“I cannot turn a blind eye to this.” So said Judge Amy Berman as she revoked bail for President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager. Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, were indicted last year on charges of money laundering and conspiracy, among others. Berman’s decision was based on a plea from prosecutors who claim Manafort, 69, attempted to sway witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. “You’ve abused the trust placed in you,” Berman said. Manafort goes on trial in September.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Today the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office unveiled a list of Chinese products to hit with new 25 percent import taxes, targeting industries that China hopes to dominate in the coming years. The initial list of 1,300 products, announced in April, has been whittled down slightly after public hearings and takes effect July 6. In response, Beijing has announced it’ll impose tariffs of “equal strength” on U.S. goods. “We hate unilateral actions,” one Chinese trade official said. President Trump further threatened to add tariffs on another $100 billion of Chinese products.
A 500-page report from the inspector general sharply criticized former FBI Director James Comey for his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. While it called his actions — including announcing that he was re-opening the investigation days before the election — “extraordinary,” it also found no indications that Comey was driven by political bias. But the report says other FBI officials showed a “willingness to take official action” to thwart President Trump’s election, which is likely to fuel his ongoing vendetta against the bureau.
Happy birthday, mister president. On Donald Trump’s 72nd birthday, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed suit with the state Supreme Court to dissolve his eponymous charitable organization over “persistent illegal conduct,” from self-dealing to violating campaign finance laws. The lawsuit offers a scathing rebuke of Trump and his three oldest children, whom Underwood accused of using the Donald J. Trump Foundation as “little more than a checkbook.” Underwood, who took office last month, is seeking $2.8 million in restitution after a two-year investigation.
According to Oxfam, French border guards have physically and verbally abused children seeking asylum in the country, removing the soles from their shoes and confiscating SIM cards from their phones before sending them back to Italy. Unaccompanied minors have the legal right to apply for asylum in the EU country of their choice. This may further heighten regional tensions after French President Emmanuel Macron called Italian authorities “irresponsible” for rejecting a ship — eventually accepted by Spain — of rescued refugees. An EU summit later this month will focus on migration.
Know This: Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders both cited the Bible yesterday to justify administration policy separating migrant children from their parents. Russian opposition firebrand Alexei Navalny has been freed from prison. Australia is mourning 22-year-old comedian Eurydice Dixon, who was found murdered on a sports field Wednesday. And today, OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Iran: Check out Tehran’s flourishing motocross culture.
Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.
Watch This: Tune in tonight to PBS for the premiere of Breaking Big, OZY’s latest TV show. Breaking Big will explore the secret sauce behind successful people. Host Carlos Watson sits down with Trevor Noah to find out how he broke through, and broke big.
He’s breaking new ground. Mike Parr, 72, reportedly came up with his piece Underneath the Bitumen the Artist, which he calls a meditation on genocide, 10 years ago — but until now, no festival or city would approve it due to safety issues. Now Parr has been installed in a 15 by 5.5 by 7-foot metal box under a busy street in Hobart, Australia, where he’ll remain until Sunday night as part of the Dark Mofo art festival. Despite protests from some aboriginal communities, others hope it will “make people sit up and listen.”
They’ve earned their wings. Electric scooter startup Bird has reached the billion-dollar mark in under a year, soaring past a flock of other scooter startups and beating the previous record of 1.8 years, set by 3D-printing company Desktop Metal. Bird’s latest round of funding hooked investors from Sequoia, Accel, and Tusk Ventures, and for its next round it’s reportedly looking at a $2 billion valuation. Meanwhile, “unicorn” startups — those valued at $1 billion — aren’t so rare anymore, with more than 200 companies now fitting the description.
They’re barking up the wrong family tree. Viaguard Accu-Metrics specializes in verifying users’ ties to Canada’s indigenous populations to qualify for membership in the Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada. But a CAPC employee suspicious of the quality of their home tests sent a sample from Snoopy, a chihuahua. According to the results, Snoopy has 20 percent native ancestry — exactly the same as several non-Canadian journalists investigating the company — sparking suspicions that Viaguard is helping people scam tax exemptions intended for indigenous people.
The bird’s the word. The British pop star shocked audiences during Thursday’s opening ceremony at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium when he looked straight at the camera and raised his middle finger while singing an improvised lyric: “I did this for free.” Fox apologized for live-broadcasting the incident. Meanwhile, Russia started the tournament by crushing Saudi Arabia 5-0 — just as “psychic” cat Achilles predicted — continuing the undefeated streak of host nations in World Cup openers. Today Egypt plays Uruguay, Morocco faces Iran, and Portugal takes on 2010 champion Spain.
Love means zero, but what about money? The three-time Wimbledon champ won $25 million over his career, but was declared bankrupt last year and is still being pursued for his debts. Now Becker’s filed papers calling the bankruptcy “completely unnecessary” and asserting he has diplomatic immunity due to his two-month-old position as EU sports attache to the Central African Republic. He claims any proceedings against him must get permission from British and CAR authorities, adding that he hopes to “bring this farce to an end.”