Mandela improves. The South African government says that Nelson Mandela’s condition improved overnight, although he is still critical but stable. The report comes a day after the country was somberly preparing itself for the 94-year-old former president’s death. “We know that Madiba [Mandela’s clan name] is a fighter, he’s been a fighter all his life and he’s tough,” said presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj, who added that the news of Mandela’s improvement had brought “a little bit of relief.”
Snowden saga continues. President Barack Obama, who is in Senegal, said he would not start “wheeling and dealing” over the extradition of U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. Instead, he said he would rely on regular legal channels. Obama added, “I am not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.’ Meanwhile, Ecuador, which is considering offering asylum to Snowden, canceled its trade pact with the United States over what it’s calling “blackmail” tactics by the U.S. government.
Supreme Court fallout. As expected, court cases in states where same-sex marriage is unlawful will begin to roll out in the aftermath this week’s Supreme Court decisions. In Alabama, Patricia Todd, an openly gay member of the state legislature, plans to marry another women in Massachusetts and then challenge her state’s marriage laws in court. “The reality is, unfortunately in Alabama, the only way we ever progress any civil rights in this state is through a court decision,” she said. “This is no different. We will have to use that process and move forward.”
Band returns. Florida A&M University interim President Larry Robinson announced today he is lifting the suspension of the school’s famous marching band, which was disbanded after the hazing death of a drum major in 2011. Robinson said the university has taken many steps to prevent such violent activity from happening again. The band hopes to take the field again on Sept. 1, when the A&M Rattlers take on Mississippi Valley State in Orlando.