Yesterday, ISIS, the Islamic extremist group that's taking over parts of Syria and Iraq, declared the creation of an Islamic state in territories under its control. This poses a direct challenge to the leadership of al Quaeda, who once said ISIS was too extreme for even their taste. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant claimed universal authority declaring its leader was now caliph of the Muslim world. Who's the guy? Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The U.S declared him a terrorist in 2011 (Washington Post).
The Supreme Court ruled today that some corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement in ObamaCare stating that they cover contraceptives for women. The owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. sued the US claiming ObamaCare is forcing them to pay for something that goes against their beliefs. The case answered the question of if corporations are people with rights just like citizens. The ruling opens the door for corporations to choose what they agree or disagree with, which can put things like discrimination laws in question. The 5-4 decision is the first time the SCOTUS has ruled profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law (Associated Press).
Today, President Obama will ask Congress for more than $2 billion to deal with the amount of undocumented immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border. Obama has called the increase of minors coming across the border a "humanitarian crisis" and has ordered officials to increase border agency and open emergency shelters (The Guardian). You might recall Obama and Congress aren't communicating the greatest as of late, and in his weekly address the President said Republican obstructionism is keeping the system rigged against the middle class (Washington Post).
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled Aereo's streams of broadcast TV channels violated copyright law. Aereo's founder was insistent that the ruling but the future of technology at stake (Variety). The ruling was a big win for traditional media companies which make a living doing what Aereo tried to do. Major networks make billions from cable package deals and were upset Aereo was streaming their copyrighted shows. The one thing the SCOTUS didn't put to bed was cloud storage, when users use things like Amazon and Dropbox to download content. The latest is that Aereo suspended its service, but is refunding users their last paid month (CBS News).
You may have been a lab rat in a big Facebook experiment. For one week in January 2012, scientists manipulated the news feeds of almost 700,000 users. Some people were shown happy and positive news feeds and some were shown content which was analyzed to be sadder. Researchers found when the week was over, the manipulated users were more likely to post content aligned with the news feeds they had seen that week. Turns out Facebook employs data scientists to study user activity but until now the research has been observational and not manipulative (Huffington Post). Some people think this wasn't Facebook's nicest or most ethical move but Facebook says it's all in the terms of service.
The Waffle House restaurant chain is calling for a boycott of Belgian waffles in preparation for the upcoming US v. Belgium World Cup game. A rep. from the chain told Entertainment Weekly "we're America's place to eat, so of course we're supporting team USA." The game is Tuesday at 4 p.m.
On this date in 1966, Mike Tyson was born. Remember when he came to The Tony Awards?