Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 2, 2017

Trump delivers first July 4 speech as president, Trump vows to maintain social media use, and more


Trump delivers first July 4 speech as president

President Trump gave his first speech celebrating Independence Day since taking office, delivering his Saturday evening address at the Celebrate Freedom Rally in Washington, D.C. His talk dwelled on twin themes of veterans and the media. "There is no place I would rather be than with you," Trump told a majority-military audience, touting the United States as "a land rich with heroes." His words about the press were less warm. "The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House," Trump said, "but I'm president and they're not."


Trump vows to maintain social media use

In a flurry of tweets posted Saturday evening, President Trump vowed to maintain his controversial social media habits. "The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media - but remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media," he wrote. After an interlude musing on his particular dislike for CNN, Trump declared his social media use "MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL." A Fox News poll released Thursday found 71 percent of Americans say tweeting hurts Trump's agenda, and only 21 percent of Republicans approve of his tweeting habits.


Trump to speak with Abe, Xi by phone

President Trump has consecutive calls scheduled Sunday evening with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The first call begins around 8 p.m. Eastern, and both come on the heels of Trump's meeting and joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Though the White House has not announced the calls' focus, Trump is expected to address topics similar to those he discussed with Moon: trade and North Korea. The president is reportedly frustrated over Asian competition for U.S. steel production, as well as Beijing's failure to shutter Pyongyang's nuclear pursuits.


28 injured in Arkansas nightclub shooting

Some 28 people were injured but none killed in a shooting at a nightclub in Little Rock, Arkansas, early Saturday morning. "We do NOT believe this incident was an active shooter or terror-related incident. It appears to have been a dispute at a concert," said a tweeted statement from local police. Authorities later said the exchange of gunfire may have been gang-related. The incident at the Ultra Power Lounge happened around 2:30 a.m. on the club's second floor. Victims are being treated at local hospitals; two are in critical condition.


Bronx hospital shooter was after a former colleague

The doctor who killed one person and injured six more at New York City's Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Friday afternoon was attempting to kill a specific former colleague whom he blamed for his career troubles, CNN reports. That ex-coworker was not in the hospital at the time of the attack, and Dr. Henry Bello instead killed Dr. Tracy Sin Yee Tam, a young doctor who was only at work because she was filling in for a friend. "She never said no," said one of Tam's friends. "Anybody that needed help, she would help them."


Trump says 'crazy,' 'dumb as a rock' MSNBC hosts are 'not bad people'

President Trump returned to Twitter Saturday to redouble his public feud with MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski while incongruously suggesting they should have more editorial control of their show. "Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses," he wrote. "Too bad!" The president's fight with the co-hosts of Morning Joe began Thursday when Trump tweeted a crude attack targeting Brzezinski. Since then, the co-hosts have accused Trump of attempting to blackmail them for favorable coverage.


Trump implies massive state wrongdoing in voter data dispute

President Trump insinuated on Twitter Saturday that nearly half of state governments are concealing wrongdoing because they have not fully complied with a request from his new Election Integrity Commission for an extensive set of voter data to fuel an election fraud investigation. "Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL," he tweeted. "What are they trying to hide?" Most states that have refused full compliance have cited legal, privacy, and security concerns, and a Washington Post analysis found the refusals are bipartisan.


Car bomb kills at least 19 in Damascus

At least 19 people were killed and another dozen wounded Sunday when a car bomber eluded police in Damascus, Syria. Police were tracking three vehicles and caught two of them, safely detonating the car bombs without casualties. The third vehicle escaped, striking on the first normal workday after celebrations to mark the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. "The terrorist bombings killed and wounded several civilians and caused physical damage to the area," a local official told state-run media. The attack has not been claimed by any terror group so far.


Pope replaces top Vatican theologian

Pope Francis on Saturday replaced Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the highest ranking theologian of the Catholic Church as head of a Vatican department called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Müller was appointed to a five-year term Francis declined to renew. The conservative theologian is succeeded by Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, currently his second-in-command. Ferrer is a Jesuit, like the pope, and is expected to be more in tune with the pontiff's theological approach. He is known for keeping a lower media profile than Müller, who has publicly criticized Francis.


Horn tops Pacquiao in disputed match

Australian boxer Jeff Horn won the WBO world welterweight title against Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday in a battle many observers argued was unfairly judged against Pacquiao. "This is what's wrong with boxing," wrote retired heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis on Twitter. "Horn was very game but I'm hard pressed to see how he could have won that fight by any stretch!" Horn celebrated the win but welcomed a possible rematch. "I'm so happy, I can't explain my feelings," he said.


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