Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 28, 2018

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement, the House rejects the GOP compromise immigration bill, and more


Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement

Justice Anthony Kennedy, a key moderate conservative swing vote on the Supreme Court, announced his retirement on Wednesday. His departure will give President Trump an opportunity to take another step in pushing the high court to the right, after appointing Justice Neil Gorsuch to a seat Republicans kept open by refusing to consider former President Barack Obama's nominee. The fight over that seat, left vacant after conservative stalwart Justice Antonin Scalia's death, offered a preview of what is expected to be a bitter battle over confirming Kennedy's successor. Liberals are concerned another hardline conservative could threaten abortion rights and set up an expansion of gun rights, but Democrats lack options to block a Trump nominee without help from moderate Republicans.


House rejects GOP compromise immigration bill

The House on Wednesday voted down a Republican immigration bill despite President Trump's last-minute endorsement. The president publicly vacillated before tweeting in all caps early Wednesday, "HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL." The so-called "compromise" bill, crafted by House GOP leaders, received only 121 votes, with 301 representatives — including 112 Republicans — voting against it. The proposal would have authorized $25 billion for Trump's Mexico border wall, given young immigrant DREAMers a narrow path to citizenship, restricted legal immigration, and barred the federal government from separating migrant families. Many expected the bill to fail, but some GOP lawmakers thought support from Trump would help.


U.S., Russia set date for Trump-Putin summit

President Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, reached an agreement with Moscow on Wednesday for the time and date of a summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bolton said the two governments would announce the plans simultaneously on Thursday. The meeting is expected to take place outside of Russia in mid-July, when Trump will be visiting Belgium and Britain. The summit will be Trump's first official one-on-one meeting with Putin outside of a larger gathering of world leaders. Trump is expected to face criticism for meeting with Putin in the middle of an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, but, Bolton said, Trump believes it "is something that he needs to do and will do regardless of political criticism at home."


Former Fox News executive in talks for White House communications job

Former Fox News co-president Bill Shine is in talks with the Trump administration to become the White House communications director, numerous news outlets reported Wednesday. Shine resigned from his job at Fox News last year in a management shakeup over sexual harassment scandals. He reportedly is the lead candidate for the White House job, as President Trump intensifies his effort to fill the role, which has been vacant since Hope Hicks, who was the longest-serving member of his team, left four months ago. Shine is close to conservative Fox News primetime host Sean Hannity, a vocal Trump ally. At least three other candidates reportedly are under consideration. An announcement is expected soon.


Hate-crimes charges filed against Charlottesville suspect

James Alex Fields Jr., the man accused of killing a woman by driving his car into a crowd of protesters at a Virginia white supremacist rally, was indicted Wednesday on federal hate-crime charges. Fields, 21, is in jail in Virginia, where he faces state charges, including first-degree murder. He is accused of plowing into a crowd of counterprotesters at the August "Unite the Right" rally, killing Heather Heyer. On Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted Fields on 30 charges related to Heyer's death and the injuries suffered by dozens of others who were in the crowded street. ""At the Department of Justice, we remain resolute that hateful ideologies will not have the last word," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.


Supreme Court deals blow to unions with fee decision

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that non-union government workers can't be forced to pay public-sector unions for collective bargaining, striking down an Illinois law and overturning a 1977 precedent that made the employees pay so-called fair-share fees. It was the latest in a series of 5-4 decisions since Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed, restoring the court's conservative majority after Republicans blocked former President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said making non-union workers pay the fees violated the First Amendment by forcing them to "subsidize" union political activities they don't support. Justice Elena Kagan, in a blistering dissent, said the majority was "weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy."


North Korea continues expansion of nuclear research center

Satellite images of North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center show that "improvements to the infrastructure ... are continuing at a rapid pace," analysts from the 38north website said. 38north founder Joel Wit said he did not find the ongoing work "surprising at all," despite North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's commitment, during his recent summit with President Trump, to denuclearization, because the two sides have made no formal deal. James Acton, co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program, told NBC News that if North Korea was serious about disarming it would halt work at Yongbyon. "There is a huge gulf between what the administration apparently thinks North Korea is going to do and what they intend to do," he said, "and that's exceptionally dangerous."


Officer charged in killing of Antwon Rose

A white Pennsylvania police officer, Michael Rosfeld, was charged with criminal homicide on Wednesday for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager, Antwon Rose. The case touched off protests in the Pittsburgh area. Rosfeld shot Rose, 17, three times as he fled from a car that was stopped on suspicion that it was involved in a drive-by shooting. Another occupant of the vehicle who also ran from the car, Zaijuan Hester, was charged this week over the drive-by shooting. The Allegheny County district attorney, Stephen A. Zappala Jr., said Antwon Rose posed no real threat, so it was "inappropriate and in fact criminal" for the officer to shoot to kill.


Joe Jackson, musical family patriarch, dies at 89

Joe Jackson, the patriarch of one of the most influential families ever in pop music, died early Wednesday after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 89. Jackson managed the early career of his most famous son, Michael Jackson, and Michael's brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, and Tito, as part of the Jackson 5. He also managed Janet Jackson and her sisters Rebbie and La Toya separately. Joe Jackson was known for his stern and sometimes abusive handling of his children. In 2002, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named him Best Entertainment Manager of All Time. "Joe was a strong man who acknowledged his own imperfections and heroically delivered his sons and daughters from the steel mills of Gary, Indiana, to worldwide pop superstardom," the Michael Jackson estate said in a statement. "Mr. Jackson's contributions to the history of music are enormous."


Defending champion Germany eliminated from World Cup

The 2014 World Cup champion, Germany, was knocked out in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup on Wednesday, losing 2-0 to South Korea. The South Koreans scored twice in stoppage time to seal the victory, which had huge repercussions: In addition to eliminating Germany, the upset propelled Mexico into the knockout round despite El Tri's 3-0 loss to Sweden in a simultaneous game. The last time Germany failed to advance out of the group stage was in 1938, The Washington Post reports, and it's been 40 years since the national team failed to appear in the quarterfinals. Mexico and Sweden will advance out of Group F to the Round of 16, which begins Saturday.


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