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US News July 2019: Get the latest monthly headline news from multiple news sources and news links. Get real facts, real news from major news originations.  

US President Donald Trump has blamed a teleprompter going "kaput" for a glaring anachronism in his Independence Day speech. He told crowds on 4 July the Continental Army "took over the airports" during the American Revolutionary War in the 1770s. Observers quickly pointed out there was no air travel in 18th Century America. Explaining away the slip-up on Friday, Mr Trump also said it was hard to read the teleprompter in the rain. During his "Salute to America" speech at the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday, he was talking about the year 1775 when he said: "Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do." Critics pointed out the rebels could not have seized airports more than a century before the first powered flight - credited to the Wright brothers in 1903 - took off. In the same sentence, Mr Trump also appeared to date a battle at Fort McHenry to the American Revolution, when it unfolded decades later during the War of 1812.

Guardian News
President Trump made an embarrassing error when addressing crowds during his Independence Day speech, praising the army, which he said 'took over the airports' from the British during the revolutionary war in the late 1700s, despite air travel not occurring in the US until the early 1900s. Trump was speaking at the Lincoln memorial in Washington as part of his 4 July 'Salute to America' celebrations

By Laurel Wamsley
Temperatures climbed to 90 degrees in Anchorage, Alaska, on Thursday, breaking the all-time heat record for the northerly city. Anchorage's previous record high (at least since 1952) was 85 degrees Fahrenheit, set on June 14, 1969. The city of 300,000 people also had its hottest June ever, according to the National Weather Service. Average temperature for the month was 60.5 degrees, 5.3 degrees above normal. It was the 16th consecutive month with above-average temperatures. It was also the driest June on record. The area received just 0.06 inches of rain during the month. Normally, it gets 0.97 inches – meaning the area received just 6% of the precipitation it usually does at that time. April and May were wetter than usual, however. And it wasn't just Anchorage. Several Alaskan cities set or matched all-time heat records on Thursday: 89 degrees in Kenai and King Salmon, 88 in Palmer.

By Jacqueline Thomsen
A lawyer with the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Wednesday that agency officials have been ordered to determine whether there is a way the administration can include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, hours after a tweet from President Trump raised confusion over the status of the question. Joseph Hunt, an assistant attorney general with the DOJ’s civil division, said Wednesday that the department has been “instructed to examine whether there is a path forward, consistent with the Supreme Court's decision, that would allow us to include the citizenship question on the census.” “We think there may be a legally available path under the Supreme Court's decision. We're examining that, looking at near-term options to see whether that's viable and possible,” Hunt said, according to a transcript of a teleconference held in federal court in Maryland. The DOJ official said the agency currently plans to file a motion in the Supreme Court that would “govern further proceedings in order to simplify and expedite the remaining litigation and provide clarity to the process going forward.” “It’s very fluid at present because we are still examining the Supreme Court's decision to see if that option is still available to us,” Hunt added, according to the transcript.

By Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON –In a tweet,  President Donald Trump responded to Rep. Justin Amash's op-ed announcing that he would leave the Republican Party, calling him "one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress." "Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is 'quitting' the Party," Trump wrote. Referencing the field of Republican challengers that had announced they would enter the Republican primary against Amash, Trump added, "Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!" Donald Trump Jr. the president's son, had previously threatened to help support a primary challenge against Amash.

US congressman Justin Amash, a fierce critic of President Donald Trump, has quit the Republican Party. He announced his decision to sit as an independent in the Washington Post, issuing a warning about political hyper-partisanship in Washington. "Modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral," the Michigan representative wrote on Thursday. Mr Amash was the first Republican congressman to call for Mr Trump's impeachment. His reasoning for leaving the Republicans was his overall disenchantment with party politics, he said.

By Kelsey Snell
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., sued Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to obtain six years of President Trump's tax returns. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., is the latest step in a months-long battle with the Trump administration over the president's tax records. Democrats want the court to enforce a subpoena requesting the returns. Mnuchin rejected the subpoena in May, citing guidance from the Department of Justice. At the time Mnuchin said the request lacked a "legitimate legislative purpose." Democrats argue in the court filing that the committee has the right to access Trump's private tax information under Section 6103 of the U.S. tax code, which says, "Treasury 'shall furnish' the Committee with 'any' requested tax return information" from any U.S. citizen, including the president. The filing states that the law was "intended to provide the Committee with unfettered access to tax return information necessary to carry out its broad mandate to oversee Treasury, the IRS, and the Nation's tax laws. "

By Chris Mills Rodrigo
The Washington, D.C., City Council on Monday ripped President Trump's Independence Day plans, joking about his intention to have military tanks on display when he gives a speech from the Lincoln Memorial. "We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks," the council tweeted. "(PS: The @DeptofDefense agrees, see highlighted area below)." We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks. (PS: The @DeptofDefense agrees, see highlighted area below) pic.twitter.com/ock2EORKNz — Council of DC (@councilofdc) July 1, 2019. The council included an image of a memorandum in its tweet from the Office of the Secretary of Defense with the line "include wheeled vehicles only, no tanks" highlighted. Trump said Monday that there would be tanks on display on the National Mall during the city's yearly Fourth of July celebration.

By Lauren Fox, Katelyn Polantz, Clare Foran and Ellie Kaufman, CNN
(CNN) - The Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to enforce subpoenas and obtain President Donald Trump's tax returns, an escalation in a fight for the President's personal financial information. The lawsuit was filed in D.C. District Court against Treasury and the IRS and their respective leaders, Steve Mnuchin and Charles Rettig. House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal is seeking the President's tax returns using a little-known IRS provision known as 6103, which allows the Chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to request and obtain an individual's tax information for a legitimate legislative purpose. The move comes months after Neal made his initial request for the President's tax information and as outside groups and other liberals on the Ways and Means Committee grew impatient with the pace of Neal's efforts. Neal initially made his request for Trump's tax returns on April 3. After a series of follow-up letters, the Treasury Department formally denied the request at the beginning of May, and Neal issued subpoenas to the IRS and Treasury Department on May 10. "In refusing to comply with the statute, Defendants have mounted an extraordinary attack on the authority of Congress to obtain information needed to conduct oversight of Treasury, the IRS, and the tax laws on behalf of the American people who participate in the Nation's voluntary tax system," House attorneys wrote in the complaint. Jay Sekulow, counsel to the President, responded to the suit Tuesday afternoon by saying in a statement, "We will respond to this latest effort at Presidential harassment in Court."

By Brett Samuels
President Trump lamented the state of American cities in an interview Monday night, describing homelessness as "a phenomena that started two years ago" that is causing public health hazards. Trump sat for an interview with Tucker Carlson during his trip to South Korea over the weekend. The Fox News host observed that cities in Japan, host of the Group of 20 summit, had "no graffiti" and "no one going to the bathroom on the streets," and said New York City and Los Angeles had a "major problem with filth." "It’s a phenomena that started two years ago,” said Trump, who took office 2 1/2 years ago. "It’s disgraceful." The president described cities in a dire state, claiming police officers are "getting sick just by walking the beat," and some people are "living in hell." "Although some of them have mental problems where they don’t even know they’re living that way, in fact perhaps they like living that way," he added. Trump suggested his administration was looking at the issue "very seriously," but offered few specifics on what could be done.

An investigation by ProPublica uncovered the private Facebook group, in which Border Patrol agents reportedly posted racist and sexist memes.
By German Lopez
US Customs and Border Protection is investigating the “disturbing social media activity” of current and former Border Patrol agents, following a report by A.C. Thompson at ProPublica on Monday that uncovered a private Facebook group in which current and former agents reportedly posted sexist and racist memes. According to ProPublica, roughly 9,500 people are part of the Facebook group, called “I’m 10-15” — a reference to the Border Patrol code for “aliens in custody” — created in August 2016. In postings, members mocked the deaths of migrants, posted about throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress, and targeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) with fake illustrations of her engaging in oral sex with migrants and President Donald Trump. In one post, a member of the Facebook group suggested that the recently viral photos of a migrant father and daughter who died trying to cross the Rio Grande were part of a liberal conspiracy. “I HAVE NEVER SEEN FLOATERS LIKE THIS, could this be another edited photo,” the member wrote. “We’ve all seen the dems and liberal parties do some pretty sick things.”

By Olivia Beavers
The Russian troll farms that carried out a sophisticated disinformation campaign on U.S. social media platforms in 2016 may have influenced President Trump's standing in public opinion polls during the campaign, according to a new study released Monday. Researchers at the University of Tennessee said that for every 25,000 retweets each week by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), Trump's poll numbers would gain an increase of about 1 percent. "We find that changes in opinion poll numbers for one of the candidates were consistently preceded by corresponding changes in IRA re-tweet volume, at an optimum interval of one week before," the researchers wrote, referring to Trump. "As these tweets were part of a larger, multimedia campaign, it is plausible that the IRA was successful in influencing U.S. public opinion in 2016." Researchers said that as the IRA ramped up its activity, there was a measurable change in opinion polling for Trump. "As the popularity of presidential candidates ebbed and flowed during the 2016 campaign, changes in opinion poll numbers for Trump were consistently preceded by corresponding changes in IRA re-tweet volume, at an optimum interval of one week before. Compared to its time-average of about 38 percent, support for Trump increased to around 44 percent when IRA tweets were at their most successful," the researchers wrote, noting that the "number of tweets per week increased during the campaign." - The Russians helped Trump how much and how many ways we may never know.

By Alexandra Hutzler
Hunter Biden, the son of 2020 Democratic hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden, brushed off President Donald Trump's call for an investigation into his business deals with foreign powers. In a feature published by The New Yorker on Monday, Hunter Biden said when he first saw reports of Trump's threats he also noticed a helicopter flying overhead. "I said, 'I hope they're taking pictures of us right now. I hope it's a live feed of the President so he can see just how much I care about the tweets,'" he told the magazine. He added that he also told his new wife, Melissa Cohen, "I don't care. F*** you, Mr. President. Here I am, living my life." During an interview with Fox News host Steve Hilton in May, Trump said that the Justice Department should "one hundred percent" launch a probe into the former vice president and his son's financial ties with China and Ukraine. The president also said that an investigation would "be an appropriate thing" to discuss with Attorney General William Barr. Barr, who joined the Trump administration in February, has been accused of acting as a defense lawyer for the president and has received many calls to resign from former federal prosecutors and Democratic lawmakers. Trump's calls for an investigation against the Bidens came after conservative author Peter Schweizer alleged in his 2018 book that Hunter Biden was cashing in on foreign business deals while his father was vice president. Hunter Biden and his business partner, Devon Archer, were involved in a fund called BHR Partners that reportedly pursued an investment from the Bank of China. In December 2013, Hunter Biden and his daughter Finnegan joined his father on a trip to Beijing to meet with President Xi Jinping. Schweizer suggested that Hunter Biden used to trip to secure a deal with the Chinese bank.

"Cuomo uses his Attorney General as a bludgeoning tool for his own purposes," Trump tweeted. "They sue on everything, always in search of a crime."
By Allan Smith
President Donald Trump on Monday accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of using the state's attorney general, Letitia James to target his businesses for political purposes, claiming in an afternoon tweet storm that the state sues "for everything" and is "always in search of a crime." "It is very hard and expensive to live in New York," Trump began. "Governor Andrew Cuomo uses his Attorney General as a bludgeoning tool for his own purposes. They sue on everything, always in search of a crime. I even got sued on a Foundation which took Zero rent & expenses & gave away more money than it had." ....more money than it had. Going on for years, originally brought by Crooked Hillary’s Campaign Chair, A.G. Eric Schneiderman, until forced to resign for abuse against women. They never even looked at the disgusting Clinton Foundation. Now Cuomo’s A.G. is harassing all of my....  — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2019.

By Kate Sullivan, CNN
Washington (CNN)Nearly 150 scholars, many who teach about the Holocaust, urged the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to retract its recent statement rejecting comparisons of the situation at the US southern border to concentration camps. "The very core of Holocaust education is to alert the public to dangerous developments that facilitate human rights violations and pain and suffering; pointing to similarities across time and space is essential for this task," the open letter reads, according to The New York Review of Books. "The Museum's decision to completely reject drawing any possible analogies to the Holocaust, or to the events leading up to it, is fundamentally ahistorical," the letter reads. "It has the potential to inflict severe damage on the Museum's ability to continue its role as a credible, leading global institution dedicated to Holocaust memory, Holocaust education, and research in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies," the scholars write.

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
(CNN) - Donald Trump's two eldest children had quite the weekend. Ivanka Trump, traveling with her father in Asia, sought to play the role of a sort of shadow secretary of state. She attended a series of bilateral meetings between the US and foreign powers at the G20. She was part of the photo-op following the President's 20 steps into North Korea with dictator Kim Jong Un. (And she made it awkward!) She tried to edge into a conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, IMF chairwoman Christine Lagarde and British Prime Minister Theresa May on the sidelines of the G20. "You probably saw that Ivanka Trump was -- she's done a fantastic job, and also a fantastic job in getting jobs for a lot of people within our country -- almost 10 million people," Trump told the media during a news conference over the weekend in Osaka, Japan. Donald Trump Jr., for his part, was making news of his own. During Thursday's debate, he retweeted this tweet regarding California Sen. Kamala Harris' racial identity: "Kamala Harris is implying she is descended from American Black Slaves. She's not. She comes from Jamaican Slave Owners. That's fine. She's not an American Black. Period." (Don Jr. later deleted the retweet, which had shared the tweet with the comment, "Is this true? Wow." His spokesman told The New York Times that it was a misunderstanding.)

Marshae Jones was five months pregnant when she was shot in her stomach during a December argument over the fetus's father, police said.
By David K. Li
Lawyers for an Alabama woman, charged with manslaughter after she was shot and her fetus died, demanded Monday that the "unreasonable, irrational" indictment against her be dropped. Marshae Jones was five months pregnant when she was shot in the stomach during a December argument over the fetus's father, police said. A grand jury indicted Jones, reasoning that she should be held criminally liable for allegedly starting the fight that led to the gunfire. "This is an irrational theory which defies even the most basic logic and analysis," according to a motion filed by her lawyer, J. Mark White. The woman who allegedly shot Jones, Ebony Jemison, was initially charged with manslaughter. But a Jefferson County grand jury declined to indict after police said Jones started the fight, and Jemison, 23, ultimately fired in self-defense — though Jones was not armed.

By Chris Mills Rodrigo
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) called former special counsel Robert Mueller an "anal opening" ahead of the former FBI chief's public testimony before Congress. “He’s done some irreparable damage to some things and he’s got to answer for them,” Gohmert told Politico. He is one of 25 Republicans on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees who get to grill Mueller during the back-to-back hearings scheduled later this month. The Texas lawmaker added that his reading of the former special counsel’s report did little to temper his animosity toward Mueller: “It reinforced the anal opening that I believe Mueller to be.”

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