Trending In Our News Feeds – Congress fails to prevent increase in student loan rates. Interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford student loans doubled overnight from 3.4% to 6.8% when Congress failed to cut a deal to extend the lower rate. The Joint Economic Committee estimates the new rate will cost the average student $2,600. However, Congress can still pass a bill to reverse the damage. Democrats say they will consider a Senate vote to reverse the increase on July 10, but would prefer passing comprehensive loan reform. “We need a one-year patch to keep interest rates from doubling on student loans. That buys us the time,” Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said.
Protesters threaten to bring down Egyptian government. Egyptian protesters attacked the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood political party today as massive demonstrations in Cairo threaten to bring down the government. Egypt’s health ministry reports the protests have killed 16 and injured 781 since Sunday. President Mohamed Morsi’s ministers of tourism, the environment, communication, and legal affairs have resigned in response to the demonstrations. The group behind the protests, Tamarod, has demanded Morsi’s resignation by tomorrow. The Washington Post captures the scope of the protests with an incredible set of photos.
Obama announces $7 billion in aid to Africa. President Obama unveiled a $7 billion initiative to provide electricity to sub-Saharan Africa in a speech in South Africa on Sunday. The “Power Africa” initiative will distribute funds to Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania over five years. Two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa does not have electricity according to the White House. “Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age… It’s the lifeline for families to meet their most basic needs, and it’s the connection that’s needed to plug Africa into the grid of the global economy,” Obama said.
Wildfire kills 19 Arizona firefighters. An out-of-control wildfire in Arizona killed 19 members of an elite fire fighting team and destroyed over 200 homes Sunday night. The fire took the Granite Mountain Hotshots by surprise when it suddenly changed direction, killing almost the entire 20-person team. It has been 80 years since a fire resulted in this many firefighter casualties. “This is as dark a day as I can remember,” Governor Jan Brewer said in a statement. Obama called the fallen fire fighters “heroes” in a statement issued from Africa. This photo from 2008 shows the Granite Mountain team receiving their “hotshot” designation. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by the fire.
Status Updates – PolicyMic pundits make their mark on the media. PolicyMic pundits have been writing killer stories the past couple weeks, and their hard work is paying off: They’ve been featured in media outlets ranging from Salon to the New York Times. Check out all of the press hits in Community Editor Caira Conner’s round up.
Must Reads From PolicyMic – Why It’s Time to Paint the 21st Century Rainbow (Chloe Stillwell, @chloekillwell) – I come from an unconventional family, and the DOMA ruling means the world to me. However, the fight for equal rights is just beginning.
[5 Mics, 2 Comments, 27 Shares]
4 Reasons You Should Be “Scared” Of Yoga (Sarah Dunn, @Sarahdunn) – GOP political candidate E.W. Jackson thinks that yoga opens you up to Satanic possession. What else can the ancient practice do?
[10 Mics, 6 Comments, 71 Shares]
How a Worthless Stone Conquered the World With a Brilliant Marketing Campaign (Roy Klabin, @RoyKlabin) – Diamonds have very little inherent worth, and they’re not actually that rare. How they became so expensive and prestigious is the story of one greedy, murderous company.
[21 Mics, 23 Comments, 189 Shares]
Turn Off Netflix and Go to the Movies Together, Dammit (Marielle Mondon, @MarielleMondon) – Part of the fun of watching TV or going to the movies is sharing the experience with friends and family. But thanks to Netflix, we’ve begun consuming entertainment by ourselves.
[2 Mics, 4 Comments, 4 Shares]
'Devious Maids' Stereotypes Latinas Instead Of Letting Us Speak For Ourselves (Ana Defillo, @adefillo) – It’s bad enough that the show Devious Maids features age-old stereotypes about Latina women. It’s even worse that audiences and critics are trying to excuse it.
[5 Mics, 29 Comments, 19 Shares]
What We’re Sharing – Why Africa wishes Obama were more like Bush (Washington Post).
Why are we letting Alec Baldwin off the hook? (Daily Beast)
What drugs have to do with the meaning of life (Sam Harris).
What makes smart people report on dangerous conflicts? (NPR)
How Macklemore is making equality mainstream (NY Times).
Your smartphone is going to be a piece of junk (MIT Tech).
These beautiful photos will bring WWII to life for millennials (Jalopnik).
Thanks for reading! We love hearing from you so send us your feedback, tips, and story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make sure your voice is heard!