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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Scott Pruitt, the embattled E.P.A. chief wracked by scandal, is out.
He resigned amid allegations of legal and ethical violations and a string of federal inquiries into his spending and management practices.
The new acting E.P.A. administrator, Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal lobbyist who shares Mr. Pruitt’s zeal for undoing environmental regulations.
2. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headed to North Korea today, facing a steep challenge: ironing out a clear schedule for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
President Trump has celebrated his meeting with North Korea’s leader last month, but Kim Jong-un retains all of his nuclear abilities, and thus his leverage. Above, Mr. Pompeo after the U.S.-North Korea meeting.
And the Iran deal looms over the talks. Mr. Pompeo must exceed the terms of that agreement, which Mr. Trump dismissed as a “disaster” before pulling out of it two months ago.
3. Set your clock for a trade war.
New U.S. tariffs go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, affecting $ 34 billion of Chinese products. China plans retaliation in kind, and U.S. businesses are bracing by halting hiring, putting off expenses and otherwise cutting costs.
Farmers, automakers and energy companies — the very industries President Trump has vowed to boost — are feeling the consequences. One farmer’s words for the president: “Man, you are messing up our market.”
4. Immigration officials said they were mounting a round-the-clock effort involving hundreds of federal workers to try to meet the court-ordered deadlines to reunite families separated at the border with Mexico.
Officials say about 100 of the children are under the age of 5; they must be reunited by Tuesday. Some 3,000 other children must be reunited by July 26.
Also, we took a look at two of the front-runners for the Supreme Court vacancy, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, as well as at the split in the Republican Party these very different candidates reflect.
5. The poisoning of a former Russian agent and his daughter in London four months ago opened up a diplomatic crisis after Britain blamed Russia.
Now, with two British citizens critically ill from an exposure to the same nerve agent, Novichok, experts are treading cautiously as they weigh theories of exactly what happened. Above, an investigation scene in Salisbury, England.
“Many of you will question whether this incident is linked to that one,” the British home secretary told the House of Commons. “That is clearly the main line of inquiry. However, we must not jump to conclusions.”
6. Poland is in upheaval after the ouster of 27 Supreme Court justices, including its top judge, Malgorzata Gersdorf, above.
Protesters took to the streets to support the judges, and Polish legal experts admitted they were utterly confused about where things stood.
A former president warned of “civil war” if the right-wing governing party did not cease efforts to erode the independence of the judiciary.
7. “Of course we made mistakes, but anyone can make a mistake.”
That was a German woman who had gone to Syria voluntarily with her husband to join the Islamic State. Now she’s one of the more than 2,000 wives and children of ISIS fighters being warehoused in the region.
Their home countries — mostly in Europe, North America and the Middle East — don’t want them back, fearing they could spread radical Islamist ideology. No one knows what to do with them.
“You told us to leave ISIS and we left, but we are still considered ISIS,” a Moroccan woman said. “So who is responsible for us? Who will determine our fate?”
8. The smart TVs in millions of homes track a lot more than what’s on tonight.
Samba TV, one of the bigger companies mining viewers’ history to personalize “what to watch” recommendations, uses that data to help advertisers. Some may, for instance, want their ads to go to people who favor liberal or conservative news.
Advertisers are particularly interested in Samba’s ability to identify other devices in the home that share the TV’s internet connection, enabling follow-up ads (or ads countering a rival’s) to be directed to them.
9. From the World Cup:
Quarterfinals begin Friday, with France versus Uruguay and Brazil versus Belgium. Here’s the full schedule.
And here’s how to watch the games that have already aired, in case you want to catch up
You may want to pay particular attention to Brazil’s Neymar, one of the world’s best soccer players who is also known for over-the-top pantomimes of pain. (See above.)
The acting experts we consulted said he could use a little work.
10. Finally, while record-breaking temperatures may lead you to think we’re closer to the sun, it’s actually just the opposite.
On Friday Earth will swing toward the outermost point in its orbit, known as aphelion.
Sadly, this doesn’t mean we can expect any relief from the heat.
(And if you’ve been missing the late-night roundups, never fear: The shows, and our recaps, will return next week.)
Have a great evening.
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