Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 3, 2017

Critics call Trump's CNN-beating gif a threat, Trump presses China's Xi to do more to rein in North Korea, and more


Trump faces criticism for gif showing him beating 'CNN'

President Trump on Sunday tweeted an edited gif of his staged attack on Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania XXIII in 2007 with CNN's logo superimposed over McMahon's head — so the clip depicted Trump physically beating CNN. The gif, which Trump captioned "#FraudNewsCNN," sparked condemnation from media groups, which called it a threat. CNN called it "juvenile," and Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, called it a "threat of physical violence against journalists" that was "beneath the office of the presidency." Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert defended the tweet. Trump is "the most genuine president and the most non-politician president we've seen in my lifetime," he said, and "no one would perceive [the tweet] as a threat. I hope they don't. I do think that [Trump is] beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to."


Trump calls on China to increase pressure on North Korea

President Trump pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday to do more to help confront the "growing threat" of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The high-stakes phone call came after a tense week in which Beijing expressed anger over the Trump administration's arms sale to Taiwan, which China considers one of its provinces. Trump also spoke about North Korea with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Trump and Abe expressed "unity with respect to increasing pressure on the regime to change its dangerous path," the Trump administration said. Analysts have been warning that North Korea could be gearing up for another nuclear test, which would escalate tensions already stoked by a series of missile tests. For months, Trump has said that China, North Korea's key ally and trading partner, is best positioned to pressure North Korea to curb its controversial weapons programs.


Anti- and pro-Trump demonstrators square off in impeachment protests

Thousands of people rallied in several cities across the country to call on Congress to impeach President Trump. In Los Angeles, several thousand people marched carrying signs saying "Worst President Ever" and "We demand the truth," and chanting, "Down, down, down with Trump — up, up, up with the people." "Every day when I wake up, something is more terrible than it was yesterday," said protester John Meranda, 56, of Long Beach. In many of the cities, the demonstrations were met with counter-protests by Trump supporters. "There's no reason at this point to impeach the president. He's committed no crimes. There's no reason," Jake Lloyd, who backs the president, said in Austin, Texas. "I don't think they understand what impeachment is."


4 Arab states extend deadline for Qatar to meet list of demands

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain gave Qatar two more days to accept a list of 13 demands to resolve a diplomatic dispute after a Sunday deadline expired. Saudi Arabia and its allies have accused their Persian Gulf neighbor of funding extremists, and have imposed unprecedented diplomatic and economic sanctions for weeks. They have told Qatar to meet their demands, which include shutting down the Al Jazeera news network, or face more sanctions. Qatar denies supporting terrorism and said its Arab neighbors' demands were "bullying" and an "affront to international law."


China protests U.S. ship in disputed waters

China accused the U.S. of a "serious political and military provocation" after the USS Stethem, a guided-missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed island in the South China Sea. It was the second such maneuver by a U.S. warship since President Trump took office in January. U.S. officials said the ship's action, known as a freedom-of-navigation operation, was planned in advance and was not intended as a political statement, although the island is in an area where China has been aggressively asserting its control despite territorial claims by other nations. China said the U.S. had "trespassed" in an attempt to stir up trouble.


Suicide bomber disguised in robe kills at least 14 in Iraq camp

A suicide bomber disguised in a woman's head-to-toe robe attacked a refugee camp in Iraq's Anbar province on Sunday, killing at least 14 people and wounding 20 more, according to a provincial official. The blast occurred as workers in the camp were accommodating families that had fled the town of Qaim, which is held by the Islamic State. A police colonel was killed after he became suspicious of the robed person and walked over to embrace him, presumably to absorb the blast and limit casualties. Iraqi forces have driven ISIS fighters out of Anbar. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. Female ISIS suicide bombers also attacked Iraqi soldiers in Mosul, where Iraqi government forces are close to driving out the Islamist extremist group.


Chris Christie under fire after lounging at beach closed in shutdown

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was photographed on Sunday lounging with his family on a beach at a state park closed under a government shutdown he ordered on Friday. The pictures, showing Christie in a beach chair wearing a baseball cap, bathing suit, and T-shirt, were taken shortly before Christie flew back to Trenton in a state helicopter to unsuccessfully work on breaking a budget impasse that led to the shutdown. He faced criticism on social media for using Island Beach State Park over the July 4 holiday weekend when state residents could not. Christie, whose family is staying in a beach house provided by the state, replied: "Run for governor, and you can have a residence there."


Musk says Tesla gearing up to make its first Model 3

Tesla's new Model 3 sedan, the electric car maker's first mass-market car, has passed all regulatory requirements for production, CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet on Sunday night. The Model 3 got past the regulatory hurdle two weeks ahead of schedule. Musk said production was on track to start in July as planned, with the first car expected to roll off the assembly line on Friday. "(Model 3) Production grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1,500," Musk said. "Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec." The Model 3 is priced at $35,000, and buyers could cut their costs with a $7,500 federal electric car tax credit.


17 feared dead in fiery bus crash in Germany

German authorities said Monday that "numerous people" died in a fiery bus crash. At least 31 people were injured when the bus crashed into a truck at the scene of a traffic jam, and burst into flames. Seventeen people remained unaccounted for early Monday. Police said the bus was carrying 46 passengers in a tour group from the eastern German state of Saxony when the crash occurred near Muenchberg in Bavaria. "Thirty passengers were taken to hospitals, some with serious injuries. The others are believed to have died in the burning tour bus," police said in a statement.


Despicable Me 3 leads the box office

Despicable Me 3 led the weekend box office, making the franchise the only cartoon series other than Shrek to top the $1 billion mark. The PG-rated film grossed $75.4 million, according to Sunday studio estimates. Domestically, the movies in the Despicable Me franchise have made $1.03 billion, while the five Shrek films have made $1.42 billion. Despicable Me 3 also set a record for the widest North American release, appearing on 4,529 screens. Earlier in the year, Cars 3 had the widest release for a G-rated film, with 4,256 screens, and Logan had the widest release for an R-rated film, showing on 4,071 screens.


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