10 things you need to know today: July 1, 2018
Intelligence agencies say North Korea is concealing parts of its nuclear program, thousands rally at 'Families Belong Together' marches, and more
Intelligence agencies say North Korea is concealing parts of its nuclear program
Contrary to his promises to pursue complete denuclearization, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime is working to conceal portions of its nuclear program from outside inspectors, The Washington Post reported Saturday evening, citing U.S. intelligence agents. This fits with a Friday night report from NBC News, also relying on intelligence community sources, that North Korea has secretly increased nuclear fuel production. After his June 12 summit with Kim in Singapore, President Trump declared "there is no longer a nuclear threat" from North Korea, but many experts believe Kim will never voluntarily denuclearize.
Thousands rally at 'Families Belong Together' marches
Many Americans rallied at more than 700 "Families Belong Together" marches Saturday, braving extreme heat to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies, particularly the recently halted practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the border. The Washington, D.C., and New York City marches each involved an estimated 30,000 people, and sister events in cities nationwide and among expat communities abroad drew tens of thousands more. President Trump, meanwhile, posted tweets Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning proposing immediate deportations without due process and falsely claiming immigrants commit more crimes.
Trump reportedly will follow convention with Supreme Court pick
President Trump's forthcoming nomination to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will be announced Monday, July 9, and The Washington Post reports the president will take a fairly conventional route to the selection. While Trump often likes to buck tradition, his first SCOTUS pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch, was in many ways a safe choice and is reportedly the model for this selection too. White House advisers told the Post Trump has indicated he values academic credentials, independent thinking, constitutional originalism, plus "personal chemistry, central-casting looks, and relatable life stories."
Trump falsely denies pushing House GOP to immigration vote
"I never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill, either GOODLATTE 1 or 2," President Trump claimed on Twitter Saturday, "because it could never have gotten enough Democrats as long as there is the 60 vote threshold." But four days prior, also on Twitter, Trump had done exactly that. "HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II, IN THEIR AFTERNOON VOTE TODAY, EVEN THOUGH THE DEMS WON’T LET IT PASS IN THE SENATE," he wrote in a Wednesday tweet. The bill did not pass the House.
Trump asks Saudi Arabia to increase oil production
"Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & disfunction [sic] in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference," President Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday. "Prices to [sic] high! He has agreed!" Trump did not clarify whether he thought King Salman agreed about the high prices or to the production request. A later White House statement indicated the king agreed Saudi Arabia could increase production if needed but apparently did not commit to doing so.
Left-wing presidential candidate leads in Mexican election
Mexico goes to the polls Sunday to vote for a new president — the office is limited to a single, six-year term, so President Enrique Peña Nieto cannot run again — plus some 18,000 lower offices, including all congressional seats. Advance polling suggests left-wing candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador holds a strong lead for the presidency. More broadly, the election is focused on issues of corruption, drug-related violence, and President Trump's immigration policies, with candidates from across the political spectrum slamming Trump's approach.
Judge offers temporary relief for displaced Puerto Ricans
A federal judge issued an order Saturday night offering temporary relief to Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria whose Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) housing on the U.S. mainland is about to expire. While Puerto Ricans using this program were originally set to lose their FEMA housing vouchers, which are typically used at long-term hotels, on Saturday, the ruling delays the end of the program until Tuesday at midnight at the earliest. Puerto Rico is still far from recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Maria, which struck in late September last year.
Attacker stabs 9 at Idaho apartment complex
Nine people were stabbed Saturday night at a Boise, Idaho, apartment complex home to many refugee families. A suspect, age 30, has been arrested, but so far neither his name nor his motive for the attack have been released. The victims have been hospitalized. "At this point we haven't lost anybody, but as I said the injuries are very serious," said Boise police chief William Bones. "This incident is not a representation of our community but a single evil individual who attacked people without provocation that we are aware of at this time."
Right-wing activists, antifa clash in Portland
Members of a right-wing activist group called Patriot Prayer clashed with an antifa group in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday. The occasion was a "freedom rally" organized by Patriot Prayer in support of a senate campaign by the group's founder. Fights broke out after antifa counter-demonstrators showed up; each side had more than 100 people present. Portland police in riot gear used flashbang grenades in an attempt to break up the crowd, revoking Patriot Prayer's permit after violence occurred. Patriot Prayer said the police should have further intervened to protect its activists, alleging political motives for police behavior.
The World Cup's first day of knockout eliminations Saturday saw Argentina, helmed by Lionel Messi, lose to France 4-3; while Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, fell to Uruguay 2-1. France and Uruguay will advance to the quarter finals on Friday while the remaining 12 teams in the round of 16 battle it out over the coming week. Sunday's most anticipated match is Spain vs. Russia, the latter the host of this year's tournament, after which Croatia plays Denmark. "This is a life and death match, but there is no pressure, rather responsibility," said Russian team manager Stanislav Cherchesov. See the match schedule here.