American politicians on both sides of the aisle rebuked President Donald Trump after an extraordinary press conference yesterday in which he appeared inclined to believe President Vladimir Putin’s denial of Russian election meddling over the conclusions of U.S. intelligence officials. But today, he told reporters he misspoke and that he accepts the intelligence community’s assessment. Still, Trump maintained “there was no collusion at all,” adding to earlier comments slamming the media for criticizing his Helsinki summit with Putin — which Trump described as an “even better” meeting than last week’s NATO summit.
The Presidential Daily Brief
District Judge Dana Sabraw ruled yesterday to temporarily bar the deportations of recently reunited migrant families — another setback for the Trump administration’s controversial immigration reforms. The American Civil Liberties Union brought the case, arguing that parents who’ve been reunited with their kids should have time to consider leaving their children in the U.S. to pursue asylum claims. While government lawyers argued that swift deportations are key to making more space for detainees, Sabraw said slowing or ceasing family reunification is “not an option.” The next hearing is set for July 24.
A boat carrying tourists to watch lava flowing into the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano was struck by a flying chunk of molten rock yesterday. The ball of lava burst through the boat’s roof, leaving one woman with a fractured femur and others with burns and cuts. Tour operators say the sightseeing boats will keep running, but will take the Coast Guard’s new advice to stay farther away from the lava flow. Meanwhile, Kilauea’s recent eruption has created a small new island, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Late last night, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May accepted four hard-right amendments to her government’s Brexit plan, quelling a rebellion in her own party. But analysts say the concessions will destroy her newly minted “customs facilitation agreement” on the controversial issue of the Irish border. Now May hopes to send Parliament into early recess amid fears of a leadership challenge. Meanwhile, the Vote Leave campaign has been fined more than $80,000 and reported to police for breaking spending laws and illegally coordinating with another pro-Brexit group.
Know This: Hong Kong is attempting to ban a pro-independence party in an unprecedented move. Shares in Tesla fell 3.5 percent yesterday after CEO Elon Musk accused one of the rescuers of 12 Thai boys of being a pedophile without presenting any evidence. A candidate for city council in St. Paul, Minnesota, has been arrested after posting “revenge porn” of his wife on his own campaign website. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to the Palestinian territories, where a new crowdfunding platform is attempting to support local entrepreneurs, athletes and communities.
Read This: A group of Muslim women in Zanzibar have formed a soccer team, despite strict cultural interdictions against women playing sports.
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Two years before the next presidential election, would-be Trump challengers from the obvious to the obscure are already jockeying to sell their policies and personas in an open field. The group is expected to include the return of Sen. Bernie Sanders and the increasingly high-profile Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkley, as well as up-and-comers like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s endorsed abolishing ICE — and who’ll appear alongside Hillary Clinton at this weekend’s OZY Fest. But one activist predicts 2020’s nominee may be “someone who we haven’t heard of yet.”
Time to think outside the box. Workers in several European countries yesterday staged the one-day action — meant to coincide with one of the online retailer’s busiest shopping days — to demand better working conditions and higher pay. Employees in Spain and Germany joined walkouts, while Polish workers staged a so-called “work-to-rule” protest. “Amazon is a fair and responsible employer,” the company said, defending its compensation. Meanwhile, CEO Jeff Bezos became the richest man in modern history yesterday as his net worth topped $150 billion.
New Harvard research suggests hot weather can mess with basic brain abilities. By testing two groups of college students during a heat wave, researchers found those in non-air-conditioned dorms scored 13 percent lower on basic arithmetic tests and had significantly slower responses. Previous studies have also linked high temperatures with poor performance: One showed students scored lower on standardized tests on hot days, while another found office workers were most productive at 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, NASA reported that last month was the third-hottest June on record.
After winning approval last week from a Delaware bankruptcy judge, Texas-based Lantern Capital announced it will acquire the studio once helmed by disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein. The company, relaunching as Lantern Entertainment, gets Weinstein’s 277-film library on top of TV shows like “Project Runway” and unreleased films including Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Current War and Kevin Hart’s The Upside. Sale proceeds will bypass the Weinstein brothers, going instead to pay off lawyers, bankruptcy professionals, creditors and, if anything is left over, alleged victims of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.
It was a streak of bat luck. The Nationals’ six-time All-Star narrowly beat Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber 19-18 in the final round on Harper’s Washington, D.C., home turf. Each batter was allotted four minutes to hit as many homers as possible. Harper, sporting patriotic swag, slammed 45 total — including nine in his final minute to tie Schwarber, and one in a tense bonus round — on pitches from his dad. The total set a new Home Run Derby record of 221 longballs ahead of today’s All-Star Game.