WVPA Sharing

10 things to know: Tuesday, June 25

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The regional bureau of The Associated Press, shares 10 things you need to know Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items and much more in West Virginia newspapers.

1. Trump imposes new sanctions on Iran

President Trump on Monday announced new sanctions against Iran in retaliation for its downing of an American drone and other hostile acts. The move marked the latest in a series of measures ratcheting up pressure on Iran’s leaders, partly out of concern over their plans to stockpile more nuclear fuel. The new sanctions block access to international financial systems by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, along with eight Iranian military commanders, including the one in charge of the unit Washington blames for shooting down the drone last week. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the sanctions “outrageous and idiotic,” and an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Trump administration was closing “the doors of diplomacy.” Trump vowed to “continue to increase pressure on Tehran” so it could never acquire nuclear weapons. [The New York Times, The Washington Post]

2. Migrant children relocated from ‘inhumane’ Texas facility

Federal authorities moved nearly all of the more than 300 migrant children who were being housed at a filthy Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas. About 30 remain. The transfer followed reports that the kids were hungry and living in unsanitary conditions. Migrants are supposed to be detained at Border Patrol stations for no longer than 72 hours, but some of the minors had been there for three weeks. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) described the conditions at the station as “inhumane.” The case, along with other reports of facilities with poor conditions, suggests that overcrowding at federal border facilities is reaching a breaking point. “The situation becomes more dire each day,” said Evelyn Stauffer, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. [USA Today, The New York Times]

3. Trump denies E. Jean Carroll rape allegation: ‘She’s not my type’

President Trump on Monday vehemently denied writer E. Jean Carroll’s allegation that he raped her in a New York department store in the 1990s, saying that she was “totally lying.” “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type,” Trump told The Hill. “Number two, it never happened.” Carroll told CNN that she and Trump engaged in playful banter at Bergdorf Goodman before Trump cornered her in a dressing room. “He pulled down my tights,” she said, “and it was a fight.” Carroll, who first made the allegation Friday, responded to Trump’s latest denial by noting that Trump also has denied allegations of sexual misconduct made by other women. “He denies, he turns it around, he threatens, and he attacks,” she said. [The Hill]

4. Supreme Court strikes down ban on ‘scandalous’ trademarks

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a provision of a federal law barring the registration of “immoral” or “scandalous” trademarks, calling it a violation of the First Amendment. The case centered on entrepreneur Erik Brunetti’s attempt to apply for a federal trademark for his clothing line, FUCT, which stands for “Friends U Can’t Trust.” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the majority opinion that the prohibition infringes the First Amendment because it “disfavors certain ideas.” Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented in part, seeking to preserve the part of the statut prohibiting “scandalous” trademarks. [CNN]

5. Sanders proposes eliminating all U.S. student debt

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday proposed eliminating all $1.6 trillion of U.S. student debt and making all public universities, community colleges, and trade schools tuition-free. His plan is broader and more expensive than those offered by fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Julián Castro. Sanders says he will pay for it with a tax on stock transactions and bonds. Whereas competing plans would help only lower-income Americans, Sanders proposes canceling all student debt, including for private colleges and graduate schools. Critics say the proposal would primarily help educated Americans who typically earn more. [The Washington Post]

6. Supreme Court rejects tougher sentences for gun crimes

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a law imposing harsher penalties on people who use guns in a “crime of violence” is unconstitutionally vague. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s two picks for the court, were on opposing sides in the 5-4 decision. Gorsuch sided with the court’s four liberal justices in the majority. “Even the government admits that this language … provides no reliable way to determine which offenses qualify as crimes of violence and thus is unconstitutionally vague,” he wrote for the majority. The vagueness leaves it up to lawyers and judges to decide what qualifies as a crime of violence, but elected lawmakers should make that determination, Gorsuch said. [Fox News]

7. White House: Conway declining request to testify to House panel

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is declining a request to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on allegations that she violated the Hatch Act by engaging in partisan politics while serving as a federal employee, the White House said Monday in a letter to the panel’s chair, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). Special Counsel Henry Kerner will discuss the matter in testimony Wednesday. In an opening statement released Monday, Kerner criticized Conway for her “egregious and repeated Hatch Act violations,” as well as her “unrepentant attitude,” which he called “unacceptable from any federal employee.” The Office of Special Counsel, a federal watchdog, recommended earlier this month that Conway be fired. Conway denied doing anything wrong. President Trump has said he has no plans to fire Conway. [Politico, The Daily Beast]

8. Trump: Fed resisting call for rate cut like ‘stubborn child’

President Trump resumed his criticism of the Federal Reserve on Monday, tweeting that the central bank acted “like a stubborn child” when it declined to raise interest rates last week. Trump initially shrugged off the Fed’s decision after its two-day meeting, saying you “can’t win them all.” Trump said Monday that if the Fed had pumped more money into the economy by trimming rates instead of hiking them last year, growth would have been 4 percent, 5 percent, or more. That, he added, would have led the Dow to be “thousands of points higher.” The economy wound up growing by 2.9 percent in 2018. Fed officials have said recently that persistent low inflation and headwinds from trade tensions could lead them to reduce rates soon, and many analysts expect a cut at the Fed’s July meeting. [MarketWatch]

9. Police arrest Massachusetts man over crash that killed 7 motorcyclists

Police arrested Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, at his Massachusetts home on Monday and charged him with negligent homicide for allegedly crashing his truck into a group of motorcyclists in New Hampshire on Friday, leaving seven people dead. “Mr. Zhukovskyy was taken into custody on a fugitive from justice charge,” the New Hampshire attorney general’s office said in a statement. A 2016 Dodge 2500 pickup pulling a trailer for hauling cars hit the motorcyclists, members of a club of New England Marines and their spouses, on a remote New Hampshire highway. Zhukovskyy has been arrested twice for drunken driving, once in 2013 and again in May 2019. [USA Today, CBS News]

10. U.S. moves on to quarterfinals in Women’s World Cup

The U.S. women’s soccer team gave up its first goal of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Monday when Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso scored in the 9th minute during the knockout stage contest. The U.S.’s Megan Rapinoe converted two penalty kicks, giving the U.S. a 2-1 win. The U.S., the tournament favorites, infamously pounded Thailand in their group stage opener, 13-0, before shutting out Chile and Sweden, 3-0 and 2-0, respectively, to clinch the group. Spain, though, gave the U.S. their toughest challenge of the tournament in a win-or-go-home situation. The U.S. will now move on to play France, which beat Brazil 2-1 on Sunday, in the quarterfinals. [ESPN]

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