10 things you need to know today: July 5, 2019

Trump salutes the military at his Fourth of July bash, Sudan's civilian and military leaders agree to share power, and more

The Blue Angels fly over the National Mall on Thursday.
(Image credit: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

1. Trump praises military as divided Americans celebrate Fourth

President Trump hosted a Fourth of July celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., praising the U.S. armed forces while flanked by military weaponry, including M1A2 tanks. "Our nation is stronger today than it ever was before," Trump said Thursday during his "Salute to America" event. "As long as we stay true to our cause... there will be nothing that America cannot do." Trump mostly avoided politics and called for unity, but on the National Mall his supporters and opponents remained split. Liberal activist group Code Pink displayed a Baby Trump blimp, depicting Trump as a baby in a diaper. In front of the White House, a fight erupted after anti-Trump protesters burned a flag and were rushed by counter-demonstrators in Trump gear.

USA Today The New York Times

2. Sudan's military and civilian leaders reach power-sharing deal

Sudan's military and civilian leaders on Friday announced that they have reached an agreement to share power until new elections can be held. The deal could end a standoff that started after President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was ousted in April. The two sides resumed talks this week after a month-long pause, and struck a deal for a joint military-civilian authority to run the African nation through a transitional period of just over three years. Power will rotate between military and civilian leaders until elections restore democratic rule and the military returns to its barracks, African Union mediator Mohamed Hassan Lebatt said at a news conference in Khartoum. "We hope that this is the beginning of a new era," declared Omar al-Degair, a leader of the coalition that negotiated with the military.

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The New York Times

3. Southern California rattled by its strongest earthquake in decades

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck a remote area of Southern California on Thursday morning, rattling the entire region. The quake was centered in the Searles Valley, about 125 miles from Los Angeles. It was felt across Southern California and as far away as Las Vegas and Ensenada, Mexico. There have been no reports of any injuries, but people near the epicenter said they had items fall off shelves and Kern County Fire responded to several structure fires in and around the city of Ridgecrest. This was the strongest temblor to hit the region in 25 years; the 1994 Northridge quake in Los Angeles County had a 6.6 magnitude, left dozens of people dead, and caused billions in damage.

Los Angeles Times The Associated Press

4. Trump criticizes Amash, saying it's 'great news' he left GOP

President Trump on Thursday lashed out at Rep. Justin Amash in a tweet, saying it was "great news" that the congressman from Michigan was leaving the Republican Party. Trump called Amash "one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress... Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!" Amash, the first sitting GOP lawmaker to back opening an impeachment inquiry against Trump, wrote a Washington Post op-ed published Thursday morning saying he would be "declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party." He lashed out at the two-party system, arguing that he was "disenchanted with party politics" and "frightened by what I see from it."

USA Today

5. Gibraltar seizes tanker with Iranian oil bound for Syria

Gibraltar authorities said Thursday that they intercepted an Iranian supertanker believed to be carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. A Spanish official said the U.S. requested the seizure, which Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi called "illegal." Gibraltar is a British overseas territory at the tip of Spain, and Iran summoned the British ambassador in Tehran to complain. Authorities in Gibraltar said that their port and law enforcement agents boarded the ship with assistance from British Royal Marines. The tanker was believed to have been taking the oil to a refinery owned and controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government. President Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, called the development "excellent news."

The Associated Press BBC News

6. 7 Americans, including coal billionaire, die in Bahamas helicopter crash

A helicopter crashed on a flight from Big Grand Cay in the Bahamas to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Thursday, killing seven Americans, Bahamian police said. Authorities said the helicopter disappeared shortly after takeoff, and local residents later spotted the crash site, two miles off Grand Cay island. The victims included billionaire West Virginia coal entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Republican donor Chris Cline, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) said. "Today we lost a WV superstar and I lost a very close friend," Justice tweeted. Cline's daughter also reportedly was on board. Police only identified the victims as four women and three men, without providing names.

The Associated Press CNN

7. Hong Kong leader seeks meeting with students to calm protests

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has asked for a meeting with students in a bid to calm protests over a proposal to let criminal suspects in the Chinese-ruled financial hub be extradited to mainland China, Lam's office confirmed Thursday. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology student union turned down the invitation, saying Lam wanted a private meeting but "the dialogue must be open to all." Lam, who is backed by Beijing, has suspended efforts to pass the bill. Protesters want a complete withdrawal, saying the proposal threatens Hong Kong citizens' rights. Earlier this week, young protesters stormed and briefly occupied the Hong Kong legislature on the 22nd anniversary of the return of the former British colony to Chinese rule.


8. Dolphins player Kendrick Norton loses arm in car crash

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton was badly injured in a car crash early Thursday, after the truck he was driving hit a concrete barrier. The truck flipped, and Norton's left arm was pinned under the vehicle. He is expected to survive but lost his left arm, his agent Malki Kawa tweeted. "With sadness, I can confirm that Kendrick Norton was in a car accident last night and suffered multiple injuries, including the amputation of his arm," he said. "We ask that you continue to pray for him. His family also asks that the public respect Kendrick's privacy." The 22-year-old former University of Miami player was a 2018 seventh-round pick of the Panthers. He joined the Dolphins late last season.

NBC Sports People

9. MAD magazine to end 67-year run

The satirical MAD magazine will disappear from newsstands following the publication of its August issue, ending a 67-year run after facing dwindling circulation. DC, the division of Warner Brothers that publishes the magazine, said after the summer MAD will recycle previously released cartoons and parodies, and be available at comic book stores or by subscription. MAD will publish new content only in special, year-end editions. MAD, with its iconic gap-toothed mascot Alfred E. Neuman ("What, me worry?), has influenced generations of readers, including comedians. "It's pretty much the reason I turned out weird," tweeted "Weird Al" Yankovic. Josh Weinstein, a writer and producer of The Simpsons, tweeted a thank you to MAD, saying: "There was a moment in so many of our childhoods where you were the greatest thing ever."

The Associated Press The Washington Post

10. Anchorage gets record heat on Fourth of July

The temperature in Anchorage reached 89 degrees on the Fourth of July, shattering an all-time record as Alaska suffers through a heat wave. The National Weather Service warned temperatures on Friday could again exceed the previous record at Anchorage International Airport of 85 degrees, set on June 14, 1969. AccuWeather predicts that over the next few days, high temperatures across the state will be up to 20 degrees above normal for this time of year. "It's not just the magnitude of the heat, it's how long it will last," Weather Channel meteorologist Jon Erdman said. "Our forecast suggests highs may top out in the 80s in Anchorage for six straight days into early next week, before the heat slowly eases a bit later next week."


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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.