Tea Party Rep. Kerry Bentivolio loses Republican primary in landslide to party establishment's Dave Trott
One more incumbent House member has been defeated in a Republican primary — but this time, it's a victory by the GOP establishment over an offbeat Tea Party politician, with businessman Dave Trott defeating Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (pictured) in Michigan's 11th District.
With 64 percent of precincts reporting, Trott has a landslide victory with 66 percent of the vote, compared to Bentivolio at only 34 percent; The Associated Press has declared Trott as the winner.
Bentivolio, an obscure reindeer farmer in 2012, emerged as the surprise Republican nominee and general election winner in this GOP-leaning district, after he had qualified for the GOP primary ballot — but in a very surprising development the longtime incumbent Rep. Thaddeus McCotter did not qualify, after it was revealed that the latter's campaign had turned in fraudulent petition signatures, and had even been doing so for multiple election cycles.
Since then, Bentivolio has emerged as a Tea Party–aligned member who could cause some public headaches for the Republican leadership — such as when he said last year that it would be a "dream come true" to impeach President Obama. This time around, the party lined up behind Trott, including a high-profile endorsement and campaign visit by Mitt Romney.
The race for the Democratic nomination is currently a close result. As of this writing the national Democrats' favored candidate, former U.S. State Department counterterrorism official Bobby McKenzie, is tied with medical doctor Anil Kumar at 33 percent each. In a very positive sign for McKenzie, however, more precincts are still unreported from Wayne County, where he has been running much stronger. Eric Kleefeld
Walmart announced Tuesday that it is raising the starting wage for more than 100,000 of its U.S. workers, including department managers and workers in specialized divisions. The wage increases will go into effect next month.
Workers in Walmart's deli and wireless product divisions, for example, will now earn between $9.90 and $18.81 an hour, compared with a range from $9.20 to $18.53 an hour before the increase, The Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, department managers in electronics and automotive care will earn between $13 and $24.70 an hour, compared with $10.30 to $20.09 before the increase.
In February, Walmart announced that it would raise its minimum wage for all workers to $9 an hour in April and to $10 next February. Walmart is America's largest private-sector employer, with 1.3 million employees nationwide. The company said it is spending $1 billion to raise its workers' wages. Meghan DeMaria
Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would require states to report all police shootings to the Department of Justice.
In a statement to announce the legislation, the senators cited reporting from The Washington Post published Sunday, which found that 2015 has seen at least 385 police killings nationwide so far.
"Too many members of the public and police officers are being killed, and we don't have reliable statistics to track these tragic incidents," Boxer said in a statement. "This bill will ensure that we know the full extent of the problem so we can save lives on all sides."
The Post notes that the new bill would differ from the Death in Custody Reporting Act, which Congress approved last year, because it would require reporting non-fatal shootings, in addition to fatal ones, to the DOJ. The new legislation would require reporting details about the shooting victims including age, gender, race, and whether or not the victims were armed. Meghan DeMaria
A new poll from The New York Times and CBS News found that both Republicans and Democrats don't approve of the ways political campaigns are funded.
Forty-six percent of respondents said the U.S. should "completely rebuild" how campaigns are financed. Another 39 percent agreed that the campaign finance system needs "fundamental changes."
Among Republicans, 80 percent of the poll respondents said money has too much influence on U.S. politics, and 76 percent of Republicans supported requiring outside spending organizations to disclose their donors. Meanwhile, 90 percent of Democratic respondents believed money had too much influence, and 76 percent of Democrats supported more disclosure about political donors. Across the political spectrum, many respondents expressed support for new measures that would restrict the wealthy's influence, such as limiting spending by super PACs.
The 1,022 adults polled weren't optimistic that things would change anytime soon, though. Fifty-eight percent of respondents were "pessimistic" that the U.S. will change the way campaigns are financed. Meghan DeMaria
It was under our very noses! Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered what's being called the missing link between the brain and the immune system: vessels of the lymphatic system that escaped notice by "hiding" among major blood cells traveling through sinuses. The full study was published in this month's issue of Nature.
It's being called a "stunning discovery" because up until now, no one had completely understood how the brain connects to the immune system. The answer, Gizmag aptly says, is "just like every other tissue in the body."
For the layperson, its effect on our understanding of the human body is best summed up by this image:
— Dr. Heather Bailey (@404Chiro) June 2, 2015
That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer's disease to multiple sclerosis. [Neuroscience News]
The Senate on Tuesday voted 83-14 to advance the USA Freedom Act, a bill that would revise the U.S. government's surveillance powers. The cloture vote came after key provisions of the USA Patriot Act temporarily expired at midnight on Sunday.
The USA Freedom Act has already passed in the House, and it would end the National Security Agency's bulk data collection from phone calls. Under the new bill, phone data would stay private, but the government could search records under court orders.
The Senate's final passage of the bill is expected later Tuesday, and it could be signed into law as early as Tuesday evening. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), however, wants to propose amendments to the House-passed bill, which would delay its passage. McConnell's proposed amendments would "give further assurances" that the government could still search private phone data when necessary. Meghan DeMaria
What if the asteroid that smashed into the earth and killed the dinosaurs had missed? That's the intriguing, parallel-universe question behind The Good Dinosaur, a Pixar movie slated for release later this year — and a new teaser elegantly lays out the basic premise while showing off some impressive animation:
The Good Dinosaur has had an unusually bumpy path to the box office. The film was originally slated for release in 2014, before creative problems led to the replacement of the original director and producer. The film seems to be back on track — but we won't get to see how much the original concept has evolved until The Good Dinosaur hits theaters in November. Scott Meslow
FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Tuesday announced that he would step down from his post following the election of a new leader at an "extraordinary congress" of the organization. He said the congress is to be convened "as rapidly as possible."
The announcement, made at a press conference in Zurich, was a surprise, coming just days after Blatter won re-election to a fifth term amidst allegations that top FIFA officials had engaged in a massive, decades-long bribery ring.
FIFA official Domenico Scala said the extraordinary congress to select Blatter's successor could be held as early as December. He said profound structural reforms, including of the executive committee that is stuffed with Blatter's allies, would also be on the table.
Just yesterday, The New York Times reported that Blatter's top lieutenant was involved in a $10 million transfer to one of the FIFA officials accused of taking kickbacks, suggesting there was evidence that Blatter's inner circle was involved in the bribery ring as well. Ryu Spaeth