Make That Three: New York Times: "Anthony D. Weiner, the embattled candidate for mayor of New York City, acknowledged on Thursday that he had engaged in inappropriate online communications with up to three women since leaving Congress two years ago, as his campaign entered a troubled and circuslike phase. Mr. Weiner, in a news conference at a Brooklyn soup kitchen, said that in total, he had traded lewd messages with 6 to 10 women, including during the time he was a United States representative. But, he added, 'I can’t tell you absolutely what someone else is going to consider inappropriate or not.'"
Pelosi Slams Him: NBC News: "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had harsh words for her former colleague and Democratic New York Mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner saying today his behavior was 'reprehensible' and 'so disrespectful of women.' ... Stopping short of calling for Weiner to drop out of the race or Filner to resign, Pelosi hinted that if they needed therapy, the therapy should be done outside the public eye."
Instant Analysis: Politico: "Don’t be fooled by anyone who says a fresh set of sexts upends the race — they’ve generated a lot of attention and given his opponents another chance to score points by shaming him. But the most they’ll do is speed a collapse that most New York campaign veterans were confident was coming anyway. The polls that showed Carlos Danger’s alter ego at the top of the field, independent pollsters and experienced local operatives agree, were never much more than an electoral sugar high in a race that most New York voters are still weeks away from paying attention to."
It’s Thursday. Welcome to the Slatest PM, where we’re rounding up the day’s top stories and breaking out our sweaters for the glorious end-of-week cold front. Follow me, your afternoon news guide, on Twitter at @s_brodez and the whole team at @slatest.
Spain Crash Death Toll Rises: Associated Press: "A Spanish train that hurtled off the rails and smashed into a security wall as it rounded a bend was going so fast that carriages tumbled off the tracks like dominos, killing at least 80 people, including an American. ... An Associated Press analysis of images from video footage suggests that the train may have been traveling at twice the speed limit for that stretch of track."
Billionaire Investor Charged: Reuters: "Federal prosecutors came down hard on billionaire hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen on Thursday, unveiling criminal fraud charges against his SAC Capital Advisors LP that could put an end to his investment career. An indictment and a civil case seeking an asset freeze and criminal money laundering penalties, cap a seven year-long investigation of one of Wall Street's most renowned firms amid a crackdown on insider trading that led to scores of convictions."
Prolific Hackers Arrested: Associated Press: "Four Russian nationals and a Ukrainian have been charged with running a sophisticated hacking organization that over seven years penetrated computer networks of more than a dozen major American and international corporations, stealing and selling at least 160 million credit and debit card numbers, resulting in losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Indictments were announced Thursday in Newark, where U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman called the case the largest hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States."
White House Tells Egypt to Cool It: Reuters: "The White House on Thursday urged the Egyptian military to exercise "maximum restraint" and to do its utmost to prevent clashes between rival protesters. White House spokesman Josh Earnest also said Washington was concerned about "any rhetoric that inflames tension" after Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called on Egyptians to take to the streets to show their support.
Cleveland Kidnapper Seeks Plea Deal: CNN: "Prosecutors and defense lawyers are close to a plea deal in the case of Ariel Castro, a Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive for about a decade in his home, a Cuyahoga County courts source said Thursday. Castro, charged with 977 counts -- including aggravated murder, on suspicion of ending the pregnancy of one of his alleged captives -- is set to go to trial August 5 if a deal is not reached. The murder charges could trigger the death penalty, but Castro's defense attorneys have said they want a deal that would take the take capital punishment off the table."
Tunisia in Crisis: New York Times: "Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring revolutionary movement, was plunged into a new political crisis on Thursday when assassins shot an opposition party leader outside his home in a hail of gunfire. It was the second political assassination in Tunisia since February, and quickly incited protests blaming Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party that leads the government. Crowds of protesters gathered outside the offices of the Interior Ministry in Tunis, the capital, calling on Ennahda to relinquish power, and security forces were deployed to contain them."
Closing Arguments in Manning Trial: Guardian: "The US government has accused Bradley Manning of transmitting hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks out of a desire for notoriety and a callous state of mind in which he only cared about himself, a military court has heard. In closing arguments, that were likely to last more than three hours, Major Ashden Fein, the lead prosecution lawyer, portrayed Manning as an individual motivated to seek fame by indiscriminately releasing massive amounts of US state secrets to the open-information website. He said the intelligence analyst was fully trained to know that by divulging classified information to a website, it would become readily accessible to enemy groups including al-Qaida."
A Few More Quick Hits from Slate:
- MoneyBox: Summer of the Mega-Flop
- Future Tense: The MOOC Racket
- XX Factor: NBA Player J.J. Redick and His Ex Had an Abortion Contract. Should You?
- Science: Which U.S. City Has the Worst Drivers?
- BrowBeat: The Story of Life, as Told by the Movies
That's all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until next time, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.
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An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.