Western Powers Reach Long-sought Nuclear Deal With Iran

Obama vows to veto any attempt by Congress to obstruct the deal

Western leaders announced Tuesday that a historic deal had been reached with Iran to limit its nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions, after months of prolonged negotiations—a deal hailed by President Obama as an “opportunity to move in a new direction” with a country long at odds with the U.S.

“Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,” Obama said during an early-morning address. “Because of this deal, the international community will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.”

Under the deal, Iran would be required to remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges and 98% of its current uranium stockpile, to bring the “breakout” time Iran would need to make a nuclear weapon to one year, up from the current estimate of just a few months. Iran would be offered some sanctions relief in exchange for compliance with the deal. If Iran doesn’t comply, Obama said, any sanctions relief that’s offered under the deal would be suspended.

Congress now has 60 days to vote the deal up or down, but Obama said he would veto any legislation to block the deal. “This is not the time for politics or posturing,” he said. “Tough talk from Washington does not solve problems. Hard-nosed diplomacy, leadership that has united the world’s major powers offers a more effective way to verify that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also heralded the deal on Tuesday. “Negotiators have reached a good agreement and I announce to our people that our prayers have come true,” Rouhani said during a televised address that aired after Obama spoke.

But opposition to the deal came swiftly from Israel and from Republican leaders and presidential candidates. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the world is a “much more dangerous place” because of the deal, and that his country would not be bound by it, according to the Associated Press. Netanyahu vowed to pursue any diplomatic efforts that would block the deal. Republicans took to the airwaves and to social media to hammer the Obama Administration for cutting a deal, and the accord seemed certain to become a flashpoint in the presidential race. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican front-runner who announced his presidential campaign on Monday, said the deal “will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures.”

Shortly before Obama spoke in Washington, leaders in Vienna and within the countries involved in negotiations hailed the “historic” nature of the deal. In a joint statement on Tuesday, European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the agreement offers “new possibilities.”

“This agreement opens new possibilities and a way forward to end a crisis that has lasted for more than 10 years,” the leaders said. “We are committed to make sure this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is fully implemented, counting also on the contribution of the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

In London, the British Defense Minister Philip Hammond also welcomed the deal but recognized the anxiety of some of Iran’s neighbors in the Middle East. “We recognise the concern in the region about Iran’s historic pattern of regional activity. We will maintain our clear position in support of the Gulf states and against Iranian interference in their internal affairs. We hope, and expect, that this agreement will herald a step-change in Iran’s relations with its neighbours and with the international community,” he said.

TIME space

Pluto Poses With Largest Moon in Cosmic Family Photo

New Horizons was about 3.7 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Pluto and Charon when it snapped this portrait late on July 8, 2015. Color information obtained earlier in the mission from the Ralph instrument has been added.
NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI New Horizons was about 3.7 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Pluto and Charon when it snapped this portrait late on July 8, 2015. Color information obtained earlier in the mission from the Ralph instrument has been added.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft took the image

As NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft inches closer to the icy planet Pluto, unprecedented images of its surface and moon have emerged.

On Thursday, NASA revealed images of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, shedding light on new details about the surface of the dwarf planet and its moon.

The two celestial bodies have little in common despite existing in harmony for billions of years. The dwarf planet is home to “exotic ices” ranging from nitrogen to carbon monoxide, NASA says, while its moon carries frozen water and ammonia.

New Horizons will soon wrap its nearly decade long mission to get close to Pluto. It is scheduled to pass the planet on July 14.

TIME Drugs

Some Antidepressants Linked to Higher Risk of Birth Defects

Drugs Prozac and Paxil are linked to certain defects in a new study

A new study finds women who used certain antidepressants could be more likely to have babies born with rare birth defects.

According to the study of 28,000 women by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), certain birth defects were more common among users of antidepressants Prozac and Paxil.

Prozac usage was linked to defects like misshapen skulls and Paxil was associated with defects such as intestines growing outside of the baby’s body and missing parts of the brain and skull. Both drugs were linked to heart defects, according to the study.

The study’s authors note that the risks are very small and that there is no proof that the drugs cause defects, but they did discover a link between using the drugs in early stages of pregnancy and some defects. Women were asked if they used certain antidepressants in the time just before they conceived and during the first three months of pregnancy.

The study, which was published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal, follows several studies that linked the entire class of antidepressants to defects. The study, however, did not find links with birth defects in antidepressants Celexa, Lexapro or Zoloft.


TIME celebrities

Tom Selleck Reaches Settlement Over Claims He Stole Water

Actor Tom Selleck attends the PowerWomen 2013 awards at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, NY on Nov. 14, 2013.
Anthony Behar—Sipa USA Actor Tom Selleck attends the PowerWomen 2013 awards at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, NY on Nov. 14, 2013.

The Blue Bloods actor and his wife allegedly stole water from hydrant to use on ranch

Actor Tom Selleck has reached an agreement with the California water district that accused the Blue Bloods star of pilfering water.

Officials from the Calleguas Municipal Water District filed a complaint against Selleck and his wife on Monday, saying the actor had illegally taken water from hydrant outside of their district for use on their ranch. According to KTLA, the couple is accused of stealing water on multiple occasions, dating back to 2013. On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports, the two parties reached a settlement.

The details, however, are unclear. The settlement will remain confidential until after district water board meeting next Wednesday where it will have to be approved. The Calleguas district resource manager told the Times they’re “happy’ about the settlement.

“It’s good news,” he said.

[LA Times]

TIME Soccer

Anti-Sexism Group Will Fly Equal Pay Banner Over World Cup Parade

The United States Women's National Team celebrates with the trophy after they beat Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson—AP The U.S.A. Women's National Team celebrates with the trophy after they beat Japan 5-2 in the final match of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on July 5, 2015.

“Our message to FIFA is simple: equal pay for equal play,” UltraViolet said

An anti-sexism group is planning to protest wage inequality at a parade to celebrate the USA team’s win at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in New York City on Friday, with a plane carrying a banner calling for equal pay in soccer.

UltraViolet will protest the parade to pressure FIFA to pay women soccer players as much as men. “Our message to FIFA is simple: equal pay for equal play,” said UltraViolet co-founder Nita Chaudhary in a press release. “FIFA’s antiquated pay discrimination isn’t acceptable anymore.”

The banner will read “@UltraViolet: FIFA—Equal Pay 4 Equal Play” and is scheduled to be displayed above the New York celebration from 9a.m. until 12p.m. on Friday. The group is also dispatching a fleet of bikes with equal pay billboards throughout the city all day.

The group has been calling on FIFA to hike pay for women since February, but has increased pressure in light of the USA team’s World Cup win. The women’s team received $2 million for their World Cup win, significantly less than the $8 million the men’s team got after losing in the first round.


Ariana Grande’s Tongue Helps Triple Business at Doughnut Store

Video of star licking frosted treats has attracted customers

Though the now infamous video of singer Ariana Grande licking a donut at a California shop led the heath department to knock Wolfee Donuts down a grade, the owner tells The Wrap business is booming.

Owner Joe Marin said business has “tripled” since the security video apparently showing the singer and a friend disrespecting perfectly good donuts and dissing America.

The boost in visitors hasn’t taken away from Marin’s anger over the incident. He said Grande’s lowly behavior had made him “furious.” In a review of the video, which he said he has sent to local authorities, Marin said he noticed Grande had spit on powdered donuts, though she licked frosted ones. “A customer out there could have got sick,” Marin said.

Grande has since apologized for the America-bashing portion of the incident, saying in part that she’s “EXTREMELY proud to be an American.” Marin, however, says the singer hasn’t reached out to him to apologize.

[The Wrap]


New Orleans Mayor Asks City to Remove Confederate Statues

A monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee towers over a traffic circle in New Orleans
Jonathan Bachman—Reuters A 60 ft tall monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee towers over a traffic circle in New Orleans on June 24, 2015.

The mayor formally requested that the City Council reconsider the need for statutes honoring Confederates throughout the city

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Thursday joined Southern leaders in officially renouncing Confederate symbols that appear in public spaces around the city and state.

Landrieu formally asked the New Orleans City Council to start the process to remove four statues erected to honor Confederate leaders from their prominent positions throughout the city. The request follows Landrieu’s call for discussions and public hearings on the monuments in the wake of the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“This is about more than the men represented in these statues. This discussion is about whether these monuments, built to reinforce the false valor of a war fought over slavery, ever really belonged in a city as great as New Orleans whose lifeblood flows from our diversity and inclusiveness,” said Landrieu said, according to the city’s website.

The mayor is calling for the removal of four structures including a statue honoring Robert E.Lee at Lee Circle, where protesters on Saturday burned a Confederate flag. Landrieu also wants the city to consider moving the Jefferson Davis statue on Jefferson Davis Parkway, the PGT Beauregard equestrian statue on Esplanade Avenue at the entrance to City Park; and, the Battle of Liberty Place Monument at Iberville Street as public nuisances, which would legally allow for their removal.

Landrieu also requested the Jefferson Davis Parkway be renamed to honor Dr. Norman C. Francis, a prominent Civil Rights leader who served as president of the historically black Xavier University.

His call to action came the same day that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill to remove the Confederate flag from outside the Palmetto state’s Capitol building. The flag is set to be removed on Friday.


Director of Hacked Federal Agency Says She Won’t Resign

The Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta arrives late for a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee about the recent OPM data breach in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 25, 2015 in Washington.
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images The Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta arrives late for a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee about the recent OPM data breach in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 25, 2015 in Washington.

"I am committed to the work that I am doing," Office of Personnel Managment director Katherine Archuleta said

The director of the Office of Personnel Management said Thursday she will not resign, despite the newly widened scope of the massive breach of federal government data.

An internal investigation released Thursday revealed that the social security numbers of 21.5 million individuals and 1.1 million fingerprints were stolen — higher than previously reported — along with the personnel data on 4.2 individuals that was previously reported stolen.

Among the 21.5 million people were employees and applicants who had submitted information to the OPM, which is essentially the human resources department of the federal government, for background checks and their friends and relatives like spouses and “co-habitants.”

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill had already been calling for director Katherine Archuleta to resign from her post in the wake of the massive breach, first reported in June about a month after officials discovered the system had been compromised. Those calls will only get louder with these new revelations.

But Archuleta said she would continue leading the agency despite the revelations. “I am committed to the work that I am doing at OPM,” she told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “We are working very hard not only at OPM but across government to ensure the cybersecurity of all of our systems and I will continue to do so. ”

She said it was under her watch that a new information technology plan was implemented at OPM, and it was that plan that led the staff to identify the recent breach.

“It is because of the efforts of OPM and its staff that we’ve been able to identify the breaches that you’ve described,” Archuleta said. “We have a very aggressive push to enhance our cybersecurity and modernize our systems and we’ll continue to do so.”

Federal officials are now conducting a comprehensive review of security systems across the federal government to identify remaining vulnerabilities.

TIME Drugs

What Are Quaaludes and Why Did Bill Cosby Use Them?

A brief history of the drug Cosby admitted to purchasing in a recently uncovered deposition

Interest in quaaludes, a powerful sedative popular among housewives in the 1960s and disco partiers in the 70s and 80s, has peaked again following revelations about disgraced comedian Bill Cosby’s use of the drug. An Associated Press report revealed that Cosby admitted to acquiring the drug with intentions of giving it to women he planned to have sex with during a deposition in 2005. Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by over two dozen women.

But, just what are quaaludes?

Methaqualone or quaaludes— also known as ‘ludes, Lemmons, and 714s—were initially synthesized in India in the 1950s. The pill is part sleeping pill, part sedative that was initially marketed as not being as addictive as barbiturates.

By the mid-1960s, the pill was being manufactured in the United States and prescribed to housewives with trouble controlling their nerves and sleeping. But soon another use of the drug was discovered: mix it with alcohol and achieve a “drunken, sleepy high,” according to PBS News. Using the drug to reach a euphoric feeling was one thing, but taking too much could lead to “respiratory arrest, delirium, kidney or liver damage, coma, and death.”

According to the Atlantic, by the 1970s abuse of the pill caused a panic and in 1973 the previously prescription-only drug had been labeled a Schedule II Controlled Substance. But by then the drug had grown in popularity among big city club goers and fraudulent doctors willing to write quick scripts to folks looking to get a fix. The Paris Review describes the appeal thusly:

To stay home feeling ecstatic was one thing, but imagine being out! Music! Lights! Sweaty, writhing bodies! Of course quaaludes were at the center of the seventies disco movement. Manhattan was littered with “juice bars,” nightclubs where no alcohol was sold but quaaludes could be had for a song.

Even as the Drug Enforcement made attempts to crack down on use and distribution of the drug, the drug was picked up by another manufacturer and was continuously marketed as a sleeping aid. And because people so enjoyed taking it, as noted in the Atlantic and Paris Review articles, people kept taking it.

Its history, however, isn’t all based in its euphoric effects. Film director Roman Polanski was accused of drugging a 13-year-old girl with quaaludes before sexually assaulting her. Playboy bunnies recall using the pill during risky sexual encounters. The 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street gruesomely depicts the destruction a ‘lude induced bender inflicted on Jordan Belfort’s car, neighborhood, and life. And continuous episodes of bad press and abuse led manufacturers to cease producing the pill in the mid-1980s. Now, as Leonardo DiCaprio’s Belfort laments in the Martin Scorsese film, it’s nearly impossible to get prescription grade versions of the pill in 2015.

And now, the drug will be further associated with risky activity. Under oath, Bill Cosby was asked, “When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?”

“Yes,” Cosby said.

TIME Crime

Parents Force Teen to Live in the Woods For Eating Pop-Tart

crystal and james driggers
Sumter County Sheriff's Office

A South Carolina couple face neglect charges

A South Carolina couple is facing neglect charges for allegedly forcing their teenaged daughter to live in the woods as a form of punishment.

James and Crystal Driggers are accused of not allowing their 14-year-old to enter their home for at least two days because she ate a Pop-Tart without permission, NBC News reports. The girl was reportedly told not to come home for a week; someone from her household was to deliver her food at specific times. According to authorities in the report, the girl was told to pitch a tent in the woods and was provided with only a roll of toilet paper, a whistle, a flashlight, and a watch.

The girl’s grandmother was able to take her in and report her situation to police, but after a short while police discovered she was sent back out. The parents were arrested and face one count of unlawful neglect of a child and could face more.

[NBC News]


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