Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 13, 2018

Harold Maass
President Trump and Theresa May in the U.K.


Trump slams Theresa May over Brexit after lavish U.K. welcome

President Trump received a lavish welcome at a Blenheim Palace gala hosted by British Prime Minister Theresa May, but the reception was overshadowed on Friday by an interview in which Trump slammed May's Brexit plan. Trump said May's planned "soft" exit from the European Union could "kill" Britain's trade deal with the U.S. In the interview with The Sun newspaper, Trump also blamed London's mayor for terrorist attacks on the city, and said Europe is "losing its culture" due to immigration. Trump also said he felt unwelcome in London due to protests. The U.K. visit marked the second leg of a week-long trip to Europe that started with a NATO summit where Trump made vague threats to get allies to reaffirm commitments to spend more on defense. [The Associated Press, MarketWatch]


Embattled FBI agent clashes with Republican lawmakers

FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump text messages prompted allegations of institutional bias, clashed with House Republicans in a fiery hearing on Thursday. Republicans said the texts provided clear evidence of bias against President Trump and in favor of Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democratic rival in the 2016 election. Strzok said the texts only expressed personal opinions, and he angrily denied suggestions by Republicans that he had tried to prevent President Trump from being elected. "At no time, in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took," he said. Strzok defended his work as a leader of the inquiries into Hillary Clinton's email use and possible collusion by Trump campaign associates in Russia's election meddling. [CNN, The Associated Press]


Trump administration says it has reunited all eligible migrant kids under 5

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it had reunited all eligible children under age 5 who were separated from their parents at the Mexican border, two days after a court-set deadline. Administration officials said they reunited 57 of 103 children fitting the criteria, but could not return the rest to their undocumented migrant parents for various reasons, including cases in which parents had criminal records or the adults who had arrived with them were not really their parents. "Throughout the reunification process, our goal has been the well-being of the children and returning them to a safe environment," said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The administration still has to reunite roughly 2,000 older children with their parents by late July. [NPR]


U.S. urges U.N. to stop oil-product sales to North Korea

The Trump administration on Thursday asked the United Nations to ban sales of refined oil products to North Korea for the rest of the year. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, sent a letter highlighting evidence that North Korea had "breached" U.N. sanctions by exceeding an annual cap on fuel imports through "illicit ship-to-ship transfers." The U.S. report accused several countries, particularly China and Russia, of continuing to sell refined petroleum products to North Korea. "These sales and any other transfer must immediately stop," the U.S. said. The report was submitted on a day when President Trump tweeted that he had received a "very nice note" from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The note praised Trump for "epochal progress" since their June summit without mentioning reports casting doubt on Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization. [CBS News, The Washington Post]


Government reopens Emmet Till murder investigation after 63 years

The federal government has reopened the investigation into the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy whose mutilated body was left in Mississippi's Tallahatchie River in 1955 in one of the most notorious racist killings of the Jim Crow-era Deep South. Two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, were prosecuted but acquitted by an all-white jury after just an hour of deliberation. A 2017 book revealing lies told by a key figure in the case prompted the government to reopen its inquiry, a federal official said Thursday. The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson quotes a white woman, Carolyn Donham, as saying that her testimony that Till had whistled and made sexual advances toward her at a Mississippi store was false. [Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press]


Chicago man who berated woman over Puerto Rico shirt faces hate crime charge

Illinois prosecutors on Thursday said they had approved a felony hate crime charge against a Chicago man, Timothy Trybus, for berating a woman for wearing a Puerto Rican flag T-shirt in a park. In a viral video that captured the 62-year-old Trybus' verbal attack against the woman, he screamed at her and said she should not wear the shirt in the U.S. Cook County Forest Preserve police officer Patrick Connor, who stood by and did nothing to stop Trybus' tirade, resigned on Wednesday after facing intense criticism from local activists and the governor of Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. Caribbean territory. [Chicago Tribune]


DOJ to appeal Time Warner-AT&T merger

The Department of Justice said in a court document filed Thursday that it would appeal the approval of a massive merger between Time Warner and AT&T. The $85.4 billion deal was approved by a federal judge in June, despite the DOJ's protest at the time that the merger would make the TV industry "less competitive and less innovative." In approving the deal last month, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon determined that the government had failed to show that the merger would reduce competition in the TV market. The judge said that an appeal would be "fair game." AT&T General Counsel David McAtee said the appeal was surprising. "The Court's decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based, and well-reasoned," he said. [CNBC]


Serena Williams advances to Wimbledon final

Serena Williams qualified for the Wimbledon final, beating No. 13 Julia Goerges of Germany 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinal on Thursday. Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, was seeded 25th after taking nearly a year away from competition following the birth of her daughter. The tennis superstar conceded that she was surprised by her own dominance at Wimbledon this year after the health problems she had to deal with after giving birth in September. "This is not inevitable for me," she said. "I remember I couldn't even walk to my mailbox, so it's definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final." Williams will face No. 11 Angelique Kerber for the title Saturday in a rematch of the 2016 final, which Williams won. [ESPN]


Ohio officials drop charges against Stormy Daniels

Ohio authorities on Thursday dropped charges against adult film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, for allegedly touching three undercover detectives during her performance at an Ohio strip club. Daniels, who has been the focus of intense publicity surrounding her claim she had an affair with President Trump more than a decade ago, had faced three misdemeanor charges and posted $6,054 bail. Her attorney, Michael Avenatti, said she intended to plead not guilty, and that the charges were "politically motivated." Under a 2007 Ohio law, anyone who regularly works nude or seminude at a sexually-oriented business can't touch patrons. Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said he reviewed the case and determined that Daniels committed no crime because she did not regularly work at the club, so the law didn't apply. [CNN]


Game of Thrones, Netflix dominate Emmy nominations

Game of Thrones led the Emmy nominations with 22, followed by Westworld and Saturday Night Live with 21 each. Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale had 20. Netflix racked up the most nominations of any content producer with 112, breaking HBO's 17-year streak at No. 1. Netflix had just 34 nominations three years ago. Its rise to the top was not unexpected, however, as it has been releasing new shows at a fast pace and will spend up to $8 billion on content this year, compared to HBO's $2.5 billion. The nominees were announced on Thursday and the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on Sept. 17 in Los Angeles. Game of Thrones will compete in the Best Drama Series category against The Handmaid's Tale, Stranger Things, The Americans, This Is Us, and Westworld. [The New York Times]