Is Nelson Mandela Dead? African Leader's Health in Critical Condition

Trending In Our News Feeds SCOTUS to issue historic rulings this week. The Supreme Court will begin issuing opinions on its final cases for the term today at 10:00 a.m. The court’s opinions this week will determine the future of affirmative action, voting rights, and gay marriage. “In the court’s modern history, I don’t think there has ever been one week with so much at stake. We have four pending cases that may be cited for at least a century,” says Supreme Court lawyer Tom Goldstein. We predict the court will rule on affirmative action and voting rights today, and save its gay marriage rulings for Thursday. Bloomberg tells you what’s at stake in each case.
 
Ahead of the SCOTUS rulings, gay marriage advocates are sharing their takes on the cases on PolicyMic. Change.org Campaign Director Michael Jones says marriage rights for gays are not the last stop on the road to equality, and Human Rights Campaign writer Adam Talbot tells you three ways you can show your support for equal rights. SCOTUSblog will be live blogging all the legal action.
 
Snowden misses flight to Cuba. Edward Snowden did not leave for Cuba from Moscow this morning as expected, leaving the world to wonder how his travel plans have changed. The Sheremetyevo Airport raised security in preparation for Snowden’s departure, but an airline employee said he did not board Aeroflot flight 150 as expected. This left dozens of reporters to take pictures of an empty seat. The New York Times suspects the Russian government may be questioning Snowden. The AP got the scoop on what Snowden was up to during his stay in Moscow: “The NSA leaker stayed in a private location, switched places a couple of times and slipped out a few times at night,” according to Hong Kong politician Albert Ho.
 
Nelson Mandela in critical condition. A spokesman for South African President Jacob Zuma has confirmed Nelson Mandela is in critical condition. The former South African president has spent two weeks in a Pretoria hospital undergoing treatment for a respiratory infection. “Doctors are doing everything possible to ensure his well being and comfort,” Zuma said. It is likely Mandela will not live much longer.
 
Taliban remove inflammatory symbols from office. Officials at the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar have removed inflammatory symbols that turned the Afghan government off of peace talks. CNN reports members of the Taliban lowered the Taliban flag behind the walls of the office and removed a sign declaring the offices the “Islamic Emigrates of Afghanistan.” Afghan President Hamid Karzai feared these symbols showed the Taliban meant to use peace talks to gain power in Afghanistan. The Afghan government has not responded to the symbols’ removal.
 
Ex-interns sue Gawker. It looks like the court ruling in favor of the interns who worked at Fox Searchlight may have kicked off an intern revolution: Three former Gawker interns are suing the blogging site and its publisher, Nick Denton. Aulistar Mark, Andrew Hudson, and Hanchen Lu say they wrote for Gawker, ran its social media platform, and moderated its comments section. The worst of it? They were “not paid a single cent.”
 
Must Reads From PolicyMicThere’s a Company Selling Pork-Laced Bullets to Send Muslims Straight to Hell (Nathan Lean, @nathanlean) – An Idaho-based company has started making bullets laced with pork. Their goal? To kill Muslims and desecrate their bodies.
[12 Mics, 87 Comments, 79 Shares]
 
Welcome to America, Where the Poorest People Pay the Most in Medical Bills (Whitney Sher) – Healthcare in the U.S. is the most expensive in the world. Get all the disturbing facts with these two simple charts.
[11 Mics, 20 Comments, 49 Shares]
 
8 Whistleblowers Charged With Violating the Espionage Act Under Obama (Aubrey Bloomfield, @aubbloomfield) – With the U.S. government charging Edward Snowden with violations of the Espionage Act, a total of eight people have now been charged by the Obama administration under a law that dates back to World War I.
[9 Mics, 9 Comments, 110 Shares]
 
How Do Americans Really Feel About Paula Deen’s Racism? (Sam Brounstein, @SamTheBearJew) – The reaction to Paula Deen's racism is part of a cruel American tradition: We build up our idols, then viciously tear them down as soon as it’s convenient.
[7 Mics, 12 Comments, 1 Shares]
 
Why Don't Americans Trust the Feds On Surveillance? (Karen Mishra, @karenmishra) – The less we know about how our federal government functions, the less we trust them to protect our freedoms. If Obama wants our trust, he had better make his administration more transparent.
[1 Mics, 4 Comments, 2 Shares]
 
What We’re SharingThis mock court is the warm-up event for every Supreme Court case (NY Times).
 
Inside the effort to disarm Afghanistan’s bombs (Washington Post).
 
This soldier’s tragic letter gives you an inside look at the horrors soldiers experience (Gawker).
 
Why Miami is on its way to becoming an American Atlantis (Rolling Stone).
 
Debunking the bad science behind the “Supermoon” (Slate).
 
Check out these breathtaking photos from National Geographic’s Traveler Photo Contest.
 
–  10 questions that still baffle scientists (Mental Floss).
 
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