News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
Consider this an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
From The Hill
During a press briefing on Monday, Sanders said the U.S. has been “very nice to Canada for many years” and accused the foreign country of taking “advantage of that” when discussing Canada’s retaliatory tariffs recently imposed on American products. Those tariffs were prompted by Trump’s initial steep tariffs imposed on the country earlier this year.
In response to Sanders’s remarks, The Toronto Star editorial board slammed the press secretary in a fiery editorial on Wednesday, saying that “what President Donald Trump’s press secretary doesn’t know about history is a lot.”
The editorial board argued that Canadians “know nice” and added that they even “made it an art form.”
“And your boss, Ms. Sanders, couldn’t spell nice if you spotted him both the vowels,” the newspaper concluded.
A federal judge on Thursday rejected the bulk of a Trump administration demand to block three California sanctuary laws, allowing the state to keep in place its most significant legislative measures aimed at countering President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.
Sacramento-based U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez rejected, for now, the Justice Department’s drive to halt a California law that limits what kinds of immigration-related information state and local law enforcement can share with federal officials. The judge also declined the DOJ’s request to block another law guaranteeing California officials certain information about local and privately run jails that hold immigration detainees in the Golden State.
From The Hill
The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday announced the extension of a special immigration status for citizens of Yemen living in the United States.
About 1,250 Yemeni nationals are covered by the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, which allows citizens of countries that have undergone natural or man-made disasters to live and work in the U.S. The program protects foreign citizens who are already in the U.S., legally or illegally, when their home country is designated for protection after a disaster.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the 18-month extension, the longest period TPS designations can be extended.
Yemen was first designated for TPS on Sept. 3, 2015, six months after a civil war started there.
A giant ‘Trump Baby’ balloon is set to be flown close to the UK Parliament during US President Donald Trump’s visit to London next week after the Mayor of London gave the go-ahead, it was announced Thursday.
Protests are expected across London when Trump arrives for his three-day visit to the UK next Friday, with the 6-meter-high (or 19 feet) orange balloon poised to take center stage.
The request for the balloon to fly was approved by Mayor Sadiq Khan after over 10,000 people signed a petition and a thousand people contributed £16,000 to a crowdfunding campaign.
The balloon will fly for two hours on the morning of Friday, July 13, at the same time as the “Stop Trump” march in central London.
GOP lawmakers went to the White House last month to hear President Trump’s case for lifting U.S. sanctions on the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE. But even as Trump tried to convince his skeptical listeners that it was all part of a grand plan to win China’s help on North Korea, he threw in a jab, according to two senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private meeting.
None of you, Trump told the lawmakers, had even heard of ZTE before the most recent flap.
The lawmakers had indeed heard of ZTE. Several had spent years pushing action against what they viewed as unpardonable abuses by a company found guilty of selling U.S. goods to Iran — only to watch Trump sweep aside their concerns in a quick deal done with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Now GOP senators, who have generally stood down rather than challenge Trump even when they disagree, have a window to take action. But it will require them not only to thumb their nose at a president who is wildly popular with GOP voters but also to reach a deal with the reluctant House.
A loophole in federal policy allows thein Texas and a massive shelter in Homestead, Florida to escape the rigorous, often unannounced child welfare inspections that nearly all other similar shelters are subjected to.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) operates more than 100 shelters for unaccompanied migrant children across 17 states. All but two — Tornillo and, housing more than 1,350 children combined — must comply with state regulations that govern nearly every aspect of a child’s stay.
Tornillo and Homestead are located on federal land, where state officials have no authority.
From The Hill
About 100 children under the age of 5 will be reunited with their families next week after getting separated by authorities at the U.S. border, officials said Thursday.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must reunite the children under 5 by Tuesday to comply with a court order handed down last month.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar told reporters the agency is using DNA testing to verify that children are related to the people claiming to be their parents.
The agency will also comply with the July 26 deadline to reunite those ages 5 to 17.
Still, Azar expressed frustration with the “extreme” court order, arguing that it does not give the government enough time to vet parents.
“We will comply with the artificial deadline created by the court. That deadline was not informed by the process needed to vet parents, including confirming parentage as well as determining the suitability of placement with that parent,” Azar said.
Mexico on Thursday began imposing its second stage of retaliatory tariffs on dozens of U.S. goods in response to President Donald Trump’s duties on Mexican steel and aluminum exports to the United States.
The tariffs complete Mexico’s two-part retaliation on almost $3 billion worth of U.S. products. The Mexican government, which first announced its retaliation listlast month, started the action on June 5 by eliminating preferential tariffs established under NAFTA on a number of products, including pork, potatoes and whiskey. The Mexican government confirmed on Thursday that the increased tariffs are going into effect.
Most of Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs will be imposed on U.S. agricultural exports, such as apples, cranberries and various cheeses. Mexico is also targeting a number of American steel products. The majority of products on the list will face tariffs between 15 and 25 percent.
From The Hill
The owner of a Chinese factory said it has been hired to make flags for President Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.
Li Jiang owns a flag-making company in China’s Zhejiang province that reportedly made flags for the campaigns of both Trump and his opponent, Hillary Clinton, in 2016.
In a recent edition of NPR’s “The Indicator” podcast released on Tuesday, Jiang said he was making new blue and white flags for Trump’s reelection campaign already.
“We also make flags for Trump for 2020,” Jiang said. “It seems like he has another campaign going on in 2020. Isn’t that right?”
All of the small blue and white flags — roughly 100,000 produced each day — are clearly labeled that they were made in China, Li told NPR.