Let the Deliberations Begin: CBS News: "Deliberations have begun in the trial of George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. The jury, which consists of a panel of six women, is weighing a second-degree murder charge against the 29-year-old, who shot Martin during a confrontation last year in a gated Sanford, Fla. community. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming he shot Martin in self defense."
Last Words From The Defense: CNN: "'How many 'coulda beens' have you heard from the state in this case,' [defense attorney Mark] O'Mara asked. 'How many 'what ifs' have you heard from the state in this case? ... Do not give anybody the benefit of the doubt except for George Zimmerman' .... O'Mara tried to discredit the prosecution's image of Zimmerman as a frustrated, spiteful vengeance-seeker, saying it was Martin who stalked Zimmerman and emerged from the darkness to pounce on Zimmerman, pinning him to the ground and slamming his head into the concrete sidewalk."
Prosecution’s Rebuttal: CNN: "'The defendant didn't shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to,' Assistant State's Attorney John Guy told jurors in a rebuttal argument that followed.... 'He shot him because he wanted to. That's the bottom line.' Guy argued Zimmerman built a tissue of lies to conceal vengeful frustration and powerful determination not to allow someone he had already decided was a criminal to escape. … 'Common sense tells you it's the person talking like the defendant who had hate in his heart,' Guy said."
Happy Friday, we’ve made it! Welcome to the Slatest PM, where we’re rounding up the day’s top stories before we head out of the office to enjoy another fine summer weekend. Follow me, your afternoon news guide, on Twitter at @s_brodez and the whole team at @slatest.
Early Signs Point to Yes: Texas Statehouse Confiscating Tampons and Pads as Senate Debate on Abortion Begins
Snowden Emerges: Associated Press: "National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden wants asylum in Russia and is willing to stop sharing information as a trade-off for such a deal, according to a parliament member who was among a dozen activists and officials to meet with him Friday. Snowden appeared nervous, but in apparently good health during the meeting behind closed doors in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport where he's been marooned for weeks, Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov told reporters. The secret-spilling site WikiLeaks, which has been advising Snowden, released a statement on his behalf confirming his intentions to remain in Russia."
The Slatest: Snowden Shows His Face at the Moscow Airport
Social Security Takes Gay Couples' Claims: BuzzFeed: "The Social Security Administration has begun taking claims from married same-sex couples who believe they are eligible for benefits, although the administration will not process them until the instructions for handling such claims is finalized. The change, announced by Social Security spokesman Mark Hinkle on Friday, comes about in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 26 that the Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages being recognized by the federal government is unconstitutional."
Morsi Supporters Rally: New York Times: “Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian Islamists and other supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president who was ousted and detained by the military last week, filled public squares in Cairo and other cities on Friday in an intensified campaign aimed at returning him to power. The size of the protests underlined the large section of society that has rejected the military intervention on July 3 that deposed Mr. Morsi after protests by millions against him and the continued split over the country’s direction.”
Student Loan Deal Backslides: CBS News: “Senators attempting to restore lower interest rates on federal student loans are going back to the drawing board after learning Thursday that their latest plan would cost more than expected. Both Democrats and Republicans say they are in favor of lower rates, which doubled last week from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent after Congress failed to act. Up to this point, however, they have disagreed on whether or not to tie the interest rates to the market. Last week, a measure that would have restored the 3.4 percent rate for another year -- giving lawmakers more time to find a long-term solution --failed to get the 60 votes necessary to pass.”
Boeing Dreamliner Catches Fire in London: Reuters: “A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Ethiopian Airlines caught fire at Britain's Heathrow airport on Friday in a fresh blow for the U.S. planemaker which earlier this year was forced to ground the new planes for three months after battery fires. Boeing shares tumbled by as much as 7 percent, wiping $5.4 billion off its market capitalization after television footage showed the Dreamliner surrounded by foam used by firefighters at Heathrow.”
The Slatest: Spitzer Finds His Way Onto NYC Ballot
It's Legal to Fire Attractive Employees: Associated Press: “The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday stood by its ruling that a dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant because he found her too attractive and worried he would try to start an affair. Coming to the same conclusion as it did in December, the all-male court found that bosses can fire employees they see as threats to their marriages, even if the subordinates have not engaged in flirtatious or other inappropriate behavior. The court said such firings do not count as illegal sex discrimination because they are motivated by feelings, not gender.”
Deadly Train Accident in France: New York Times: “At least six people died and a dozen were seriously injured when a train derailed and hit the platform at a station in central France on Friday, leaving several carriages torn and one lying on its side, officials said. Local prefect Michel Fuzeau said nine of the 12 people injured were very seriously wounded, and Interior Minister Manuel Valls said the death toll would probably rise.”
Asiana Crash Victim Was Run Over: Reuters: “One of the two teenage Chinese girls who died in the Asiana plane crash at San Francisco airport on Saturday was run over by a fire truck rushing to the scene, a police department official said on Friday, though it is not known whether she was still alive at the time. ‘The passenger was underneath the fire retardant foam and when the fire truck repositioned itself to battle the flames aboard the fuselage, the passenger victim was discovered in the tire track of the fire truck,’ said Albie Esparza, public information officer at the San Francisco Police Department.”
A Few More Quick Hits from Slate:
- MoneyBox: The Death of Hulu. (Update: Or Maybe Not!)
- XX Factor: Regretting an Abortion Doesn't Make You Pro-Life
- Atlas Obscura: Baby-Eating Statue Is a Historical Mystery
- Weigel: What Sharknado Tells Us About American Politics
- MoneyBox: The Incredible Burden of Perfect Immigration Enforcement
- XX Factor: Why Does Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Have So Many Female Fans?
That's all for today. Have a great weekend. Until next time, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.