Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 17, 2017

Trump confirms he is under investigation, 7 U.S. sailors missing after collision at sea, and more


Trump confirms he is under investigation

President Trump tweeted Friday to vent his frustration over the widening investigation into ties between his campaign and Russia — and in the process confirmed he is a subject of the investigation. "I am being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director! Witch hunt," Trump wrote. He also mocked the probe, tweeting that "after 7 months of investigations [and] committee hearings about my 'collusion with the Russians,' nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!" Per Politico, White House aides are reportedly concerned Trump's behavior is self-destructive and a source of legal risk.


7 U.S. sailors missing after collision at sea

Seven U.S. sailors remain missing after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan early Saturday morning. The ship has returned to port in Yokosuka, Japan, as of 7 p.m. local time, substantially damaged after crashing into a container ship four times its size. Three sailors and two other personnel have been hospitalized with injuries, including the destroyer's commander. Several Japanese Maritime Self Defense force ships, another U.S. warship, and aircraft from both countries continue to search for the missing sailors at the site of the collision.


Trump debuts new Cuba policy

President Trump on Friday rolled back some of former President Barack Obama's policy shifts toward restoring ties with Cuba. The new policy tightens travel rules and restrictions on U.S. companies dealing with a business conglomerate controlled by Cuba's military. However, Trump is not expected to sever diplomatic ties Obama restored with the communist-run island nation. Trump debuted his Cuba policies in a speech in Miami in which he swore the U.S. would not lift sanctions on Cuba "until all political prisoners are free." On Twitter, he said his "Cuban/American friends are very happy" with the change.


Ethics office releases Trump's financial disclosure report

President Trump's financial disclosure report was released Friday evening by the Office of Government Ethics, revealing a portrait of his assets, income, and debts from January 2016 through April 2017. Trump is listed as an executive in a total of 565 companies, and his revenues from the properties he owns that he's frequented as president are substantially higher this year than they were last year. Trump is currently carrying about $315 million in financial liabilities, owing $130 million to a single German bank.


Trump decides to not deport DREAMers

President Trump will not deport undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, known as "DREAMers" (after the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act), a reversal of his campaign pledge. The Department of Homeland Security announcement affects about 800,000 people, and Trump claimed during his campaign that the program "defied federal law and the Constitution." The administration also announced the program would not expand to include the parents of DREAMers.


Minnesota officer who fatally shot Philando Castile found not guilty

Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty Friday on all charges in the death of black motorist Philando Castile. Yanez fatally shot Castile during a traffic stop over a broken taillight; the death was ruled a homicide. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was in the car with her 4-year-old daughter and livestreamed the immediate aftermath on Facebook. The Minnesota city of St. Anthony said Friday Yanez would be dismissed from police work, but thousands of unsatisfied protesters marched in St. Paul Friday night. "This verdict shows how the system is rigged against justice for victims of police terror," said organizers.


May faces protests over London apartment fire

Protesters gathered at Downing Street Friday to challenge British Prime Minister Theresa May on her response to the massive fire in a London apartment building that killed at least 30 people Wednesday. May has announced a $6.4 million fund to help survivors, but she has been criticized for "misread[ing] the public mood" and waiting until Saturday to meet with building residents. Queen Elizabeth visited survivors Friday. The U.K. "has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies," she said in a statement. "United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss."


Amazon to buy Whole Foods

Amazon is buying Whole Foods Market for a reported $13.7 billion, or $42 a share, the tech giant announced Friday. Acquiring the popular organic grocery store is seen as a major push for Amazon to break into the grocery delivery business, turning "Amazon into a grocery giant overnight and help it sideline Instacart Inc., a startup that delivers grocery orders from Whole Foods stores in more than 20 states and Washington, D.C.," Bloomberg reports. In May, Amazon shares crossed over the $1,000 threshold for the first time ever following a booming April earnings report.


Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl dies at 87

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who led Germany for 16 years between 1982 and 1998, died Friday. He was 87. Kohl is credited with reuniting East and West Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and for helping introduce the euro currency to the European Union. He reportedly died at his home in Ludwigshafen, in western Germany. "We mourn," tweeted Kohl's party, the Christian Democratic Union, which is now led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Kohl's former mentee.


Carrie Fisher's death attributed to 'sleep apnea and other causes'

The cause of Carrie Fisher's death "has been ruled undetermined," said a report from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office on Friday, but "sleep apnea and other causes," including drug use, were involved. The coroner's report also mentioned the Star Wars actress' history of atherosclerotic heart disease. "My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life," said a statement from Fisher's daughter, actress Billie Lourd. "She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases." Fisher died in December of 2016; her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, died one day later.


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