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10 things you need to know today: July 14, 2019

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Tim O'Donnell
Tropical Storm Barry.
SETH HERALD/AFP/Getty Images
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1.

Tropical Storm Barry weakens after making landfall

Tropical Storm Barry has weakened since hitting land, but it remains "potent." The storm appears unlikely to overwhelm New Orleans, though parts of the Gulf Coast, including Jackson, Mississippi, where 3 inches of rain had already fallen before dawn on Sunday, could face flash floods. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) on Saturday night called for his state's residents to remain "vigilant" and keep their guards up. "This storm still has a long to go before it leaves this state," he said. While it is too soon to declare any part of the region, including New Orleans, in the clear, winds have slowed and the rainfall prediction has dropped significantly, alleviating some concerns. [NOLA, The Associated Press]

2.

Cities prepare for ICE raids

Immigrant communities in major U.S. cities are preparing for raids conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Sunday, as promised by President Trump on Friday. Trump has said ICE will initially focus on searching for undocumented immigrants with criminal histories, but fears of deportation are widespread, and many people say they are carrying their U.S. passports just in case. San Francisco Mayor London Breed said her city's police will not cooperate with ICE. "If you want to come after them, you're going to have to come through us," Breed said. In some cities, government human-service workers are ready to find foster homes for any children left behind if their parents are detained and marked for deportation. In many cases, adult undocumented immigrants have children who are U.S. citizens. [USA Today, NBC News]

3.

Former U.K. ambassador reportedly said Trump left Iran deal to spite Obama

Kim Darroch, the former United Kingdom ambassador to the United States, reportedly alleged that President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal in 2018 for "personality reasons." The Daily Mail released more information from what are reportedly leaked diplomatic memos that Darroch sent back to London during his time in Washington. Last week, there were reports that Darroch called Trump "insecure," "inept," and "incompetent." In Saturday's report Darroch allegedly described Trump's decision on Iran as "an act of diplomatic vandalism" that was done simply to spite his predecessor former President Barack Obama, whose administration played a major role in brokering the deal in 2015. Iran has announced it will no longer comply with the limits agreed upon in the deal. [CNN, BBC]

4.

Hong Kong protesters return to the streets again

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong's protesters were back in the streets again on Saturday and Sunday to demand complete withdrawal of a bill that would allow extradition to mainland China. Saturday's protest, which were more specifically focused on the issue of Hong Kong goods being smuggled into China, was mostly peaceful, but reportedly descended into violence at times later in the day. Likewise, Sunday's started out peacefully, while some violence broke out during the evening, as police and a small number of protesters clashed. A standoff ensued as the demonstrators built barricades between them and the officers. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who reportedly tried to resign recently before being stopped China, has declared the extradition bill dead, but has yet to formally withdraw it. [South China Morning Post, BBC]

5.

Huawei planning layoffs at U.S.-based research labs

Huawei, a major Chinese technology company, is reportedly planning extensive layoffs in the United States after the U.S. blacklisted the company. The layoffs are expected to affect workers at Huawei's U.S.-based research and development subsidiary, Futurewei Technologies, sources familiar with the matter said. The subsidiary employs about 850 people in research labs in Texas, California, and Washington state. While the exact number of expected layoffs is unknown, one source said it is likely to be in the hundreds. Since being blacklisted in May amid a trade war between Beijing and Washington, Huawei has not been able to purchase U.S. components and software for its products. President Trump did say at the G-20 summit in Osaka in June that he would allow some tech exports to the company to resume. [The Wall Street Journal]

6.

U.K. sets conditions for Iranian supertanker's release

The United Kingdom will reportedly work for the release of an Iranian supertanker seized by its territory Gibraltar on the condition Iran guarantees the ship will not travel to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Saturday. Hunt said that he held a "constructive call" with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on the need to lessen the tensions stoked over the tanker's seizure in the Mediterranean earlier in July. He told Zarif that the U.K.'s concern was the destination of the oil, not the origin. Iran was not pleased with the ship's detention and had previously hinted at retaliation. Iran has denied the tanker was headed to Syria and also says it believes the ship was seized at the request of the United States. [The Washington Post, Al Jazeera]

7.

Power restored after outage affects New York City

Power was fully restored in Manhattan on Sunday shortly after midnight after an outage left thousands in the dark for multiple hours. A problem at a substation on Saturday evening reportedly caused the power failure, which stretched 30 blocks between Times Square to 72nd Street, encompassing a large swath of Midtown Manhattan. The blackout affected the entire subway system after four major stations were closed to the public during the outage. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said there were no injuries and praised the work of emergency officials. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, was campaigning in Iowa at the time before cutting his trip short to return to the city. [The Associated Press, CNN]

8.

Man killed by police after attacking Washington state immigration detention center

A 69-year-old man armed with a rifle, Willem Van Spronsen, was killed by police after he reportedly threw incendiary devices at the Northwest Detention Center, an immigration jail in Washington state on Saturday, the Tacoma Police Department said. A friend of Van Spronsen described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist, and said she believes his attack on the detention center was intended to provoke a fatal conflict. She also said that Van Spronsen had sent her and other friends letters saying goodbye, and that he wrote a manifesto before launching his attack on the center. In 2018, Van Spronsen was at a protest outside the detention center where he got into a scuffle with a police officer and was revealed to be carrying a collapsible baton and knife in his pocket. [The Seattle Times, The Guardian]

9.

Russian activists, officials warn about mammoth ivory 'gold rush'

Activists and officials in Russia are warning of a "gold rush" for mammoth ivory in the country as permafrost thaws. The melting permafrost has made it easier for prospectors to find and dig up woolly mammoth tusks and other remains that can then be sold to China, where it is fashioned into jewelry and other decorations, for a small fortune. Woolly mammoth ivory preserved in permafrost in Russia's Yakutia region reportedly makes up 80 percent of Russia's trade in what is largely an unregulated market. While activists and regional officials aim to regulate the trade market, local officials argue that such a measure could disenfranchise locals, who they say should have the right to collect a limited number of tusks and live off the proceeds. [The Guardian]

10.

Federer, Djokovic clash in Wimbledon final

Two of the greats are facing off in the men's Wimbledon final on Sunday. World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is seeking his second consecutive and fifth overall Wimbledon title against a familiar foe in Roger Federer, who is gunning for his 9th All England Club championship and 21st Grand Slam victory. Djokovic would claim his 16th major title if he wins on Sunday. The 37-year-old Federer last won at Wimbledon in 2017. At the time of publication, the two were knotted at 6 in the first set. The winner will join Romanian Simona Halep, who defeated Serena Williams in the women's final on Saturday, as the 2019 champions. [ESPN, The Guardian]