Barack Obama, who celebrated “audacity” in his first run for the White House, declared this week that he has entered the “fearless” phase of his consequential two-term presidency. But no one expected the urgent blend of personal, political and religious themes in the eulogy he gave Friday for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, slain along with eight others during Bible study last week at Emanuel AME Church — a speech so like a sermon that the next two people to speak called him “the Reverend President.”
British holidaymakers told how they fled in panic from Friday's gun massacre on a Tunisian beach resort, screaming and running for cover when they realised they were under attack. Frightened tourists hid in their hotel rooms and barricaded themselves in, while a pregnant woman went into labour in the confusion. Olivia Leathley, 24, heard "loud bangs" and saw from her hotel room people fleeing the beach, as holiday company representatives blew whistles.
From a mass shooting at a Tunisian beach resort to a severed head displayed in a French town, a wave of grisly attacks Friday shocked the world days after the Islamic State group urged supporters to carry out Ramadan attacks. There was no apparent link between the attacks, but IS claimed a suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait in which 25 people were killed, and Islamist flags were found at the site of the French attack. The IS jihadists were also accused by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights of killing 146 civilians in an offensive on the Kurdish town of Kobane.
Two escapees from an upstate New York prison were believed to be headed for Canada after searchers in the third week of the manhunt found items the convicted killers dropped, police said on Friday. "They dropped some items and left others behind," Guess said at a news conference in Malone, New York, 35 miles (56 km) northwest of the prison and about 10 miles (16 km) from the Canadian border.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, handing a historic triumph to the American gay rights movement. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing on behalf of the court, said that the hope of gay people intending to marry "is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions.
By David Adams CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - South Carolina will take a step forward in healing the wounds of last week's mass shooting when President Barack Obama arrives on Friday to deliver the eulogy for the pastor of the historic church where the attack took place. Reverend Clementa Pinckney, a widely admired state senator and pastor of Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was among the nine people who died when a gunman opened fire during Bible study. The massacre has sparked an intense dialogue across the southern United States over the legacy of slavery and its symbols, centering on the Civil War-era battle flag of the Confederacy.
By James Oliphant WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Infuriated by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that kept President Barack Obama’s healthcare program intact, conservative activists and Republican presidential candidates vowed on Thursday to make the role of the high court a central issue in the 2016 presidential election. Conservative ire was trained particularly on Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion that preserved the subsidy regime underpinning the Affordable Care Act, even though another Republican appointee, Justice Anthony Kennedy, also voted with the majority. Roberts, who was appointed to the court by Republican President George W. Bush, has voted with court conservatives on many landmark cases, including ones involving campaign-finance laws and voting rights.