Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 21, 2015

Julie Kliegman
Confederate flag rally
Rainier Ehrhardt/Associated Press


FBI investigates Dylann Roof's purported racist manifesto

The FBI is investigating a racist manifesto posted online purportedly by suspected Charleston shooter Dylann Roof. The website, which has a graphic image on its homepage, was reportedly registered by Roof, charged with nine counts of murder in a Wednesday night shooting at a historically black church. "We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet," the manifesto reads. "Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me." [The Guardian, Mashable]


South Carolina statehouse protesters call for removal of Confederate flag

At least 1,000 people gathered outside the Columbia, South Carolina, statehouse Saturday to protest the Confederate battle flag flown on the grounds. The protest follows Wednesday night's Charleston shooting, believed to be racially motivated. Gov. Nikki Haley (R) doesn't have the authority to remove the flag herself. Both General Assembly chambers must pass a two-thirds vote to change part of a statehouse monument. [The Post and Courier]


Wait lists for veterans are even longer than they were a year ago

Last year, reports of lengthy wait lists nationwide plagued the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the problem has only been getting worse, department officials told The New York Times. The number of veterans waiting for health care longer than one month is 50 percent higher than it was last year, when veterans' deaths in Phoenix prompted an FBI criminal investigation in June. Now, with a $3 billion budget shortfall, the department is considering furloughs and hiring freezes, which could further affect veterans' care. [The New York Times]


Charleston church reopens for Sunday services

The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church reopened Sunday morning after nine people, including the pastor, were fatally shot there Wednesday night. The packed 9:30 a.m. service was also attended by uniformed guards on both floors. The congregation sang hymns, and the visiting pastor remembered the victims, and talked of congregants leaving their burdens with God. "We are living testimony that God is still on his throne," he said. [The Post and Courier, The Associated Press]


Major manhunt for escaped prisoners underway in New York after reported sighting

Authorities are closing in on Friendship, New York, after a witness reported seeing escaped inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat along a railroad line Saturday, according to New York State Police. The convicted murderers have been on the run for 16 days after using power tools to escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Friendship, a small town near the Pennsylvania border, is more than 300 miles southwest of the prison. [CNN]


Authorities search for prisoner who shot and killed New Orleans cop

A manhunt is underway for Travis Boys, 33, who is suspected of fatally shooting New Orleans police officer Daryle Holloway on Saturday. Holloway had been driving Boys in a police car hours after he was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault, USA Today reports. Handcuffed from behind, Boys reportedly moved his hands in front of him and and reached the front seat through a gap in the cage. Authorities don't believe he used Holloway's gun. [USA Today]


Greek bank boss: Not reaching deal would be 'insane'

Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with 18 other eurozone leaders Monday in Brussels for emergency talks on the nation's debt crisis. National Bank of Greece Chair Louka Katseli said it'd be "insane" not to reach a deal. She said the banks aren't under threat of immediately running out of money, but the risk of Greece defaulting on its International Monetary Fund loan is serious. [BBC]


Prominent Al Jazeera journalist detained in Berlin

A senior journalist with the Qatar-based Al Jazeera broadcast network was detained in Berlin on Saturday on an Egyptian arrest warrant, The Associated Press reports. Ahmed Mansour, 52, is being held because he was sentenced in Egypt for allegedly torturing a lawyer in 2011, a charge both he and Al Jazeera dispute. Dozens of protesters outside the courthouse called for Mansour to be set free. German prosecutors are holding meetings to decide if he should be extradited, but it is unlikely a decision will be announced Sunday. [The Associated Press]


Taylor Swift won't put 1989 on Apple Music

Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple explaining why she won't put her album 1989 on the company's new streaming service, which is set to launch June 30. In particular, she takes issue with the three-month free trial period for users because artists won't be compensated for the music played during that time. "This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success," she wrote. Swift pulled her music from Spotify in November. [Rolling Stone, Tumblr]


Nationals pitcher throws no-hitter one out shy of perfect game

Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer fell just short of throwing a perfect game Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. After retiring 26 straight batters, Scherzer pitched an inside slider that hit pinch-hitter Jose Tabata in the elbow. Scherzer quickly regrouped and ended the 6-0 game by prompting a fly out from Josh Harrison. He is just the second pitcher in Nats' history to notch a no-hitter. [Washington Post]