TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: July 9

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

In the news: Israel airstrikes Gaza; President Obama's $3.7 billion request to handle border crisis; Citigroup to pay $7 billion for shoddy mortgages; Which Muslim Americans leaders the NSA and FBI spy on; GOP's 2016 Cleveland convention; Germany beats Brazil 7-1 in World Cup

  • “Rockets continued to fall over central Israel on Wednesday and Israel carried out more airstrikes in Gaza, as the military and political confrontation between Hamas and Israel showed no signs of abating.” [NYT]
  • “President Barack Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion Tuesday to handle the thousands of child migrants on the southern border, and he’d like lawmakers to treat the emergency request as a simple matter of human compassion.” [TIME]
    • “Now Republicans have leverage, and they have a few requests of their own. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wants to require employers to verify electronically that new hires are in the country legally and the government to put in place an electronic entry-exit system at points of entry at the border…” [National Journal]
  • “The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies.” [The Intercept]
  • “The Justice Department and Citigroup are close to a deal for the bank to pay about $7 billion to settle allegations it sold shoddy mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis …” [WSJ]
  • “More than 100 faith leaders asked President Barack Obama on Tuesday not to include a religious exemption in his upcoming executive order to ban job discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation among federal employees.” [TIME]
  • Lawrence Lessig on His Super PAC to End Super PACs [TIME]
  • 5 Reasons to Be Delighted and Worried About a GOP Convention in Cleveland [TIME]
    • “Democrats are considering hosting their convention in Birmingham, Cleveland, Columbus, New York, Philadelphia and Phoenix, with a decision expected early next year. Cleveland will likely be cut from contention now that it has been selected by Republicans.” [TIME]
  • House GOP Stuck on Obamacare Alternative [Politico]
  • Teachers Union Turn Against Democrats [NYMag]
  • “Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has upset some Democratic senators by backtracking on his commitment to put spending bills on the floor this summer.” [Hill]
  • The Craziest, Costliest Political Campaigns Are the Ones You’ve Never Heard Of [WaPo]
  • “Germany beat Brazil 7-1 on Tuesday, ending the host country’s run in the World Cup semifinals. The German team scored four goals in less than seven minutes (23′, 24′, 26′, 29′). Germany’s Miroslav Klose also became the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer during the game. ESPN reports that this is just second time ever that Brazil has conceded 7+ goals in a game. (The first was against Yugoslavia in 1934.) It was also the worst ever loss by a host country.” [SI]
TIME Malaysia

A Malaysian Legislator Tweets Praise to Hitler After Germany’s Soccer Triumph

This photo taken on May 19, 2010 shows M
Malaysian lawmaker Bung Mokhtar Radin and his second wife Zizie Ezette arriving at a Shari‘a court in Kuala Lumpur on May 19, 2010 AFP/Getty Images

The politician has refused to apologize for the tweet, claiming that the German squad "fought" like Hitler in its 7-1 World Cup semifinal victory over Brazil

A Malaysian member of Parliament, Bung Mokhtar Radin, has refused to apologize for a tweet that paid tribute to Adolf Hitler following Germany’s 7-1 win over Brazil in the World Cup semifinal.

Bung wrote, “Well Done..Bravo…Long Live Hitler…” after Germany’s soccer triumph, prompting outrage from the Malaysian Twitterverse.

The German ambassador to Malaysia, Holger Michael, also weighed in. “We strongly reject the distasteful and unacceptable allusion to the fascist regime of Adolf Hitler,” he tells TIME.

But Bung showed no remorse during a Wednesday interview with the Star. “I don’t know what’s wrong with people sometimes. Hitler is part of history and the German team fought like how he did,” he said.

Bung added that the tweet was just for fun and suggested that everyone needed to get a better sense of humor.

“I think people nowadays should transform their mentality. Whatever I tweet people hit me. They are not hitting me because of Hitler, but because I am Bung Mokhtar,” he claimed.

TIME World Cup

Germany Crushes Catastrophic Brazil 7-1

APTOPIX Brazil Soccer WCup Brazil Germany
A Brazil soccer fan cries as Germany scores against her team at a semifinal World Cup match as she watches the game on a live telecast in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014. Bruno Magalhaes—AP

The host country's fans went from stunned to comatose, like they were stuck in a bad dream

Brazil’s World Cup dream didn’t just end in the semifinal; it was shattered spectacularly into tiny yellow pieces. A fast and tactical German team shredded Brazil’s largely absent defense five times in 18 amazing first-half minutes to walk into the finals.

Brazil entered the game without its leading scorer, Neymar, and its defensive captain Thiago Silva but with the backing of its passionate crowd. But the Seleção went out of the game with its reputation as soccer’s most creative force in tatters. A team that hadn’t lost at home since 1975 suffered a defeat that was almost unthinkable.

The hammering began 11 minutes into the game when Brazil failed to mark Thomas Mueller on a corner kick—a criminal lapse against any German team— and Mueller took his time to sweep the ball past goalie Julio Cesar. The goal silenced the roaring home crowd but it was hardly a disaster. Croatia had scored first against Brazil in the opening game. Until that time, Brazil had held its own, even starting by brightly bringing its attack into Germany’s end.

But the Seleção was also ceding massive amounts of space on the field, as it had done against Colombia. But Germany is certainly not Colombia and soon began running into gaps in the Brazilian lines with menace. That menace turned to 2-0 when Miroslav Klose collected Mueller’s pass deep in the Brazil box and after Cesar blocked his initial shot he had an easy time pushing the rebound past the hapless keeper. The goal made Klose the all time leading World Cup scorer with 16.

The crowd went from stunned to comatose but they were soon to be shaken out of this bad dream by something even worse. Hardly a minute later, Dante, in for Silva, fed a hospital ball to Fernandinho 40 yards in front of his own goal. Fernandinho was dispossessed and Germany was down Brazil’s throat again. Kroos easily slotted home a couple of passes later. Barely two minutes after that, Brazil failed to clear a rolling ball delivered across its own 18 yard box and Toni Kroos smacked a left footer past Cesar. By the time that Sami Khedira collected Germany’s fifth goal in the 29th minute after exchanging passes with Mesut Oezil, Brazil’s defense had been reduced to numb spectators who looked as if they had just watched a horrific car crash.

The Brazilians were whistled off the pitch by the crowd that loved them at the start of the game. “It looks as if it’s 11 against 9,” noted television commentator Steve McManaman. It looked worse than that.

At the half, Brazil benched the execrable Hulk and replaced him with Ramires and took Fernandinho out for Paulinho. The changes, if way too late, injected some life into Brazil, and within the first 10 minutes of the second half produced three great goal scoring chances. But Manuel Nueur’s twin, point-blank saves against Paulinho signaled that there would be no miracle comeback. Instead, with Brazil taking increasing risks, Germany piled on more goals. Substitute Andre

Schuerrle added two well-taken goals before Oscar managed a hardly-a-consolation goal in the 90th minute. The Brazilians walked off the field in tears; history will not be kind to them.

TIME Sports

Crepes vs. Bratwurst: World Cup Matches Reimagined With Food

Soccer has never looked so delicious

The World Cup isn’t just about soccer or athleticism — it’s about bringing people together and taking pride in one’s country and culture, right? To emphasize that part of the event, artist George Zisiadis decided to focus on one key part of culture: food.

He chose one popular dish from several different nations — mussels and fries for Belgium, acarajé for Brazil, and so on — and then combined them.

“Rather than focus on its adversarial nature, I wanted to playfully re-imagine the World Cup and celebrate how it brings cultures together,” Zisiadis told Mashable. “Just like futbol, food also represents nationalities and brings people together.”

George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis

Head over to Zisiadis’s website to see more World Cup food pairings.

TIME world cup 2014

5 Reasons Brazil Will Lose to Germany (and 3 Reasons It Won’t)

Brazil v Colombia: Quarter Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Neymar lies injured while Marcelo shows concern looking over him during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between Brazil and Colombia at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil on July 4, 2014. Lars Baron—FIFA/Getty Images

The pre-tournament favorite Brazil isn't playing much like it at the moment. Here's why Brazil could lose the in the World Cup 2014 semifinals to Germany.

The World Cup reaches the semifinals this week, starting with Germany taking on host Brazil. A day later, Argentina faces the Netherlands. Although the pre-tournament favorite, Brazil hasn’t done much to back up that designation. Here’s why it could be the end of the road for the Seleção.

1) No-Mar
With Neymar out of the World Cup with a fractured vertebra, the Brazilians not only have lost their best scorer, they’ve lost their talisman, and to some degree their hope. Neymar was willing to put Brazil on his back and carry it. He’s a player whose value extends beyond his incredible skills. And with Thiago Silva suspended because of his own stupidity in getting a second yellow card, Brazil has lost its defensive anchor, too.

2) Brazil’s strikers need to add a syllable (and some goals)
Fred. Hulk. Jo. Brazilian players often go by one name—Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho—but its current crop of monosyllabic frontrunners have come up short on goals. Buy a vowel. That’s why players such as Willian and Ramires need to step in Neymar’s absence.

3) The team is mediocre
It may be the worst thing you can say about Brazil, but it’s what Colombia’s players remarked after the game against them—which Colombia lost 2-1 on two set pieces rather than from the run of play. Mexico players were likewise unimpressed after El Tri’s scoreless draw with the Seleção. The magic that marked great Brazilian teams—when three or four players could each do amazing things— is missing from this outfit. Even worse: teams no longer fear Brazil. Germany certainly won’t be intimidated.

4) Brazil is playing like a team that’s afraid of losing
There’s more pressure on this team than any team in the history of football. How could it not get to them? In fact, it has. Neymar’s loss gives Brazil’s team a soul-saving excuse should it lose to Germany, not exactly a motivating thought.

5) Germany isn’t Colombia
Or even Mexico, and that’s not a good thing. Brazil thrives in a wide-open, up-and-down game. Germany is not likely to allow that kind of freedom, as it showed against France. If the Germans cut down on the space, Brazil is going to find it awfully tough going. So are the spectators.

And here, three reasons not to give up on Brazil

1) It got to the semis, didn’t it?
Brazil has won 4 games and tied one, and although none of those results have been pretty to watch, the team has managed to find a way to progress. Against Colombia, it found a way through a corner kick and a piece of powerful artistry from David Luiz on a magnificent free kick.

2) Again, Germany isn’t Colombia.
Or even Mexico, and that’s a good thing. The Germans have looked less impressive with each subsequent game after pole-axing a weak Portuguese team in their opening match. Against France, it reverted to a circa 1986 model of play, with lots of possession in the back and little going forward. And the winning goal? A header by one of its giant backs after winning a free kick. Boring old Germany.

3) It’s the World Cup and it’s in Brazil.
The script has been written, and Brazil just has to play to play its part. Certainly, the crowd at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte is going to turn the joint into a noise avalanche. Brazil’s players just need to ride it to victory.

TIME Research

This Infographic Shows Which World Cup Team Has The Loudest Fans

An unscientific recording of fans' cheering predicts which team will win the World Cup

An expert audiologist with the Hear the World Foundation recorded sound during all four quarter final World Cup games in Sao Paulo, Brazil. When the decibel level spiked above 90, the audiologist recorded the level and for which team the cheering was intended. At the end of each game, the average decibel level of each team’s fans was calculated by adding the decibel levels at each spike, divided by the total number of spikes. Hearing is put into jeopardy at just 90 decibels.

Check out the infographic below for a prediction on who will win the World Cup based on having the loudest fans.

Hear the World Foundation
TIME World Cup

The Soccer Net: A Popular Destination for World Cup Players

Players have taken to the net in celebration, frustration and disappointment

TIME Soccer

Meet Brazil’s ‘Black-Magic Enthusiast’ and His Anti-German Voodoo Dolls

FBL-WC-2014-BRA-MACUMBA
An Afro-Brazilian ritual takes place at a religious-goods shop in Rio de Janeiro on July 3, 2014 Yasuyoshi Chiba—AFP/Getty Images

After Neymar's injury, the Brazilian team may need all the magic it can get

Magic, or some other supernatural tendency, has had a long and weirdly intimate relationship with the game of soccer.

This isn’t simply a matter of the clairvoyant octopus or turtle that may have accurately predicted the outcome of a World Cup match or two. When Ghana’s national team, for instance, lost to Zambia in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Ghanaian coach Goran Stevanovic pointed to deliberate acts of witchcraft between his players as a plausible explanation for the upset. (Stevanovic, it should be said, was fired shortly afterward.)

So let us be disturbed, but not particularly surprised, by Helio Sillman, the Brazilian “black-magic enthusiast” who, via a voodoo doll in his occult curio shop in northern Rio de Janeiro, has plans to “take [Germany’s] top player and bind his legs so he can’t run on the pitch,” reports AFP.

Brazil will play Germany on Tuesday afternoon in what’ll likely be a riveting match, considering the near infallibility of both teams so far. In the past few weeks, Brazil has trounced Cameroon, Chile, Croatia and Mexico; Sillman has voodoo dolls of players from all four teams sitting in a bowl in his shop. The match results are proof, he says, that his magic works.

The Brazilian team may need all the magic it can get. Neymar, the team’s golden player, apparently fell outside the domain of Sillman’s protective aura when he was kneed in the back during Friday’s quarterfinal match against Colombia, causing a particularly nasty lumbar vertebra fracture that’ll keep him benched for the remainder of the World Cup.

[AFP]

TIME World Cup

Tim Howard Does Not Want You to Hug Him

Tim Howard
Tim Howard of Everton instructs his team during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park on November 9, 2013 in London, England. Bryn Lennon—Getty Images

Lovable, but maybe not huggable

Tim Howard saved a record 16 goals in the U.S.-Belgium World Cup match this week, but don’t expect him to save your wounded ego after you try to give him a hug.

This fan went in for a hug with the All-American Wall and Howard did what he does best: blocked him out and turned him around. Here’s to the fan getting some love from Kyle Beckerman or Clint Dempsey.

TIME Pictures of the Week

Pictures of the Week: June 27 – July 4

From the killing of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers and Tim Howard’s World Cup heroics to the beginning of Ramadan and Hurricane Arthur photographed from space, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

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