Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 16, 2018

Trump sends mixed messages on GOP immigration bills, Paul Manafort jailed over witness tampering, and more


Trump sends mixed messages on GOP immigration bills

President Trump caused confusion Friday with mixed messages about House Republicans' two immigration bills scheduled for a vote next week. When Trump was asked on Fox & Friends Friday morning whether he would sign the "more moderate" of the two, which would fully fund the border wall and limit legal immigration in exchange for a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants and an end to the administration's policy of separating migrant families at the border, Trump said he "certainly wouldn't." But later Friday, an unnamed White House official told The Hill Trump "misunderstood" the question and would "100 percent" sign either proposal.


Paul Manafort jailed over witness tampering

President Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, will be sent to jail. His bail was revoked by a judge Friday after Special Counsel Robert Mueller accused Manafort of witness tampering. Manafort's several charges include conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to launder money. In court documents, an FBI agent wrote that at least one witness said Manafort reached out and seemed to be trying to coach them on what to say about his lobbying practices, The New York Times reports. Trump has repeatedly attempted to downplay Manafort's role in his campaign, though he tweeted in his defense Friday.


Trump reportedly views immigrant family separation as a bargaining chip

President Trump believes he will have a stronger negotiating position if his administration continues to enforce its "zero tolerance" policy of separating children from their families at the border, The Washington Post reported Friday evening, citing unnamed White House officials. Trump himself alluded to this view in tweets Friday and Saturday accusing congressional Democrats of "forcing" him to split up immigrant families because they will not back an immigration reform bill that meets his specifications. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families in April and May alone; some of these families crossed the border illegally, while others are legal asylum seekers.


China says Trump has 'launched a trade war'

President Trump's Friday announcement of 25 percent tariffs to be levied on $50 billion of Chinese imports has "launched a trade war," China's Commerce Ministry said in a response. "China does not want a trade war," the statement continued, but Beijing "will immediately launch tariff measures that will match the scale and intensity of those launched by the United States" and "all economic and trade agreements reached by previous negotiations will be nullified at the same time," including China's recent pledge to purchase "significantly" more U.S. goods and services. Instead, China will place 25 percent tariffs on 659 U.S. exports.


Trump line about Kim Jong Un's power sparks outrage

President Trump expressed envy over the "attention" the people of North Korea give their leader, Kim Jong Un, during an impromptu interview with Fox & Friends Friday. "He is the strong head [of state]. Don't let anyone think anything different," Trump said of the young dictator. "He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same." The president's comment sparked outrage, and later Friday he accused his critics of failing to understand his humor. Kim once executed a general for falling asleep during a meeting.


California court reinstates doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally ill

The Fourth District Court of Appeals on Friday reinstated a controversial law called the End of Life Option, which permits terminally ill patients to commit doctor-assisted suicide. The law lets patients who have less than six months to live seek medications to end their lives. It was ruled unconstitutional on procedural grounds by a different judge last month. Critics of the law now face a July 2 deadline if they wish to challenge the appeals court ruling. The bill first went into effect in 2016.


Saudi-led alliance captures airport in Yemeni port city

Forces from the U.S.-supported, Saudi-led coalition intervening in Yemen's civil war on Saturday captured the international airport in the rebel-held city of Hodeida. This is the largest battle of the war so far, as Hodeida is the only port controlled by the Houthi rebels. The United Nations and international humanitarian organizations urged the Saudi coalition to cancel its assault on Hodeida, through which 70 percent of Yemen's food supplies arrive. The country is already wracked by cholera and on the brink of famine, so shuttering the port could lead to mass civilian starvation.


Theranos CEO to resign after wire fraud indictment

Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes announced Friday she would step down from her role at the blood testing start-up after the Justice Department said she has been indicted on wire fraud charges. Along with former Theranos president Ramesh Balwani, Holmes stands accused of conspiring to mislead "doctors and patients about the reliability of medical tests that endangered health and lives," said John Bennett, the FBI agent in charge of the case. Both pleaded not guilty. Theranos purported to offer quicker and more accurate blood tests using a small fraction of the blood used by regular labs.


Parkland students launch nationwide tour in Chicago

Students who survived the mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February kicked off a nationwide bus tour in Chicago on Friday. The "Road to Change" tour will make 75 stops around the country, and student activists will push for new gun control laws while registering young people to vote. The Chicago event featured Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was seriously wounded by a gunman in 2012, as well as entertainers including Chance the Rapper and Jennifer Hudson.


Portugal ties Spain 3-3 in riveting World Cup group match

Portugal tied Spain 3-3 on Friday in the group stage of the World Cup. Spain's Nacho put his team up 3-2 in the 58th minute by scoring just moments after his teammate, Diego Costa, initially tied the game at two goals each. But a foul from Spain's Gerard Piqué set up a second free kick for Portuguese star forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored his third goal in the 88th minute. Spain and Portugal earn one point each from the draw, and the two teams with the most points at the end of the group stage advance to the Round of 16.


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