Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The Supreme Court this morning agreed to hear “the cases of two African Americans on Texas’s death row, one of whom claims racial discrimination infected his sentencing and another who says he is ineligible for execution because of intellectual disability. The court will hear the cases of Duane Buck and Bobby J. Moore in the term that begins in October.”
* This shouldn’t be seen as a difficult call: “The Federal Reserve has abandoned hope of raising interest rates at its next meeting in June, but Fed officials say they are still thinking seriously about raising rates in July or September.”
* Tragedy in Afghanistan: “David Gilkey, an NPR photojournalist who chronicled pain and beauty in war and conflict, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday along with NPR’s Afghan interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna. David and Zabihullah were on assignment for the network traveling with an Afghan army unit. They were in an armored Humvee driven by a soldier of the Afghan National Army. All three were killed after the Humvee was hit by rocket propelled grenades in an apparent ambush.”
* The outcome wasn’t surprising: “Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for all. Final results from Sunday’s referendum showed that nearly 77% opposed the plan, with only 23% backing it.”
* Good call: “President Obama is opposing suggestions to privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve the health care that veterans receive. In an interview with The Colorado Springs Gazette, he said that his administration had made progress modernizing the department and providing veterans with more timely care. Privatizing the agency would delay that progress, Mr. Obama said.”
* There’s no defense for this kind of Republican obstructionism: “Of 673 U.S. district court judgeships, 67 – or 10 percent – are vacant under President Obama, nearly twice as many as at this point of Republican George W. Bush’s presidency and 50 percent higher than at this time under Bill Clinton (D) or George H.W. Bush (R), according to data kept by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.”
* Unexpected media decision: “BuzzFeed has pulled out of an advertising agreement with the Republican National Committee over objections to Donald Trump’s rhetoric.”
* Her bravery is extraordinary: “ ‘You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.’ Thus begins perhaps the most powerful statement on sexual assault I’ve ever seen. Read at the sentencing of Brock Allen Turner – a Stanford freshman who was caught raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster in 2015 – as of Monday morning, the statement has been viewed nearly 5m times. The victim addressed Turner directly, describing waking up bloodied and dirty in a hospital.”
* On a related note: “A move is underway to oust the California judge who sparked outrage after he sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer to just six months in jail for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster outside a campus frat party.”
* If you, like me, have been curious about the sudden appearance on Twitter of names with (((parentheses))), Vox explained what that’s all about.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.