TIME Education

University of Florida Suspends Fraternity Over Alleged Insults to Disabled Veterans

"There is no doubt that some of our members engaged in ugly and unacceptable behavior"

The University of Florida suspended one of its fraternities on Friday, after several fraternity members were accused of disrespecting wounded military veterans during an event at a Panama City Beach resort last weekend.

Members of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, which was already on probation for hazing during the fall semester, are accused of spitting on veterans, throwing bottles of beer over a balcony and urinating on the American flag, according to a letter sent to University of Florida President Kent Fuchs, the Gainesville Sun reports.

University officials said the chapter was accused of a series of offenses, including obscene behavior, public intoxication, theft, damage to property and physical harm. The fraternity will be suspended from participating in all university activities until the investigation has concluded.

“I am personally offended and disappointed by the behavior that has been described to me,” said student affairs vice president Dave Kratzer, also a retired U.S. Army major general, in a public statement. “This is not representative of our students or of the university.”

Fuchs and the fraternity have apologized to Linda Cope, the founder of the Warrior Beach Retreat, who had organized the gathering of about 60 veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Zeta Beta Tau also posted a statement to its website condemning the frat members’ misbehavior.

“While the details of their actions are still under investigation, there is no doubt that some of our members engaged in ugly and unacceptable behavior,” it reads. “Their actions have no place in ZBT or anywhere, and they will not be tolerated.” The fraternity chapter has suspended all its activities and is cooperating with the investigation, the statement added.

The University of Florida also issued a separate apology earlier Friday:

The University of Florida is extremely concerned about reports of illegal behavior involving our students last weekend in Panama City. Our policies establish standards of conduct, and we are investigating this matter.

We are deeply sorry for any hurt caused to veterans and their families. This is not representative of our students or our university.

Cope told the Gainesville Sun that she is looking forward to the university’s response.

“Nothing else is going to teach these men and women that you don’t treat these heroes with disrespect,” she said.

 

[Gainesville Sun]

TIME White House

Long Wait for Attorney General Nominee Will Soon Be Over

Loretta Lynch
Susan Walsh—AP Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 28, 2015 prior to testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on her nomination.

Loretta Lynch, the first female African American nominee for U.S. Attorney General, has waited over 160 days for her confirmation vote. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that her wait would finally be over this week, “hopefully” in the next few days.

The historic hold-up ended as Senate negotiators announced an agreement Tuesday on an anti-human trafficking bill containing abortion language anathema to Democrats. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said that Republicans had agreed to their request not to expand the scope of the Hyde amendment, which bars the use of taxpayer funds for abortions, and added that the lengthy debate was a “contrived fight.” Republican leadership said the Senate would take up the Lynch vote as soon as they passed the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the anti-human trafficking bill as a celebratory moment for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

“It’s a stark reminder of the countless victims of modern slavery who continue to suffer horrifying exploitation at the hands of human traffickers — a stark reminder of the need to pass the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act,” he said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It’s a bill that victims groups and advocates have called ‘the most comprehensive and thoughtful piece of anti-trafficking legislation currently pending.’”

The breakthrough comes after President Obama sharply criticized the Senate Friday for stalling the Lynch nomination.

“Enough,” he said. “Enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote, get her confirmed, let her do her job. This is embarrassing.”

TIME Lindsey Graham

The Third Amigo Runs for President

Potential Republican 2016 presidential candidate U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire, April 18, 2015.
Brian Snyder—Reuters Potential Republican 2016 presidential candidate U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire, April 18, 2015.

Senator Lindsey Graham has watched two of his closest friends run unsuccessfully for President. Now, as he gears up for his own bid in 2016, the South Carolina Republican is hoping to use the lessons learned from their experiences to win.

Along with Arizona Senator John McCain and former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, Graham has long been one of the “three amigos” — veteran politicians with an easy camaraderie built on a shared hawkish approach to foreign policy.

But while Lieberman’s bid for the Democratic nomination in 2004 failed to gain momentum and McCain’s primary campaign in 2000 and general election run in 2008 faltered, all three men think the timing may finally be right for Graham.

“The issue of national security will play more of a role in these primaries than anytime since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980,” says McCain. “That I think is one advantage that he brings to the 20-person primary.”

Despite lackluster early polling numbers, Graham sees a straightforward path to the GOP nomination: staff up, advertise, set up a super PAC and raise $15 million to “get something going” in the crucial first states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Graham says he’ll “probably” make his decision official by late May or early June.

“For a guy like me it’s pretty simple,” says Graham. “I do well in Iowa and finish in the top tier in New Hampshire, I’ll win South Carolina. By the end of South Carolina there are three or four people left at the most.”

As he gets ready to run, Graham has looked to his two friends from the Senate for advice.

It may not help all that much. McCain recognizes that a vote for him in 2008 doesn’t necessarily translate to a vote for Graham. (“The one thing about the people of New Hampshire is they make up their own minds,” he says.) And overall the importance of having Lieberman and McCain by Graham’s side may matter more to members of the media — the return of the three amigos! — than to actual voters in a presidential race already crowded with at least six other formidable current and former Senators and governors.

But Lieberman and Graham have done more than offer an encouraging word. In March, as Graham became more vocal about his intentions, he spoke at a Capitol Hill event run by the Foreign Policy Initiative, a nonprofit think tank run by a former Lieberman staffer. Many staffers on Graham’s Security Through Strength PAC have McCain ties, including its spokesperson and two of its senior political advisers, while Graham’s New Hampshire visits have been shadowed by two other top McCain supporters.

“They’re a lot of McCainiacs up here still,” said Graham Saturday at a New Hampshire GOP conference featuring a score of presidential hopefuls.

McCain, who has reiterated the importance of the New Hampshire primary in his conversations with Graham, says his friend would thrive in the small group format that dominates the early months of jockeying. And Lieberman considers Graham’s humor and straight talk a major asset.

“He won’t hesitate to say things that don’t always poll well,” says Lieberman. “I think that will be very appealing first to Republican primary voters and to a state like New Hampshire.”

In Graham’s mind, both Lieberman and McCain would have reached the White House at some point if it hadn’t been for events largely outside of their control. In 2000 the Gore-Lieberman ticket lost by only hundreds of votes in an election with over 100 million votes cast. “You can’t get any closer,” says Graham. In 2004, Lieberman ran for the Democratic nomination but “time had passed him by.”

In 2000, McCain lost the primary to George W. Bush. Then in 2008, he lost the general election in part because of the collapsing economy and Bush’s unpopularity at the tail end of two terms in the White House. “I don’t think there’s anything John could have done differently,” says Graham.

Graham wasn’t always intent on running. Even among his closest friends, it wasn’t clear that he wanted to pursue the White House until December, a few weeks after he cruised to take a third Senate term following a primary where he torched six challengers. Graham says he had a “long talk” with McCain and called Lieberman to ask him what he thought about making a run to be the 45th President.

“I said to him that there’s nothing to lose,” Lieberman told TIME. “This is not sort of a desperate run to be President. This is, I think, an exploration and a feeling that he wants a larger audience for his ideas.”

“That meant a lot to me,” says Graham of the phone call with Lieberman. “That encouraged me … I know what’s coming my way in terms of the money and scrutiny. I understand that. But what I wanted basically was somebody who I admire, who’s been on the world stage at the highest levels.”

“He really believes I should do it,” he adds. “That made me more likely to do it. I think if he had been sort of patronizing I’d have thought twice about it.”

Then Graham had a “reinforcing moment” in February, when he sat in the aisle of a plane headed from Munich to Andrews Air Force base between Lieberman and former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who Graham says is helping form his campaign organization. Graham peppered them with questions for about an hour about how he should run while the other two mentors discussed the financial and personal pressures of running against a tough field in a Twitter-paced media environment. Graham said they urged him to build off of his performance at the Munich Security Conference, which Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal called the “most impressive” in a lineup that included Vice President Joe Biden and McCain.

In two phone interviews lasting nearly 45 minutes combined, McCain and Lieberman both proved long-winded in their support of Graham. McCain calls him “like a younger brother to me” and says he’ll “do anything that he asks” when it comes to supporting Graham. Lieberman, who endorsed McCain in 2008 and has not ruled out crossing over again for Graham, says his friend has a “unique” track record of working with Democrats that could prove appealing to independent-minded voters in New Hampshire. While Graham has proved willing to go across the aisle to introduce major bills, introducing with his friends sweeping packages to reform the immigration system and address climate change, he hasn’t always proved successful in closing the deal.

Both Lieberman and Graham see the debates as key opportunities for Graham to shine. Lieberman says he doesn’t think he has ever seen Graham speak with a prepared text, noting that his friend writes by hand only outlines for major speeches. “When they pull out the teleprompter, then we’ve got trouble,” jokes Lieberman.

“He is an incredibly quick study — much quicker than I am,” adds McCain. “He can take an issue and he can digest it … He is really superb on his feet.”

McCain also thinks Graham will benefit from having studied his 2008 campaign. He recalls sitting in a hotel room with Graham as the South Carolina primary results were coming in, looking through maps of the state throughout the night before eking out a 3-percentage-point win over former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. “He was an immeasurable help in South Carolina,” says McCain. “We had to win that.”

Graham served as McCain’s stress ball, injecting some levity during the campaign’s long hours. In his interview with TIME, McCain claimed that one of Graham’s “favorite flicks” was the raunchy comedy Borat. “I don’t allege that Lindsey is a highbrow,” joked McCain. On the trail, McCain would needle Graham, telling reporters that his favorite restaurant was Olive Garden. On a rare free moment in Florida, McCain sought out the restaurant and the three of them went with their staffs.

“We went to like the first Olive Garden,” says Graham. “It’s like going to Mecca for me.”

“He suffers those jibes quite graciously,” says Lieberman. “John gets a line and he really runs with it.”

Their friendship, built over about a decade of committee hearings and overseas trips, has allowed the “amigos” to see Graham’s negatives too. In a race with more than a handful of strong competitors, both McCain and Lieberman wonder if he can raise enough money. Lieberman notes that Graham’s national recognition levels aren’t that high despite his TV appearances — he’s already been on five Sunday shows this year, more than Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, according to Roll Call. And his interest in running hasn’t yet caught up to pollsters. One New Hampshire GOP primary poll in February evaluated 18 candidates, but not Graham, while the South Carolina’s GOP party didn’t put him on its 25-person online straw poll until mid-March.

“I don’t know if he can win the nomination or be President of the United States, but he is one of the most really unusual great American stories in people I have known in my life,” says McCain.

No matter what happens, Graham sees little downside in running for the White House.

“There’s a nobility in trying,” he says.

Read next: Jeb Bush Narrowly Leads Tight Republican Presidential Race, Poll Says

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME China

China Building Runway in Disputed South China Sea Islands

Airstrip construction on Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea, seen in a satellite image taken on April 2, 2015.
Reuters Airstrip construction on Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea, seen in a satellite image taken on April 2, 2015.

The runway could increase China's influence in the region

China is building a runway capable of handling military aircraft in disputed territory in the South China Sea, according to a recent satellite image released Thursday.

The runway on a reef in the Spratly Islands, an archipelago also claimed in part by Vietnam and the Philippines, could stretch to nearly 10,000 feet and expand China’s influence in a region where at least six countries have overlapping claims. U.S. officials have expressed growing concern over China using reefs to build artificial islands and expand its military presence in the area. China has acknowledged that the islands will serve both civilian and military purposes, according to the New York Times.

President Obama said last week that he had concerns of China using “its sheer size and muscle to force countries into subordinate positions.”

“We think this can be solved diplomatically, but just because the Philippines or Vietnam are not as large as China doesn’t mean that they can just be elbowed aside,” added Obama.

Satellite images detail China's construction activity on Fiery Cross Reef.
EPASatellite images detail China’s construction activity on Fiery Cross Reef.

Construction on the runway appears to have begun in the past few months.

Read next: Veteran Chinese Journalist Gao Yu Sentenced to 7 Years

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Bizarre

It’s Raining Worms in Norway

And it's not even the first time

Forget cats and dogs. It’s been raining worms in Norway.

Biology teacher Karstein Erstad recently came across “thousands of earthworms” on top of snow at least half a yard deep while skiing on mountains outside Bergen, according to The Local, an English-language European news network.

“It’s a very rare phenomenon,” he said, citing reports he found of worm rainfall in the 1920s. “It’s difficult to say how many times it happens, but it has only been reported a very few times.”

“People have now observed the same phenomenon in many places in Norway,” added Erstad. “It’s very peculiar, I don’t know why so many people have discovered it. I don’t know if there have been some special weather conditions lately.”

[The Local]

TIME Hillary Clinton

How Barack Obama’s Trade Deal Puts Hillary Clinton in a Bind

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with local residents at the Jones St. Java House in LeClaire, Iowa on April 14, 2015.
Charlie Neibergall—AP Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with local residents at the Jones St. Java House in LeClaire, Iowa on April 14, 2015.

Sen. Marco Rubio is rarely on the same side as President Obama. But the Florida Republican, who is running for president in 2016, recently drafted a letter to the White House in support of Obama’s signature free-trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Congress is expected to vote on this term.

This odd-bedfellows moment backs Hillary Clinton, who announced this week that she is running for President, into a particularly uncomfortable corner — sandwiched between Republicans and centrist Democrats on one side, and the Democrats’ liberal, activist base on the other.

So far, Clinton has kept quiet about whether she supports the deal.

Most Republicans, the Obama administration and a powerful coalition of business interests, some of whom have donated to Clinton’s campaign, would like to see the former Secretary of State champion the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They argue that the sweeping, 12-nation free trade pact, the largest-ever for the United States, would been a boon for the U.S. economy.

“We stand ready to work with you to ensure quick consideration and approval of legislation to renew TPA,” Rubio wrote in the draft letter to Obama, which was obtained by TIME, in reference to the Trade Promotion Authority, the so-called fast track bill designed to facilitate the passage of the trade deal. “We must work together to ensure that goods and services created by U.S. workers are able to enter and effectively compete in overseas markets.” Rubio’s office declined to comment on the letter.

Meantime, an increasingly vociferous coalition of liberal lawmakers, labor leaders and grassroots populists, whose support Clinton will need during the primary campaign, have warned Clinton that they deeply oppose the pact, which they describe as a job-killing sweetheart deal for global corporations.

“People feel a lot of urgency and tension around this moment,” said George Goehl, the executive director the the National People’s Action, a network of progressive, grassroots organizations nationwide, in a press call Thursday morning.

“This is not a theoretical question for [Clinton] to answer,” he added. “It’s real-life right now and people want to know where she stands.”

On Wednesday night, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a potential Democratic presidential candidate who has been one of the loudest voices in Congress in opposition to the deal, rallied members of the progressive organization, Democracy For America, against the bill during a conference call. “The only way a member pays the price [for supporting TPP] is if the poeple are educated and organized,” he said, adding later that “What we have got to do is rally the American people and educate them and put pressure on vulnerable members.

“Keep the emails coming, put the pressure on,” he urged.

Clinton’s silence about the Trans-Pacific Partnership has sent both supporters and critics into spirals of speculation.

In her most recent memoir, Hard Choices, published last year, Clinton expressed limited support for the deal. “It’s safe to say that the TPP won’t be perfect,” she wrote. “No deal negotiated among a dozen countries ever will be — but its higher standards, if implemented and enforced, should benefit American businesses and workers.”

But during her 2007 run for the White House, she explicitly distanced herself from the last big free trade deal, the North American Free Trade Agreement which her husband signed in 1994, and said she would not pursue any new trade deals for a while.

After supporting NAFTA as first lady and in her 2003 memoir, Living History, Clinton said in an interview with CNN in 2007 that it “was a mistake to the extent that it did not deliver on what we had hoped it would, and that’s why I call for a trade timeout.”

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a liberal Democrat who has been outspoken about his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, refused to speculate on Clinton’s position on trade. “I’m not going to go there. Hillary’s got a history. I’m pretty sure she was against fast track, against CAFTA. [She] spoke out in ’08 that we should renegotiate NAFTA,” he said Thursday. “So you make an assumption that Hillary is bad on trade but you would be wrong, I’d think.”

The Senate Finance Committee proposed a fast-track bill on Thursday afternoon that would give Obama the power to submit the trade pact to Congress for a simple up-or-down vote with no amendments. Supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership say such legislation is crucial as it assures other countries that Congress won’t significantly change the deal during debate.

Opponents, including Sens. Brown and Elizabeth Warren, have called the fast track undemocratic, in part because it makes it easier for negotiators and lobbyists to insert provisions into the trade deal that Congress would not approve individually.

The populist base has also railed against the non-transparent, and sometimes downright secretive, process surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation process. As of last fall, a network of 566 stakeholders, 85% of whom represented industry and trade groups, were given limited access to the draft trade agreement, according to the Washington Post. Although more stakeholders have since been invited to access the document through a secure website, the details of the agreement, which will include twelve nations in the Asia-Pacific region, have not been made public or provided to the press. Even lawmakers have not been given copies of the draft plan.

In the coming weeks, Clinton will be asked, probably repeatedly, to take a strong position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If she opposes it, she risks alienating a slew of powerful, corporate interests. But if she doesn’t, she risks the rage of the populist left. And if she does nothing, she’ll lose points with both sides and be criticized by pundits for ducking a major issue.

“It’s a choice between a corporate vision of a world economy and a vision in which … workers’ rights and sustainable development is allowed by the legal system,” Roger Hickey, the co-director of Campaign for America’s Future, said on a press call Thursday morning. “It’s a big issue.”

TIME Congress

The Republican Senator Who Is Key to the Iran Deal

Sen. Bob Corker
Bill Clark—CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images Sen. Bob Corker, Senate Foreign Relations chairman, arrives for a briefing on Iran nuclear negotiations with Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama's chief of staff Jack Lew in the Capitol on April 14, 2015.

Over the next 10 weeks or so, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker can’t afford a mulligan. Lucky for him, according to occasional golfing buddy and Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, he “doesn’t need ‘em.”

In that time, Corker will be “one of the most important people in the world,” as my colleague Massimo Calabresi writes in a magazine profile this week, as he attempts to ensure congressional oversight into a global debate on Iran’s nuclear program the Obama Administration would rather wage on its own.

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Corker has the delicate task of crafting a 67-vote supermajority to beat back a veto threat on his bill, which the Administration has worried could imperil the chances of reaching a final deal by a June deadline. Corker struck a major agreement Tuesday, when the committee will take up his bill and introduce a series of amendments that could endanger consensus. But senators on both sides of the aisle are confident that Corker is well suited to the challenges ahead.

“There’s not a better horse to bet on in the United States Senate than Bob Corker,” says Isakson, a Republican member of the committee.

At first glance, Corker is an unlikely player in international affairs. A successful construction company owner, former Chattanooga mayor and head of Tennessee’s finances, Corker had no foreign policy experience before coming to the Senate in 2007. While a student at the University of Tennessee, Corker wasn’t even interested in politics, according to his roommate, Jimmy Haslam, who used to call Corker “Thor” because he “looked like a little Viking.” But his interests eventually evolved and after an introduction from Haslam, Corker met with Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander in 1993. The pair talked for an hour and a half as they walked down the beach at Hilton Head, South Carolina, discussing whether Corker should run for Senate or governor.

“He’s never been afraid of big jumps,” says Alexander, who thinks the two-term senator would be “terrific” as Secretary of either the State or Treasury departments. “In a way he’s perfectly named—Corker.”

Corker popped to the ranking Republican position on the committee in 2013 and became chairman when Republicans took the Senate this year. To overcome his initial lack of expertise, Corker has engaged in policy discussions with numerous foreign policy experts, including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has breakfast with him every two or three months. Corker also travels extensively; he told TIME in February that he had traveled to over 63 countries. Haslam, now the owner of the Cleveland Browns, says his longtime friend flies commercial on his trips to the Middle East with usually one staff member. “Bob’s not a hot dog,” says Haslam. “He gets the job done.”

Corker’s temperament may serve him well as debate over U.S. foreign policy no longer ends at the water’s edge. Democrats are still smarting from Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s direct letter to Iranian leaders and House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress. One of seven Republicans who didn’t sign Cotton’s letter, Corker has garnered praise from Democrats. Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on Corker’s committee, calls Corker a “serious legislator” and an “ideal fit” for the panel’s chairmanship.

“I think that he is trying to use that position in the best tradition of the U.S. Senate to bring as much unity on behalf of foreign policy as possible,” Cardin told TIME last week. “And recognizing that’s challenging today, I think he’s done a really good job on his bill on the congressional oversight of the nuclear agreement. It’s one in which I hope we can find common ground. I think we’re very close to that.”

Introduced with Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez and Tim Kaine and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham as cosponsors, Corker’s bipartisan bill threads the needle by establishing an order of review, preventing the president from waiving Congress’ economic sanctions against Iran for 30 days, according to a Corker aide, and up to 52 days if Congress passes a bill and the president vetoes it. If the deal is submitted late, after July 9, the review period reverts to 60 days, according to the aide. If President Obama accepts it, the Administration would be required to tell Congress every 90 days if Iran is still keeping up its end.

“We have reached a bipartisan agreement that keeps the congressional review process absolutely intact and full of integrity,” said Corker on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday. “On behalf of the American people we want to make sure that if a final deal is reached it lays before Congress, so we have the opportunity to go through every detail.”

Corker has worked for months to bring Democrats on board. The bill originally had called for a vote to approve or disapprove of the deal—now there is the option to not act, Menendez told TIME. Another priority—pushed by New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, according to the New York Times—was ensuring a 60-vote rather than a 51-vote threshold for any resolution of disapproval or agreement, ensuring that Congress spoke in a bipartisan manner. Kaine claims credit for limiting the bill to only sanctions imposed by Congress, rather than the Administration or international bodies. Still, just last week Cardin said he had three major areas of concern: “the time for review, the limitation of presidential powers during the review, and to the statute issues that are not directly related to the nuclear agreement.”

So over the past few days and up through Monday night, Corker has worked to close the gaps with Democrats, reportedly softening requirements that Iran isn’t directly sponsoring terrorism against the United States and loosening restrictions on the original timetable for a 60 day congressional review period.

The negotiations have appeared to assuage Democratic concerns. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama’s veto threat would be revoked—a stunning turnaround—if some of the changes the White House has proposed, including the timetable and terrorism language, make it through committee.

“We have to see what comes through the committee process,” said Earnest. “What we have made clear to Democrats and Republicans is that the President would be willing to sign the proposed compromise that is making its way through the committee today.”

Corker’s immediate challenge now is to navigate a series of controversial amendments from Democrats and Republicans alike. One from Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy would allow President Obama to waive sanctions during the 60 days if a “failure to do so would be a breach of the final comprehensive agreement,” according to Murphy spokesman Chris Harris. Another by Isakson would make a condition of sanctions relief “fair and appropriate compensation” to Americans who were terrorized in the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. And Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio will introduce an amendment making approval of the deal dependent on Iran’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist, according to the New York Times.

Some of those amendments are nonstarters with the Administration, which has launched a full-scale lobbying effort on Capitol Hill. Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Moniz briefed House members in a classified session Monday and are expected to hold another for senators on Tuesday, according to the Times. They are trying to convince lawmakers to agree to a framework agreement that couldn’t be subject to a wider divergence of opinion. Critics like Cotton, a foreign policy hawk and Iraq combat veteran, believe the deal could eventually lead to a nuclear confrontation. The Administration argues it could lead to a safer world, lengthening the time it would take for Iran to produce such a bomb over the next decade from three months to a year, giving America’s allies more time to forcefully respond.

Corker’s knack for jumping into the hairiest policy debates hasn’t always been a success, including in his early efforts to negotiate the auto company bailout and Dodd-Frank financial regulation reform. “He’s a guy who views things without the partisan lens and from a very practical approach,” says Josh Holmes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff. “I think in some ways early on it made him a target for Democrats to try to wedge the best deal out of.”

“I will say that Corker is amongst the most intelligent senators on the Hill,” adds Holmes. “He learns a great deal from each one of these interactions.”

Corker did seal a deal during the 2013 immigration reform debate, helping craft border security legislation that the Senate incorporated and passed before it died in the House. Menendez told TIME he “swallowed” Corker’s “odorous” amendment because he agreed with his colleague that it would “guarantee us a big vote and that the greater good was better served by accepting what he could bring along with him.”

Corker’s goal is essentially the same now: to convince a wide swath of Congress to get to “yes” despite their reservations. Menendez, who has “tag teamed” members on the bill on the Senate floor, says Corker is a dogged negotiator.

“He’s tenacious going to anyone on either side of the aisle making his case,” says Menendez. “And he won’t stop. If you say no to him, he’ll ask you why and then try to argue away the concern. If you say I’m thinking about he’ll probably come back to you another 10 times.”

With reporting by Maya Rhodan and Massimo Calabresi/Washington, D.C.

TIME space

Why Apollo 13 Was Called NASA’s Most ‘Successful Failure’

Forty-five years have passed since the flight launched

After losing oxygen and power in its unsuccessful trip to the moon, Apollo 13 still managed to do one thing well: land back on Earth.

April 11 marks the 45th anniversary of the mission’s launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center with the goal of landing on the moon. Watch the video above to learn about what’s frequently called NASA’s “successful failure.”

TIME Football

NFL Quarterback Johnny Manziel Released From Rehab

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel talks with the media at the NFL football team's training camp, in Berea, Ohio, Feb. 2, 2015.
Tony Dejak—AP Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel talks with the media at the NFL football team's training camp, in Berea, Ohio, Feb. 2, 2015.

He's expected to start off-season workouts later this month

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has been released from a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility and will return to practice, according to multiple reports.

ESPN and the Associated Press, citing anonymous sources, report that the 22-year-old Heisman Trophy winner is expected to start off-season workouts later this month. Manziel entered treatment at the end of January following his rookie season in the NFL.

Browns left tackle Joe Thomas told ESPN this week that Manziel had lost the trust of his teammates through his behavior, but Thomas added that Manziel checking himself into rehab was a “really positive” step. Manziel will compete with veteran Josh McCown for the QB job this year.

“I’m hoping when we come back in April we see a new Johnny and everybody’s blown away with his commitment,” said Thomas. “And I think he’s got the talent, so it’s just a matter of if he commits himself to it, we can have a really good quarterback on our hands.”

TIME Crime

Lockdown Lifted After Man Fatally Shoots Himself at U.S. Capitol

He was carrying a sign that referenced "social justice"

A man fatally shot himself at the U.S. Capitol Saturday, prompting an hours-long lockdown that was lifted by late afternoon, according to reports.

The man had a backpack and a rolling suitcase with him, along with a sign referencing “social justice,” when he killed himself at about 1 p.m., the Associated Press.

No one else was believed to be harmed, though dozens of people were nearby and some witnessed the suicide, the AP reports.

The Capitol Police locked down the building after the incident, barring staff and visitors from entering or exiting due to a “potential security threat,” said Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman. Police were also investigating a suspicious package, she added.

The building reopened later in the day.

Lawmakers are expected to return to the Capitol on Monday after Congress’ two-week recess.

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