Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 17, 2015

Harold Maass
Golden State wins!
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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Warriors win their first NBA title since 1975

The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday to win their first title in 40 years. The Warriors were led by Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala with 25 points each. Iguodala was named Finals MVP after joining the starting lineup in Game 4 and helping the Warriors win the last three games. Cavaliers star LeBron James scored a game-high 32 points. He averaged 35.8 points in the series, but it was not enough to make up for the loss of All-Stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, who were out with injuries. [CNN, Los Angeles Times]


Trump launches presidential bid

Donald Trump on Tuesday officially joined the crowded field of candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. "We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again," the real estate mogul and host of the Celebrity Apprentice reality show said at Trump Tower in New York. Trump said that unlike his rivals he will use his own money for his campaign. "I'm really rich," he said. A Democratic spokeswoman pounced, saying sarcastically that Trump added "some much needed seriousness" to the GOP contest. [Boston Herald]


Switzerland finds 53 possible money-laundering incidents tied to World Cup bidding

Swiss banks have reported 53 possible cases of money laundering tied to FIFA's 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests, Switzerland's attorney general, Michael Lauber, said Wednesday. He said FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Secretary-General Jerome Valcke were not implicated in the "huge and complex" case, but did not rule out interviewing them later. Lauber said the case could have "collateral damage," suggesting Russia and Qatar could lose hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 soccer tournaments if evidence proves corruption. [The Associated Press]


Tropical Storm Bill weakens as it dumps rain on Texas

Tropical Storm Bill on Tuesday hit the Texas coast with 60 mile-per-hour winds and heavy rains, dumping several inches of rain on some areas still recovering from deadly May floods. National Weather Service meteorologist Victor Murphy said the region should get six to 10 inches, with some spots getting more. The storm weakened as it pushed inland heading north-northwest at 9 mph. Within four hours of its mid-day landfall the storm's top winds had dropped to 50 mph. [USA Today]


White House slams Egypt over Morsi's death sentence

The White House said Tuesday that it was "deeply troubled" that an Egyptian court confirmed a death sentence for former president Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted in 2013. Morsi, an Islamist, was condemned for his role in the 2011 uprising against the military-backed government that was running the country at the time. Morsi also was sentenced to life in prison on spying charges. White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the sentences against Morsi and several others "politically motivated." [Agence France Presse]


White House fence-jumper sentenced to 17 months

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced troubled Iraq war veteran Omar J. Gonzalez, 43, to 17 months in prison for jumping the White House fence and running into the building armed with a knife last September. The incident added to a string of embarrassments for the Secret Service, and fueled calls for shaking up the agency's leadership. U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer ordered Gonzalez to stay out of the nation's capital and give up his weapons. "No more guns, no more machetes, no more knives, no more tomahawks," she said. "Got it?" [The Washington Post]


Former Turkish prime minister Suleyman Demirel dies at age 90 

Suleyman Demirel, who served as prime minister of Turkey seven times and president from 1993 to 2000, died Wednesday while being treated for a respiratory infection in an Ankara hospital. He was 90. Demirel was born to farmers and trained to be a civil engineer. He came to power as head of the Justice party in 1965, and was toppled by the military twice while serving as prime minister through the 1960s to 1990s. His followers in farming communities called him Baba, or Dad. [Reuters]


Investors await Fed policy-making statement on interest-rate hikes 

Federal Reserve policy makers are concluding a two-day meeting on Wednesday, and investors will be watching the committee's 2 p.m. statement for signs of when and how much the central bank will raise interest rates this year. The Fed indicated after the economy contracted in the first quarter that it would not hike rates this week, but strong employment, wage, and consumer spending data since then suggest it will be safe for a hike or two later in the year. [Reuters]


Financier Kirk Kerkorian dies at 98

Billionaire Las Vegas investor Kirk Kerkorian died Tuesday at age 98. Kerkorian was considered a founder of modern Las Vegas, helping to make it a global tourist destination by three times building what were the largest hotel-casinos of their time. The last of them, the MGM Grand Las Vegas, opened in 1993. He also purchased MGM Studios three times, and accumulated large pieces of Chrysler Corp. and General Motors when they were on the decline, selling after they recovered. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]


FBI investigates St. Louis Cardinals officials for alleged Houston Astros hacking

The FBI's Houston field office is investigating several unnamed St. Louis Cardinals officials for allegedly hacking into the Houston Astros' secure databases. Investigators said they believe the cyberattack was carried out by Cardinals officials upset at Jeff Luhnow, who left St. Louis in 2011 to become the Astros' general manager. FBI officials say they believe front-office Cardinals workers found an old, master list of Luhnow's passwords to get into a home computer. [The New York Times]