Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 26, 2018

Border authorities suspend prosecutions of migrant families, tariffs drive some Harley-Davidson production overseas, and more


Border authorities suspend prosecutions of immigrant families

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, the top U.S. border enforcement official, said Monday that President Trump's order to stop separating undocumented children and parents at the Mexican border made it necessary to suspend prosecutions of families under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, for now. The news came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the controversial policy, and said that some children had been brought to the border by gang members. Sessions also said that drug cartels "take advantage of our generosity and ... use children to smuggle their drugs into our country as well." Protesters outside the school-safety conference in Reno where Sessions was speaking blocked a busy road and expressed outrage over the way the administration has treated immigrant families.


Harley-Davidson says tariffs forcing some production overseas

Harley-Davidson announced Monday that it planned to move production of motorcycles to be sold in the European Union to overseas factories due to President Trump's escalating trade war. The iconic American motorcycle manufacturer said that the EU's 25 percent tariff, imposed to retaliate against Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, would increase the average cost of its motorcycles in Europe by about $2,200. The unspecified number of manufacturing jobs will reportedly be moved to plants in India, Brazil, and Thailand, marking a setback for Trump's "America First" policy. Trump, who has touted Harley-Davidson as a domestic-manufacturing success story, accused the company of using the tariffs as "an excuse" for moving production overseas.


Supreme Court kicks back gerrymandering challenges

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Republicans in gerrymandering cases in Texas and North Carolina on Monday, allowing nearly all of the disputed election maps to stand for now. The court ruled that all but one of the disputed districts in Texas were lawful. Challengers said the map diluted the influence of black and Hispanic voters, but the court's 5-4 conservative majority said they had not done enough to prove that the GOP-led Texas legislature had intended to discriminate. Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the ruling meant that even though there is "undeniable proof of intentional discrimination, minority voters in Texas — despite constituting a majority in the state — will continue to be underrepresented in the political process." The court also told a lower court to take another look at North Carolina's maps, taking into consideration the high court's recent ruling on Wisconsin's maps.


Trump slams restaurant, congresswoman in feud over civility

President Trump on Monday jumped into the controversy over a Virginia restaurant, the Red Hen, that asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave over the weekend. "The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders," Trump tweeted. Supporters of the restaurant tweeted back that the Red Hen had a better record with inspections than some of Trump's properties. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) urged more people to heckle members of the administration they see in public, and tell them "they're not welcome anymore, anywhere." Trump responded by saying Waters had an "extraordinarily low IQ" and had called for harming his supporters.


Tuesday primaries offer latest test of Trump's support

President Trump's clout faces another test on Tuesday as primary voters go to the polls in seven states. Trump appeared at a rally to help South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a key early Trump supporter fighting for his political life in a runoff against self-made millionaire John Warren. "Henry was for me from the beginning. There was nobody else," Trump said Monday night. "Get your asses out tomorrow and vote." New York, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Mississippi also are holding primaries. Once the votes are counted, more than half of the states in the country will have picked their candidates for the November midterm elections. The party of every first-term president has suffered heavy losses in the midterms, so Trump and the Republicans are expected to lose some ground.


Guatemala asks U.S. to temporarily protect volcano refugees

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced on Monday he has told his foreign ministry to ask the United States for temporary protected status for migrants affected by the recent volcano eruptions that have left hundreds of Guatemalans dead, injured, or without homes. The Fuego volcano, 25 miles southwest of Guatemala City, first erupted on June 3, and has been spewing ash and lava on and off ever since. Marta Larra, spokesperson for Guatemala's Foreign Ministry, said Morales' request is "a response to the catastrophe caused by the Fuego volcano." Many migrants have traveled to the U.S. from Guatemala seeking an escape from gang violence.


U.S. stocks steady after Monday plunge over trade fears

U.S. stock futures showed little change early Tuesday, following a sharp drop on Monday widely blamed on rising trade tensions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 1.3 percent on Monday. The S&P 500 fell by 1.4 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged by 2.1 percent, after President Trump threatened to pile further trade measures on top of tariffs he has already imposed on any country that doesn't dismantle trade barriers against U.S. goods. "I think we're slowly slipping into a more serious stage in the trade war," said Ethan Harris, head of global economics research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "People are beginning to realize there's no sign of de-escalation in sight."


Fox News suspends Trump ally for 'deeply offensive' comment

Fox News has suspended contributor David Bossie, who once served as President Trump's deputy campaign manager, for telling Democratic strategist Joel Payne, who is black, "You're out of your cotton-picking mind," The Daily Beast reported Monday, citing three sources familiar with the matter. During the heated exchange on Fox & Friends last Sunday, Payne responded: "I have some relatives who picked cotton, and I'm not going to sit back and let you attack me on TV like that." Fox News said Bossie's comments were "deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate. His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of Fox News and we do not in any way condone them." Bossie also apologized for using an "offensive phrase." His suspension is to last two weeks.


Walgreens pharmacist denies Arizona woman medical-abortion drug

The Arizona Board of Pharmacy said Monday it would investigate the case of a Walgreens pharmacist's refusal to fill a customer's prescription for a medical-abortion drug. The woman, Nicole Arteaga, posted on Facebook that her doctor said her baby's development had stopped and she would miscarry. Arteaga chose the drug, misoprostol, over surgery, but the pharmacist turned her away, citing his "ethical beliefs." Arteaga was able to get the medication at another Walgreens. The drug-store chain has apologized to Arteaga. Company policy is to serve customer needs while letting pharmacists "step away" from filling a prescription if they have a "moral objection." Arizona is one of six states that let pharmacists decline to fill prescriptions on religious or moral grounds.


77-year-old suspected of starting fire, fatally shooting firefighter

Police in Long Beach, California, on Monday arrested a 77-year-old man, Thomas Kim, for allegedly starting a fire at a Southern California retirement home so he could shoot at firefighters when they arrived to put it out. A fire captain, Dave Rosa, was shot and killed. A resident of the retirement home was shot and hospitalized in critical condition. Another firefighter, Ernesto Torres, was treated at a hospital and released. Kim was arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, and arson. Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said two explosive devices were found inside Kim's apartment. Police also recovered a revolver. Kim is being held on $2 million bail.


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