of defending the state, according to WaPo’s Loveday Morris and Karen DeYoung.
- Agence France Presse (via The Raw Story): “Iraqi Citizens Displaced by ISIS Seek Shelter in Brutal Tent Cities.”
- Aram Roston at Buzzfeed: “Ahmad Chalabi, Who Conned America Into War, Now Aims To Lead Iraq.”
- Julia Payne reports for Reuters that a tanker full of Iraqi oil arrived in Israel after taking a circuitous route from Iraqi Kurdistan through Turkey in order to “bypass Baghdad’s federal pipeline system,” a move that “has created a bitter dispute over oil sale rights between the central government and the Kurds.”
- Adam Entous, Julian Barnes and Siobhan Gorman report for the WSJ that “a secret plan” to aid Iraq in its fight against the militants “fizzled” last year “amid mutual distrust” between Washington and Baghdad.
- At Vox, Fanar Haddad, an expert on the history of Sunni-Shia relations, tells Zach Beauchamp that the “ancient hatreds” narrative is bogus and Iraq’s various sects co-existed reasonably well for most of the country’s history prior to the US invasion in 2003.
Danger signs –> At Slate, Richard Hasen argues that the criminal case developing around Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker “could shred the remaining limits on influencing elections.”
Sanctions-busters –> France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, is reportedly nearing a plea agreement with the US government for violating our sanctions against Sudan and Iran. Tom Schoenberg reports for Bloomberg that the bank may have to fork over a $9 billion fine.
No way to run a democracy –> At The Daily Beast, Jedediah Purdy argues that the Supreme Court “is increasingly a threat to our ideal of self-government.”
Not a fan –> Thomas Frank writes at Salon that the new Gilded Age that Hillary Clinton decries “had its roots in the dark side of Bill’s economic record,” and asks, “why trust her now?”
Pope takes on Mafia –> Pope Francis “traveled to the heart of mob territory,” where he “declared that all mobsters are automatically excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.” In the past, the Italian mafia has enjoyed the church’s quiet acceptance of their business.
Gilded grassroots –> WaPo’s Ben Terris profiles Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots who makes $450,000 per year getting tea partiers riled up.
Doing it right –> In the first two weeks of June, Germany set a new record by generating half of its energy needs from the sun.
Doing it halfway –> Despite the squeals of outrage from the fossil fuels industry, TNR’s Rebecca Leber reports that when you dig into the details of the EPA’s new regulations on emissions from power plants, the limits aren’t terribly ambitious.
Legal protections needed –> Josh Eidelson reports for Bloomberg Businessweek that a majority of Americans believe that it’s illegal to fire somebody just for being gay, but in most states they’re wrong.
“Dog lovers are just troublemakers” –> Agence France Presse on a heated dispute surrounding Yulin, home of China’s annual dogmeat festival. Animal rights activists from outside the city are trying to halt sales of dog, but they appear to have created a backlash, with some local citizens saying that they’re only eating dog to spite the outsiders.