MEMORIALS HELD ON ANNIVERSARY OF PULSE NIGHTCLUB MASSACRE: Church bells will toll throughout the Orlando area as residents reflect on the 49 patrons killed during a massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse in the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Starting in the early hours Monday, and continuing almost 24 hours later, survivors, victims’ families, city officials and central Florida residents will remember the victims with four services. The first service is closed to the public, and it’s being held at the nightclub for survivors, local officials and club employees. It will overlap with the exact time that gunman Omar Mateen began firing shots — a little after 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016. It is followed by another midday service at the nightclub, and an evening gathering in the heart of downtown Orlando. A final, music-filled late-night service is being held at the nightclub.
MILITIA GROUPS HAPPY WITH TRUMP, BUT STILL FEAR EVERYTHING: In the woods south of Atlanta, John and Yvette DeMaria are with about a dozen camouflage-wearing, heavily armed Americans huffing and puffing as they scramble to navigate the sprawling piece of property where they train, one weekend a month, to ward off enemies — foreign or domestic. The DeMarias are with the Georgia Security Force militia, whose members are relieved that Donald Trump won the presidency but believe it would be a mistake to lay down their arms just because he is in the White House. So they continue to take to the woods to be ready for whatever may come, whether it's an economic crisis that spawns unrest or Islamic extremists carrying out attacks on American soil.
PUERTO RICO VOTES TO BECOME 51ST US STATE IN LOW-TURNOUT REFERENDUM: Puerto Rico's governor is vowing to make the U.S. territory the 51st state after statehood won in a non-binding referendum hit by a boycott and low turnout that raised questions about the vote's legitimacy. Gov. Ricardo Rossello told a couple hundred supporters waving U.S. flags late Sunday that he will soon create a commission to appoint two senators and five representatives to demand statehood from the U.S. Congress, which has to approve any changes to the island's political status. "The United States of America will have to obey the will of our people!" Rossello yelled to a crowd clutching U.S. flags and dancing to a tropical jingle that promoted statehood. But experts say it is highly unlikely a Republican-controlled Congress would acknowledge Sunday's results, let alone accept them because Puerto Rico tends to favor Democrats.
PUTIN HAS MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER ARRESTED BEFORE HE CAN SPEAK AT PROTEST: Protests spearheaded by prominent opposition figure Alexei Navalny were taking place across the country on Monday, but Navalny himself was reportedly arrested outside his Moscow home en route to the centerpiece demonstration in the capital city. Navalny's wife, Yulia, said on his Twitter feed that he was arrested about a half-hour before the demonstration was to begin. There was no immediate statement from police. A regional security official, Vladimir Chernikov, told Ekho Moskvy radio that police would not interfere with demonstrators on the street — as long as they did not carry placards or shout slogans. More than 1,000 protesters were arrested at a similar rally March 26. The protests in March took place in scores of cities across the country, the largest show of discontent in years and a challenge to President Vladimir Putin's dominance of the country.
TRUMP AS THE DOOMED JULIUS CAESAR? SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK LOSES FUNDING OVER CONTROVERSY: Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have announced that they are pulling their sponsorship of a Manhattan-based theater company’s portrayal of Julius Caesar as a Donald Trump look-alike in a business suit who gets knifed to death on stage. Atlanta-based Delta released a statement on Sunday saying it was pulling its sponsorship from The Public Theater “effective immediately.” “No matter what your political stance may be, the graphic staging of Julius Caesar at this summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park does not reflect Delta Air Lines’ values,” the statement said. “Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste.” Later Sunday night, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America said it was withdrawing its funding for the production.