Turkey’s currency lost more than 20 percent of its value this week, and more than 12 percent just today, as Ankara and Washington sparred over the fate of a U.S. pastor held in Turkey and investors worried about the country’s growing stack of debts. Now, President Donald Trump has upped the ante by announcing the U.S. will double tariffs on metals imports, prompting Turkey to ask its citizens to buy more liras. “If they have dollars, we have our people, our righteousness and our God,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told supporters last night.
The Presidential Daily Brief
“An idea whose time has come.” That’s how Pence lauded plans for the extraterrestrial service, which would be the U.S. military’s sixth branch and could be established by 2020. “Space Force all the way!” President Trump tweeted, while his reelection campaign sent a fundraising email asking supporters to vote on a Space Force logo. Some have criticized the idea, which would require Congressional approval, as unnecessary: The U.S. Air Force currently deals with space matters. Meanwhile, a new Pentagon report called for the formation of a U.S. Space Command this year.
After learning that a mother and daughter had been deported to El Salvador while he was still hearing their asylum case, federal Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of court and ordered that the pair be brought back. In June, Sessions announced that fleeing domestic and gang violence would no longer be considered grounds for asylum in the U.S., a decision the American Civil Liberties Union is currently challenging on behalf of a dozen plaintiffs, including the deported mother.
At least 29 children were killed as their school bus passed through a market, hit from above by the government-allied Saudi-led coalition, which called the strike “legitimate.” The International Committee of the Red Cross said dozens more were wounded during the attack on Saada province, controlled by Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The coalition is supported by the U.S., but the State Department says it wasn’t involved in Thursday’s strike and urged Saudi allies to “conduct a thorough and transparent investigation.” Yemen is currently facing the world’s gravest humanitarian crisis.
Know This: The judge in ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s financial crimes trial has apologized to prosecutors for berating them in front of the jury. New Zealand has announced a ban on plastic bags. And Ryanair has canceled about 400 flights amid a staff walkout.
Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.
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In a ceremony kept private for “security reasons,” Viktor and Amalija Knavs became U.S. citizens yesterday. Their daughter had sponsored them for a green card, the couple’s attorney said, conceding that the Knavs had obtained citizenship through what President Trump has dubbed “chain migration.” It is, the lawyer added, “a dirtier word” for family-based immigration. The president’s demanded an end to the practice, which allows immigrants to gain visas to join family members already in the U.S. Melania Trump became a citizen in 2006 after obtaining a visa based on her modeling abilities.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach led by 191 votes over current Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican primary — but yesterday one county’s corrected digit added 100 to Colyer’s total. Kobach is overseeing vote counting in his current job, which prompted his rival to ask Kobach to recuse himself, even though that’s not legally required. Kobach was vice-chair of a presidential commission to uncover widespread voter fraud last year, but reportedly didn’t find any. As many as 10,000 provisional ballots have yet to be counted.
Is it the ore to end all ores? Probably not, but the mineral found within the Uakit meteorite, named for the Russian town where it was found in 2016, was not on the list of more than 4,000 previously documented minerals. While the rock was mostly iron-based kamacite, it contained a trace of the new substance, dubbed uakitite and presented at this year’s Meteoritical Society conference in Moscow. The uakitite speck, only five micrometers across, is thought to have been formed in extremely high temperatures, but little else is understood about the substance’s characteristics.
This is so sad: Alexa, play “Despacito.” Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, a.k.a. Daddy Yankee, the Puerto Rican rapper featured on the wildly popular Spanish-language track, was robbed of $2.3 million in jewels and diamonds after a thief reportedly pretended to be him, entered his room and ordered hotel staff to open the star’s safe. About $2,500 in cash was also reportedly taken. Rodriguez, 41, is currently on tour in Europe, and Spanish language newspapers say police in Valencia, where the theft occurred, have launched an investigation.
Taking controversial kneeling protests against police brutality into a third season, Miami receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson refused to stand during the national anthem yesterday at the Dolphins’ preseason opener. The team forbade such behavior before this season, but only as a “placeholder” until the NFL firmed up its mercurial anthem policy. After the anthem, the league said that the players won’t be punished under its no-kneeling policy while it negotiates the rule with its players union. “I’m coaching football,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. “I’m not dealing with this.”