Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 15, 2018

The DOJ's watchdog says Comey was "insubordinate," New York's attorney general says Trump misused his charity, and more


DOJ watchdog says Comey 'dramatically' deviated from FBI protocol

The Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, released a report on Thursday saying former FBI Director James Comey "dramatically" deviated from agency protocol in his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Horowitz said Comey's decision to make major announcements on the status of the investigation without notifying the Justice Department was "extraordinary and insubordinate," but that there was no evidence that he acted out of political bias. The 500-page report also said there was no evidence to support claims by Trump and his allies that the investigation was rigged to help clear Clinton, although some officials showed anti-Trump bias.


New York attorney general accuses Trump of misusing charitable foundation

New York's attorney general, Barbara Underwood, filed a lawsuit on Thursday accusing President Trump and his adult children of illegally using his charitable foundation's money to settle business disputes and promote his presidential bid. The suit accuses Trump and the foundation of "improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations." Underwood asks for $2.8 million in restitution, as well as other penalties, and the dismantling of the foundation. Trump, who already has pledged to dissolve the charity, blasted the suit via Twitter, calling it "ridiculous," and saying, "I won't settle this case!"


Trump approves stiff tariffs on China imports

President Trump has approved a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion of Chinese products, and is expected to announce the policy as early as Friday, several news outlets reported. The administration has said the levies are a response to unfair trade practices by China, including requiring U.S. companies to share technology secrets with Chinese partners to get access to Chinese markets. Trump also has said he wants to reduce America's $375 billion annual trade deficit with China, which he blames for the loss of U.S. factories and jobs. Most economists say those losses are largely due to increased automation. The tariffs threaten to spark retaliation from China, and complicate Trump's effort to get Beijing to maintain pressure on North Korea to denuclearize.


Supreme Court calls Minnesota's polling place dress code unconstitutional

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a century-old Minnesota law barring voters from wearing clothing with political messages at polling places. The justices ruled 7-2 that such state laws, when overly broad, were unconstitutional. The challenge was brought by a voter temporarily turned away for wearing a Tea Party shirt and a button that read, "Please I.D. Me." Chief Justice John Roberts said in the majority opinion that the state's effort to keep controversy out of polling places was admirable, but that the law could not be reasonably enforced. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer dissented. Sotomayor had expressed sympathy for the state law in February oral arguments, calling the phrase "Please I.D. Me" a "highly charged" message "intended to intimidate people to leave the polling booth."


U.S. to open temporary shelter for immigrant children in Texas

The federal government will open a temporary shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children in Texas, southeast of El Paso, the Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday. Existing facilities have filled up under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on migrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, with adults being arrested and separated from their children. A spokesman for HHS, Kenneth Wolfe, said up to 360 children would be housed at the site in "soft-sided structures" and that the facility would be ready within "the next few days." In a tense exchange, CNN's Jim Acosta asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to defend Attorney General Jeff Sessions' invocation of the Bible as a defense of the policy, and she replied, "it is very biblical to enforce the law."


Scalise returns to congressional baseball game one year after shooting

The emotional star of the 57th Congressional Baseball Game for Charity on Thursday evening was House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who returned to the field after being badly wounded last June when a gunman fired on the Republicans while they practiced. Scalise, starting at second base, fielded a grounder and threw the batter out at first in the first play of the game. But the star player of the 2018 matchup was Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) — a friend of Scalise who helped escort him off the field after a few pitches — whose pitching and three-run inside-the-park homer helped propel Democrats to a 21-5 victory. Congress first played its friendly baseball game in 1909, and last year it raised $1.5 million for Washington-area charities.


Kentucky attorney general sues Walgreens over opioid sales

Kentucky's attorney general, Andy Beshear, on Thursday launched a lawsuit against Walgreens Boots Alliance, accusing the pharmacy chain and wholesale drug distributor of fueling the opioid epidemic. Beshear has sued five other drug manufacturers and distributors, including Johnson & Johnson, in attempts to hold the industry responsible for contributing to the crisis. The lawsuit accuses Walgreens of filling huge opioid orders in unusual sizes and frequencies, and says it should have known some of the drugs would illegally go to addicts. "While Walgreens' slogan was 'at the corner of happy and healthy,' they have significantly harmed the health of our families in fueling the opioid epidemic," Beshear said in a statement. Walgreens declined to comment.


Afghanistan says U.S. strike killed Pakistan Taliban leader

A U.S. drone strike has killed Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar province, Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesman Mohammad Radmanish told CNN on Friday. U.S. forces were targeting the "Emir" of the Islamist militant group when they launched the strike near the Pakistan border, said U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell. Mullah Fazlullah had led the Pakistan Taliban since late 2013. He was in charge of its operations in the Swat Valley in 2012 when a Taliban gunman shot education activist Malala Yousafzai as she was returning from school in a van. The U.S. said the strike did not threaten Afghanistan's unilateral ceasefire, because that doesn't cover ongoing U.S. counterterrorism efforts.


University of Chicago makes SAT-ACT optional

The University of Chicago announced Thursday it would stop making undergraduate applicants submit ACT or SAT scores. Some small liberal arts colleges and a few larger universities have taken similar steps, but the University of Chicago is the first top-10 research university to make the standardized tests optional. The new policy, which affects students applying next year, is intended as a way to level the playing field for low-income and minority applicants. The school also said it would start providing students from families earning less than $125,000 a year full-tuition scholarships. It also plans to expand scholarships for children of veterans and first responders.


Russia rolls over Saudi Arabia in opening World Cup match

Host nation Russia trounced Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the 2018 World Cup on Thursday. The match, held at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, featured an offensive onslaught by Russia, which scored its first goal in the 12th minute and never looked back. Russia is the lowest-ranked team in the 2018 World Cup, having failed to win their last seven friendly matches since last October, while Saudi Arabia last reached the global finals in 1994. Games throughout the tournament can be watched on Fox or Fox Sports 1, or in Spanish on Telemundo or NBC Universo.


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Ukraine blames Russia for destroying major Dnipro River dam 'in panic'
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Why is Riyadh going it alone on oil cuts?
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Officials suspect dozens of girls in Afghanistan were poisoned at school
Girls in Afghanistan walk to school.

Officials suspect dozens of girls in Afghanistan were poisoned at school

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