Daily Edition Top 10 (Week of July 15, 2019)
Heather Chin / July 18, 2019
President Donald Trump started and ended the week by verbally attacking four Democratic congresswomen of ethnic and religious minority backgrounds, telling them to “go back” to other countries and inspiring supporters to chant “send her back.”
The U.S. House of Representatives also held multiple votes, including to reject an impeachment bill against the president, to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt, to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, to repeal the “Cadillac tax” provision of the Affordable Care Act, to restrict weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and to add more restrictions on revealing the identities of U.S. spies.
Elsewhere in the world, protests continued in Puerto Rico against the governor after leaked texts revealed homophobic and misogynistic messages, an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization, and an arson fire killed dozens of people in Japan’s Kyoto Animation studio.
American icons were celebrated, with the country mourning the death of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99 and marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
In legal news, Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera was sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison, convicted sex offender and accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was denied bail, and the Justice Department declined to file federal charges against an NYPD officer in the 2014 death of Eric Garner.
Read more about these stories and the other biggest news of the week, as they appeared in The Daily Edition.
1. Trump vows congresswomen ‘can’t get away with’ criticizing U.S. – The Washington Post, John Wagner, Colby Itkowitz
Top line: “President Trump capped his week of attacks on four minority congresswomen on Friday, saying that while he’s president any criticism of the United States is unacceptable and they “can’t get away with” it. His statement is at odds with the Constitution, which grants every American the right of free speech. They “can’t get away with” speaking badly about the United States, Trump told reporters outside the White House. “I can tell you this, you can’t talk that way about our country, not when I’m the president.” The four Democratic lawmakers have criticized Trump administration policies, most notably on immigration and climate change. Trump, in the past, has criticized the policies of Democratic presidents.”
Topic to follow: Donald Trump
2. Impeachment, Contempt Citations and More: 5 Major Issues Congress Voted On Today – The New York Times
Top line: “The House was busy on Wednesday, considering a range of divisive issues. Here’s a roundup of what the chamber voted on: Impeaching the president, Contempt citations for William Barr and Wilbur Ross, Health insurance tax, Weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Intelligence policy.
Topic to follow: U.S. House of Representatives
3. Iran stokes Gulf tensions by seizing two British-linked oil tankers – The Guardian, Julian Borger, Patrick Wintour
Top line: “Iran seized two oil tankers – one registered in the UK, the other in Liberia – in the strait of Hormuz on Friday, marking a dramatic escalation in the worsening standoff in the Gulf. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard claimed to have taken the British-flagged Stena Impero into port, and Iranian officials claimed it had drifted out of shipping lane and turned its satellite locator off. A second tanker, the Mesdar, which is Liberian-flagged but owned and operated by Glasgow-based firm Norbulk, also made a sudden diversion from its course towards the Saudi port of Ras Tanura on Friday, and tracking data showed it moving northwards towards the Iranian coast before apparently turning off its tracking signal. Less than two hours later, the Mesdar’s tracking signal was turned back on.”
Topic to follow: Iran
4. Trump moves to effectively end asylum at southern border – Associated Press, Colleen Long
Top line: “Reversing decades of U.S. policy, the Trump administration said Monday it will end all asylum protections for most migrants who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border — the president’s most forceful attempt yet to block asylum claims and slash the number of people seeking refuge in America. The new rule would cover countless would-be refugees, many of them fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. It is certain to face legal challenges. According to the plan published in the Federal Register , migrants who pass through another country — in this case, Mexico — on their way to the U.S. will be ineligible for asylum. The rule also applies to children who have crossed the border alone.”
Topic to follow: Asylum Seekers
5. Astronauts Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Historic Apollo 11 Launch and Moon Landing – PEOPLE, Ashley Boucher
Top line: “The first human steps were taken on the moon 50 years ago to the day on Saturday, and eight astronauts from NASA’s Apollo program — including Buzz Aldrin — have been celebrating in the months and weeks leading up to the landmark day. The group met up in March at the Explorer’s Club in New York City, according to Business Insider. Of the 17 Apollo astronauts still alive, Walter Cunningham of Apollo 7, Rusty Schweickart of Apollo 8, Fred Haise of Apollo 13, Al Worden of Apollo 15, Charlie Duke of Apollo 16, Harrison Schmitt of Apollo 17, Michael Collins and Aldrin, 89, both of Apollo 11, were present at the celebratory event. Aldrin — the second man to walk on the moon after Neil Armstrong, who died in 2012 at age 82 — certainly stood out at the event, sporting a suit covered in rocket ships, a silver bowtie, pink button down and American flag socks. But the event wasn’t just about space-worthy threads — several of the astronauts participated in a panel, sharing stories from their various missions.”
Top line: “Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who was appointed by President Gerald Ford in 1975 as a moderate but later became a leading liberal voice, has died, the Supreme Court said Tuesday. He was 99. The cause of death was complications from a stroke he suffered on Monday, the Supreme Court said. His daughters were by his side at the time of his death. “He brought to our bench an inimitable blend of kindness, humility, wisdom, and independence. His unrelenting commitment to justice has left us a better nation,” said Chief Justice John Roberts in a statement. Stevens served on the Supreme Court until he retired at the age of 90 in 2010. Upon his retirement, former President Obama praised him as an “impartial guardian of the law” who served the nation with “honor and humility.””
Topic to follow: John Paul Stevens
7. Puerto Rico protesters are clearing the streets after a night of demonstrations included police firing tear gas – CNN, Nicole Chavez, Eliott C. McLaughlin, Leyla Santiago, Mayra Cuevas and Meridith Edwards
Top line: “Protesters calling for the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló began clearing the streets in the early morning hours of Thursday, after a night of heated demonstrations that culminated in demonstrators overturning barricades and police firing tear gas into the crowd. “We are tired of the abuse, of so many years of corruption,” a protester, Leishka Flores, told CNN. “We are here to make a revolution.” A series of protests began days ago when nearly 900 pages of leaked chats from a governor’s private Telegram Messenger group, obtained by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism, were published over the weekend. “He needs to know that no one in Puerto Rico wants him,” another protester told the crowd.”
Topic to follow: Puerto Rico
8. DR Congo Ebola outbreak declared global health emergency – BBC News
Top line: “The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo a “public health emergency of international concern”. The move may encourage wealthy donor countries to provide more cash. But the WHO stopped short of saying borders should be closed, saying the risk of the disease spreading outside the region was not high. The outbreak in DR Congo has killed more than 1,600 people. This week, the first case was detected in Goma, home to more than a million. The PHEIC emergency provision is the highest level of alarm the WHO can sound and has only been used four times previously. This includes the Ebola epidemic that devastated parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016, and killed more than 11,000 people.”
Topic to follow: Ebola
9. Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years, complains about NYC jail – NBC News, Alex Johnson, Elisha Fieldstadt
Top line: “Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the crime kingpin known as “El Chapo” who controlled much of the illegal drug trade across the Western Hemisphere for almost three decades, was sentenced in a federal courtroom in New York on Wednesday to life in prison plus 30 years. Before he was sentenced, Guzmán, 62, told a federal judge that his case was “stained” by juror misconduct. He said the judge denied him a fair trial on drug trafficking charges “when the whole world was watching.” Guzmán — whose nickname refers to his height; it roughly translates as “Shorty” — was responsible for shipping more than 200 tons of cocaine to the United States alone as head of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, as well as brutal murders and widespread political payoffs, prosecutors said during his three-month trial in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, where he was convicted in February.”
Topic to follow: El Chapo
10. ‘Today we can’t breathe.’ DOJ will not bring civil rights charge against NYPD officer in death of Eric Garner – USA Today, Kevin Johnson, William Cummings
Top line: “The Justice Department will not bring federal charges against a New York City police officer over the death of Eric Garner during a chaotic arrest that ignited nationwide protests five years ago. The decision, announced Tuesday by Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue, marks the end of a civil rights investigation into an episode – much of it captured on video – that helped turn a national spotlight on how police officers use force. Authorities spent years investigating Garner’s death in an examination that proved contentious both inside and outside the Justice Department. Attorneys in the department’s Civil Rights Division long advocated for bringing a criminal charge, while prosecutors in Brooklyn recommended against it. Donoghue said Attorney General William Barr broke the logjam, deciding in recent days that Justice would not bring a federal civil rights prosecution against officer Daniel Pantaleo.”
Topic to follow: Eric Garner
Check out The Daily Edition throughout the week for your news updates.