5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Obama, Trudeau, Peña Nieto emphasize unity at North American Leaders' Summit

  • U.S. airstrikes near Fallujah kill 250 ISIS fighters

  • Senate passes Puerto Rico debt bill

  • Michael Phelps becomes first male swimmer to qualify for 5 Olympics

  • The Academy sends membership invitations to most diverse group ever

In the first North American Leaders' Summit hosted in Canada in over a decade, President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto underscored the importance of North American unity in their pledges to better fight climate change and emphasize free trade. "The politics of trade is difficult," Obama said, seemingly alluding to Donald Trump's anti-globalization rhetoric and the recent Brexit vote, but countries must not "shut ourselves off from the world." Regarding climate change, the leaders announced a goal to produce half of North America's power from renewable sources by 2025, while changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement rule of origin were also unveiled that will further free up trade by loosening criteria for a variety of products.

Source: Bloomberg, Reuters

An estimated 250 Islamic State militants were killed Wednesday after a series of U.S.-led airstrikes hit a convoy south of Fallujah, Iraq, U.S. officials told Reuters. The strikes also destroyed at least 40 vehicles, and if the figures are confirmed, this would be one of the deadliest operations against the group. The airstrikes came one day after suicide bombers attacked an airport in Istanbul, killing 42 people. No group has claimed responsibility, but ISIS is the prime suspect.

Source: Reuters

On Wednesday, the Senate passed the Puerto Rico debt relief bill, just days ahead of the July 1 deadline for Puerto Rico's next bond payment. The bill now heads to President Obama's desk, where it's expected to be signed into law before Friday. The bill establishes a board to oversee the island's finances and allows for the restructuring of its debt, which currently amounts to $70 billion. The vote comes after months of waiting, during which Puerto Rico's crisis "progressively worsened," The New York Times reports.

Source: USA Today

On Wednesday, Michael Phelps became the first American male swimmer to qualify for five Olympic teams over the course of his career. During the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, the 22-time Olympic medalist finished first in the men's 200-meter butterfly, at 1:54.84, automatically qualifying for the 2016 games in Rio. The 31-year-old will likely swim in multiple events. "Just being able to finish how I want to is so important to me," he said. "Getting on this team is what I wanted to do."

Source: USA Today

In the face of mounting criticism over its lack of diversity, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has issued its longest and most diverse list of invitations to date. Of the 683 prospective new members, 46 percent are female and 41 percent are people of color. Among those invited are Idris Elba, John Boyega, and Alicia Vikander. At the beginning of 2016, an estimated 92 percent of voting members were white, while about three-quarters were male. Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs wrote in a statement Wednesday that this most recent class "continues our long-term commitment to welcoming extraordinary talent reflective of those working in film today."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today
Start every morning with all you need to know
Delivered to your inbox