The trial of double amputee and former Olympian Oscar Pistorius began today with the "Blade Runner" pleading not guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. The case, which is transfixing South Africa, has dedicated two 24-hour television channels to the spectacle.
After the proceedings started 90 minutes late, Pistorius pleaded not guilty to the four charges against him, including murder and illegal possession of ammunition. He insists he thought Steencamp was an intruder when he shot her four times with a 9mm gun on Valentine's Day 2013. The case opened dramatically with a witness, a neighbor, telling the court she heard "bloodcurdling screams" from a woman followed by a round of gunfire.
"You can't translate it into words. The anxiousness in her voice, and fear. It leaves you cold," the witness told the court.
The trial is expected to last three weeks. Jordan Valinsky
A new poll shows that support for the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has decreased in recent months among Massachusetts residents.
Only 15 percent of Boston residents believe that Tsarnaev should be executed, according to the poll. And while almost a third of Massachusetts residents reported support for the death penalty, just 18.9 percent thought Tsarnaev should receive it. That's a significant decrease from a Boston Globe poll in September 2013, which found that 33 percent of Massachusetts residents favored the death penalty for the bomber.
"It seems that voters have concluded that Tsarnaev does not deserve a quick death, but rather should spend the remainder of his days in a windowless cell contemplating the heinous acts that put him there," Frank Perullo, president of Sage Systems LLC, which conducted the poll, told The Boston Globe. “To voters, it would seem death is too easy an escape."
A jury is in the midst of Tsarnaev's trial's penalty phase, where they will decide whether to sentence him to the death penalty or to a life in prison. Meghan DeMaria
The Senate is likely to vote this week on a bill giving senators some oversight of the Iranian nuclear deal being negotiated by Iran and the U.S., plus five other world powers. The bill passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a 19-0 vote, but last week Republicans filed a number of amendments that would strip away support from Democrats, depriving the measure of not only its sheen of bipartisanship but also enough votes to overcome a filibuster or, if 60 senators still vote in favor, enough to overcome a veto from President Obama.
"It's important that this stays bipartisan," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). "We should not intermingle emotional amendments with this bill. I’m appealing to people, 'Don't throw this bill in a ditch.'" The bill, as it stands now, would prevent Obama from waiving sanctions on Iran for 30 days while the Senate votes on the underlying bill. Some Democrats suggest that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants Obama to veto the legislation. Peter Weber
Just weeks after being hit with a $30 million fine from the U.S. Department of Education, Corinthian Colleges has closed all 28 of its remaining schools. The department had fined for-profit Corinthian for providing students with false job placement rates.
Corinthian announced the closure on Sunday in a statement and an email to its 16,000 students. According to NBC News, Corinthian's closure marks the "biggest shutdown in the history of higher education in the United States."
"What these students have experienced is unacceptable," the Education Department said in a statement. "As Corinthian closes its doors for good, the department will continue to keep students at the heart of every decision we make." Meghan DeMaria
On Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said she has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Lee Wan Koo, two months after Lee took office and a week after he submitted his resignation in a bribery scandal. A businessman, Sang Wan-jong, said that he paid Lee about $27,000 in bribes in 2013; Sang committed suicide earlier in April. Lee denied the allegation. In South Korea, the president holds most of the levers of power. Peter Weber
The devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled Nepal and parts of India has killed at least 3,700 people, including a confirmed 3,617 deaths in Nepal. Residents and visitors to Kathmandu are camping out on the streets or fleeing due to fear of aftershocks or because the hotels are full and the airport is in disarray. And at least 18 of the confirmed deaths are on Mt. Everest, where an avalanche swept through base camp. For people not familiar with the topography of the world's highest peak, BBC News has this explainer of the avalanche and where it hit, complete with 3D graphics. Everest is dangerous, but none of the climbers expected this. —Peter Weber
The line to watch Tuesday's oral arguments for and against gay marriage started forming outside the Supreme Court on Friday. The justices will decide two main issues: Should states be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and should they be required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other U.S. jurisdictions? The court will preside over 90 minutes of arguments on the first question and an hour on the second.
If the justices seem skeptical about the first question, and ultimately side with the plaintiffs — there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, essentially — the second question won't matter much, explains Associated Press supreme court reporter Mark Sherman in this video preview. And the most important justice to watch is probably Anthony Kennedy, the conservative who has written the last three cases expanding gay rights. Sherman has a more detailed analysis below. —Peter Weber
For the first four minutes of John Oliver's main story on Last Week Tonight, it's all good news: "Trendy clothes are cheaper than ever, and cheap clothes are trendier than ever," and clothing executives get rich while consumers get great deals. Then Oliver asks the obvious question, about how clothing brands make so much money on cheap fashion? "Let's be honest: You know the answer to that," he added, taking a trip down memory lane to the 1990s and the intermittent outrage over sweatshops and child labor and garment factory deaths since.
"Look, this is going to keep happening as long as we let it," Oliver said. "So we need to show clothing brands not just that we care, but why they should." Toward that end, he announced that he's bought lunch for the heads of Gap Inc., H&M, Walmart, and a few other brands with cheap clothes, to be delivered on Monday. And if that sounds like a nice gesture, well, watch until the end. —Peter Weber