U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Vienna to continue negotiations in an attempt to reach a nuclear accord by July 7. A senior U.S. State Department official, providing an update on condition of anonymity, said the meeting began at 2:01 p.m. local time. [full quote attached]
The fire, which was reported around 9 p.m. Tuesday night at the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, SC, was not the work of an arsonist, according to the AP citing a federal law enforcement official. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly. The fire is still under investigation.
The Council of Europe, of which Greece is a member state, says the conditions of the upcoming referendum in Greece 'fall short of international standards,' the Associated Press news agency is reporting.
Michelle Obama made the announcement via her Instagram account on Wednesday. Effective today, guests can take photos throughout the White House tour route. Flash photography and livestreaming is not permitted. [White House statement attached]
The death toll after dozens of Islamist militants attacked five military checkpoints in North Sinai has risen to at least 50, the Reuters news agency reports, citing security sources. It was not immediately clear whether those killed were all soldiers or whether the toll includes at least 23 attackers who were earlier confirmed to have been killed.
The number of Britons confirmed to have been killed in last week's attack on a beach resort in Tunisia has risen to at least 27, British Prime Minister David Cameron has told the House of Commons as identification efforts continue. "We do expect it to rise still further," Cameron said. A total of 38 people, plus the attacker, were killed when a gunman opened fire at a beach resort in Sousse on Friday. [full quote attached]
Support for business magnate Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination for president has jumped from 3 percent in May to 12 percent at the end of last week, putting him in second place behind former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who leads the Republican field with 19 percent, an increase from 13 percent in May, according to a CNN/ORC poll. On the Democratic side, support for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued to weaken, slipping from 60 percent in May to 57 percent now.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has sent a letter to the heads of the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund to inform them that Greece "is prepared to accept" a bailout package that it had rejected just days ago, though the prime minister's offer came with a range of conditions that would maintain a low VAT rate on Greek islands and a delay in phasing out a solidarity grant to pensioners.
The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) says the failure by the Greek government to make its payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would constitute a default for certain EFSF loans, and the fund will assess its options later today. These options include a cancellation of loan contracts to request immediate repayment, a waiver by the EFSF for its rights under the loan for this specific non-payment, or a decision to defer action to a later date. [full statement attached]