► The New York Times reports that a judge has ruled that the city's stop and frisk policy violates the constitution. "The federal judge planned to designate a monitor for the New York Police Department after she found that police officers routinely stopped innocent people without any objective reason to suspect them of wrongdoing," reports the paper.
► In remarks yesterday, Sen. John McCain accused President Obama of taking merely “symbolic” action against Russian President Vladimir Putin by canceling one-on-one talks scheduled for September. As reported in The Guardian, McCain said that the United States needs to do more to address the chilly relationship between Russia and the United States, especially after Putin granted asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. McCain’s comments come after President Obama held a late-day press conference on Friday to explain the NSA program and announce the creation of a task force that will advise the government on balancing privacy and security. The White House has also released a white paper explaining, in detail, why the surveillance program is legal. The New York Times reports that the President also announced his support of a proposal to have a lawyer argue against the government before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court. Currently the court only hears the government’s request for expanded surveillance powers.
► Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that low-level, nonviolent drug offenders will no longer face long prison terms. The Washington Post reports that, as part of a prison reform package, the Department of Justice will reduce mandatory severe sentencing in minor drug offenses. According to the article, Holder “is giving new instructions to federal prosecutors on how they should write their criminal complaints when charging low-level drug offenders, to avoid triggering the mandatory minimum sentences.”
► Most U.S. embassies in the Middle East reopened this weekend after being closed because of a terrorist threat. However, NBC News is reporting that the embassy in the capital city of Sana, Yemen, will remain closed. The administration did not announce why the embassy will remain closed, but the United States continues to carry out drone strikes in the country against al Qaeda targets.
► Also in the news: Two men are arrested in London for allegedly blackmailing an Internet-based company with the threat ofDDoS attacks. ♦ A new bill introduced in New Jersey would study the effects of natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy on the power grid. ♦ State media in China reported that a French drug maker is under investigation for allegedly bribing doctors to prescribe its products.