1. CNN – Attorney General Loretta Lynch made it official Wednesday: Hillary Clinton will not be charged for using a personal email server during her tenure as secretary of state, removing a long-looming shadow over her 2016 bid. Lynch said in a statement, “Late this afternoon, I met with FBI Director James Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email system during her time as secretary of state. I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation.”
2. WCSC – Defense attorneys are asking for the federal case against the man suspected of shooting and killing nine black parishioners during bible study to be dropped, arguing it is unconstitutional. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Dylann Roof, 22, of Columbia. In court documents filed Tuesday, attorneys argue the case should be left to State authorities, saying the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to prosecute him under the Commerce Clause and the 13th Amendment, which makes slavery illegal. They also argue the case violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
3. AP – President Barack Obama said Wednesday the U.S. will leave 8,400 troops in Afghanistan when he completes his term, down slightly from the current number but well up from the 5,500 he announced previously, arguing America’s interests depend on helping Afghanistan’s struggling government fight continuing threats from the Taliban and others.
4. Washington Post – A video showing two white police officers involved in a deadly altercation with a 37-year-old black man in Baton Rouge circulated across the Internet early Wednesday morning, prompting peaceful street protests in the city and anger elsewhere. The video showed two Baton Rouge police officers attempting to detain Alton Sterling after the officers responded to a call “from a complainant who stated that a black male who was selling music cd’s and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun” outside the Triple S Food Mart, a convenience store, a Facebook post by Baton Rouge Police Department said. Police said they responded about 12:35 a.m. Sterling was shot and killed while pinned down by the officers.
5. CBN – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the country will explore the use of gender-neutral identity cards. Trudeau made those remarks to Canada’s CP24 during his time at a gay pride event in Toronto. The announcement comes one week after officials in Ontario announced they would allow citizens to use “X” as an indicator of a third gender on driver’s licenses.
6. Des Moines Register – A conservative church in Des Moines is suing the Iowa Civil Rights Commission in federal court, contending state officials are trying to censor the church’s teachings on biblical sexuality and forcing the church to open its restrooms to members of the opposite sex. The suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines by the Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, which argues that all events held at a church on its property have a bona-fide religious purpose. The petition also says the commission has no authority to violate the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of religion and speech.
7. PHYS.org – A new study authored by University of Calgary researchers in the Journal of Adolescence examines the pornography viewing habits of adolescents and observes the way in which religious attendance significantly tempers such actions. The study, conducted between 2003 and 2008, which surveys adolescents on their pornography usage into young adulthood (between the ages of 13 to 24) shows that pornography consumption` increases sharply with age, especially among males (although there is some increase with females too). However, these age-based increases in pornography viewing are decidedly lesser among those who attend religious services.
8. Reuters – At least six Yemeni troops and around 20 militant attackers were killed on Wednesday in an assault on a military base near the international airport of Yemen’s southern city of Aden, security sources said. The assault began when two suicide bombers blew up their cars, followed by armed militants storming the Solaban base. They occupied several buildings but were killed after four hours of heavy gun battles, the sources said.
9. LA Times – Ciara and Russell Wilson are married, the singer and the Seattle Seahawks quarterback confirmed Wednesday via social media. “We are The Wilsons!,” they both posted on Instagram and Twitter, captioning a picture of themselves celebrating, him in white tie and her in a lacy white Roberto Cavalli gown. The evening ceremony went down at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, England, in front of family and friends
10. Variety – Gretchen Carlson, a longtime presence on Fox News Channel, said Tuesday she had filed a lawsuit alleging the top executive at the network, Roger Ailes, made sexual advances on her and ended her career at the 21st Century Fox-owned outlet after she rebuffed him. A Fox News Channel spokesperson could not be reached for immediate comment.