It’s been over a month since former South African President Nelson Mandela was hospitalized in “critical but stable condition” with a severe lung infection. Despite reports that he was on life support, the still-bedridden Mandela has managed to see his 95th birthday. The government offered a hopeful recent statement, claiming “doctors have confirmed that health is steadily improving.” read more
Detroit has become the biggest city in U.S. history to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder authorized Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, to file for bankruptcy on Thursday afternoon, which Snyder described as a painful but necessary step to rebuilding the insolvent city.
"The fiscal realities confronting Detroit have been ignored for too long," Snyder said in a statement. "This is a difficult step, but the only viable option to address a problem that has been six decades in the making." read more
Tonight on All In with Chris Hayes: Pressure is mounting on Florida Governor Rick Scott to respond to protesters opposing “Stand Your Ground” laws as they occupy his office for the second straight day. The group of Trayvon Martin supporters are frustrated with the law allowing the use of force in self-defense which was considered by the jury that acquitted George Zimmerman. read more
The Senate confirmed Thomas Perez to be secretary of labor by a 54-46 party line vote Thursday afternoon. Perez will be the only Latino in President Obama's second-term cabinet.
Republicans were highly critical of Perez' nomination. In a floor speech in May, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called Perez "a committed ideologue who appears willing, quite frankly, to say or do anything to achieve his ideological ends." read more
President Obama said that health care was not a privilege in a speech Thursday ahead of the October implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Obama spoke a day after the Republican House tried for the 38th time to dismantle the legislation, which will set up state-by-state insurance exchanges intended to drive down costs.
"We've got a lot of problems in this country, and there's a lot of work that Congress needs to do—get a farm bill passed, get immigration reform done, make sure we get a budget in place—and yet, instead, we're re-fighting these old battles," Obama said. read more
On Tuesday, President Obama said in a Univision affiliate interview that he finds New York's police commissioner Ray Kelly to be "well qualified" for the soon-to-be vacated position of Homeland Security chief currently held by Janet Napolitano.
"Ray Kelly's obviously done an extraordinary job in New York," said the president, praising Kelly for his competence in dealing with terrorism. But under Kelly's most recent tenure as police commissioner there have been 5 million stop-and-frisks. Kelly also presided over the Police Department when it spied on Muslim communities. read more