WVPA Sharing

10 things to know: Wednesday, July 31

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The regional bureau of The Associated Press, shares 10 things you need to know Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items and much more in West Virginia newspapers.

1. Warren, Sanders clash with moderate Democrats in debate

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the leading progressives in the Democratic presidential field, clashed with moderates Tuesday during the first of two days of the party’s second round of debates. Sanders, backed by Warren, defended his call for “Medicare-for-all” to “get rid of the profiteering of the drug companies and the insurance companies.” South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg advocated a more modest liberal health-care policy. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) called Sanders’ and Warren’s policies “fairy tale” promises. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) called for bold ideas “grounded in reality.” Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper warned overreaching would “FedEx the election to Donald Trump.” Warren said moderates were too timid. “We’re not going to solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness,” Warren said. [The New York Times, The Washington Post]

2. North Korea reportedly launches 2 more missiles

North Korea on Wednesday launched two short-range ballistic missiles for the second time in a week, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. It was the third such launch in as many months. The U.S. confirmed the launch but said the missiles fell into the sea without posing a threat to the U.S. or its allies. South Korea’s military warned that the recent launches did “not aid in efforts to ease the tension on the Korean Peninsula.” The launches have been widely interpreted as a sign of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s frustration at the collapse of talks in which the U.S. pushed for curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and North Korea demanded sanctions relief and other incentives. [CNN]

3. Newsom signs California law requiring tax returns from presidential candidates

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat and frequent critic of President Trump, on Tuesday signed a law mandating that presidential candidates release tax returns before they can appear on a primary ballot. It’s a symbolic rebuke to Trump’s record-withholding, but his noncompliance probably wouldn’t ruin his chances at the Republican nomination since he faces no major GOP challenger. The law Newsom signed would require any candidate for president or California governor to submit at least five years’ worth of tax returns to California’s secretary of state at least 98 days before a primary. Former Gov. Jerry Brown (D) declined to sign a similar bill in 2017, suggesting it could lead to a path where birth certificates and other compounding documentation was required to get on a ballot. [The Associated Press]

4. ACLU says Trump administration continuing family separations despite ruling

American Civil Liberties Union lawyers on Tuesday said in court that the Trump administration had used a legal loophole to justify taking more than 900 migrant children from their parents in the year since a court ordered the government to curb the family separation policy. The June 2018 court ruling called for avoiding such separations except when “the adults pose a risk to the child because of their criminal record, a communicable disease, abuse, or neglect.” The ACLU claims that the Trump administration has continued the practice over minor offenses, including minor traffic violations. The ACLU claims 911 children were separated from their parents between the June 2018 court order and June 29, 2019. Last year, some 2,700 children were separated from their parents. [The Washington Post]

5. Trump says China stalling trade deal hoping to negotiate with Democrat

President Trump on Tuesday said that China is trying to stall trade negotiations hoping a Democrat will win the 2020 presidential election and be a pushover. “They would just love if I got defeated,” he said, “so they could deal with somebody like Elizabeth Warren or Sleepy Joe Biden.” Trump tweeted that China shouldn’t wait because “if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher.” Trump also insisted China is being hurt more than the U.S. in the trade war. Trump’s comments came as representatives of the world’s two largest economies met in Shanghai to restart talks on ending their tariff war. The meeting wrapped up Wednesday. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said U.S. flip-flops were holding up a deal. [The Associated Press]

6. Trump says Post, not McConnell, is ‘Russian asset’

President Trump defended Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) following a Washington Post opinion piece by Dana Milbank that said McConnell is helping Russia by blocking legislation intended to increase election security. When asked about the Friday column, which ran under the headline “Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset,” Trump said the Post was “a Russian asset by comparison.” McConnell called the suggestion that he was helping Russian President Vladimir Putin “modern-day McCarthyism.” The Post‘s editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, said Milbank made a “legitimate” argument that McConnell’s effort to block election-security legislation “will harm the United States and work to Russia’s advantage.” He said McConnell had every right to express a different view, but that Milbank’s assertion had “nothing to do with McCarthyism.” [The Washington Post]

7. Gunman kills 2 at Mississippi Walmart

A gunman killed two men at a Mississippi Walmart on Tuesday. A suspect identified as a disgruntled former employee was arrested after he was shot in an exchange of fire with two police officers, Southaven Police Chief Macon Moore said. The suspect underwent surgery at a local hospital. One officer was hit in his bulletproof vest and was taken to a hospital, but he was not badly injured, Moore said. Both of the people killed were Walmart employees. One died in the store, the other in the parking lot. The victims were identified as 38-year-old Brandon Gales, a 16-year Walmart employee, and 40-year-old Anthony Brown, a store manager and father of two. Police did not identify the suspect. [USA Today]

8. Report: Puerto Rico governor picks proposed successor

Puerto Rico’s outgoing governor, Ricardo Rosselló, reportedly has chosen his successor, just days before he leaves office. Rosselló, who announced he was stepping down after weeks of anti-government protests, plans to name the island’s former congressional representative, Pedro Pierluisi, as his new secretary of state and therefore the next in line to take over, El Nuevo Dia newspaper reported. The previous secretary of state resigned before Rosselló as protests mounted over corruption and the release of profane chat messages between the governor and top aides. Pierluisi, a corporate lawyer, would have to be approved by the U.S. Caribbean territory’s legislature, but his nomination is not guaranteed: Puerto Rico Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz of Rosselló’s New Progressive Party wants the job. [El Nuevo Dia, Reuters]

9. Apple shares rise on strong earnings despite falling iPhone sales

Apple on Tuesday reported that its profit fell by 13 percent to $10 billion in the latest quarter as iPhone sales continued to decline, but its earnings beat expectations, sending its stock rising by more than 4 percent in after-hours trading. Global iPhone sales declined by 12 percent, roughly meeting expectations, after falling by 17 percent in the previous quarter. Sales of the smartphone totaled $25.99 billion, marking their first drop in seven years to less than half of the company’s quarterly revenue. Apple is trying to offset this weakness by getting more income from music and other digital services, a potential way to squeeze revenue growth out of the 900 million iPhones already in use. The company gave an optimistic outlook for the current quarter, helping to boost its shares. [Reuters, MarketWatch]

10. Jill Ellis steps down as U.S. women’s soccer team coach

Jill Ellis, the coach of the U.S. Women’s National soccer team, is stepping down, U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday. Ellis led the team to two consecutive Women’s World Cup victories since taking the post in 2014, and is still with the team as they complete their current World Cup victory tour. Ellis’ contract was set to expire July 31, and she hadn’t commented on whether she would stay with U.S. soccer, leading to speculation of her departure, though it was possible for her to coach the USWNT through the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. “When I accepted the head coaching position this was the timeframe I envisioned,” Ellis said. “The timing is right to move on and the program is positioned to remain at the pinnacle of women’s soccer.” [Yahoo Sports]

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