On Thursday, a United Nations–backed tribunal in Cambodia convicted the two remaining senior Khmer Rouge leaders of war crimes and genocide, and sentenced them to life in prison. They will likely be short sentences — Khieu Samphan, the head of state during the Khmer Rouge's reign of terror in the 1970s, is now 83, and Nuon Chea, its chief ideologue, is 88.
More than 1.7 million people — a quarter of Cambodia's population — died in the Khmer Rouge "killing fields," purges, and forced relocations between 1975 and 1979. The tribunal's chief judge, Nil Nonn, said the men are guilty of "extermination encompassing murder, political persecution, and other inhumane acts comprising forced transfer, enforced disappearances, and attacks against human dignity." Both men said they would appeal, but they will stay in detention during the process.
During the trial, which started in 2011, Khieu Samphan blamed the killings on top Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, who died in 1998; Nuon Chea defended the regime and blamed Vietnamese troops for the massacres. Two other senior regime leaders were put on trial at the same time, but one of the defendants died in 2013 and the other was declared unfit for trial due to dementia in 2012.
"The victims have waited 35 years for legal accountability," conceded tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen, but "now that the tribunal has rendered a judgment, it is a clear milestone" as well as "a historic day for both the Cambodian people and the court." Peter Weber
Lawmakers will likely clash over how to handle the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy that separates immigrant families at the border, debating two immigration bills that contain other contingencies, Politico reported Tuesday.
President Trump will meet with GOP leaders to offer his input on two bills. The more conservative bill written by Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R) would require the Department of Homeland Security to house detained immigrant families together, but the White House said it would be "tough" to get it through the House. Trump will also discuss a compromise bill that would give Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients a path to citizenship while putting $25 billion toward border security and the border wall.
Congressional Democrats unanimously supported a bill authored by Sen. Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Monday that sought to outlaw nearly every case of family separations. But Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) wasn't interested in a GOP-led bill that would keep families together while detained, telling reporters that he wants to keep the focus on Trump. "There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense," said Schumer. "Unacceptable additions have bogged down every piece of legislation we've done." Republicans have also called for Trump to take executive action to speed things along.
The multiple competing bills, including another introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), all include different provisions that offer varying compromises to end the policy that separates families. Sources told Politico that despite the president's mild support for some aspects of each bill, it's unclear exactly how he will choose to move forward, further fracturing the Republican party as they seek to unite for quick-acting legislation. Read more at Politico. Summer Meza
It's bear season once more at Alaska's Katmai National Park, and the 24-hour cameras are back up and running in multiple locations. For those who are uninitiated to the most riveting thing you'll watch all summer, the park's cameras gives viewers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the state's majestic brown bears — from the comfort of your safe, fortified, bear-proof home, of course.
While there are several locations to choose from, Brooks Falls is always a good bet for spotting bears in the river feasting on salmon that are swimming upstream to spawn:
There is also an underwater bear cam, which has the potential to give you a dramatic close-up of some ursine choppers. Watch that one below. Jeva Lange
Modern Family showrunner Steve Levitan is leaving Fox Studio in response to Fox News' coverage of the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant parents from their children at the border, CNN reports.
Levitan expressed his anger with Fox News late Monday night, responding to Laura Ingraham calling the child detention centers "essentially summer camps." "Let me officially join Seth MacFarlane in saying I'm disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with Fox News," tweeted Levitan. "This bulls--t is the opposite of what #ModernFamily stands for." He added in a subsequent tweet: "I have no problem with fact-based conservatism (such as [The Wall Street Journal]), but [Fox News'] 23-hour-a-day support of the NRA, conspiracy theories, and Trump's lies gets harder to swallow every day as I drive onto that lot to make a show about inclusion."
Levitan's remarks followed calls by Judd Apatow and Seth MacFarlane to speak out against the company. "I haven't worked with Fox since 2002," Apatow had tweeted. "That family promotes evil ideas and greed and corruption. We all choose who to work with. I understand why that is easier for some than others but many powerful people are powerful enough to speak up to their bosses at a moment like this." Jeva Lange
So, you wanna be startin' a musical? Just look to Michael Jackson for inspiration.
A biographical musical about the pop legend, developed by Jackson's estate and production company Columbia Live Stage, is set to hit Broadway in 2020, Playbill reports. The show will feature Jackson's own songs to tell the story of his life.
This may be a P.Y.M. (Pretty Young Musical), but Lynn Nottage, the double-Pulitzer-winning playwright for Ruined and Sweat, is already slated to write it. Christopher Wheeldon, a Tony winner for choreographing An American in Paris, will choreograph and direct, per Variety.
The unnamed show moonwalks in the footsteps of jukebox musicals like Jersey Boys and Beautiful:The Carole King Musical, where musicians' songs describe their careers. And they all relay one piece of advice: Don't stop 'til you get a musical. Kathryn Krawczyk
Fewer Americans are smoking than ever before, Time reported Tuesday. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics put the number of adult smokers in the year 2017 at about 14 percent of the population, over 30 million people nationwide. The figure was around 16 percent in 2016, and 20 percent back in 2007.
This trend points to "a general decline" in the smoking population, NBC News reported. "Everything is pointed in the right direction," said Dr. K. Michael Cummings, an addiction researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina, who also noted that sales of cigarettes have fallen in recent years.
But additional data shows that electronic cigarettes may account for some of the declining figures, Time explained. Recent data shows that about 3 percent of U.S. adults used e-cigarettes in 2016. Although e-cigarettes don't contain the same harmful byproducts as cigarettes, the long-term effects of vaping aren't well-known.
DHS agencies received hundreds of civil rights abuse complaints that they didn't even bother to investigate
The Department of Homeland Security received hundreds of complaints about civil rights violations last year that it did not investigate, Motherboard reported Tuesday.
Official records show that there were thousands of reports of detainees, prisoners, and suspects who suffered civil rights abuses in 2017, but because of "limited investigative resources," several hundred were left untouched. The complaints across all DHS agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Coast Guard, alleged sexual and physical abuse as well as discrimination and general mistreatment.
"The number of complaints that apparently went uninvestigated is quite surprising and it demands a closer look," Steven Aftergood from the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists told Motherboard.
The DHS's watchdog office marked hundreds of cases as "closed not converted," which means that they were not fully investigated before being considered a closed case. In other cases, allegations against DHS employees were called "unsubstantiated." A DHS representative told Motherboard that the agency focuses much of its investigative efforts on cases that allege "corruption or criminal misconduct on the part of DHS employees or contractors, misconduct by high-level DHS employees, [or] use of force by DHS law enforcement officers," so it is "unable to investigate" many of the civil rights-related cases. Read more at Motherboard. Summer Meza
President Trump oh-by-the-wayed Canada on Tuesday, switching gears while addressing the National Federation of Independent Businesses from ranting about the U.S.-Mexico border to bashing America's northern neighbors over their love of footwear. "By the way, Canada? They like to talk," Trump said. "They're our great neighbor, they fought World War II with us, we appreciate it. They fought World War I with us, we appreciate it."
But it is no longer 1945, Trump noted, going on to describe "people living in Canada coming into the United States and smuggling things back into Canada because the tariffs are so massive." Canadians, Trump said "buy shoes and they wear them. They scuff them up, they make them sound old or look old. No — we're cheated horribly."
It is not clear what Trump is referring to — as many have pointed out, it isn't illegal to buy shoes in the United States — but he has made one thing certain: These shoe-loving Canadians must be stopped. Watch his remarks below. Jeva Lange
TRUMP: "Canada? They like to talk."
Accuses Canadians of "smuggling" American goods into Canada because "the tariffs are so massive."
"We can no longer be the stupid country. We want to be the smart country." pic.twitter.com/URbJ8jNV4e
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 19, 2018