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#MagaFirstNews 8-26-19

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

China signaled on Monday it was now seeking a “calm” end to its ongoing trade war with the U.S., as Asian markets crumbled and China’s currency plummeted to an 11-year low following the latest tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods announced last Friday by the Trump administration.

News of the possible opening in negotiations came shortly after President Trump threatened to declare a national emergency that would result in American businesses freezing their relationships with China.

Trump’s tariff barrage on Friday was a response to China imposing its own retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods. At the Group of Seven summit in France on Sunday, White House officials rejected suggestions the president was wavering and insisted that his only regret was not implementing even more tariffs on China.

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

President Trump on Monday said the U.S. is not seeking regime change in Iran and told reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, that he hopes to see a strong Iran. Trump’s comments came after a day of tense meetings with his European counterparts about how best to approach Iran and the recent tensions in the region. On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise visit at the summit at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump insisted that he knew about Zarif’s appearance but did not meet with him.

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong police have confirmed an officer fired a warning shot as protesters surrounded them and said they arrested 36 people during the latest round of pro-democracy demonstrations. A police news release Monday said that one police officer fell to the ground as protesters threw hard objects at a small group of officers the previous night. The officers could be seen holding up their shields as protesters surged forward swinging sticks and rods. The incident happened after an earlier clash with hundreds of protesters who occupied a main street following a peaceful protest march. Police used tear gas to clear the street, but some protesters remained in the neighborhood. Hardliners confronted police anew after largely holding back the previous weekend. The police deployed two water cannon trucks Sunday for the first time during the 11 weeks of protests. – The Associated Press

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Bernie Sanders renewed his attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a rally in the top Republican’s home state of Kentucky on Sunday afternoon, demanding that McConnell stop his “cowardice” and “have the guts” to immediately take up legislation aimed at reducing gun violence, strengthening election security and raising the federal minimum wage. The blistering address in Louisville came as national Democrats, hoping to retake not only the White House but also the Senate in 2020, increasingly have set their sights on the 77-year-old McConnell.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat and Sanders’ national campaign co-chair, said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he believed former Vice President Joe Biden “regretted” making a comment over the weekend about what would have happened had former President Barack Obama been assassinated while on the campaign trail in 2008. The comment stirred up controversy, but a Biden aide said the candidate has used the analogy before when speaking to younger generations who were not alive during the turbulent 1960s. Biden asserted the assassinations of King and Kennedy raised his political awareness and propelled him to run for office.

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

The Wild West came to Midtown on Sunday when at least three armed bandits — one of whom wore what witnesses described as a cowboy hat — bound workers in a massive jewelry-store heist, according to police. The crooks coolly posed as customers at Avianne and Co. in the heart of the Diamond District, browsing the bling before pulling handguns on the four workers in the shop at the time of the high-noon hold-up, cops said. After restraining the workers with zip ties, the robbers raided the safe and display cases, dumping nearly all of the sparklers into at least one duffle bag before high-tailing it out onto surveillance-camera-lined West 47th Street, according to authorities. – Reported by the New York Post


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Booker was referencing a comment that President Trump made during a White House meeting, when he asked, “Why are we having all these people from s—hole countries come here?” A source in the meeting told Fox News at the time that the president was referring to Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and certain African countries, all of which had temporary protected status, which offers protections for immigrants who cannot return to their home countries due to extreme circumstances, such as armed conflict or natural disaster.Booker also railed against Biden for his record on criminal justice, and for relying too much on references to the Obama administration “when it’s convenient,” only to “dodge it when it’s not.”DOUG SCHOEN: SECOND DEMOCRATIC DEBATE — TWO BIG WINNERS, TWO BIG LOSERS AND ONE BIG, UNANSWERED QUESTIONSen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., let loose on former Vice President Joe Biden during Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, even dropping some profanity that went uncensored by host network CNN.Booker criticized a number of Biden’s positions, pointing specifically to a comment about how people with Ph.D.’s are welcome as immigrants. Booker claimed that the focus on an advanced degree is in line with President Trump’s past statements about preferring some immigrants over others.“Well that’s playing into what the Republicans want, to pit some immigrants against other immigrants,” Booker said. “Some are from s—hole countries, and some are from worthy countries. We need to reform this whole immigration system and begin to be the country that says everyone has worth and dignity, and this should be a country that honors for everyone.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

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The impact of Harris’ move was almost instant: Biden lost some of his lead in the polls while Harris’ numbers climbed.”In response to Senator Biden about the Affordable Care Act, it’s important you understand our ‘Medicare for all’ plan has actually by the architect of the Obama Affordable Care Act been described as one of the most effective ways to bring health care to all,” Harris said at one point during the debate.“Go easy on me, kid,” Biden said, in an apparent reference to the clash between the candidates in Miami last month.Kamala Harris seemed to prove in Miami in June that she was ready to take the offensive against 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.“Senator Biden, your plan will keep and allow insurance companies to remain in status quo, doing business as usual,” Harris said later.“Kid?” came the one-word response from Ian Sams, Harris’ national press secretary.“Fact check: @JoeBiden is not a ‘Senator,’” Bates wrote on Twitter.KAMALA HARRIS ‘GOT IT WRONG’ IN ‘SAD’ ATTACK ON BIDEN, FORMER US SENATOR SAYSFox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPPrior to the debate, Biden had greeted Harris on the debate stage in Detroit.In June, Harris aggressively went after Biden on the debate stage in Miami, criticizing him for comments he had made about his ability to find common ground during the 1970s with segregationist senators with whom he disagreed, and over his opposition decades ago to federally mandated school busing.The references to Biden’s days representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate appeared to irk Andrew Bates, the “rapid response” director for Biden’s campaign.So after Biden referred to the 54-year-old U.S. senator as “kid” on Wednesday, it probably didn’t seem like an accident to some when Harris referred to the 76-year-old former vice president as “Senator” at least twice during Wednesday’s debate in Detroit.

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Earlier Wednesday, Trump also said Democratic 2020 hopefuls, specifically former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will lead the U.S. into an “economic sinkhole” if elected. He also claimed America would have experienced a “Great Recession/Depression” if he had not been elected in 2016.President Trump late Wednesday tweeted a response to CNN’s Democratic debate and said none of the candidates would keep up what he sees as momentum in the country.“…It will soon be time to choose to keep and build upon that prosperity and success, or let it go. We are respected again all around the world. Keep it that way! I said I will never let you down, and I haven’t. We will only grow bigger, better and stronger TOGETHER!,” Trump said. “The people on the stage tonight, and last, were not those that will either Make America Great Again or Keep America Great!” Trump began in a series of tweets around midnight. “Our Country now is breaking records in almost every category, from Stock Market to Military to Unemployment. We have prosperity & success like never before..” the president continued. “The people I saw on stage last night, & you can add in Sleepy Joe, Harris, & the rest, will lead us into an economic sinkhole the likes of which we have never seen before. With me, only up!” Trump said before the second debate Wednesday night.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPAN ENERGIZED BIDEN PUNCHES BACK AGAINST HARRIS, OTHERS IN HEATED DEBATE

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Presidents aren’t required by law to release their tax returns. Nevertheless, between 1974 and 2012, every president but Gerald Ford has made a voluntary release of the tax returns they filed while in office. Ford released no complete returns, but released 10 years of summary data including gross income, taxable income, major deductions, and taxes paid.

This tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure ended in 2017, when President Trump declined to release any personal tax information. Trump has offered various reasons for keeping his returns private, but he has frequently insisted that he won’t make a release while his returns are being audited by the IRS.

2. Are all presidents’ tax returns audited by the IRS?

Since 1977 the Internal Revenue Manual has required that every tax return filed by a sitting president or vice president be subject to an audit. According to IRS officials at the time, the new policy was established “in the interest of sound administration” and in light of “everything that has happened in the past.”

While Trump may be unwilling to release presidential tax returns currently under audit, that’s a prudential decision, not a legal one. There’s no legal bar to releasing returns that are under examination. In fact, every president from Jimmy Carter through Barack Obama released tax returns that were “under audit,” since those returns — generally released publicly within hours of being filed with the IRS — were slated for automatic audit under the IRM.

3. Do presidents release tax returns covering every year they are in office?

Not exactly. Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. That means the first return filed and released by a new president has covered the year before his inauguration. Similarly, returns covering the last year of a president’s final term haven’t typically been released since they were filed after that president had left office.

Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. President Bill Clinton is the exception to that rule, since his joint returns filed after his presidency were then released by Hillary Clinton when she made her 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination.

4. Why did presidents begin to make voluntary disclosures of tax returns in 1974?

The tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure began with a scandal. In 1973 journalists discovered information suggesting that President Richard Nixon had taken large, hard-to-defend deductions on his individual tax returns. After months of media speculation (based chiefly on documents that came to light in an unrelated court case), someone at the IRS leaked information from the president’s returns confirming that he had paid just $792.81 in federal income taxes for 1970 and $878.03 for 1971 — despite having an income of more than $200,000 each year.

To help quell the ensuing uproar — which occasioned Nixon’s oft-quoted insistence that “I am not a crook” — the president decided to make a public release of his tax returns for 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. That tax disclosure was the first made by a sitting U.S. president. (While running for president in 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower disclosed a few key elements of his tax history, but no complete returns.)

Ford, Nixon’s vice president, didn’t release complete tax returns after taking office in the wake of Nixon’s resignation. Ford released a nine-year summary of his tax data when running for president in 1975 and 1976. But starting with Carter, every president through Obama has made an annual disclosure of the tax return he filed during each year in which he held office.

5. Which presidential returns are available in the presidential tax returns archive? Do you have them all?

The archive includes returns disclosed by every president from Nixon through Obama, with the exception of Ford. (Since Ford released only summary tax data, the archive includes a summary.)
The archive doesn’t include any complete presidential tax returns filed by Trump, because he has opted not to release them. However, it includes Trump’s Form 1040 for 2005, which was leaked to the DCReport.org website and later published widely. In a statement, the White House confirmed the accuracy of key figures from this 2005 partial return.

The archive includes returns filed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Those returns weren’t released during either president’s lifetime, but were later made available by their respective presidential libraries.

6. Which vice presidential and candidate tax returns are available in the archive

The archive includes returns filed by Vice Presidents Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. For Cheney, all but one of the returns (filed jointly with his wife) are incomplete, consisting of only a Form 1040. In 2001 the Cheneys released only a press statement summarizing their 2000 return. Returns filed by Pence were released while he was running in the 2016 election. Because Pence has released no returns since taking office, the last return available in the archive is for 2015. Like Trump, Cheney has cited ongoing audits as an explanation for his refusal to release later returns. Returns filed by Vice Presidents Walter Mondale, George H.W. Bush, and some by Al Gore aren’t in the archive. The returns, however, were publicly released by those officials while they held office. They are unavailable now, and we hope to add them to the archive eventually.

For primary candidates and major party nominees, we have returns (or return portions) covering the 2012, 2016, and 2020 election cycles.

7. How many tax returns do candidates typically release?

The number of returns released by presidential candidates varies widely, from a low of zero (Donald Trump) to a high of 33 (Jeb Bush). There is no “typical” or “standard” number of released returns, since disclosures have varied dramatically even within an election cycle.

Even the number of returns released by major party nominees has differed widely.

Tax Returns Disclosed by Major Party Nominees, 1976-2016
1976 1
Jimmy Carter
0 (summary data)
Gerald Ford
1980 5
Jimmy Carter
1
Ronald Reagan
1984 11
Walter Mondale
5
Ronald Reagan
1988 5
Michael Dukakis
14
George H.W. Bush
1992 12
Bill Clinton
18
George H.W. Bush
1996 19
Bill Clinton
30
Robert Dole
2000 8
Al Gore
9
George W. Bush
2004 20
John Kerry
13
George W. Bush
2008 7
Barack Obama
2
John McCain
2012 11
Barack Obama
2
Mitt Romney
2016 24
Hillary Clinton
0
Donald Trump
Sources: Contemporaneous media coverage; Julie Jennings, “Memorandum: Federal Tax Returns Disclosed by Selected Nominees for President and Vice President Since 1916,” Congressional Research Service (Jan. 30, 2019); Ryan Kelly, “Chart: Presidential Candidates’ Tax Returns,” Roll Call (Oct. 21, 2016).

Disclosures have also varied considerably in their completeness. While all major party presidential nominees through the 2012 election released complete (or nearly complete) returns, several candidates in 2016 chose to release only their Form 1040, omitting other required elements of their tax returns, including various schedules and forms.

8. What happened to the tradition of voluntary disclosure?

The voluntary tradition of tax return disclosure — by candidates, nominees, vice presidents, and presidents — was strong until 2016. President Trump’s decision to keep his tax returns private was the most serious challenge to this tradition, but it wasn’t the only one. The decision in 2016 by several candidates in both parties to release incomplete returns was a break with the usual practice of full disclosure. Moreover, while numerous candidates opted for a partial release in 2016, Cheney had already set a precedent for limiting annual disclosures to just a Form 1040.

9. Can Congress compel disclosure?

Whether Congress can compel disclosure of presidential (and vice presidential) tax returns remains to be seen. A law enacted in 1924 empowers key leaders of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees to request tax return information from Treasury, including individual returns filed by just about anyone. Such a request doesn’t necessarily involve public disclosure of the requested information, and indeed, the law requires lawmakers to treat that material confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

The Ways and Means Committee is seeking tax returns filed by Trump, as well as returns from several of his businesses and related audit and administrative materials developed by the IRS. To date, Treasury has declined to provide that information, and the standoff seems likely to find its way to a courtroom sometime soon.

The law requires lawmakers to treat tax return information confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

In a related development, the House passed legislation in March that would require presidents, vice presidents, and major party nominees for both offices to publicly disclose 10 years of tax returns. The legislation is awaiting action in the Senate.

10. Where else can people find presidential tax returns?

Tax Analysts maintains the largest database of publicly available tax returns released by American national politicians.

In theory, tax returns released by specific presidents and vice presidents should be available in the various presidential libraries scattered around the country. In practice, it can be difficult to retrieve those returns, because their sensitive nature often causes them to be flagged for special security screening. Getting that screening done can take considerable time, given staffing shortages at presidential libraries.

The story for candidate and nominee returns is even worse. Because those returns have typically been released by campaigns, not government agencies, official archiving practices don’t apply. Some released returns can still be found online through various news organizations, which occasionally host returns on their own websites.

For the most part, however, candidate returns tend to disappear from public view once the voting is done; technically public, they become effectively private.

But when CNN moderator turned to Gabbard as “the person on stage who served” in Iraq, Gabbard declared: “We were all lied to.” “This is the betrayal . . . betrayal to the American people,” she said. “To me, to my fellow service members, we were lied to, told [Saddam] Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and working with al-Qaida and posed a threat to the American people.” “The problem is that this current president is continuing to betray us,” she charged. “Over years now, not only have we not gone after al-Qaida, who is stronger today than 9/11, our president is supporting al-Qaida.” “I did make a bad judgment trusting the President [George W. Bush] saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the UN to agree,” he said. Vice President Joe Biden was challenged about his vote to go to war in Iraq while he served in the Senate. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said Wednesday night the nation and military were “lied to” about the need to go to war with Iraq.

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He also defended the private option in the Harris proposal, saying, “it puts in place strict requirements for any private insurance company who wants to offer a Medicare plan, including on cost, quality access and services.”Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield, noting that Harris was one of the first senators in 2017 to co-sponsor Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” bill, charged on Monday that the Harris plan would result in “a Bernie Sanders-lite Medicare for All and a refusal to be straight with the American middle class, who would have a large tax increase forced on them with this plan.”And, former Vice President Joe Biden’s team called the Harris plan a “have-it-every-which-way approach” that “both backtracks on her long-promised – but then-hedged – support of Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All legislation.”The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont slammed the Harris proposal, saying, “call it anything you want, but you can’t call this plan Medicare for All.”Biden’s lead over his rivals deteriorated following what was seen as a less-than-stellar debate performance.Hours after White House candidate Sen. Kamala Harris unveiled her plan to push the country towards a government-backed “Medicare-for-all” health care system over the next decade, the California Democrat faced incoming fire from two of her top rivals for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination.Her campaign spotlighted that the Harris plan would allow private insurers to offer Medicare plans. The system – implemented over ten years – would build on the popular Medicare Advantage system while allowing Americans to choose between the government-run public plan and government-backed certified private Medicare plans to reach universal coverage.Sanders is slated to appear in Tuesday night’s debate, standing center-stage with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and eight other rivals.Late last week, Biden again singled out Sanders for being honest about the ramifications of implementing the single-payer health care plan, but he once again questioned Harris’ truthfulness.HARRIS UNVEILS HER ‘MEDICARE-FOR-ALL’ PLAN ON EVE OF DEBATESA few hours later, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir teed off on the Harris proposal, accusing the first-term senator and former California attorney general  of “folding” to the health insurance industry.Harris campaign spokesman Ian Sams returned fire, arguing the criticism from the Sanders campaign was “so factually inaccurate I don’t even know where to begin.”Harris and Biden are to be standing side-by-side center-stage on Wednesday night, during the second of the two debates.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPHarris – in announcing her plan Monday morning – emphasized that unlike Sanders’ single-payer proposal, hers would not completely eliminate the private insurance currently used by hundreds of millions of Americans. However, two new national polls from Fox News and Quinnipiac University indicated the former vice president retained a large lead over his 2020 primary rivals.“This plan is centered around privatizing Medicare, enriching insurance executives and introducing more corporate greed and profiteering into the Medicare system. Further, we can’t wait 10 years to fix a dysfunctional health care system,” Shakir charged.“One idea put forward by Senator Sanders, for example, is increasing taxes for families making as little as ,000 a year,” her campaign spotlighted as they released their candidate’s plan. “She believes that hits the middle class too hard, so she would not raise taxes on families making under 0,000 to help pay for this plan,” her campaign highlighted.“I find that people will say they’re for ‘Medicare-for-all’ but they’re not going to tax the middle class because we don’t need to do that. Come on. My point is, this is a fantasy world here,” Biden emphasized.The former vice president, the front-runner among 2020 Democrats and the only top-tier contender who has not supported a single-payer “Medicare-for-all” system, repeatedly has taken jabs this month at Harris over a lack of straightforwardness on how she’d pay for her plan.Harris has seen her poll numbers rise since the first round of debates, when she went on the attack against Biden, as she criticized recent comments by the former vice president spotlighting his ability to find common ground during the 1970s with segregationist senators with whom he disagreed, and over his opposition decades ago to federally mandated school busing.The Harris rollout and the pushback from the Sanders and Biden campaigns came on the eve of the second round of primary debates featuring the Democrats.THE LATEST FOX NEWS 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY POLLThe Harris campaign also highlighted that unlike Sanders’ plan, hers would not raise taxes on the middle class to pay for her “Medicare-for-all” system.The Harris plan appeared to stake a middle ground between Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” proposal and the public option to enhance ObamaCare that Biden has proposed.Health care has been a top issue with Democratic primary voters while “Medicare-for-all” has been very popular with the progressive base of the party. Public opinion polling has indicated that a majority of Americans would support such a plan if it allowed them to choose between a government-run public plan and certified private options.THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

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“We [Delawareans] were on the South’s side in the Civil War,” Biden is quoted as saying during a campaign speech he delivered in Alabama.

According to Rolling Stone, the quote appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on September 20, 1987.

Delaware was a border state during the Civil War and supported slavery at the time.

The Biden campaign responded with a statement to Rolling Stone that labeled President Donald Trump a “racist maniac.”

On top of that Biden also bragged to others about how he was given an award by former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, a high-profile racist during his day.

“As a young Senator, Joe Biden declared that if George Wallace — an unhinged, racist maniac — became the presidential nominee of his party, he would support Gerald Ford,”

“If more GOP leaders had a scintilla of that same courage in 2016, they wouldn’t be debasing themselves this very minute by defending another unhinged, racist maniac.”

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2020 Dems take shots at Trump And They Are All Blank! Ready For A Reload?

2020 Dems take shots at Trump, clash over policy proposals during Round 1 

The first primary debate of the 2020 presidential election season saw cracks of daylight emerge in a Democratic field that has largely played to the progressive base,with the candidates clashing sharply over controversial policies like “Medicare-for-all” and calls to decriminalize illegal border crossings — while taking ample shots at See More President Trump in the process. Staking out the left flank of the party Wednesday night in Miami were Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — the highest-polling candidate in the first debate batch — and long-shot Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor. They were the only candidates to raise their hands when asked who’s willing to give up their private health insurance for a government option. Warren went on to staunchly defend 2020 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” plan.

Beto O’Rourke, the one-time media darling in the crowded Democratic field who has watched his poll numbers wilt in recent months, looked to regain much of his lost momentum on Wednesday night. While he was among a handful of candidates who gave some responses in Spanish, he repeatedly found himself on the receiving end of swipes from rivals, especially former Housing Secretary Julian Castro.

Among the candidates looking for breakout moments, Castro may have come the closest with his controversial call for the decriminalization of illegal border crossings, challenging his fellow presidential hopefuls to agree to repeal the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that applies. He called out O’Rourke by name for not supporting his proposal, saying, “I think you should do your homework on this issue. If you did your homework on this issue you would know that we should repeal this section.” Discussing the heartbreaking photo that emerged this week of a migrant father and toddler daughter who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande, Castro said it “should piss us all off.”

President Trump, who was on his way to Osaka, Japan, for the G-20 Summit, watched at least the first half-hour of Wednesday’s debate, tweeting a one-word verdict of the event: “BORING!” He later swiped at NBC News and MSNBC for technical difficulties that marred part of the telecast.

Despite their differences on major issues, the candidates – especially Warren — rallied to downplay economic successes and growth under the Trump administration. “It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top,” Warren said of the economy.The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee rapid response team, though, sent email blasts and tweets “fact-checking” and defending the president’s economic record and the creation of “6 million jobs” since Election Day 2016.

Biden, Sanders to share the stage, more fireworks expected in Round 2

The second round of the first Democratic primary debate will take place in Miami on Thursday and will feature the current frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on the same stage. The debate will also include these eight candidates: U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg;U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California; Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper; U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California; author Marianne Williamson; and businessman Andrew Yang

Ahead of G-20 Summit, Trump vows more tariffs on China if no deal is reached
Before leaving for the G-20 Summit, President Trump, in an exclusive interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday, vowed to impose additional tariffs on China if a trade deal is not reached. “When tariffs go on in China, we are taking in billions and billions of dollars,” Trump said. “We never took in 10 cents — now you have another $325 billion that I haven’t taxed yet. It’s ripe for taxing — for putting tariffs on.” Trump is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade between the world’s two largest economies. The result could have broad implications for the markets and the global economy.

Although it’s “possible” to reach a good deal, Trump said his “plan B” may include a 10 percent tariff on the remaining “$600 billion” worth of Chinese goods. Besides Xi, Trump’s agenda in Osaka includes sit-downs with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Teyyip Erdogan, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Woman recalls falling ill in Dominican Republic, says doctor flagged possible poisoning

A Canadian woman who stayed at a Bahia Principe resort in the Dominican Republic in 2016alleges that she fell critically ill after being exposed to a strong chemical odor in her room, and that she has battled multiple health problems ever since. Tina Hammell told CNN that the smell in her room at the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana resort woke her and her husband from a nap. Hammell is one of several people who have come forward to tell reporters about having fallen ill — sometimes requiring hospitalization — while at a resort in the Dominican Republic. After she and her husband returnedhome to Ontario, doctors told her that she may have been poisoned by something in the Dominican Republic.

Possible new clue is search for missing Utah college student

Salt Lake City police reportedly served a search warrant Wednesday at a home connected to the disappearance of a missing Utah college student, reports said. Mackenzie Lueck, 23, was last seen June 17 near a Salt Lake City park after she was dropped off by a Lyft driver. The University of Utah student was returning from her grandmother’s funeral in California. Assistant Chief Tim Doubt said there is a “nexus” between the home and Lueck’s disappearance, but he did not say if anyone has been arrested, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The Lyft driver, who was cleared as a suspect, told police he dropped off Lueck around 3 a.m. at Hatch Park, where another car was waiting for her.

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IRAN Says The Channel For Diplomacy Is Closed ‘Forever’ Should We Or Trump Worry?

Iran blasts new US sanctions, says channel for diplomacy is closed ‘forever’
A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a tweet Tuesday that the new U.S. sanctions that target Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials close any channel for diplomacybetween the two countries “forever.” President Trump signed an executive order Monday issuing See More “hard-hitting” financial sanctions against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his associates. The U.S. and Iran have seen tensions increase exponentially in the past few weeks after an initial U.S. sanctions squeeze that Washington said led to the attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. The situation became increasingly dire last week after Tehran admitted to downing a $100 million U.S. Navy drone. Trump said the sanctions “will deny the supreme leader and the supreme leader’s office and those closely affiliated with him and the office access to key financial resources and support.”

Trump wonders if Biden has a ‘big secret’
Ahead of the first Democratic primary presidential debates on Wednesday and Thursday, President Trump has renewed his attacks on Joe Biden, this time questioning why former President Barack Obama hasn’t endorsed his former vice president. In a new interview with the Hill, Trump wondered if there was a “big secret” as to why Obama has not backed Biden. “How he doesn’t get President Obama to endorse him, there has to be some reason why he’s not endorsing him,” Trump told The Hill. “He was the vice president. They seemed to have gotten along. President Obama not endorsing him is rather… a big secret.”

Report: White House moves to prevent Conway from testifying about alleged Hatch Act violations
The White House has reportedly moved to prevent counselor Kellyanne Counselor from testifying before Congress about allegations of violations of the Hatch Act, the Washington Post reported Monday. The House Oversight Committee, anticipating a lack of cooperation from Conway and the White House, plans to vote Wednesday on a subpoena to force her testimony. In an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Monday, Conway pushed back against a finding that she violated the Hatch Act and dismissed a recommendation that she be fired as an attempt to “silence” her and prevent her from working toward President Trump’s re-election.

Newly-released video footage show Jussie Smollett with rope around his neck
Chicago police released hundreds of files and nearly 70 hours of video footage on Monday from the investigation into Jussie Smollett’s claim back in January that he was attacked by two men — an allegation that police later characterized as a hoax. In one ofthe videos, police body-cam footage showed Smollett — with his face blurred — wearing a white rope that he told detectives his attackers looped around his neck. When one of the officers asked Smollett if he wanted to take the rope off of his neck, the 37-year-old actor did while stating: “Yeah. I do. I just wanted you all to see it.” The release of the footage, marked the latest chapter in a story that began with Smollett’s allegations that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. He eventually was arrested on charges that he lied to police, but prosecutors later dismissed the charges.

Missing mother’s family denies her case is a ‘Gone Girl’ disappearance
Family and friends of missing Connecticut mother of five Jennifer Dulos on Monday countered a claim from her estranged husband’s lawyer that the author was “deeply troubled,” and rejected any suggestions that she was faking her disappearancein a plot similar in the 2015 cinematic thriller “Gone Girl.” In a Fox News interview on Friday, lawyer Norm Pattis said his client, Fotis Dulos, was “emotional, tired, distraught” over the “exhausting ordeal” and disappearance of his estranged wife. He said Jennifer Dulos “had a troubled past,” describing her as a writer who “wrote a manuscript similar to ‘Gone Girl,'” a thriller that later became a hit Hollywood movie. In response, Carrie Luft, a spokeswoman for family and friends of the missing mother, said: “This is not fiction or a movie. This is real life, as experienced every single day by Jennifer’s five young children, her family, and her friends.”

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Prosecution witness admits no evidence of stab wound in Navy SEAL trial.
Pelosi faces revolt in her party over $4.5B emergency aid bill for migrants.
Nebraska woman’s accused killer slashes his neck in courtroom horror: reports.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
EXCLUSIVE: After Stephen Moore’s failed Fed bid, he’s creating a crypto central bank. 
Bitcoin hits $11K: A timeline of cryptocurrency’s rise, fall and rebound.
Average retirement-age Americans have this much in their 401(k), report says.

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