President Obama is revising the U.S. policy toward family members whose loved ones are being held hostage by terrorist groups, dropping the long-standing threats of prosecution for those paying ransom. The change follows the beheadings and failed rescue attempts of a number of hostages held by ISIS and other extremist groups in recent years. A government auditor found massive security gaps at the Office of Personnel Management, the beleaguered agency at the center of a massive hack of government employee data, allegedly carried out by China. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will become the latest GOP contender to enter the president race, but he faces a steep climb to the nomination as one of the least-known candidates in an already packed field. After years of being a litmus test for candidates in the South, the politics around the Confederate flag have dramatically shifted since last week’s Charleston shooting, but a host of U.S. remembrances to those supporting the rebel cause remain.
Here are your must-reads:
The Louisiana governor is launching his presidential bid from the back of the pack [TIME]
Momentum builds behind effort to reform sentencing laws, TIME’s Alex Altman reports
TIME’s Jay Newton-Small on the rise of Democratic hostage-taking in Congress
Obama Ordering Changes in U.S. Hostage Policies
Families of hostages won’t be threatened with criminal prosecution for paying ransoms under proposed change [New York Times]
High risk failures at agency at center of massive hack [Washington Post]
A once-moribund effort to scale back the flag’s use picks up steam [New York Times]
“[Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker weighed in and said the 20-week abortion ban is something he would like to see hit his desk … It sent a message to us.” — Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald to the New York Times. Walker had refused to take a position on the issue during his 2014 re-elect.
“One of my dorm mates in tenth grade is running for president also, Jeb Bush. We had some spirited games of ping-pong and our paths have not crossed much since high school but I think we still consider each other friends.” — Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, a longshot Democratic presidential candidate, on his high school classmate.
Bits and Bites
Senate Clears Trade Bill’s Way to Passage [Wall Street Journal]
A field guide to the racists commemorated inside the U.S. Capitol [Washington Post]
Kasich: ‘I’m coming to Iowa … to show respect’ [Des Moines Register]
- Climate-Conscious Architects Want Europe To Build Less
- The Red-State Governor Who's Not Afraid to Be 'Woke'
- Jonathan Van Ness: We Are Still Not Taking Monkeypox Seriously Enough
- The Not-So-Romantic Return of Europe's Sleeper Trains
- This Filmmaker Set Out To Record Her Family’s Journey Rebuilding Afghanistan. Her Work Is a Reminder of What’s at Stake
- Why Sunscreen Ingredients Need More Safety Data
- What Historians Think of the Joe Biden-Jimmy Carter Comparisons
- Author Mimi Zhu Is Relearning What It Means to Love After Trauma