Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 24, 2017

Kushner heads to Capitol Hill saying he "did not collude," a Taliban car bombing kills 24 in Kabul, and more


Kushner, facing questioning by lawmakers, says he 'did not collude'

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law, is scheduled to answer questions on contacts with Russia from members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday. He will be questioned by the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. In a written statement to lawmakers Kushner said he "did not collude" with any foreign government. Kushner's appearances occur as federal investigations into Russia's election meddling and possible collusion by Trump associates heat up, with Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort also due to appear on Capitol Hill. The Senate Judiciary Committee had planned to question Trump Jr. and Manafort, but their appearances have been delayed over negotiations for documents and other details.


Taliban car bombing kills at least 24 in Kabul

At least 24 people were killed and dozens more injured after a car bomb exploded in Kabul on Monday morning in the latest in a series of attacks in Afghanistan's capital city. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming it was aimed at the Afghan intelligence service and its employees. A bomb-laden Toyota Corolla rammed into a minibus carrying government employees at the mines and petroleum ministry, destroying the bus, three other cars, and nearby shops, a Kabul police spokesman said. Stores had just opened, and streets were jammed with cars taking people to work and school. "The bomber attacked at one of the busiest times of the day," the police spokesman said.


Truck driver to face charges in deadly migrant smuggling case

A Florida truck driver is expected to be formally charged in court on Monday in connection to the deaths of nine men found dead in the back of an 18-wheeler outside a Walmart in San Antonio, Texas, in what authorities described as a "horrific" human smuggling operation. The suspect, James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, was taken into custody Sunday. Authorities found the dead and 30 survivors inside the truck after one of the migrants approached a security guard to ask for water. The survivors were taken to hospitals, some of them suffering potentially life-threatening heat stroke and dehydration. Mexican and Guatemalan nationals were among the people who were hospitalized, officials from those countries said.


White House: Trump might sign tougher sanctions against Russia

President Trump is open to signing a bill toughening sanctions against Russia, the White House said on Sunday. Democrats said over the weekend that they had reached a deal with Republicans on new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Trump has expressed support for easing some penalties against Russia to help improve relations between Washington and Moscow, but the legislation would limit his ability to make such a gesture. Trump's new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, said the president had not decided whether he would sign the bill, but he is expected to make a decision soon.


Schumer: Democrats 'too namby-pamby' in 2016

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that Democrats "were too cautious, we were too namby-pamby" in the 2016 election campaign. "The number one thing that we did wrong is we didn't tell people what we stood for," Schumer said on ABC's This Week. Schumer said the new Democratic agenda, set to be unveiled on Monday, would be "sharp, bold, and will appeal to both the old Obama coalition ... and the Democratic voters who deserted us for Trump, the blue-collar worker." Among the policies he said Democrats would put on the table were Medicare for people above age 55 or even single-payer health care.


Trump Jr. adds Washington lawyer to legal team

Donald Trump Jr.'s legal team is growing, with the hiring of Karina Lynch, a Washington, D.C., attorney who concentrates on legislative, regulatory, and oversight issues, ABC News reports. Lynch, from the law firm Williams and Jensen, confirmed that she is now part of the team, but did not say what she will be working on. Lynch once served as investigative counsel for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Government Affairs. The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to interview Trump Jr. as part of the investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election.


Two Jordanians killed in shooting at Israel's embassy

Two Jordanians died from their wounds after a Sunday shooting in the compound of the heavily-guarded Israeli embassy in Amman. An Israeli also was wounded. Police said the two people who were killed worked for a furniture company, and were entering the embassy to do some repairs when the shooting erupted. The fortress-like embassy is protected by Jordanian security forces. It has been the target of anti-Israel protests during times of tension in the Palestinian territories, but violence against Israelis is rare in Jordan, an Arab country that shares a long border with Israel and is a strong U.S. ally, like Israel.


Poland's president vetoes judicial reforms in surprise move

Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, unexpectedly vetoed judicial reform laws that would have given the right-wing governing party greater control over the country's courts. Tens of thousands of people had protested the laws, and the European Union had threatened sanctions if the reforms were adopted. The laws would have taken away the independence of the country's top court, and given lawmakers control over judicial appointments. "Poland needs a reform, but a wise one," Duda said. The proposals now go back to Parliament, where the governing Law and Justice Party does not have the supermajority of 60 it would need to override the veto.


Dunkirk leads the weekend box office with a $50.5 million debut

Warner Bros.' Dunkirk, the latest film by Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, led the weekend domestic box office with a $50.5 million debut. It was the best opening in years for a World War II film. Dunkirk also made $55.4 million overseas, but it will need to continue bringing moviegoers into theaters to make up for a production budget of $100 million and big marketing expenses. Another big winner over the weekend was Universal's Girls Trip, which raked in $30.4 million in its opening weekend. French filmmaker Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a sci-fi epic that cost $180 million to make, bombed with a haul of $17 million.


Chris Froome wins his 4th Tour de France

British cyclist Chris Froome won his fourth Tour de France title on Sunday, finishing 54 seconds ahead of Colombia's Rigoberto Uran in the overall race. "I want to dedicate this victory to my family," he said. "Your love and support makes everything possible." Froome has now won the storied race three straight times. He needs one more win to tie the Tour record of five wins total, which is shared by Eddy Merckx of Belgium, Miguel Indurain of Spain, and Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, both from France. The victory was Froome's narrowest yet, although the closest Tour in history was Greg LeMond's eight-second margin in 1989.


Zelensky and 'spirit of Ukraine' named Time Person of the Year
Volodymyr Zelensky
decision time

Zelensky and 'spirit of Ukraine' named Time Person of the Year

Why America might face a trade war with its closest allies
Biden and Macron.

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Russia blames Ukraine for 3rd drone strike on airbase in 2 days
A bomber lands at Engels air base in Russia in 2008.
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Russia blames Ukraine for 3rd drone strike on airbase in 2 days

7 so-called vices banned by Iran's morality police
Iran's morality police detain a man with unacceptable hair and clothing back in 2008: In recent weeks, Tehran has cracked down on shopkeepers selling Barbie dolls.
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Russian military bloggers are reportedly irate over Ukraine drone strikes
Drone strike inside Russia
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439 Texas churches split from United Methodist Church in widening schism
United Methodist Church
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Trump denies calling to 'terminate' the Constitution after doing so
Donald Trump at a rally.

Trump denies calling to 'terminate' the Constitution after doing so