POLITICS

Tuesday's Morning Email: Tragedy on the Yangtze

06/02/2015 07:47 am ET | Updated Jun 02, 2015

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TRAGEDY ON THE YANGTZE "Rescuers pulled six survivors to safety after hearing cries for help Tuesday from inside a capsized cruise ship that went down overnight in a storm on China's Yangtze River with 458 people aboard, most of them elderly, state broadcaster CCTV said. At least 12 other people are known to have survived, including the captain and chief engineer, and five people were confirmed dead in the accident late Monday during a cruise from Nanjing to the southwestern city of Chongqing, the broadcaster said. Search teams heard people calling out from within the partially submerged ship when they climbed aboard the upside-down hull, CCTV reported more than 12 hours after the ship went down in Hubei Province about 9:38 p.m." [AP]

AFGHANISTAN WAR DEATH TOLL REACHES 100,000: REPORT "Militants attacked a remote guesthouse and killed nine Afghans working for a Czech charity on Tuesday, as a new report by Brown University warned that almost 100,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion overthrew the Taliban regime and sparked an insurgency...the Brown University study -- called Costs of War and produced by the university's Watson Institute for International Studies -- looked at war-related deaths, injuries and displacement in Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2001 to last year, when international combat troops left Afghanistan. Along with those killed, it said that another 100,000 people had been wounded in Afghanistan. For both countries, civilian and military deaths total almost 149,000 people killed, with 162,000 seriously wounded, according to the report's author, Neta Crawford." [Lynne O'Donnell, AP]

DRAFT WARREN MOVEMENT WINDING DOWN "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) isn’t running for president. And one of the main groups created to encourage her to run for president will soon stop running, too. Run Warren Run, the collaborative effort by progressive organizations to show Warren that she had supporters, commitment and money for a 2016 presidential bid, will suspend operations on June 8. Time, political winds, and, in all likelihood, Bernie Sanders were the culprits. 'Over the last six months, from our perspective, the possibility of Warren running has had a transformative effect on the political debate in that it has elevated Warren’s fight into something more than moment to moment legislative battles,' said Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn.org, one of the groups behind Run Warren Run. 'Do we wish she were running? Absolutely. Do we wish we had not tried to get her to run? Not in the slightest.'" [Sam Stein, HuffPost]

TSA HEAD OUT AFTER FAILED SECURITY TESTS "Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Monday reassigned the leader of the Transportation Security Administration and directed the agency to revise airport security procedures, retrain officers and retest screening equipment in airports across the country. The TSA's acting administrator, Melvin Carraway, is being reassigned to a different job in the Department of Homeland Security. Acting Deputy Director Mark Hatfield will lead the agency until a new administrator is appointed. The directives come after the agency's inspector general briefed Johnson on a report analyzing vulnerabilities in airport security — specifically, the ability to bring prohibited items through TSA checkpoints." [Lou Kesten, AP]

GOVERNMENT CAFETERIAS TO SERVE MEAT WITH FEWER ANTIBIOTICS "The White House said Tuesday that many federal cafeterias will start buying meat and poultry produced with fewer antibiotics later this year. The directive would apply to all of those civilian government restaurants within five years. The announcement is part of a White House summit on the responsible use of antibiotics. The Obama administration announced a plan earlier this year to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Repeated exposure to antibiotics can lead germs to become resistant to the drugs, so that they are no longer effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses each year in the United States. Obama has said such drug-resistant bacteria are one of the most serious public health issues and asked Congress to increase funding to fight the problem." [Mary Clare Jalonick, AP]

WHAT’S BREWING

BEHIND COLORADO'S $700 MILLION POT INDUSTRY "In 2014, marijuana amounted to a $700 million dollar industry in the state of Colorado. Although several states have legalized medicinal marijuana and Colorado legalized recreational use, it’s still largely a cash business. To protect their customers, employees and inventory, many dispensaries use elaborate security systems and professional guards...The state is a proving ground for what legalization might look like elsewhere. Recent reports have indicated that Colorado’s first year of legal weed has less crime and an additional $63 million in tax revenue." [Jenna Garrett, Wired]

USING WIFI TO CHARGE DEVICES "Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle have fitted out these houses with devices which can convert the energy held in Wi-Fi signals into electricity. They do that using a rectifier, which seizes the oscillating signals in the data streams and turns it into a direct current, before boosting it using a DC-DC converter. The energy’s used to power things like temperature sensors and (admittedly low-resolution) cameras. The research, which demonstrates the systems working over a period of 24 hours, is published on the arXiv servers." [Jamie Condliffe, Gizmodo]

TWO WW1 VETERANS TO POSTHUMOUSLY RECEIVE MEDAL OF HONOR "On Tuesday, Mr. Obama will bestow the medal, the nation’s highest military award for valor, on Private Johnson, granting official recognition for his courage on the battlefield. Command Sgt. Maj. Louis Wilson of the New York National Guard will accept the award on behalf of Private Johnson, who entered the Army as a member of an all-black National Guard unit in 1917...Also on Tuesday, Mr. Obama will award the medal to Sgt. William Shemin of the Army, a rifleman who repeatedly left the safety of his platoon’s trench to recover wounded soldiers amid a barrage of machine-gun fire and artillery shells. He was hit by shrapnel, and a bullet pierced his helmet, lodging behind his left ear." [Michael Shear, NYT]

GOOGLE KEEPS YOUR 'OK GOOGLE' REQUESTS ON FILE "Remember all those times you spoke to your smartphone, said "OK Google..." and asked a question? Or tapped the microphone to dictate a text message? Chances are, Google kept every audio recording. And you can play them back to yourself."
[Jose Pagliery, CNN]

WHAT'S WORKING

"A new form of cancer treatment is giving doctors and patients hope for a long-term cure to the deadly disease. The BBC's James Gallagher writes about a new trial experiment conducted in the UK using the drugs ipilimumab and nivolumab, which showed “spectacular” results for almost 60 percent of the cases tested. The international trial, using 945 patients with advanced melanoma, found that the combination of the drugs was able to stop the tumor from growing for about a year in 58 percent of cases. 'By giving these drugs together you are effectively taking two brakes off the immune system rather than one so the immune system is able to recognise tumours it wasn't previously recognising and react to that and destroy them,' oncologist Dr. James Larkin told BBC News." Catherine Taibi, HuffPost]

ON THE BLOG

CIA TORTURE IN VIETNAM AND AMERICA'S FORGOTTEN WHISTLEBLOWER "Determined to shine a light on what he called 'the truth held prisoner,' [Anthony J. Russo] blew the whistle on American torture policy in Vietnam and on an intelligence debacle at the center of Vietnam decision-making that helped turn that war into the nightmare it was. Neither of his revelations saw the light of day in his own time or ours and while Daniel Ellsberg, his compatriot and companion in revelation, remains a major figure for his role in releasing the Pentagon Papers, Russo is a forgotten man. That’s too bad. He shouldn’t be forgotten. His is, unfortunately, a story of our times as well as his." [Barbara Myers, HuffPost]

BEFORE YOU GO

~ We're guessing jihadi poetry won't make it into the Paris Review anytime soon.

~ Eighty-two years later, a violinist finished his father's concert that was shut down by Nazis.

~ Become an expert at kitchen knives with this handy guide.

~ What China would look like if the world's ice sheets melted.

~ Why we're still discovering thousands of new species every year.

~ Scenes from actors' final film appearances.

Send tips/quips/quotes/stories/photos/events/scoops to Lauren Weber at lauren.weber@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter @LaurenWeberHP. And like what you're reading? Sign up here to get The Morning Email delivered to you.

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