The crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 proves that "Russia has lost control of the rebels," argues Julia Ioffe at the New Republic.
U.S. officials claim Russia is the only place from which rebels could have obtained machinery sophisticated enough to down a civilian jetliner. This idea prompted a new round of U.S. sanctions against Russia on Thursday.
The rebels "have been complaining for some time of being abandoned by President Vladimir Putin," Ioffe writes. She speculates that the plane's crash isn't a coincidence:
There is no way that, a day after criticizing the recklessness of American foreign policy, his military shoots down a passenger plane. Rather, it seems that the rebels made a mistake that paints Putin into a corner. Putin hates corners, and when he's backed into one, he tends to lash out. He especially hates to do or say what is expected of him, and to give in to outside pressure. So though he has already expressed his condolences to the Malaysian government, don't expect him to do anything swift or decisive. He will likely do something to punish the rebels after the spotlight moves on to the next global crisis. [New Republic]
Even if the evidence does point to the rebels, it's unclear what the West could do to punish them, or to punish Russia for providing rebels with the capability for violence. "Putin has started something he can't finish, unleashing a dangerous force he no longer fully controls — nor does he seem to care to — and it's costing more and more lives," Ioffe says. Read the rest of her take over at the New Republic. Meghan DeMaria
Former University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing, who was indicted yesterday on murder charges for shooting Samuel Dubose during a traffic stop, pleaded not guilty in his court appearance this morning. Officer Tensing "purposely killed" 43-year-old DuBose, who was black, after "losing his temper," according to county prosecutor Joe Deters. DuBose, who was a father of 10, had been driving without a front license plate when he was pulled over. Tensing could face life in prison if he is found guilty. Jeva Lange
Bill Clinton got a big payday after Hillary intervened in a diplomatic dispute with a Swiss banking giant
Soon after becoming secretary of state, Hillary Clinton in 2009 cut a deal with Swiss authorities that resolved a an Internal Revenue Service inquiry into the Swiss bank UBS about secret accounts held by American citizens. Afterward, the bank dramatically upped its donations to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic organization founded by Bill Clinton, and paid Bill Clinton $1.5 million for a series of Q&A sessions, according to an investigative report in The Wall Street Journal.
The deal resulted in UBS handing over information related to 4,500 accounts, well below the 52,000 that the IRS had originally sought. The Journal describes Hillary Clinton's involvement in brokering the deal as "an unusual intervention by a top U.S. diplomat." UBS's response also raised eyebrows:
From that point on, UBS’s engagement with the Clinton family’s charitable organization increased. Total donations by UBS to the Clinton Foundation grew from less than $60,000 through 2008 to a cumulative total of about $600,000 by the end of 2014, according the foundation and the bank.
The bank also joined the Clinton Foundation to launch entrepreneurship and inner-city loan programs, through which it lent $32 million. And it paid former President Bill Clinton $1.5 million to participate in a series of question-and-answer sessions with UBS Wealth Management Chief Executive Bob McCann, making UBS his biggest single corporate source of speech income disclosed since he left the White House. [The Wall Street Journal]
There is no evidence that Hillary Clinton got involved in the matter for the benefit of her husband or his foundation. Indeed, it appears the deal was part of a diplomatic give-and-take involving other U.S. interests. UBS denied a link between the settlement and the donations.
But the story does highlight the serious conflicts of interest posed by her husband's post-presidential activities, which are sure to be examined in even greater depth as the campaign goes on. It is an ongoing saga that is, to say the least, not a good look for Hillary Clinton's campaign. Ryu Spaeth
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has dropped $2.6 million (and counting) funding a five-year program through Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) to help long-haul truckers lose weight.
"Drivers experience multiple roadblocks to health, including laws permitting long work hours and an isolating job structure that restricts physical activity and dietary choices," the grant explains, so the researchers use "mobile computing technologies to provide training and feedback during a weight loss competition, and delivers motivational interviewing on cell phones." Participants also have the opportunity to win lottery prizes.
The grant notes that weight loss will reduce incidences of sleep apnea in truckers and therefore increase public safety — but surely that might be offset by all those cell phone calls on the road? Bonnie Kristian
As summer blockbuster season winds to an end, Hollywood is starting to offer first glimpses at the movies that will be angling for Oscar gold in the months ahead. The first trailer for one major contender has finally dropped: Room, a harrowing drama adapted from Emma Donoghue's bestselling 2010 novel of the same name:
Room follows Brie Larson as a woman confined to a small room with her young son, who has never experienced the outside world. When they finally escape from captivity, they're forced to readjust to an entirely new way of living.
Room hits theaters on October 16. Scott Meslow
Earlier this month, 24-year-old Sarah Lee Circle Bear was found unconscious in a jail cell in Aberdeen, South Dakota, where she was being held for a bond violation. She died in her cell soon after the incident, and her family is reportedly considering legal recourse.
Witnesses allege that Circle Bear, a mother of an infant and a toddler, was being transferred to a holding cell when she began crying out in pain, asking for medical attention. The jail staff reportedly told her to "quit faking" and "knock it off" before dragging her body into the cell where she would later be found unresponsive.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Native Americans are disproportionately the victims of police killings, while a 2015 report from the Lakota People's Law Project details other justice system disparities Native Americans suffer. Bonnie Kristian
There are few computer games that have stolen more time than computer Solitaire, which has been a Microsoft staple since Windows 3.0. Short, simple, accessible, and addictive, it was the perfect time-waster — to say nothing of that triumphant moment when you win and all the cards start bouncing down the screen.
Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 10, brings Solitaire back in all its glory. But there's a catch: If you're not willing to tolerate obnoxious ads, you'll need to pay for it.
The latest version of Solitaire — which comes with every copy of Windows 10 — has full-screen video advertisements built into the game. If you want to get rid of them, Microsoft offers two subscription payment options: $1.50 for a month, or $10 for a year. Subscribers will also get "more coins for competing Daily Challenges," because nothing says "Solitaire" like going head-to-head with a bunch of your friends.
Microsoft actually introduced the ad-supported Solitaire as a downloadable app in 2013 — but this is the first ad-supported version that actually comes bundled with the operating system, so users who are excited to rediscover the old classic are in for an unpleasant surprise. (Or, you know, they could just pull out an actual deck of cards.) Scott Meslow
Herman Cain sees a lot of himself in Donald Trump. For one, Cain too led the early polls during his 2012 campaign for president, to the alarm of his more straight-laced Republican peers. For another, both men faced scandals concerning their romantic lives — Cain was accused of having an affair with an Atlanta woman, and Trump was once accused of possibly raping his wife many years ago. (She has since disavowed that claim.)
The difference, Cain claims, is that Trump has the billions to make it out alive.
"When I got attacked I had to make a choice, do I continue. First of all, it's a big distraction, trying to defend all of the false and negative accusations," Cain told USA Today. "It takes away from you trying to campaign unless you have deep pockets, which I did not have, it costs money to sustain a campaign and fight off those attacks at the same time, and to be honest with you, I didn't have the money to do that. I simply didn't have the money to do that. That's not his problem."
It remains to be seen if Trump will face the same fate as Cain — losing. Jeva Lange