Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 23, 2018

Trump tells Republicans to stop 'wasting their time on immigration,' Trump threatens retaliatory tariffs targeting EU automakers, and more


Trump tells Republicans to stop 'wasting their time on immigration'

President Trump on Friday said "Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration" reform. "Even if we get 100 percent Republican votes in the Senate, we need 10 Democrat votes to get a much-needed immigration bill," he tweeted, calling for GOP wins in 2018 to make future votes easier. Later Friday, Trump spoke alongside relatives of people who were murdered by undocumented immigrants, calling them members of "permanently separated" families. He claimed 63,000 people have been killed by illegal immigrants since 9/11, a claim based on spurious calculations by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who no longer cites the figure himself.


Trump threatens retaliatory tariffs targeting EU automakers

"Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. & its great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S.," President Trump tweeted Friday evening. "Build them here!" After an earlier (and since deleted) iteration of the tweet, stocks for European automakers fell in the Frankfurt market, and U.S. car companies' stock plunged rapidly, too. The EU tariffs Trump critiqued are a response to his own steel and aluminum tariffs.


SCOTUS backs privacy in cell monitoring case

The Supreme Court ruled in Carpenter v. United States Friday that police need a warrant to track a person's location information from cell towers over an extended period of time. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the Court's left wing in the 5-4 decision, writing that constant cell phone use makes monitoring location data "near perfect surveillance" akin to attaching "an ankle monitor to the phone's user." The government argued unsuccessfully that cell phone users "cannot reasonably expect" providers to conceal this information from the state.


House passes opioid epidemic package

The House on Friday decisively passed a 58-bill package meant to address the opioid crisis with a vote of 396-14. "This is costing us lives. This is why we're so focused on ending this opioid epidemic," said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The package includes Jessie's Law, which will require medical records to list addiction histories so doctors can better tailor prescriptions. Privacy advocates have expressed concern, but some say the legislation does not go far enough. Experts estimate the opioid epidemic could claim 1 million lives by 2020.


Military preps for return of U.S. remains from North Korea

The military said Saturday it is delivering more than 200 caskets to the North Korean village of Panmunjom, close to the South Korean border, in preparation for the return of the remains of U.S. soldiers missing since the Korean War in the 1950s. The return was part of the agreement reached by President Trump at his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore. About as many soldiers' remains were returned between 1999 and 2005. Trump has celebrated the return of the "hero remains" and, implausibly, claimed the soldiers' parents begged him to make this happen.


Pentagon announces suspension of more exercises in South Korea

The Pentagon announced Friday it has come to an agreement with South Korea to indefinitely suspend two more joint training exercises. The two countries previously announced the suspension of "large-scale" military exercises following President Trump's promise to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to stop "provocative, inappropriate, and expensive" war games. "To support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore Summit, and in coordination with our Republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises" that were scheduled for this summer, said chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White.


Protesters blast audio of migrant children outside DHS secretary's home

Protesters gathered outside the home of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen early Friday, playing audio of immigrant children who were separated from their parents before President Trump signed an executive order reversing his administration's policy of splitting up migrant families at the border. Demonstrators chanted, "No justice; no sleep," in front of Nielsen's townhouse, waving signs with slogans like "child snatcher." Of about 2,300 children separated from their families since May, only about 500 reportedly have been reunited with their parents so far.


World Cup sees nearly equal Spanish-English viewership

World Cup viewers are hearing "GOAL!" and "GOL!" in almost equal measure, NBC Universal's Telemundo subsidiary reported Friday. Through seven days of the World Cup, about 48 percent of viewers are watching the Spanish-language network, while 52 percent are tuning into Fox Sports 1 for the English broadcast. The numbers are comparable to past World Cups, even though in previous tournaments, Mexico had played in multiple matches by this point, and has only played one game this year so far. Mexico faces South Korea Saturday, after which Germany will play Sweden.


Massachusetts governor's son accused of sexual assault on plane

A.J. Baker, the adult son of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), has been accused of sexual assault by a woman who shared a flight with him Wednesday. "On June 20, the crew of flight 1354 were notified of an incident between customers shortly before landing in Boston," said the airline, JetBlue. "The aircraft landed at approximately 11 p.m. local time where it was met by local authorities." The "matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office," said Massachusetts State Police. Baker's attorneys said he "is fully cooperating and looks forward to a resolution of this matter."


Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul dies at 54

Drummer Vinnie Paul, a founding member of the metal band Pantera, has died, the band's Facebook page announced late Friday. He was 54. "Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bands Pantera and Hellyeah," the brief statement said. "No further details are available at this time. The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time." Paul cofounded Pantera with his brother, known as Dimebag Darrell, and vocalist Terry Glaze in 1981, and their work proved widely influential for heavy music in the following decades. The Texas-based group split in 2003.


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