1. Reuters: The Kremlin says Putin won't meet Tillerson, and there’s speculation that it could be because they’re angry at the Syria missile strike
The Kremlin said yesterday that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will not meet President Vladimir Putin when he visits Moscow tomorrow, a move that could point to tensions over a U.S. missile attack on a Syrian air base last week.
John Kerry, Tillerson's predecessor, often met Putin as well as the Russian foreign minister when he visited Moscow, and Putin granted several audiences to the Texan when he ran oil major Exxon Mobil before taking his current job.
Putin even personally awarded Tillerson a top Russian state award -- the Order of Friendship -- in 2013, and it was widely expected that the former oilman would meet Putin on what is his first trip to Russia as secretary of state.
But Putin's spokesman told reporters that no such meeting was planned, suggesting Tillerson will follow strict diplomatic protocol and only meet his direct counterpart, the Russian Foreign Minister. He did not say why Putin was not planning to receive Tillerson.
2. Associated Press via Star Tribune: A shooting at a San Bernardino school yesterday left two adults and one student dead.
A man walked into his estranged wife's elementary school classroom in San Bernardino and opened fire without saying a word, killing her and an 8-year-old student before shooting himself in a murder-suicide that spread panic across a city still recovering emotionally from a terror attack just 15 months ago.
A 9-year-old student also was critically wounded. He and the boy who died were behind their special-education teacher, Karen Elaine Smith, 53, the target of the man she had married months earlier, police said.
The shooting left hundreds of distraught parents waiting for hours to reunite with their children. Staffers knew Cedric Anderson, who had been estranged from his wife for about a month, and he got into the school by saying he had to drop something off for Smith.
Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters, "no one has come forward to say they saw this coming.” Anderson had a history of weapons, domestic violence and possible drug charges that predated the short marriage, authorities said.
3. Associated Press via Pioneer Press: Video of a passenger getting dragged off of an ‘overbooked’ United flight by police officers this weekend went viral and has sparked quite an uproar
A spokesman for the airline insisted that employees had no choice but to contact authorities to remove the man.
As the flight waited to depart from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, officers could be seen grabbing the screaming man from a window seat, pulling him across the armrest and dragging him down the aisle by his arms. The airline was trying to make room for four of its employees on the Sunday evening flight to Louisville, Kentucky.
Other passengers on Flight 3411 are heard saying, “Please, my God,” ”What are you doing?” ”This is wrong,” ”Look at what you did to him” and “Busted his lip.”
Passenger Audra D. Bridges posted the video on Facebook. Her husband, Tyler Bridges, said United offered $400 and then $800 vouchers and a hotel stay for volunteers to give up their seats. When no one volunteered, a United manager came on the plane and announced that passengers would be chosen at random.
Another passenger of the flight told the Associated press, “We almost felt like we were being taken hostage. We were stuck there. You can’t do anything as a traveler. You’re relying on the airline.”
According to a United spokesman, when airline employees named four customers who had to leave the plane, three of them did so. The fourth person refused to move, and police were called.
The spokesman said, “We followed the right procedures. That plane had to depart. We wanted to get our customers to their destinations.”
4. Star Tribune: The Vikings preseason schedule has been released
The Vikings will be on the road for the first two weeks of the 2017 preseason before returning home to U.S. Bank Stadium for a nationally televised Sunday night exhibition.
The NFL released its full preseason schedule Monday, and the Vikings will travel to play the Buffalo Bills and the Seattle Seahawks before playing their first home game Aug. 27 against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers went 2-14 last season and have the No. 2 overall pick in this month’s NFL draft. Kickoff for that game will be at 7 p.m.
The Vikings then host the Miami Dolphins, who went 10-6 last season and made the playoffs, four days later in their preseason finale at U.S. Bank Stadium. The kickoff time for that game will be announced later, as will be the dates and times for their games against the Bills and Seahawks, who went 7-9 and 10-5-1 respectively in 2016.
The Vikings are 12-1 in the preseason under fourth-year head coach Mike Zimmer.
The NFL is expected to release the 2017 regular-season schedule later this month.
5. NBC: A man ate 255 Peeps in 5 minutes
There's a competitive eating contest for just about everything these days, including Peeps. On Saturday, world-ranked competitive eaters faced each other down at the National Harbor Peeps Eating World Championship in Maryland.
The winner was Matt Stonie of California, who ate 255 Peeps in five minutes, a far cry above the 200 Peeps he ate last year.
Peeps are made by Just Born of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The factory makes more than a billion Peeps every year. Each bunny-shaped Peep has 28 calories. Chick-shaped Peeps have 32 calories.