10 things you need to know today: July 2, 2018
Sen. Susan Collins says she won't back an anti-abortion SCOTUS nominee, a leftist populist wins Mexico's presidency, and more
GOP Sen. Susan Collins says she won't back anti-abortion SCOTUS nominee
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on Sunday that she would not support a Supreme Court nominee who has a record suggesting hostility to Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision legalizing abortion in the U.S. Collins and fellow moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are considered key potential swing votes in the confirmation of President Trump's nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Collins also said she did not think Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Neil Gorsuch would overturn such a critical court precedent. On Sunday, Trump told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo that he probably wouldn't ask his nominee's views on Roe v. Wade beforehand, but that someday abortion rights could be in the hands of the states, which would require overturning the ruling.
Leftist López Obrador wins Mexico's presidency in landslide
Leftist populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador won Mexico's presidential election in a landslide on Sunday. López Obrador was propelled to victory by a wave of anger over rampant corruption and violence, signaling a break from centrist governments that have run the country for decades. He also ran on a promise to stand up to President Trump more forcefully than the current government has on trade and immigration. He even published a book, Oye, Trump ("Listen Up, Trump"), condemning the U.S. president's proposed border wall and "his attempts to persecute migrant workers." Trump congratulated López Obrador, tweeting that he looked "very much forward to working with him." Voters also decided thousands of federal, state, and local offices in what authorities called the biggest election in Mexican history.
Bolton says U.S. has plan for North Korea denuclearization
The U.S. has a plan to get North Korea's nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs dismantled in a year, President Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said Sunday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be discussing how to get it done, Bolton said on CBS' Face the Nation. "If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative, we can move very quickly," Bolton said. U.S intelligence agencies, however, have warned that Pyongyang does not intend to give up its entire nuclear arsenal, despite North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's commitment to denuclearization in his recent summit with Trump.
Infamous French criminal escapes prison in helicopter
A notorious French criminal, Redoine Faid, escaped from a prison near Paris with the help of gunmen who plucked him from the complex's courtyard using a helicopter, France's Ministry of Justice said Sunday. It was the second escape for Faid, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for masterminding a 2010 robbery attempt in which a policewoman was killed. In 2013 he got out of another prison using explosives. This time three gunman created a diversion by demanding Faid's release at the prison entrance, and the helicopter landed in the courtyard to pick him up. The whole episode "lasted only a few minutes," the ministry said. Nobody was injured.
Report: North Korea completing missile plant expansion
North Korea appears to be completing the expansion of a ballistic missile manufacturing site, CNN reported Monday, citing an analysis of satellite imagery taken by San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc. and analyzed by researchers at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies. The images show construction work at North Korea's Chemical Material Institute in the city of Hamhung. The news followed a weekend report by The Washington Post saying that North Korea is working to conceal portions of its nuclear program from outside inspectors, contrary to the promise to pursue denuclearization made by the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, in his recent summit with President Trump.
Migration battle threatens Merkel's government
Germany's interior minister, Horst Seehofer, offered to resign at a Sunday meeting of his conservative party on whether to accept Chancellor Angela Merkel's immigration proposals. Seehofer, who claims last week's European Union deal will lead to more migration rather than less, said he was prepared to step down as minister and as chair of his Christian Social Union. "In the interest of this country and the capacity of this government, which we want to maintain, we want to make an attempt to find an agreement on this central question of turning people away [at the German border]," he said, as quoted in Deutsche Welle. He said he would decide whether to resign after meeting with Merkel on Monday. Merkel's fragile government coalition would collapse if Seehofer's party left.
Canada, U.S. Chamber of Commerce push back against Trump on trade
Canada confirmed on Sunday that it had imposed tariffs on about $12.6 billion worth of U.S. exports in retaliation for President Trump's levies on imported steel and aluminum. The steel tariff, which took effect on June 1, hits Canada hardest, because it was the biggest steel exporter to the U.S. by value last year. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his government does not "relish" the trade battle but had no choice but to respond. "[As] Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around," he said in June. Canada's move came as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest business group, prepared to launch a campaign on Monday to oppose Trump's trade policies, even though it is normally one of his allies.
LeBron James leaves Cavaliers to join Lakers
LeBron James has agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-year, $154 million deal, his agency, Klutch Sports, announced Sunday. The four-time NBA MVP and 14-time All-Star is coming off a stellar season. He averaged 27.5 points per game and led the Cavs to the NBA finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors. James is the first player in professional basketball history to switch teams after leading the postseason in scoring. It is the second time he has left his hometown team as a free agent. After returning from a four-year stint with the Miami Heat, he led the Cavaliers to Cleveland's first championship in 52 years, when they became the first team ever to rally from a 3-1 series deficit to win the NBA Finals.
Tesla finally hits Model 3 production target
Tesla essentially hit its elusive goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 electric cars in a week in the final week of its second quarter. The final Model 3 sedan actually rolled off the assembly line a few hours after the midnight deadline on Sunday. Tesla CEO announced the landmark in an email to employees, and said he expected the company to reach 6,000 Model 3 sedans per week next month. "I think we just became a real car company," Musk wrote. The Model 3 is Tesla's first mass-market vehicle, and ramping up production to a level necessary to make the mid-priced car successful is considered crucial to the company's future.
Russia upsets powerhouse Spain to advance in World Cup
Russia pulled off a stunning upset of Spain on Sunday to qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals, marking the first time in 48 years that Russia has made it past the round of 16. Extra-time ended with the match tied 1-1, but Russia, this year's host team, beat Spain, the 2010 champions, in a 4-3 shootout. Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev blocked Iago Aspas' fifth penalty attempt for Spain, diving away from the ball but kicking it away with his left foot. Croatia followed Russia's lead and beat Denmark in another penalty shootout to advance to the quarter final.