“We want to keep families together.” That’s what President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday, shortly before signing an executive order reversing his administration’s widely condemned practice of separating immigrant children from their parents. He’d previously suggested that halting separations would depend upon funding his border wall. An administration spokesman said that the 2,300 children currently in detention won’t be immediately reunited with their families. Meanwhile, Melania Trump made a surprise visit to the border area in Texas, where she was touring one such facility.
The Presidential Daily Brief
German federal authorities have arrested a 29-year-old Tunisian man in Cologne on suspicion of plotting an attack with one of the world’s deadliest poisons. Sief Allah H, as police identified him, has been charged with producing biological weapons. Noting that this was “a first for Germany,” investigators say the man had manufactured ricin, which has no known antidote and is 6,000 times deadlier than cyanide. German police, who believe the suspect has links to ISIS, were reportedly tipped off by the CIA based on his online purchases of ricin supplies.
To fulfill a campaign pledge to shrink the federal government, today President Trump will reportedly announce a plan to combine the departments of Education and Labor. The idea dovetails with the administration’s aim of steering higher-education programs toward job training, including expanding apprenticeships and deregulating for-profit colleges. It may not fit lawmakers’ agendas, though: Congress has generally resisted wholesale shuttering of government agencies. Lawmakers are also short on time, as midterm election campaigns are heating up, so analysts don’t give Trump’s plan much chance of becoming law.
President Trump announced at a Minnesota campaign rally that the remains of American military personnel killed during the 1950-1953 Korean War have been repatriated. “We got back our great fallen heroes,” he said. “In fact, today, already 200 have been sent back.” Military officials, however, said that details have not been finalized but they are “working diligently to bring them home” in the coming days. Some 7,700 U.S. service members are still missing, and retrieving their remains has long been a goal of improving relations with North Korea.
Know This: Black residents of East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are protesting after police fatally shot an unarmed Black teenager who was reportedly fleeing a traffic stop. The organizer of the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia, “Unite the Right” rally has obtained permission for a “white civil rights” rally in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 11-12 — a year after the Virginia rally. And Mexico soccer star Javier Hernández has implored his countrymen to stop shouting a homophobic slur during World Cup games.
Slow Cooking: The European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, says that if there isn’t a “precise” plan for Britain to leave the EU, the plan’s ratification might take two decades.
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In a country where women only make up 22 percent of the workforce, it’s a strange sight to see a female taxi driver — but some are hoping to make it the norm. Ride-sharing companies are hiring increasing numbers of female drivers, especially catering to customers who feel safer with a woman behind the wheel. Pakistani companies “by women, for women,” like Pink Taxi, hope to provide such peace of mind. Now they’re trying to attract more female drivers with better bonus packages than those offered to men.
They broke the law of the jungle. Interpol’s Operation Thunderstorm seized millions of dollars worth of illicit animal products across 92 nations, including 8 tons of pangolin scales, 20 tons of eel meat and 1.3 tons of elephant ivory. Some 1,400 suspects were identified and hundreds arrested. During the month-long sting, tens of thousands of live animals were also rescued, including 14 big cats and 48 primates. Wildlife crime, often using the same routes as drug smuggling and human trafficking, is estimated to be worth $150 billion annually.
They’re driving a hard bargain. The electric carmaker has accused former process technician Martin Tripp of illegally exporting gigabytes of secret data, including photographs and video footage of Tesla’s manufacturing systems. The company is suing Tripp for $1 million, saying he hacked its manufacturing operating system and sent the information to unidentified third parties. Wednesday’s news comes just days after CEO Elon Musk, who’s made multiple sabotage accusations in the past, announced to employees that a saboteur was suspected of wreaking havoc within the troubled company.
But will it have filters? Instagram’s stand-alone IGTV app, seen as competition for YouTube and a swipe at Snapchat, will offer long-form videos that are vertically oriented for smartphones. It’s designed to work more like television, according to CEO Kevin Systrom, giving viewers an automatic stream of content rather than requiring them to search or scroll. Instagram, which announced it now has 1 billion users at the IGTV launch party, will initially allow most users to post 10-minute videos but eventually plans to allow content of unlimited length.
They’re going for woke. In March, Pitaro stepped in as president of the sports news company amid NFL protests, Trump tweets, declining cable subscribers — and an internal divide among staffers concerned about the network’s political leaning. While he reassured employees that the company is not “a political organization,” a SportsCenter show co-hosted by Jemele Hill and Michael Smith — dubbed “WokeCenter” by critics — was canceled after less than a year. And with upcoming renegotiations for Monday Night Football, some wonder if ESPN’s soul is also up for sale.