While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 28

Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy participates in an official group portrait in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, US, on June 1, 2017.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy participates in an official group portrait in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, US, on June 1, 2017. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Justice Kennedy, US Supreme Court's pivotal vote, to retire

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said on Wednesday (June 27) he plans to retire after three decades as a pivotal vote on the highest US judicial body, giving President Donald Trump an opportunity to make the court more firmly conservative.

The conservative Kennedy, who turns 82 in July and is the second-oldest justice on the nine-member court, has become one of the most consequential American jurists since joining the court in 1988 as an appointee of Republican President Ronald Reagan.

He proved instrumental in advancing gay rights, buttressing abortion rights and erasing political spending limits. His retirement takes effect on July 31, the court said.


Dutch parliament to set target of 95% CO2 reduction by 2050

The Dutch parliament will approve a law requiring the Netherlands to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 95 per cent by 2050, compared with the level in 1990, lawmakers representing 75 per cent of the seats in the Dutch Lower House said on Wednesday (June 27).

The law also targets a 49 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, and requires the electricity supply to become carbon neutral by 2050.

The proposed bill, expected to come into effect next year, did not give an estimate for the cost of reaching the goals, nor an indication of how they might be achieved.


Joe Jackson, patriarch of US musical dynasty, dead at 89

Joe Jackson, the patriarch of an American musical dynasty who started his son Michael, daughter Janet, and the Jackson 5 on the road to stardom but also verbally and physically abused them, has died at the age of 89, his family said on Wednesday (June 27).  

Jackson, who recently lived in Las Vegas, had been suffering from cancer, according to media reports. 

Despite periods of estrangement from some of his 10 children, family members had been at his bedside in his last few days, his grand daughter Paris said. 


World Cup: Brazil outclass Serbia to set up Mexico clash

Goals by Paulinho and Thiago Silva steered a much-improved Brazil to a 2-0 victory over a battling but ultimately outclassed Serbia on Wednesday (June 27) and into a World Cup second-round meeting with Mexico. 

The win, combined with Switzerland’s 2-2 draw with Costa Rica, meant Brazil finished top of Group E on seven points, two ahead of the Swiss, who will face Sweden in the last 16. Serbia ended in third place on three points and are eliminated along with Costa Rica. 

With defending champions Germany knocked out and Argentina scraping through at the death, five-times champions Brazil were desperate to stamp their authority on a tournament where World Cup pedigree has counted for so little. 


Shock, scorn as Germany exit World Cup

From chants of "goodbye" to stunned silence, Germany fans reacted with dismay to their defending champions' humiliating World Cup exit Wednesday (June 27) after a first-round loss commentators called a "historic disgrace".

"Our World Cup nightmare has come true," screamed the Bild daily.

Even before the final whistle blew in Russia's Kazan Arena, supporters in Berlin had begun leaving the city's so-called fan mile, disappointed by Germany's lacklustre performance against South Korea in a match heavy with missed opportunities.