Friday Top News Executive Summary
July's jobs report, China tariffs, national-security updates, budget approval, and more.
JULY JOBS REPORT: “Payroll growth rose in line with expectations in July and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7% amid a sharp jump in the size of the labor force to its highest level ever. The Labor Department reported Friday that payrolls increased 164,000 during the month, just 1,000 below the 165,000 Dow Jones forecast. … Wages also continued to increase, with the 3.2% year-over-year gain topping expectations by one-tenth of a percentage point.” (CNBC)
CHINA TARIFFS: “President Donald Trump said Thursday that the U.S. is putting 10% tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, effective Sept. 1. … The surprise tariff announcement came after the U.S. and China restarted trade talks in Shanghai this week, the first in-person trade talks since a G-20 truce. The White House said Wednesday … that the meetings were ‘constructive,’ adding that China confirmed its commitment to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural exports.” (CNBC)
ILLEGALS FREED: “A total 218,400 people who either illegally entered the country or showed up without proper documentation at a port of entry along the southwest border were let go from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody and set free in the U.S. between Dec. 21, 2018 through July 28,” according to the Washington Examiner. “All of those released were family units, which means each person arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border with a child or parent. Adults sometimes travel with children they are unrelated to and claim to be a family.” Speaking of which, The New American reports, “The Border Patrol has apprehended nearly 6,000 fake families at the southwest border, and now devotes upwards of 60 percent of its manpower in high-crossing areas on what amounts to babysitting.”
NUKE PACT NUKED: “The United States formally withdrew from a landmark nuclear missile pact with Russia on Friday after determining that Moscow was in violation of the treaty, something the Kremlin has repeatedly denied. … ‘The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia,’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement about the U.S. withdrawal.” (Reuters)
AFGHAN WITHDRAWAL? “The Trump administration is preparing to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan in exchange for concessions from the Taliban, including a cease-fire and a renunciation of al-Qaeda, as part of an initial deal to end the nearly 18-year-old war, U.S. officials say. The agreement, which would require the Taliban to begin negotiating a larger peace deal directly with the Afghan government, could cut the number of American troops in the country from roughly 14,000 to between 8,000 and 9,000, the officials said.” (The Washington Post)
NOKO BRINKMANSHIP: “North Korea fired what appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles twice Friday into the sea off its eastern coast in its third round of weapons tests in just over a week, South Korea’s military and presidential office said. The increased testing activity is seen as brinkmanship aimed at increasing pressure on Seoul and Washington over stalled nuclear negotiations.” (Associated Press)
Government & Politics
BUDGET APPROVED: “The Senate on Thursday passed a two-year budget and debt-ceiling deal, sending the bill to President Trump, who has indicated that he will sign it. The bill, which passed 67 to 28 with bipartisan support, is projected to add approximately $1.7 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years. It will lift the debt ceiling until 2021, set a $1.37 trillion limit on agencies’ annual budgets for fiscal year 2020, and raise that limit in fiscal year 2021. It will also essentially end the automatic spending cuts put in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act.” (National Review)
COMEY DODGES: “The Justice Department has decided against prosecuting former FBI Director James Comey for leaking classified information following a referral from the department’s inspector general, sources familiar with the deliberations told Fox News. … Comey penned memos memorializing his interactions with President Trump in the days leading up to his firing. He then passed those documents to a friend, Columbia University Law Professor Daniel Richman, who gave them to The New York Times. Comey admitted to that arrangement during congressional testimony.” (Fox News)
CUMMINGS’S HOME BURGLARIZED: “Baltimore Police are investigating after the home of Rep. Elijah Cummings was broken into early Saturday morning. … This was several hours before President Donald Trump tweeted criticizing Cummings and his district including Baltimore.” (CBS Baltimore)
HAPPENSTANCE, OR MACHINATION? “A redesign of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website will make it harder for voters to inspect Sen. Kamala Harris’s controversial record as the state’s top cop. The department removed public access to a number of reports on incarceration in the state, including when presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D.) was California’s attorney general.” (The Washington Free Beacon)
KAVANAUGH COMPLAINT DISMISSED: “A panel of federal judges dismissed complaints against Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh Thursday, saying the process for deciding on misconduct allegations against a Supreme Court justice is outside its reach. The complaints stemmed from Justice Kavanuagh’s confirmation battle last year, when he was accused of sexual misconduct and angrily denied the allegations and denounced some of those who made them.” (The Washington Times)
Around the Nation
BIRTH FIGURES: “The births of white babies outnumbered those of minorities by a hair, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data that also showed that the most common age for whites is 58 versus 11 for Hispanics. The latest census data, covering up to 2013, showed that there were 2,943 more white babies born than minorities out of a total of 3,942,783. Census had expected minorities to overtake white births, but the data shows that it hasn’t happened as fast as expected, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the data.” (Washington Examiner)
FIRST AMENDMENT RESTITUTION: “The University of Florida (UF) agreed … to pay their Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) student chapter $66,000, and amend their school policy to allow conservative groups to have access to more financial resources. In December of last year, the UF student YAF chapter filed a lawsuit against the school for allegedly violating students’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.” (The Daily Caller)
POLICY: Should (can) fake news be regulated? (Foundation for Economic Education)
POLICY: How not to solve the homelessness crisis (National Review)
HUMOR: Experts warn we have only 12 years left until they change the timeline on global warming again (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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