New in Brief: Husband of Justice Ruth Ginsburg Has Died, and More

Martin D. Ginsburg, husband of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has died at 78, according to the New York Times.

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Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-West Virginia), died at 92. Byrd, the country’s longest-serving Congressman was in the middle of his ninth term. The Washington Post says no formal cause of death has been provided. Byrd was first elected to the Senate in 1952 and was majority leader twice, according to the Post. The Houston Chronicle reports that Byrd, who was admitted to the hospital Sunday evening, became increasing frail in 2006, after the death of his wife, and had to be taken onto the Senate floor by wheelchair, beginning in 2009.

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Confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan, President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court begin today. Kagan, 50, is being reviewed to take the spot of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, 90, according to Reuters. Politico reports that Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee plan on portraying the nominee as “a politically driven ideologue,” and will make her nomination a “teachable moment.”

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Turkey has escalated its response to Israel’s Gaza flotilla reaction, by denying Israel military use of its airspace, the BBC reports. The BBC says Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that the forced rerouting of a cargo plane of officers to tour Auschwitz was triggered by the May 31 raid. Ha’aretz reports that Hamas has threatened Israel with a series of eight flotillas. According to Ha’aretz, Hamas says the Gaza-bound ships will be launched in August, during Ramadan.

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The latest cost estimate for handling the Deepwater Horizon spill is $2.65 billion, according to Marketwatch. Boycotting the energy giant however, may be impossible because of the company’s deep integration in the US economy, according to a report by The Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles article says it can be difficult to avoid, let alone identify, BP services, noting that BP wind farms provide Southern California Edison with energy, and that the company provides fuel to Arco and Amoco gas stations throughout the US.

Tropical storm Alex is not expected to hit the Gulf Coast, but it may drive oil further inland, according to The Associated Press. The DailyBeast reports that oil from the still-gushing Macondo well has washed up on Mississippi’s shore . The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that BP continues to drill the two relief wells, in addition to burning gas at the surface.

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Stimulus thinking is over and cost-cutting is in, for the wealthiest G20 countries, which met in Toronto over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reports. The move is contrary to President Obama’s lobbying for stimulus plans to continue, but the US has agreed, along with others, to halve deficits by 2013, according to The New York Times.

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World Cup recap: Ghana beat the US, Argentina beat Mexico and Germany beat England. The Germany-UK match, which ended 4-1 had added tension – what spectators and critics say was a clear goal by England was considered otherwise by the referee. Even Germany’s goalkeeper, according to The Daily Mail, says the ball was in.