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10 things you need to know today: July 7, 2018

Bonnie Kristian
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1.

Pompeo completes North Korea visit without seeing Kim

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo completed his visit to North Korea Saturday without having met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Nevertheless, Pompeo spoke optimistically of the trip. "I think we made progress in every element of our discussions," he told American reporters who accompanied him to Pyongyang. "These are complicated issues but we made progress on almost all of the central issues. Some places a great deal of progress; other places there's still more work to be done." Further U.S.-North Korea talks about Pyongyang's denuclearization and the repatriation of U.S. remains from the Korean War are being planned. [Reuters, The Associated Press]

2.

Giuliani sets conditions for Mueller-Trump interview

Special Counsel Robert Mueller must prove he has obtained evidence that President Trump has committed a crime before the president will agree to an interview for the Russian election meddling probe, the president's personal attorney Rudy Guliani told The New York Times in a report published Friday. "If they can come to us and show us the basis and that it's legitimate and that they have uncovered something, we can go from there and assess their objectivity," Giuliani said, indicating it is increasingly unlikely Trump will volunteer to be interviewed. Mueller's office declined to comment. [The New York Times, The Hill]

3.

Oxygen levels drop in cave trapping Thai soccer team

Oxygen levels have dropped to 15 percent in the cave where flooding has trapped a Thai youth soccer team for two weeks. The risk of hypoxia and a forecast of additional rain in coming days has increased pressure on rescuers, who are considering a "buddy dive" plan, in which each of the boys would be paired with an expert cave diver. Many of the boys cannot swim, and drilling through half a mile of solid rock to rescue them from above is unlikely to be a feasible solution. [Vox, CNN]

4.

Russia adds new tariffs to U.S. trade war

Russia on Friday imposed new tariffs between 25 and 40 percent on U.S. manufacturing and construction goods, a retaliation for the Trump administration's punitive steel and aluminum tariffs. The announcement came on the same day as the United States and China implemented 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of goods from each country. Russian President Vladimir Putin's representative Dmitry Peskov called the Trump administration's approach to trade "exceptionally protectionist" and pledged Russia would "continue to undertake measures necessary for the defense of our own interests." [BBC News, Independent]

5.

Trump administration cannot find parents of 38 migrant children under 5

The Trump administration cannot find the parents of 38 migrant children under the age of 5 who were separated from their families at the border, government lawyers admitted in court Friday. Half of the children's parents have already been deported, and half have been released into the United States. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California said the July 10 deadline to reunite 101 young migrant children with their families, including these 38, may be extended if the administration provides a list of all 101 children and their parents' status by Saturday afternoon. [NBC News, Reuters]

6.

June job gains of 213,000 exceed expectations

U.S. employers added 213,000 jobs in June, the Labor Department reported Friday, exceeding economists' expectations in the latest sign of accelerating economic growth. The report represented an expected drop from a surge in May, which saw gains of 244,000 non-farm jobs. Just 120,000 new jobs are enough to keep up with growth in the working-age population. The unemployment rate rose from 3.8 percent, the lowest since 2000, to 4 percent, as more people entered the work force and students grabbed summer jobs. Average hourly wages rose by 5 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $26.98. [MarketWatch, Reuters]

7.

New details emerge on Pruitt's resignation

While President Trump praised his outgoing Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, for "an outstanding job," reports suggest the negative coverage of the scandal-plagued Pruitt had finally become too much for the White House. Following new reports on Thursday that Pruitt may have retroactively altered his public schedule, The New York Times reports "Mr. Trump's chief of staff, John F. Kelly, reached out to Mr. Pruitt to tell him the time had come." Though he retained some defenders, even many Trump allies have turned against Pruitt, who is under at least 11 federal investigations, demanding he step down. [CNN, The New York Times]

8.

Thousands evacuate to escape California wildfires

More than 2,000 people have evacuated their homes to escape dozens of wildfires in Southern California. Exacerbated by record temperatures and strong winds, the fires have quickly burned more than 60 buildings and spread to cover over 1,000 acres. No deaths have been reported in connection to the Southern California fires so far, but one person has been killed by a separate fire near the California-Oregon border. No more deaths are anticipated in that blaze, said local authorities. Wildfires are also burning near Sacramento and in Utah and Colorado. [The Associated Press, Reuters]

9.

Flooding in Japan kills at least 49

At least 49 people have been killed and another 48 people are missing in Japan as unusually heavy rains have caused lethal flooding. Some 1.6 million people have been evacuated to escape the floods, which are inundating three regions on the main island of Honshu. The "historic" rains are expected to continue Saturday, and authorities have warned landslides are an additional consequence of the downpour. Another 3.1 million people have been encouraged to evacuate, and nearly 50,000 rescue workers and police have been deployed to help those in affected areas. [AccuWeather, Reuters]

10.

Belgium beats Brazil, advances to World Cup semifinal match against France

Belgium trounced Brazil in the second quarterfinal game of the World Cup on Friday, coming away with a 2-1 win. The flop-filled match was exciting down to the last minute — with both goals from Belgium in the first half, the second half became a nail-biter after Brazil's Renato Augusto scored in the 76th minute. Belgium will move on to the semifinals, along with France, which eliminated Uruguay 2-0 on Friday morning. On Saturday, Sweden plays England and Russia faces Croatia for spots in the second semifinals match. [SB Nation, FIFA]

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