Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 4, 2019

Harold Maass
Anti-Trump protesters fly an orange baby balloon in Parliament Square.


Trump basks in royal reception as U.K. protest gears up

Britain's royal family welcomed President Trump on Monday at the start of his three-day state visit, which kicks off a European tour to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Trump met Queen Elizabeth II and had tea with her son, Prince Charles, ahead of an evening banquet. The polite reception came after Trump tweeted insults targeting London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a critic he called a "stone cold loser." "Tremendous crowds of well wishers and people that love our country," Trump tweeted. "Haven't seen any protests yet." A major protest, including the "Trump baby" balloon, is scheduled on Tuesday, and Amnesty International placed anti-Trump banners on London bridges. An Ipsos MORI poll found that 19 percent of U.K. respondents had a favorable opinion of Trump. Sixty-eight percent were unfavorable. [The Washington Post]


China rejects Pompeo criticism on 30th anniversary of Tiananmen protest

Tourists visited Beijing's Tiananmen Square under increased security on Tuesday, the 30th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests there. The students in 1989 called for reforms such as a free press and freedom to demonstrate, but some exiled former protest leaders said those goals were farther off today despite years of economic development. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called for China to release all political prisoners as he saluted "the heroes of the Chinese people who bravely stood up 30 years ago in Tiananmen Square to demand their rights." Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang responded by saying that Pompeo had "maliciously attacked China's political system." [Reuters, BBC News]


Judge rejects Democrats' lawsuit over Trump's border-wall spending

A federal judge in Washington on Monday rejected House Democrats' request to block President Trump from shifting money appropriated for other projects to pay for construction of his long-promised border wall. Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, said the House lacked standing to challenge Trump's action, and that it would be inappropriate for a court to resolve such a dispute between the president and Congress. McFadden said he was not suggesting "that Congress may never sue the Executive to protect its powers," but he felt that "Congress has several political arrows in its quiver to counter perceived threats to its sphere of power." The lawsuit argued that Trump was violating Congress' power over federal spending by reappropriating money to pay for the wall after Congress declined to fund it. [CNN]


House passes $19.1 billion disaster-aid bill after delays

The House on Monday passed a $19.1 billion disaster spending bill after an extended delay. The bill, which provides aid to areas devastated by flooding, wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes passed 354 to 58 after conservative Republicans delayed it three times in the House. President Trump has signaled that he plans to sign the legislation, even though it doesn't include money he wanted to address what he has declared to be an immigration and humanitarian emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. The bill was bogged down for months as Trump battled with Democrats over spending on hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, which will get more than $1 billion under the bill. Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) said the delays "should never have happened." House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said the vote marked a rejection of "political stunts and grandstanding" that held up aid to devastated families. [The Washington Post]


Report: Census could miss 4 million people, mostly minorities

The 2020 census could undercount the U.S. population by more than four million people, due to looming challenges threatening the count, according to projections released Tuesday by the Urban Institute. African Americans and Latinos could be affected the most, the nonpartisan think tank said. Nationwide, the count of black residents could fall short by up to 3.68 percent, while that of Latinos could miss 3.57 percent, or 2.2 million people. The challenges include a citizenship question the Trump administration is pushing that critics say would scare off some households with noncitizens. If the undercount of these groups is as bad as the Urban Institute warns it could be, it would be the worst since 1990, affecting funding for children, infrastructure, and other issues for a decade.


GOP lawmakers reportedly consider blocking Trump's Mexico tariffs

Republicans are debating whether to vote to block President Trump from imposing new tariffs on Mexico, one of America's top trading partners, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing people familiar with the talks. Last week, Trump tweeted that he would enact a 5 percent tariff on Mexican imports starting June 10, which would go up 5 percentage points every month until October, unless Mexico stops the surge of undocumented migrants arriving at the southern border. In February, Trump declared a national emergency along the border, and under the law, Congress can override this by passing a resolution of disapproval. Congress did this in March after Trump reallocated border wall funds, but he vetoed it. Now, though, there could be enough votes for a veto-proof majority. [The Washington Post]


Progressives press Pelosi for action on impeachment

Progressive groups said in a letter Tuesday that voters returned control of the House to Democrats "because they wanted aggressive oversight of the Trump administration," so House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should act on calls to start impeachment proceedings against President Trump. "The Trump era will be one that evokes the question — what did you do? We urge you to use your power to lead and to stop asking us to wait," the groups said. Pelosi has resisted calls to impeach Trump, saying the process would be divisive without stronger public support. Some Democrats, particularly in conservative districts, held recent town hall meetings in which voters expressed concerns about health care and the economy but not impeachment, although some representatives said the pressure to start an impeachment inquiry will mount if the Trump administration continues to resist subpoenas from House committees. [The Associated Press]


Apple breaks up iTunes in new Mac operating system

Apple announced Monday that it plans to break up iTunes into three separate Mac applications for music, TV, and podcasts. The iTunes app, which Apple used to become an entertainment powerhouse, will be replaced in the company's new Catalina operating system with "new standalone versions of Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple TV app," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering. The iPhone maker also said at its annual developers' conference in San Jose, California, that it would roll out a new "Sign in with Apple" feature that will allow users to log into apps using Face ID authentication. Federighi compared the new option to Facebook and Google log-in buttons, saying they can be "convenient" but can "also come at the cost of your privacy." [NBC News, TechCrunch]


Teen loses leg in North Carolina shark attack

A teenage girl who was attacked by a shark at a North Carolina beach was recovering in a hospital on Monday after losing part of her leg and suffering severe injuries to one hand. The 17-year-old, identified as Paige Winter, reportedly was saved by her father, who rushed to her aid and punched the shark to free his daughter. "Thank God our son was with her," Winter's grandmother, Janet Winter, wrote on Facebook. "He said he punched the shark in the face five times before it let go." The grandmother said Paige might need a hand transplant, and lost one leg above the knee. She said her granddaughter remained "an unwavering advocate for the marine life and the animals who live in the water." [Fox News]


James Holzhauer's Jeopardy winning streak ends shy of record

Emma Boettcher, a 27-year-old University of Chicago librarian, beat James Holzhauer on the Monday night episode of Jeopardy, ending his winning streak at 32 games. Holzhauer won more than $2.4 million, and he lost just $58,485 short of what he needed to break Ken Jennings' record Jeopardy haul of $2.5 million, which he won over 74 games in 2004. Boettcher will defend her title in the episode airing Tuesday. Four years ago, she wrote an award-winning master's paper on the game show's questions as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina. Jeopardy fans were outraged on Monday after news that Boettcher had broken Holzhauer's streak circulated online before the episode showing their showdown aired. [The Wrap, Yahoo Entertainment]