Detention Facilities, Census, World Cup: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing
02 July 2019 23:13
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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. “A ticking time bomb.”
That’s how a disturbing report by the Department of Homeland Security’s independent watchdog described detention facilities along the southwestern border. Photographs, like the one above in McAllen, Tex., showed migrants packed into cells.
The report, which was publicly released today, found problems like standing room only cells, children with limited access to clean clothes and hot meals, and some with no access to showers.
The report adds to the political tensions surrounding border issues, after House Democrats visited a much-criticized facility in Clint, Tex., and reacted to a newly unearthed secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents that featured jokes about migrant deaths and threats to members of Congress.
2. The Trump administration dropped its effort to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census.
The decision comes a week after the Supreme Court said the administration’s rationale was inadequate. It’s a victory for critics who said the question was part of an effort to skew the census results in favor of Republicans.
Separately, the fight over President Trump’s tax returns is heading to federal court.
The House filed a lawsuit to force the Treasury Department to turn over the tax documents, arguing that the administration’s defiance of its request amounted to “an extraordinary attack on the authority of Congress.”
3. President Trump’s fund-raising totals set a record for the last quarter: $105 million. Among Democrats, Pete Buttigieg raised more than Bernie Sanders.
The staggering figure reported by the president’s campaign and the Republican National Committee dwarfed President Barack Obama’s fund-raising during the same part of his re-election campaign. Mr. Buttigieg said he had raised $24.8 million in the second quarter, and Mr. Sanders $18 million.
Senator Kamala Harris saw a significant increase in three polls released this week. How do you judge a poll? The distinction between high-quality polls and the rest has been breaking down as polling moves online.
4. Per the president’s request, tanks are at the ready in Washington for Fourth of July festivities.
Two M1 Abrams tanks from Georgia and several other armored vehicles are sitting in a rail yard just a few miles from the Lincoln Memorial. President Trump, who will be speaking from the monument on Thursday evening, also ordered flyovers by Air Force One and aircraft from each of the branches of the armed forces.
In other military news, a Navy SEAL chief accused of war crimes, Edward Gallagher, was found not guilty of the most serious charges, including first-degree murder. Chief Gallagher became a rallying cause of some Republicans in Congress and the focus of a potential pardon by Mr. Trump.
5. The Chinese government and its allies in Hong Kong condemned the protesters who stormed the legislature building, offering a stern warning after weeks of demonstrations.
China’s leadership accused those who broke in of being “extreme radicals” who committed an illegal act “that tramples on the rule of law and jeopardizes social order.”
Here’s what to know about Hong Kong’s evolving protest movement and its violent turn this week, the aftermath of which is pictured above.
Also out of China: A secret policing app used in China’s Far West, a copy of which was reviewed by The Times, shows how the country’s invasive surveillance techniques are expanding in scope.
6. The E.U. selected its top leaders, but only after days and nights of grueling negotiations.
Parliamentary elections brought a fragmented and polarized mix of parties to power, and they have struggled to forge consensus across ideologies, gender and regions.
Ursula von der Leyen, above, Germany’s defense minister and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party, was nominated as president of the European Commission.
Lawmakers also nominated Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, for head of the European Central Bank. Here are all of the new E.U. chiefs.
7. As the changing climate melts Greenland’s ice sheet, the runoff is filling fjords with sediment — about 10 percent of all sediment delivered to oceans worldwide.
Our climate reporter and multimedia reporter traveled to Greenland to experience the changing landscape and track the upside: enough sand to help meet growing worldwide demand.
“It’s not rocket science,” said a researcher who is planning a two-year study of the idea. “One part of the world has something that other parts of the world are lacking.”
8. The U.S. women are heading to the World Cup final after surviving a close one against England, 2-1.
Christen Press and Alex Morgan, above in red, scored in the absence of an injured Megan Rapinoe, keeping the Americans on track for a second straight world title. They will face the winner of tomorrow’s match between the Netherlands and Sweden (3 p.m. Eastern).
And at Wimbledon, Serena Williams opened her chase for her 24th Grand Slam singles title with a rusty, 6-2, 7-5 victory over an unheralded Italian qualifier, Giulia Gatto-Monticone.
Separately, Nike pulled a “Betsy Ross flag” sneaker. In recent years, the imagery has been associated with racist ideologies. The decision, which reportedly came after Colin Kaepernick pressed Nike not to release the shoe, ignited a conservative backlash.
9. Late this afternoon, the moon blocked out the sun across a swath of South America, the first total solar eclipse since August 2017 and the last one until December 2020. Above, La Higuera, Chile.
The fascination with celestial shadows has captivated humans for centuries. We dug through the archives looking for pictures of eclipses from decades past.
And research conducted during the Great American Eclipse of 2017 suggests the sun’s midday disappearance shocks some plants.
10. And finally, is cold brew better than iced coffee?
Both are made from ground coffee and water, combined at different temperatures and brewed for different lengths of time. Cold brew is less acidic, but far more unpredictably caffeinated.
Both have fans, and fans of both have questions. Will drinking it in the afternoon keep me up? Should I just make it at home? The good news is, we have answers.
Have a pleasantly energetic evening.
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