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The U.S. government is investigating possible “unlawful coordination” by some airlines to keep prices high.
“The Associated Press reportedly obtained a document showing the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether airlines colluded to limit seat availability, thereby keeping consumer demand, and prices, high,” BuzzFeed News reports. The investigation appears to focus “on whether airlines illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes and extra seats,” as the AP reported.
The Justice Department spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the agency is “investigating possible unlawful coordination by some airlines.” Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and American Airlines have all confirmed that they have received a letter from the DOJ and plan to cooperate fully.
And a little extra.
Due to a series of mergers starting in 2008, those four airlines controlled more than 80% of national flights as of 2012. In the past two years, U.S. airlines saw record profits, earning a combined $19.7 billion from eliminating unprofitable routes, adding more seats, and by making “a very public effort to slow growth to command higher airfares,” according to the AP. “This year could bring even higher profits thanks to a massive drop in the price of jet fuel, airlines' single highest expense.”
The U.S. Episcopal Church voted to let clergy perform religious weddings for same-sex couples.
“Just days after the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, leaders of the U.S. Episcopal Church voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to allow clergy to wed same-sex couples,” BuzzFeed News’ Dominic Holden writes. This puts the church “at the forefront of mainstream Christian acceptance of gays and lesbians.”
“In 2003, the church appointed an out gay bishop to lead its New Hampshire diocese. And Episcopalian bishops already had the freedom to allow same-sex couples to marry in their dioceses,” Holden writes.
WE’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON
The European Union is not negotiating with Greece before Sunday’s vote on whether to accept the bailout proposal.
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters Wednesday evening that there would be no talks until after the outcome of the vote on Sunday.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for the nationwide vote last week to give Greeks the chance to decide whether to accept the conditions of the bailout proposal, which includes more austerity measures like spending cuts and tax increases. Greece became the first developed country to miss an International Monetary Fund repayment after its old bailout program ended on Tuesday.
“Polls suggest the vote could go either way,” according to the Washington Post. The government is urging Greeks to vote “No,” which Tsipras says will increase Greece’s negotiating position with its creditors. But European Union leaders have framed the vote as “a judgment on whether Greece wants to remain in the euro currency community or risk being the first country to crash out of it,” the Post writes.
For more, we found this explainer from the New York Times useful.
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?
Liberia confirmed a second new Ebola case, seven weeks after the country was declared Ebola-free.
The case was discovered in the same town where the disease was found earlier this week on a teenager’s corpse. On Wednesday, “workers exhumed the body of the 17-year-old male student whose infection, detected after his death, sparked fears of the return of Ebola to Liberia” after the country was declared free of the virus on May 9, the AP writes.
More than 11,200 people have died since the most recent outbreak in West Africa began last year and Liberia was one of the hardest hit, along with Guinea and Sierra Leone. However, experts say Ebola remains a threat until it’s eradicated from Guinea and Sierra Leone as well.
How Latino organizations took on a blowhard and won.
Last month, Donald Trump said, referring to Mexican immigrants, “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
“No one thought Donald Trump’s comments about Mexicans being rapists were OK. But the swiftness with which he was repudiated by Univision, NBC, and Macy’s is new,” BuzzFeed News’ Adolfo Flores writes of the three companies cutting ties with Trump in the past week. “And many believe [this] a turning point for oft-mentioned Latino influence in the U.S.”
“There’s no room for racism or these kinds of comments from any person, especially the ones who want to be president of our country,” Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, told Flores.
Holly Madison, a former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, reveals the hell that is Playboy Mansion life.
Madison talks to BuzzFeed News about what you didn’t know about Hefner, her seedy years in the Playboy Mansion, and feminism. “I call myself a born-again feminist,” she said. “I can’t call myself a feminist, or people are going to attack me for that, like, How can you be a feminist, you lived with Hugh Hefner! But I feel like there comes a time in every woman’s life when you have to become a feminist.”
Quick things to know:
At least 36 people have died and 19 are missing after a ferry carrying 173 people capsized off the coast of Ormoc City in the island of Leyte in the Philippines. (BuzzFeed News)
Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 children from the Holocaust, has died at 106. (New York Times)
The United Nations declared its highest-level humanitarian emergency in conflict-torn Yemen. The Arab world's most impoverished country is now a step away from famine. (Associated Press)
Californians have finally made huge cuts in their water use. (BuzzFeed News)
Hawaii has become the first state to fully ban plastic bags at grocery stores. California is considering a similar ban. (BuzzFeed News)
“The sequel to Magic Mike is almost wholly devoid of plot. But it understands the narrative structure of female desire in the way few films do.” (BuzzFeed Ideas)
Snapchat is changing the way you watch snaps and add friends. (The Verge)
44 years after joining the show, Sesame Street’s Maria is retiring. (A.V. Club)
Sorry, you won't be able to pop the new Bubble Wrap. (The Week)
England was eliminated from the World Cup Final in the most heartbreaking way — by scoring its own goal. (BuzzFeed News)
Rihanna debuted a NSFW video and was crowned the most successful singles artist in history. (The Verge)
Just 19 days after marrying Jeremy, her high school sweetheart, Justice Stamper got into a car accident that stripped her of weeks of her memory, including their beautiful wedding ceremony. She spent hours looking at photos of it, but couldn’t bring it back in her mind. “Just seeing the look on his face when I walk down the aisle to him…I would do anything to have that moment back,” she told WCYB News. Jeremy decided he would throw his wife another wedding and after their story spread, local companies donated photography, a wedding cake, and more. They’re planning to have the second wedding on their first wedding anniversary, on Aug. 1.