Good morning! Eighty-nine years ago today, the Scopes “Monkey Trial” kicked off in Dayton, Tennessee. John Thomas Scopes, a young substitute science teacher, was accused of violating a state law against teaching evolution in public schools. Scopes was found guilty and fined $100, but his conviction was later overturned on a technicality.
Forty-three years later, the Supreme Court ruled that bans against teaching evolution violated the First Amendment.
Stat of the day: $75,000 — how much Chelsea Clinton can command for delivering a speech, according to the NYT. She says her fees are donated to the Clinton Family Foundation.
Curious –> The Iraqi government informed the UN that The Islamic State — formerly ISIS — seized nuclear materials stored in a research facility in Mosul that it claims could be used to make weapons, but US officials say the materials are unenriched — and used for medical purposes — and aren’t alarmed by the development. Michelle Nichols reports for Reuters.
“Smacks of coverup” –> Ian Cobain and Richard Norton-Taylor report for The Guardian that the British Foreign Office “claimed documents on the UK’s role in the CIA’s global abduction operation had been destroyed accidentally when they became soaked with water.”
Sentenced –> Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to ten years behind bars for public corruption, reports Ginny LaRoe for the NoLa Times-Picayune.
Unexpected… publicity stunt? –> Glenn Beck says he’s aware that his plan to bring hot meals and soccer balls to young Central American refugees at our Southern border could threaten his career in conservative punditry. Catherine Thompson has that story for TPM. AND: At In These Times, David Bacon debunks “eight myths” about what’s driving thousands of children to the US.
“Rolling back voting rights paid for in blood” –> At TAP, Barry Yeoman reports the dramatic courtroom testimony in a case challenging North Carolina’s restrictive new voting laws.
Never mind the bullets –> In the wake of SCOTUS’ union-busting Harris v. Quinn decision, Dave Jamieson reports for HuffPo that SEIU is nevertheless moving forward with a huge campaign to organize home care workers in Minnesota.
The “rich idiot effect” –> MoJo’s Chris Mooney looks at a new study that finds that wealthy Republicans are the group most likely to reject the overwhelming evidence of human-caused global warming. Mooney says that this data adds to what psychologists have dubbed the “smart idiot effect.”
“Obama’s Evangelical gravy train” –> Andy Kopsa reports for The Nation that despite the Obama administration’s promises to cut funding to discredited abstinence programs, “taxpayer dollars are still bankrolling anti-gay, anti-choice conservative religious groups.”
Atomic Man –> At Gizmodo, Sarah Zhang recalls the story of Harold McCluskey, a technician who lived for years after receiving what should have been lethal doses of radiation in an accident at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The room where the accident occurred in 1976 has been sealed ever since.