America's first Muslim congresswomen can't go to Israel. R. Kelly can't make it to his own court hearing. And John Hickenlooper can't make it any further in the 2020 White House race. It's Ashley. You've made it to Thursday. Here's the top news.
But first, make it to Hawaii for $99: Southwest Airlines just announced new (cheap!) nonstop flights to the islands. Consider this a PSA.
Trump told Israel to bar Omar and Tlaib, and Israel obliged
Israeli officials said Thursday they would bar two American members of Congress, Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., from visiting the country less than two hours after President Donald Trump counseled the country to do so. “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit," Trump tweeted Thursday. Omar and Tlaib – the first elected Muslim women to serve in Congress – had planned to travel to Jerusalem and the West Bank this weekend.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the two lawmakers – both of whom have been targeted by Trump – were "planning a campaign whose sole purpose was to strengthen the boycott and negate Israel's legitimacy." Omar called the decision "an affront" and blasted Netanyahu's move as anti-Muslim.
What can a tiny bone tell us about Jeffrey Epstein's death?
Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in jail last weekend, suffered multiple breaks to his neck bones. But curiosity surrounds one broken bone in particular: The hyoid. The small bone can break when a person dies by hanging, particularly when a person is older. But it can also provide tell-tale clues that a person was strangled. We have so many questions. The lack of definitive information regarding the high-profile death and reports that guards did not check on Epstein for several hours before he was found spurred numerous conspiracy theories as to the cause of death, which has not been officially announced.
Two Dayton victims were hit by police bullets, coroner says
One victim of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, was struck by two bullets fired by police after she was dying from a lethal gunshot fired by the gunman, an Ohio coroner said Thursday. Toxicology results showed the attacker had cocaine, alcohol and the prescription drug Xanax in his system, the coroner said. The gunman killed nine people and wounded 17 before being fatally shot by police.
What everyone’s talking about
- A sheriff's department staged a child sex abuse sting. It caught one of its own officers.
- A homeowner shot a 14-year-old during a burglary attempt. Five other teens with the burglar were charged with murder.
- A California woman dumped seven newborn puppies in the garbage. Now she'll go to jail.
- Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook tied the knot more than a year ago, but the actress says they don't live together just yet.
- This is why millennials may skip your wedding.
R. Kelly missed his own court party
The main attraction at R. Kelly’s court hearing never showed up: The R&B singer was a no-show at a status hearing Thursday in Chicago on Cook County's multiple counts of sexual assault pending against Kelly since February. The judge was not pleased Kelly was absent, Chicago's WTTV reported. The singer is held at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago after being denied bail twice on two separate sex crimes indictments.
- Four-time NBA All-Star DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL, the latest in a string of injuries.
- The U.S. government loses billions in corporate tax revenue from IRS budget cuts, a new study says.
- Here are 10 super useful things you probably didn’t know your iPhone can do.
- General Motors' OnStar faced a backlash over reports that it could not remotely unlock a car with a baby trapped inside.
- John Hickenlooper is officially out of the 2020 presidential race.
A seven-hour gun battle in Philadelphia ends with no loss of life
A gunman who ignited a seven-hour gunbattle, turned a Philadelphia neighborhood into a war zone and left six police officers injured surrendered early Thursday. “It’s nothing short of a miracle that we don’t have multiple officers killed today," Police Commissioner Richard Ross said. Police said they were serving a drug warrant at a house Wednesday when gunfire began. As hundreds of officers were pinned down by erratic gunfire, a SWAT team rescued two officers trapped with handcuffed prisoners in the home. The shooter was driven from his home after a tear gas barrage, and the injured officers were treated and released.
The hottest month ever recorded
July was the Earth's hottest month on record, scientists announced Thursday. The global temperature for July was 1.71 degrees above average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, and there was a record-shattering heat wave across Europe. The extreme temps came on the heels of the hottest June on record. Greenland has been melting faster in the past decade: This summer, it's seen two of the biggest melts on record since 2012. NASA scientists flew over it to track melting ice and took sobering photos.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jeffrey Epstein, DeMarcus Cousins, Ilhan Omar, Hawaii: Thursday’s news