TIME Barack Obama

Father’s Day Documentary Looks at Obama Volunteer Program

US President Barack Obama has lunch with My Brother's Keeper mentees at the White House in Washington, DC on February 27, 2015.
YURI GRIPAS—AFP/Getty Images US President Barack Obama has lunch with My Brother's Keeper mentees at the White House in Washington, DC on February 27, 2015.

President Obama barely knew his father, who deserted the future president and his mother in Hawaii when he was very young. So when he talks about growing up in a new documentary, it’s tinged with a sense of loss.

“I do know what it means to come of age uncertain about your place and not clear about what it means to become a man and not having as much guidance … and getting into trouble and making bad decisions,” he says in “Rise: The Story of My Brother’s Keeper.”

On Father’s Day, the Discovery Channel will air the highly anticipated documentary, which focuses on a program Obama started to help young men of color. The documentary itself helps with one of My Brother’s Keeper’s main goals: to change the narrative of young black and Hispanic boys by giving outsiders a sense of what their lives are really like.

As Obama says in the documentary, these kids are often seen through the “filter of stereotypes.”

“There’s the young kids wearing baggy pants or there’s the young rapper and that’s part of the experience of these young men but these young men are also scared, these young men are also vulnerable, these young men are also talented,” Obama says in the 48-minute film. “These young people are also willing to work hard for things they think are achievable. These young people want safety and to be loved and that’s not heard often enough.”

That fear is made palpable in one scene, when a group of students in Chicago’s Becoming a Man program are asked if they get scared walking alone in their own neighborhood, if they’re afraid they might not make it.

“I saw the shots and I saw the gun and I saw the people running,” one boy says. “I’m scared because it was so close to me. Like, I can’t trust nobody in the streets.”

Amid the stories of fear, though, there are glimmers of hope. A boy in Maryland proudly declares he became a “genius” in the 1st grade (2nd grade, viewers learn, is where he got to show off his skills). Johnny Herber of Yuba City, Calif., obtains job-ready skills after nearly succumbing to alcoholism before his 18th birthday.

Since My Brother’s Keeper launched in 2014, over 200 mayors and tribal leaders across 46 states have made commitments to join the initiative. Businesses and corporations have pledged millions in donations and the groundwork has been laid for Obama to continue after he leaves office.

But while the program has grown, there’s been a marked shift in the conversation on race in America at the same time. Many young black men see the deaths of their peers at the hands of police in communities as far apart as Ferguson, Baltimore and New York as a nationwide epidemic, while the deaths of nine black churchgoers in Charleston has made it seem as though no place is safe from racially tinged violence.

The attention to the ongoing difficulties faced by those in the black and Hispanic communities, says Broderick Johnson, chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, has brought a spotlight to policy-driven efforts of the administration to address issues like community-police relations and school discipline policies.

Yet that work is only a part of the program’s goal.

“Even without the incidents that we’ve seen across the country this work would have gotten started,” Johnson says. “One of the great achievements of this work will be to ensure that the exceptional is not the exception. And that the extraordinary becomes the norm.”

TIME White House

Obama Hits the Links in California Amid Drought

Barack Obama
Carolyn Kaster—AP President Barack Obama walks across the tarmac to greet people as he arrives on Air Force One at San Francisco International airport June 19, 2015.

Golf courses say they're doing their part to cut back on water consumption

President Obama will golf Saturday on a lush, green course in California, even as the state grapples with a drought of historic proportions. As in past golfing trips, this will likely raise more than a few eyebrows.

The golf industry is important to California’s economy, supporting over 128,000 jobs and accounting for $13.1 billion of economic activity, but it takes a lot of water to keep those greens and ponds looking pristine.

There are few places in the Golden State where that’s more apparent than the Coachella Valley, home of Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage; the lux oases nestled in the California desert where Obama will be staying.

Across the state, golf course consume less than 1% of the state’s water, but the 120-plus courses in Coachella Valley consume about 17 percent of the area’s water. In 2014, TIME’s Zeke Miller reported that “each of the 124 Coachella Valley courses, on average, uses nearly 1 million gallons a day due to the hot and dry climate, 3-4 times more water per day than the average American golf course.”

“The challenges that we see are really sort of symbolic of the opportunities and the challenges we have with water in California,” says Heather Cooley, the water program director at the Pacific Institute. “Golf courses are large users of water locally, but they can be doing and they should be doing their part to help California respond to the drought.”

To curb the impact of the historic drought, California Gov. Jerry Brown has called for a 25% reduction in potable water-use across the state, but due to the Coachella Valley’s high per-capita water use the area was among those urged to reduce urban water consumption by 36%. Golf courses and other entities that rely on their own ground water sources have been asked to reduce water consumption by 25%.

Heather Engel, a spokesperson for the Coachella Valley Water District said it recognizes the concern over consumption and notes that courses in the area are working to curb their environmental impact.

“Golf courses use water,” she says. “But courses in the area are doing what they can to reduce their water use.”

Eighteen courses participated in a rebate program to replace some grass with drought-friendly turf, she says, and others are allowing non-play areas go brown. Fifty-two courses in the entire valley use water other than the groundwater to keep their courses irrigated, including recycled water and water from the Colorado River.

At the Sunnylands golf course, where Obama has played in the past, officials released a fact sheet on Friday ahead of the President’s visit to highlight the steps the exclusive club has taken to cut back on water. The course has already installed a new irrigation system and replaced 60 acres of turf with drought-tolerant tall grass. And according to the fact sheet, the estate cut back on watering and seeding and plans to reduce watering by 50% on an additional 44 acres of the 200-acre course.

The White House has already sought to deflect the negative attention that the president’s rounds of Father’s Day weekend golf may attract.

En route to California, White House spokesman Eric Schultz wrote off the concern over golfing in the drought as a non-issue. The visit follows a conference call the president had with western state governors about the historic drought, during which he pledged $100 million to help fight wildfires. On Friday, the White House said Obama met with Brown to discuss federal, local, and state efforts to deal with the drought and wildfires.

“This administration’s commitment to helping those affected by the drought is second to none,” Schultz said.

TIME Football

A Deflategate Football Is Going Up for Auction

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass during the first half of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Foxborough, Mass on Jan. 18, 2015.
Charles Krupa—AP New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass during the first half of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Foxborough, Mass on Jan. 18, 2015.

Bidding starts at $25,000

One of the infamous “Deflategate” footballs is set to hit the auction block.

Lelands will host an auction for one of the game balls used during the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 18. The New England Patriots were later investigated for deflating a number of game balls, resulting in a big fine against the team and a several-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady over what investigators claimed was his knowledge about the scheme.

The current owners of the ball, as detailed in the lot prompt, received the ball from a Patriots player after a touchdown. The couple says they left the game early to make sure their ball stayed safe. Lelands called the game ball “the most ‘topical’ piece of sports memorabilia that we can recall ever being sold so close to the event itself.”

Bidding, which begins at 9 p.m. ET on July 18, starts at $25,000.

TIME weather

Earth Just Had Its Warmest Spring on Record

People gather in in Central Park as temperatures in Manhattan hit 90 degrees F (32C) for the first time in 2015, in New York City on June 11, 2015.
Kena Betancur—AFP/Getty Images People gather in in Central Park as temperatures in Manhattan hit 90 degrees F (32C) for the first time in 2015, in New York City on June 11, 2015.

It was officially the warmest May ever, too

This year is shaping up to be a hot one—literally.

This past May was officially the warmest on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a new report. What’s more, researchers say Earth experienced the warmed spring and first five months of the year on record, too. Land and sea temperatures across the globe were higher than the agency has ever recorded in more than 130 years.

Last month was 1.57 degrees Fahrenheit above the average worldwide of 58.6 degrees, the agency said. And the spring averaged 1.53 degrees above the the typical temperature. In the U.S., May turned out to be the country’s wettest month on record.

TIME

Read Vice President Joe Biden’s Statement on the Charleston Shooting

"Hate has once again been let loose in an American community"

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden said Thursday that their “hearts ache with sorrow” in the wake of Wednesday’s church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, that left nine people dead. Their statement was released after President Obama’s remarks from the White House and after authorities confirmed the suspected shooter, Dylann Roof, 21, was apprehended in North Carolina.

Here’s the full statement from the Bidens:

Hate has once again been let loose in an American community. And the senseless actions of a coward have once again cut short so many lives with so much promise. Our hearts ache with sorrow with the entire Emanuel AME Church family as they seek solace and comfort in the shadow of a gunman’s act of pure evil and hatred. Our love and prayers are with them.

We last saw Reverend Clementa Pinckney less than a year ago at a prayer breakfast in Columbia. He was a good man, a man of faith, a man of service who carried forward Mother Emanuel’s legacy as a sacred place promoting freedom, equality, and justice for all. We pray for him and his sister as we do for the seven other innocent souls who entered that storied church for their weekly Bible study seeking nothing more than humble guidance for the full lives ahead of them.

We have no doubt the coward who committed this heinous act will be brought to justice. But as a nation we must confront the ravages of gun violence and the stain of hatred that continues to be visited on our streets, in our schools, in our houses of worship, and in our communities.

As Mayor Riley made clear, all of Charleston’s heart bleeds today—but the overwhelming display of unity will bring forth the city’s healing. We will never forget those innocent souls who lost their lives. We will be there with all the strength and support and prayers we can offer to the families who now grieve. And as a nation we will come together.

Read next: Everything We Know About the Charleston Shooting

TIME

Brian Williams Loses NBC Nightly News Anchor Chair

Moves to MSNBC as Lester Holt takes his place full-time

Brian Williams will no longer serve as the anchor of the NBC Nightly News, NBC executives announced Thursday, and instead will soon be joining the cable network MSNBC.

The move represents a significant demotion for Williams who had become a star behind and away from the anchors’ desk. But it also marks a historic moment for 56-year-old Lester Holt, who will now serve as the permanent anchor of the Nightly News.

The changing of the guard at the Nightly News came after an investigation into Williams’ conduct, launched in February after the anchor was suspended for embellishing stories about his reporting — notably, his erroneous claim that a helicopter he was riding in during the Iraq War had come under fire.

NBC said Thursday that an extensive internal review found that although Williams had made a number of false statements about his work and career, “the statements in question did not for the most part occur on NBC News platforms or in the immediate aftermath of the news events, but rather on late-night programs and during public appearances, usually years after the news events in question.”

“Brian now has the chance to earn back everyone’s trust. His excellent work over twenty-two years at NBC News has earned him that opportunity,” said Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC. He also praised Holt as an “exceptional anchor who goes straight to the heart of every story and is always able to find its most direct connection to the everyday lives of our audience.”

“In many ways, television news stands at a crossroads,” Lack said, “and Lester is the perfect person to meet the moment.”

TIME White House

President Obama Calls for Reflection on Gun Control After Charleston Shooting

President Obama spoke after the shooting at a South Carolina church

President Obama called for Americans to think hard about gun control in the country as he addressed Wednesday night’s massacre at a historically black South Carolina church, which left nine people dead.

Too many times, Obama said Thursday, he has had to speak in the aftermath of the murder of innocent people at the hands of a gunman.

“At some point we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of violence doesn’t happen in other advanced countries,” Obama said, speaking for several minutes from the White House press briefing room. “It doesn’t happen with this sort of frequency.”

“There’s something particularly heartbreaking about [this] happening in a place in which we seek solace, in which we seek peace,” Obama added of the shooting at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. “This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston, in the history of America.”

Shortly before the president spoke, news broke that authorities had captured the suspect the shooting, 21-year-old Dylann Roof.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the case as a hate crime, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a press conference earlier Thursday.

“Acts like this one have no place in our country and no place in a civilized society,” Lynch said.

In his remarks, Obama also offered condolences to the victims’ families and said he and the First Lady personally knew several members of the Emanuel AME Church community.

The fact that the church is historically black and located in the South “raises questions about a dark part of our history,” Obama said.

Yet in noting the adversity the church has faced in its past—from racial injustice to natural disaster—Obama he is confident that the church will “rise again now as a place of peace.”

TIME Money

U.S. to Put a Woman on the Redesigned $10 Bill in 2020

The Treasury Department will announce whose face will grace the currency at a later date

The U.S. plans to put a woman on the $10 bill, announcing Wednesday that the next $10 bill will feature the likeness of a woman who has played a major role in American history and has been a champion for democracy.

The new note, anticipated to be released in 2020, would be unveiled just in time for the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which secured women’s suffrage. “America’s currency makes a statement about who we are and what we stand for as a nation,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on a call Wednesday.

Just who the woman will be, however, has not been determined yet. The Department of Treasury launched a campaign to garner public input on what the next bill should look like. Over the summer, the Treasury Department will host town-hall meetings and engage with the public digitally about the bill’s design.

“The public outreach is going to give us a chance to hear from the American people about their ideas for what kind of symbols, ideas, and representation should be on the $10 bill,” Lew said.

While the outreach to the public is novel and in line with the bill’s theme of “democracy,” the final selection of look will be traditional. After public comments close, the Department will make the ultimate decision of what the bill looks like and Lew later announce whose face will be featured. The new bill will also include enhanced security components and a new feature that will make it easier for the blind and visually impaired to handle.

For months, there’s been a large movement to get a woman on the bill, including a charge led by a 9-year-old girl, who wrote a letter to President Obama asking why American currency was so male-dominated. The advocacy group Women on 20s, however, has been calling for a woman’s face to appear on the $20, in part due to Andrew Jackson’s role in the slave trade and the killing of many Native Americans.

Lew said while there is a “happy coincidence” in the timing of their announcement and the calls for action, the $10 bill had been set to undergo a redesign for some time. “The Women on 20 campaign reflects the best tradition of American democracy,” he said. “The planning of this has gone back several years.”

And the change has been a long time coming.

Alexander Hamilton has been the face of the $10 bill since 1929 and, according to the Federal Reserve, there were 1.9 billion bills in circulation at the end of 2014. The last woman to appear on a bill, however, dates all the way back to the 19th century, when Martha Washington appeared on the $1 silver certificate from 1891 to 1896. Before that, Pocahontas appeared in a group photo on the $20 national bank note.

“Our Democracy is a work in progress. We’ve always been committed to becoming a more perfect union,” Lew said. “This decision of putting a woman on the $10 bill reflects our aspirations for the future as much as a reflection of the past.”

U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, however, says for many in the U.S. it will mean a bit more.

“For many of us who have daughters, who have sisters, aunts and mothers, I think for all of all us — we go with what we know. Having something on the note that touches the American public every day is very symbolic not just for today, but for our future,” she said.

The public is being invited to engage in the discussion on who is on the next bill online through the website thenew10.treasury.gov and using the hashtag #TheNew10. The main criteria for the next portrait is the subject must be deceased.

TIME Health Care

Poll: Americans Largely Oblivious to Supreme Court Case on Obamacare’s Future

Supreme Court
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images The American flag flies next to the U.S. Supreme Court.

7 in 10 Americans have heard little or nothing about the case

A great deal of Americans will be taken by surprise should the Supreme Court rule against the Affordable Care Act in the coming weeks — a new poll finds seven in ten Americans say they’ve only heard a little or nothing at all about the pending case.

According to a new poll by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 44% of Americans haven’t heard anything while 28% have heard only a little about King v. Burwell, a case due to be heard within weeks that could cause millions to lose federal subsidies for health insurance.

Though more people report knowing about the case than did when the Court announced it would take it up, the lack of knowledge isn’t a good sign given the impact the case could have on health insurance for low and middle-income Americans.

An estimated 6.4 million Americans could lose the federal government’s help in paying for their insurance if the Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The majority of surveyed adults say Congress or the states should act if the Court rules to gut the law, but a larger number of Republicans say neither should act on the issue.

The Kaiser poll was conducted between June 2 and 9 and 1,200 adults were contacted for the survey. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

TIME Late Night Highlight

Watch Aziz Ansari and Jimmy Fallon Read Awkward Texts from Guys

"It was a horror to meet you"

Aziz Ansari and Jimmy Fallon want guys who send awkward texts to know they’re not alone.

With the release of his book Modern Romance, Ansari has become a bit of a love guru. And during an appearance on the Tonight Show, Ansari and Fallon read some “texty” messages from guys attempting to express their interest in women they’d met—all of which went horribly wrong.

From too-long messages to terrifying typos, their foray into some men’s first “textual experience” was basically a crash course in texts not to send. Here’s the full clip:

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