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The Republican governor and attorney general of Missouri are battling each other; Raúl Castro prepares to step down.
Missouri’s bananas gubernatorial scandal
- Missouri’s Republican governor just took out a restraining order against the state’s Republican attorney general. And that’s where the fun begins. [Ashley Zavala via Twitter]
- It’s just the latest evidence of an all-out war between Gov. Eric Greitens and Attorney General Josh Hawley (who is also the frontrunner for Missouri’s US Senate race). [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
- This all goes back to the shocking sexual misconduct allegations against Greitens, which were revealed in excruciating detail by an investigative committee of Missouri lawmakers last week. Basically, the governor maintains he had a consensual extramarital affair, but the woman involved said he coerced her into nonconsensual sexual acts and tried to blackmail her with naked photos he took of her. [Vox / Dylan Matthews]
- But the ante was upped this week when Hawley announced findings of a separate investigation he’s been conducting, into Greitens’s veterans charity, the Mission Continues. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch / Jack Suntrup]
- Hawley announced that his office has discovered evidence that Greitens may have committed a felony by using a charity donor list to ask for campaign donations when he ran for governor in 2016. It’s important to note that Hawley’s office has not yet filed formal charges. [Kansas City Star / Jason Hancock and Steve Vockrodt]
- So why doesn’t Greitens just step down? That’s a question a lot of people in Missouri are asking. According to what one Republican in the state told me (Ella) last week, it has a lot to do with his personality. “He’s a classic sociopath,” the Republican said. “I’m not saying that ironically; he is literally not a balanced, normal personality.” [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
- The attorney general has every incentive to distance himself from Greitens as much as possible, as he’s trying to mount a competitive challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the fall. The longer the Greitens scandal drags on, the longer it could cloud Hawley’s campaign. Greitens knows this, and he’s going to make it difficult for Hawley. Hence, the restraining order. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
- Lawmakers now have to decide whether to impeach Greitens, but that’s going to be extremely complicated due to some ambiguity in the state Constitution. [AP / David Lieb]
The end of an era in Cuba
- For the first time in more than half a century, Cuba won’t be ruled by a Castro. [Washington Post / Anthony Faiola]
- Raúl Castro — who took over from his brother Fidel 12 years ago — is expected to step down as president on Thursday. When he does, he’ll be replaced by First Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez. [NYT / Azam Ahmed]
- Díaz-Canel was selected by Cuba’s National Assembly as the sole candidate for head of state. While the assembly doesn’t technically vote until Thursday, the closely held political process virtually guarantees that he’ll be the successor. [Miami Herald / Mimi Whitefield and Nora Gámez Torres]
- The incoming president has promised to stick closely to the agenda set by the Castro brothers. ”I believe in continuity,” Díaz-Canel told reporters recently when asked about his vision for Cuba’s future. [CNN / Patrick Oppmann]
- During Raúl Castro’s time in office, he focused largely on economic reforms in an attempt to modernize the country’s Soviet-style centrally planned economy. These efforts have led to ... mixed results. [Reuters / Marc Frank]
- After two black men were arrested while minding their own business at a Philadelphia Starbucks, the chain has announced it will close 8,000 stores for one afternoon next month to hold racial bias training. But the word’s still out on whether this is a PR move or a genuine effort to improve. [Time / Katie Reilly]
- In light of the horrifying news about an Albuquerque woman dying after being partially sucked out of a shattered airplane window, here’s how that’s even possible. [The Verge / Rachel Becker]
- The Hill has bid farewell to its annual list of “50 Most Beautiful” lawmakers, journalists, and congressional staffers (among others). Some have praised the move, while others have mourned the loss of “comedic gold.” [The Hill / Judy Kurtz]
- Before you reach for a diet soda instead of a regular one, you might want to reconsider. More and more evidence suggests the diet drink trend is misguided. [Popular Science / Sara Chodosh]
“In the future, there will be millions of men who can’t marry, and that could pose a very big risk to society.” [Chinese demographer Li Shuzhou on the fact that men vastly outnumber women in China and India, to the Washington Post / Simon Denyer and Annie Gowen]
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