President Barack Obama called out Republican attempt to sue him during his weekly address this morning:
"Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class," he said. "And that's when I've acted this year to help working Americans on my own — when Congress won't act…And the Republican plan right now is not to do some of this work with me — instead, it's to sue me. That's actually what they're spending their time on. It's a political stunt that's going to waste months of America's time."
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has argued that he must file the lawsuit against Obama to restore balance to the federal government. Boehner has said that Obama's decision to move forward alone on executing laws has shown "a flippant dismissal of the Constitution we are both sworn to defend."
Watch Obama's full address in the video, below. --Sarah Eberspacher
At least 117 people were killed Wednesday during fighting between Egyptian army forces and Islamist militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian state media said.
Smoke rises in Egypt's North Sinai ،1st July 2015، ( Photo Ahmed ALi ) pic.twitter.com/D41MXcrvLS
— Cairo Live 24/7 (@Cairotoday) July 2, 2015
Officials say 17 government soldiers and 100 militants are among the dead. An army spokesman said that 70 militants launched simultaneous attacks on military checkpoints in the town of Sheikh Zuwayed. An affiliate of ISIS called the Sinai Province said it was behind three suicide attacks, and fought against Egyptian forces at more than 15 sites across northern Sinai, SITE Intelligence Group reports.
Officials said that Egypt's air force sent F-16 fighter jets and Apache attack helicopters to back up ground forces, who had to deal with improvised explosive devices planted along the roadways. There is no way to know for sure how many people have been killed, The Wall Street Journal reports, because the government has placed a two-year restriction on media access to the northern Sinai. Catherine Garcia
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made history on Wednesday, holding his largest rally to date in Madison, Wisconsin.
Sanders calls for a political revolution in Madison. pic.twitter.com/L5ZIztpHFH
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) July 2, 2015
The Alliant Energy Center seats 10,231 people, and the venue was mostly full for the event. Not only was this the biggest rally to date for the progressive presidential candidate, it could be the largest out of the entire 2016 cycle, The Huffington Post reports — about 5,500 people attended Hillary Clinton's campaign launch on New York's Roosevelt Island, while Jeb Bush drew 3,000 supporters to his kickoff in Miami.
Once Sanders took to the stage, he discussed unemployment, the TPP, and income inequality. CNN's Dan Merica tweeted several of Sanders' soundbites, including, "The greed of the billionaire class has got to end and we are going to end it for them" and "Our job is...to redistribute wealth back into the hands of working families." At the end of the night, Sanders told CNN he was heartened by the huge number of supporters who turned out for the night. "It tells me that the message is resonating," he said, "not just in Wisconsin, but all over America." Catherine Garcia
In Granbury, Texas, two children's books that discuss LGBT issues are being targeted by more than 50 residents, who have sent in "challenge forms" asking that the books be removed from the Hood County Library.
— ncacensorship (@ncacensorship) July 1, 2015
Hood County Library director Courtney Kincaid said the books, My Princess Boy and This Day in June, are aimed at helping kids understand the LGBT community. "The books have color drawings and have some rhymes," she told WFAA. "Lesbians and gays are in this community, and they deserve to have some items in this collection." Some of the challenge forms say the books should not be in the children's section because they promote "perversion" and "the gay lifestyle." The Hood County Library Advisory Board voted to keep both the books in the library, and the Hood County Commissioners will address the challenge in July. Kincaid said she would move This Day in June to the non-fiction section, because the book is a "teaching tool."
Hood County is also home to clerk Katie Lang, who made news for refusing to sign off on same-sex marriage licenses. On Tuesday, the clerk's office said it would work around this by issuing licenses without involving Lang. Catherine Garcia
Japan defeated England 2-1 in Wednesday's Women's World Cup semi-final, and will play the United States Sunday during the final game in Vancouver. In the 92nd minute, England defender Laura Bassett accidentally sent the ball into the England net, CNN reports. Japan is the defending champion, and Sunday's game will be a rematch against the United States. In 2011, after a 2-2 tie, Japan beat the U.S. in the penalty kick shootout, 3-1. Catherine Garcia
At the Episcopal General Convention in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Episcopalians voted to allow religious weddings for gay couples.
Many dioceses allowed priests to perform civil same-sex weddings, but the law was officially changed with Wednesday's vote, The Associated Press reports. Under the new rule, gender-specific language is removed from church laws on marriage, with "the couple" replacing "husband and wife." Clergy members can also decline to perform same-sex ceremonies.
On Tuesday, the House of Bishops approved the resolution 129-26, with five abstaining, and it was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Deputies, the voting body of lay people and clergy, Wednesday. The Very Rev. Brian Baker of Sacramento said the House of Bishops prayed and debated the issue for five hours before their vote. "We have learned to not only care for, but care about one another," he told AP. "That mutual care was present in the conversations we had. Some people disagreed, some people disagreed deeply, but we prayed and we listened and we came up with compromises that we believe make room and leave no one behind." Catherine Garcia
A man was killed by a robot earlier this week at one of Volkswagen's German production plants.
The 22-year-old died Monday at the Baunatel plant about 62 miles north of Frankfurt, Volkswagen spokesman Heiko Hillwig said. The man was setting up the stationary robot with another team member when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate. Hillwig said the initial investigation points to human error as opposed to a problem with the robot, which is programmed to do different production tasks. The robot ordinarily operated in an area of the plant where it grabbed auto parts and manipulated them, The Associated Press reports.
A German news agency, dpa, is reporting that prosecutors are considering whether to press charges, and if so, against whom. The other contractor who was at the scene was not injured. Catherine Garcia
The Baltimore Police Department will install video cameras inside all of its vans, more than two months after the death of Freddie Gray.
Gray died in April, one week after he sustained severe injuries in the back of a police van. There was a camera inside the van, but it was meant for surveillance and wasn't working, Time reports. Gray's death sparked riots across Baltimore, and in addition to adding the cameras to record inside the vans, the Baltimore Police Department plans to review its riot gear, since some failed to work during the protests. By 2019, the department also plans to outfit every officer with a body camera. Catherine Garcia