Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 13, 2018

Trump critic Mark Sanford loses his South Carolina GOP primary, Trump's pledge to end Korea "war games" confuses allies, and more


Trump critic loses primary in sign of president's influence

In a sign of President Trump's influence over GOP voters, frequent Trump critic Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) on Tuesday lost his Republican primary to state Rep. Katie Arrington, who ran as a Trump ally. Trump backed Arrington in a tweet hours before polls closed, saying Sanford was "nothing but trouble," marking the first time he had targeted a GOP incumbent in the midterms. Sanford had frequently broken with his party in a political career that started in the 1990s, but he never lost an election — until he clashed with Trump. In another win for conservatives, Confederate symbol champion Corey Stewart won the Republican Senate nomination to face Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in Virginia, while a wave of women candidates won in four competitive House primaries. Maine, Nevada, and North Dakota also held primaries.


Allies, lawmakers confused by Trump vow to end Korea 'war games'

President Trump's announcement that the U.S. would stop "war games" near North Korea took Japan and South Korea by surprise, and met opposition from U.S. lawmakers. Trump, speaking after his summit on denuclearization with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said the change would save the U.S. money and remove a "provocative" obstacle to diplomacy with Pyongyang. Critics said Trump had given away a key concession, even raising the possibility of withdrawing U.S. troops from South Korea, without getting anything new in return, and stoked concerns about his security commitment to key U.S. allies. South Korea's Ministry of Defense said it needed "to figure out President Trump's accurate meaning and intention."


Trump administration weighs housing migrant children in tent cities

The Trump administration is considering building tent cities at military bases in Texas to house the rising number of unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. government custody. The Department of Health and Human Services will look at Fort Bliss near El Paso in the coming weeks to see whether it could be the site of a tent city for 1,000 to 5,000 children, McClatchy reported Tuesday. HHS also is considering Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo as possible sites for temporary detention areas. The number of migrant children in custody without their parents has increased by more than 20 percent since the Trump administration imposed a zero-tolerance policy, separating children from parents who try to enter the country illegally.


Proposal to split California into 3 states makes it onto ballot

California's Secretary of State's office said Tuesday that a ballot measure to split the Golden State into three states — California, Northern California, and Southern California — had gotten more than enough valid signatures to make it onto the November ballot. The initiative was spearheaded by Silicon Valley venture capitalist and cryptocurrency enthusiast Tim Draper, whose previous efforts to split California into six states failed due to insufficient valid signatures. If successful, the plan could lead to the first division of a state since West Virginia was split from Virginia in 1863. Any break would require congressional approval, however, which would be tricky since the change would create two reliably Democratic states and one swing state. Voters backed splitting California into two states in 1859, but Congress never followed through.


Federal judge approves AT&T-Time Warner merger

A judge on Tuesday approved AT&T's proposed $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner, rejecting an antitrust challenge by the Justice Department. Judge Richard Leon, who presided over the six-week trial, said the government had failed to prove that the acquisition violates antitrust law. He also rejected government lawyers' request to put the deal on hold pending an appeal, saying that would be "manifestly unjust" because it would force AT&T to miss a deadline to close by June 20 or pay a $500 million penalty. The deal promises to reshape the media landscape by uniting Time Warner's content, which includes movies and TV shows, with AT&T's powerful distribution network, which includes cable, satellite, and mobile phone systems.


White House adviser apologizes for saying Trudeau has 'special place in hell'

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Tuesday apologized for saying that "there is a special place in hell" for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been slammed by President Trump and some of his top aides for warning that Canada would retaliate for Trump's new tariffs. Navarro said he was trying to send a signal of the Trump administration's strength, but made a mistake. "I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message," he said. Trump said Trudeau had made a mistake by accusing Trump of trying to bully his allies, which would only stoke trade tensions. "That's going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada," Trump said.


House to consider 2 immigration bills after moderate proposal fizzles

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Tuesday that the House would vote next week on rival immigration bills after a proposal by GOP moderates to protect young undocumented immigrants known as "DREAMers" collapsed due to a lack of support. The moderates fell two signatures short on a petition to hold a debate on a bill to protect DREAMers from deportation. The House will instead take up a conservative proposal with only a limited path to legal status for young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. Another bill would shield DREAMers from deportation with legal status and a possible path to citizenship, but it is likely to lack the votes to pass.


Tesla to cut 9 percent of its workforce

Tesla plans to cut several thousand jobs, about 9 percent of its workforce, as part of an effort to "reduce costs and become profitable" without threatening the crucial ramping up of production of the Model 3, its first mass-market vehicle, the company's CEO, Elon Musk, said in an email to staff on Tuesday. Tesla shares jumped by as much as 7 percent on the news, although the gains fell back to about 3 percent later in the day. "Nine percent job cut is a good number and I don't think there will be more job cuts in the near term," said Efraim Levy, an analyst at CFRA Research. Tesla's stock has recovered most of a 35 percent decline from its September peak as the company made strides toward meeting its output target of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week.


Protesters hold die-in to mark Pulse nightclub massacre's 2nd anniversary

Protesters staged a "die-in" in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, to commemorate the second anniversary of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The demonstration was a call for legislation to prevent gun violence, and was led by an activist group that stages "die-ins" to protest the "lethal legislative inaction" that allows it to continue. Protesters at the die-in on the National Mall laid on the ground for 12 minutes, or 720 seconds, to represent the number of victims who have died in mass shootings in the last two years, since a gunman killed 49 people at Pulse on June 12, 2016. Other demonstrators staged die-ins around the country, including outside President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.


U.S., Canada, Mexico win joint-bid to host 2026 World Cup

The United States, Mexico, and Canada have won a joint-bid to host the 2026 men's World Cup, beating the only other candidate, Morocco. The vote was 134 to 65. The World Cup final will be held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, with 60 of the tournament's games scheduled for the U.S., 10 for Mexico, and 10 for Canada. It will be the first time the world's biggest sporting event has been held in North America since 1994, when the United States hosted. The 2018 World Cup begins in Russia on Thursday. The U.S. men's team did not qualify. The 2022 World Cup will controversially be held in Qatar.


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