The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet




Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Happy Tuesday! Our newsletter gets you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Co-creators are Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver (CLICK HERE to subscribe!). On Twitter, find us at @asimendinger and @alweaver22.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE on Monday dismissed accusations that he used offensive and bigoted rhetoric over the weekend while urging female Democratic members of Congress to “go back” to their home countries.


“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump told reporters, arguing that past criticism by the lawmakers about Israel and about him were worse.   


The president’s swipes at four progressive freshman House members — three born in the United States, one born in Somalia — and all women of color — were widely denounced as racist by Democrats, panned by some Republicans, and criticized as beneath the dignity of any president by several Trump allies and occasional advisers.


White House aides and supporters of the president who had been mostly quiet over the weekend began to defend Trump on Monday as he came under attack at home and abroad (The Hill).


Trump’s return to themes of nationalism and race, which he used along with anti-immigrant messages to mobilize voters in key states in 2016, signals his belief that his reelection may depend on keeping his base stoked from news cycle to tweet for more than a year.


“The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four “progressives,” but now they are forced to embrace them,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!


As Niall Stanage reports, the president believes there’s a political advantage for him, more than for his party, in staging polarizing confrontations with high-profile progressive figures including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezObamas' first Netflix project nominated for Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Sanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Democrat launches primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTrump labels Tlaib 'a despicable human being' Tlaib says Democrats have discussed detaining White House officials who don't testify The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarIlhan Omar raises .1 million in third quarter New California law bans school lunch debt shaming The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster MORE (D-Minn.). Trump is adding ingredients to the most toxic election in memory.


The president’s behavior served this week to unite House Democrats against him, at a time when Democrats were at odds with one another and with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says Trump sanctions package on Turkey 'falls very short' Graham throws support behind Trump's Turkey sanctions Feehery: Trump may be down, but he's not out yet MORE (D-Calif.) over intra-party differences and fuming about what progressives described as the leadership’s lack of “spine.”


GOP senators chafed at the latest Trump firestorm because it united their ideological foes, however briefly.


“When you argue with a fool, you just prove there's two,” Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) said. “An important rule in politics and in government is you never interrupt your opponent when he's screwing up. Congresswoman Omar and her colleagues are destroying the Democratic Party. I'd just go ahead and let them do it if that's what they want to do.”


Since 2015, Trump has not suffered major consequences for his incendiary rhetoric about race. Democrats find their low opinions of the president reinforced, and Trump’s fans in the GOP applaud his gall. It is Trump’s Republican Party now, and he heard from a scant collection of fellow conservatives who felt the need to call him out. Most tried to keep their heads down.


"It takes up oxygen in your world, but in ours we're used to it," Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones Portman10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable GOP braces for impeachment brawl GOP senator: 'Not appropriate' to ask foreign governments to investigate Biden MORE (R-Ohio) told reporters, adding that he would prefer Trump focus on the economy and other issues. "I wish that he would talk about the strong economy and the key role he has played in that because that's a positive thing that actually helps unify the country.”


The Hill: Omar calls Trump “blatantly racist.”


The Hill: Democrats erupt over Trump attacks.


Carl Hulse: A blaring message in Republicans’ muted criticism: It’s Trump’s GOP.


The Hill: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump defends 'crime buster' Giuliani amid reported probe Louisiana voters head to the polls in governor's race as Trump urges GOP support Trump urges Louisiana voters to back GOP in governor's race then 'enjoy the game' MORE (D-N.Y.) wants the Senate to vote on a resolution of condemnation taking aim at Trump’s tweets, a vote that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFury over Trump Syria decision grows Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe Trump: Let Assad, Russia or China protect the Kurds MORE (R-Ky.) will not permit. Pelosi wants the House to do the same, but in her caucus, Democratic lawmakers have also called again for impeachment. House Republicans face a tough vote, and Trump will confer with House GOP leaders at the White House this afternoon.


Marc Lotter, the director of strategic communications for the Trump 2020 campaign, told NPR on Monday that the president wants to show voters that Ocasio-Cortez and her closest colleagues, known as “the squad,” “have approval ratings in swing states between 8 and 20 percent. And when they are driving the policy language and the policy decisions of the Democrat Party … it's going to be a choice for the American people.”


Politico: How Trump aides rushed to repackage the president’s “go back” tweets.


The Associated Press: Polls show sour views of race relations in Trump’s America.





CONGRESS & INVESTIGATIONS: With only seven legislative days standing between House members and a six-week August recess, crunchtime has arrived on Capitol Hill as lawmakers look to strike a budget and debt ceiling deal. 


Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump hypes China trade deal as new doubts emerge Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire MORE told reporters at the White House that a budget accord could be struck in the near future, but remained cautious while many moving parts remain in play. 


"I think we’re very close to a deal. But as you know these deals are complicated," Mnuchin said, adding that if lawmakers are unable to agree before the August recess, he expects Congress to at least raise the debt ceiling (The Hill).


"Of course I expect the debt ceiling to be raised on time because I would say ... there’s no uncertainty that neither party nor anybody wants to put the credit risk of the United States government at risk," Mnuchin said. "So yes, I expect that the debt ceiling will be raised."


Mnuchin’s remarks came on the heels of letters he sent to congressional leaders on Friday urging them to act on the debt ceiling before recess kicks off, noting the government could hit its borrowing cap in early September. Lawmakers are slated to return from recess on Sept. 9. 


Despite his optimism that lawmakers will vote to raise the debt ceiling before August, Pelosi tossed cold water on that possibility, telling him in a phone call late Monday that is not something that’s “acceptable to our caucus” and won’t pass if put on the floor. She also told Mnuchin that while they still hope to reach a spending deal by the end of next week, they will not allow the White House to dictate terms of negotiation (The Washington Post).


Mnuchin and Pelosi have held phone calls almost daily over the past week, and if there’s agreement, it could represent a blow to hardliners who resist increased federal spending. As with past negotiations, any deal hinges on Democrats receiving funding increases and Republican defense hawks winning a bigger piece of the pie for the Pentagon (The Associated Press). 


The Hill: White House projects $1 trillion deficit for 2019.



> Contempt: The House is set to vote Tuesday on whether to hold Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrBarr bemoans 'moral upheaval' that has brought 'suffering and misery' Trump threatens to sue Schiff and Pelosi Democratic lawmaker says Barr's reported meeting with Murdoch should be investigated MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOvernight Energy: Dems subpoena Perry in impeachment inquiry | EPA to overhaul rules on lead contamination tests | Commerce staff wrote statement rebuking weather service for contradicting Trump Commerce staff drafted statement rebuking weather service for contradicting Trump's hurricane predictions US, in reversal, does not support Brazil's entry to OECD MORE in criminal contempt for not complying with congressional subpoenas on the thwarted attempts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. 


The vote comes amid the continued effort by Democrats to conduct oversight of the administration, which has included subpoenas of more than two dozen administration officials, many of whom have stonewalled and ignored them. Previously, the House Oversight and Reform Committee voted to hold Barr and Ross in contempt ahead of the July Fourth recess (The Hill). 


Bloomberg: Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway hits Republicans for not saying Trump's name while criticizing policy Stephen Miller defends Trump, accuses Democrats of 'witch hunt part two' George Conway, conservative attorneys urge House to move quickly on impeachment MORE skips House hearing despite subpoena.


> Pentagon: Defense Secretary nominee Mark Esper will face senators on Tuesday who are eager to fill a leadership hole that has languished empty for months after the resignation of former Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisUS leaves dozens of 'high value' ISIS detainees behind amid Syria retreat: report White House officials stand by Syria withdrawal, sanctions delay amid bipartisan pushback Sunday shows — Officials rush to Trump's defense on Syria, sanctions MORE and the failed nomination of former acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanDefense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall Why Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary MORE


Esper has won praise from both sides of the aisle as a known quantity who worked well with Congress in his previous job as Army secretary, but he’s expected to face tough questions from everything on his history as a lobbyist to the Trump administration’s strategy for dealing with Iran amid spiking tensions.


The permanent spot atop the Pentagon has remained open for 208 days after Mattis resigned over the president’s decision to remove troops from Syria (The Hill). 


> House Democrats: While Ocasio-Cortez remains embroiled in her fight with Trump, her chief of staff is facing problems on the homefront as he draws the ire of House Democrats over his attacks on Pelosi and Democratic leadership. 


Saikat Chakrabarti has gotten under the skin of some of his boss’s colleagues as he attacks Democratic lawmakers by name on social media — a rarity — but Chakrabarti isn’t a run-of-the-mill aide. He’s a tech entrepreneur who left Silicon Valley to become more involved in political activism and who helped recruit Ocasio-Cortez to Congress (The Hill). 


Elsewhere in Congress … Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be on Capitol Hill today to brief lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on how spending and taxing decisions are playing out across the country. Ballmer founded USAFacts in 2015, a non-partisan, nonprofit initiative to provide one-stop shopping for key government data, which often is challenging to locate on its own.



2020 POLITICS & CAMPAIGNS: While the top tier candidates vying for the Democratic nomination had already released their second quarter fundraising totals, most of the middle and lower tier candidates waited until close to Monday night’s deadline to release their numbers. No candidate outside of the top five contenders — Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSupport drops for Medicare for All but increases for public option Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegO'Rourke hits back at Buttigieg over criticism of his gun buyback proposal Chasten Buttigieg fundraising for husband Pete overseas Progressives fume at Buttigieg, warn him not to attack Warren at debate MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisO'Rourke hits back at Buttigieg over criticism of his gun buyback proposal Warren leads Democratic field by 3 points in new national poll Analysis: Warren and Booker most cyber-aware 2020 candidates MORE (D-Calif.), Warren and Sanders — all of whom raised north of $12 million, raised more than $5 million during the second quarter, with Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-Texas) total raising the most eyebrows after his shock-and-awe first quarter (The Hill).


After raising $9.4 million in the first 18 days of his presidential bid, O’Rourke’s second quarter total plummeted to $3.6 million, raising questions about his viability moving forward in the 2020 race. Not only was his total far less than the first quarter figure, but he posted stronger fundraising numbers throughout 2018 during his Senate run against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Lawmakers return to work as Dem candidates set to debate Cruz: 'Of course' it's not appropriate to ask China to investigate Bidens Sunday Show Preview: Trump's allies and administration defend decision on Syria MORE (R-Texas). Making matters worse, O’Rourke did not register once in a poll of New Hampshire registered voters released Monday by St. Anselm College (The Hill).


One thing O’Rourke does have going for him that other lower-tier candidates do not: his fundraising has allowed him to reach the debate stage in September under Democratic National Committee rules, having eclipsed the necessary 130,000 donors in a requisite number of states. It’s turning out to be a high bar for some candidates to meet (Politico). 


Another candidate who struggled fundraising wise is Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Gillibrand2020 Presidential Candidates Krystal Ball: Yang campaign a 'triumph of substance over the theatre' Three 2020 candidates have missed about half of Senate votes MORE (D-N.Y.), who was unable to put together a strong quarter after posting underwhelming figures in the first quarter. She raised only $2.3 million, with the likes of Andrew YangAndrew YangHillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Saagar Enjeti: Tuesday's Democratic debate already 'rigged' against Gabbard, Sanders Analysis: Warren and Booker most cyber-aware 2020 candidates MORE, Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand Bennet2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the October showdown The Hill's Campaign Report: Impeachment fight to take center stage at Dem debate 2020 Presidential Candidates MORE (D-Colo.) and Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert Inslee2020 Presidential Candidates Warren environmental justice plan focuses third of climate investment on disadvantaged communities Poll: Warren closing in on Biden's lead with climate-focused voters MORE all eclipsing her total. She still has over $8 million in the bank thanks to transfers from her Senate account. 


Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill O'Rourke hits back at Buttigieg over criticism of his gun buyback proposal Progressives fume at Buttigieg, warn him not to attack Warren at debate MORE (D-N.J.) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Analysis: Warren and Booker most cyber-aware 2020 candidates Poll: Democratic support for Warren climbs to record high MORE (D-Minn.) both of whom are firmly in the second tier of candidates, raised $4.5 million and $3.9 million, respectively. Klobuchar’s campaign announced it eclipsed 100,000 unique donors, while Booker is closing in on that figure. 


The Washington Post: Low-polling Democratic presidential candidates spent almost all the money they raised in the second quarter.


Reuters: Democratic presidential hopefuls spend heavily on digital ads, staff.


The Wall Street Journal: Underdogs in 2020 Democratic field face a reality check.


The New York Times: Trump campaign invests big in small donors, and reaps rewards.


Politico: GOP mega-donors pour money into Trump campaign.



> Netroots Nation: Progressive voters want nothing more than to defeat the president in 2020, and they’re ready to back anyone who emerges from the Democratic primary fight to do so.


As Miranda Green reports from the Netroots Nation convention, many in the crowd expressed a willingness to back whoever wins the party’s nomination — even if a centrist candidate emerges who they could never support in a primary contest. Most voters at the conference indicated their top candidates are Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSupport drops for Medicare for All but increases for public option Hillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Feehery: Trump may be down, but he's not out yet MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSupport drops for Medicare for All but increases for public option Hillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill On The Money: Trump touts China trade deal | Wall Street, Washington see signs for caution | Trump threatens sanctions on Turkey | Sanders proposes sharp hike to corporate taxes MORE (I-Vt.)


One attendee said she'd vote for Mickey Mouse if he were the candidate, noting a shift in perspective from previous years, particularly 2016, when many supporters of Sanders refused to support Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSaagar Enjeti: Tuesday's Democratic debate already 'rigged' against Gabbard, Sanders Ilhan Omar raises .1 million in third quarter Bloomberg rethinking running for president: report MORE come election day. Only a handful of attendees said they would likely back a third-party candidate if Warren or Sanders didn’t get the nod.


The Associated Press: Biden draws line against progressives on health care.


The Washington Post: Dow breast implant case spotlights Warren’s work helping big corporations navigate bankruptcies. 


Politico: Harris wins endorsement of civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.


WHITE HOUSE & ADMINISTRATION: Using administrative rulemaking and existing law, the Trump administration today will order that asylum-seekers to the United States must apply from inside the safe country they pass through first as they flee their home countries. In a joint statement on Monday, the Justice and Homeland Security departments said a new “interim final rule,” which takes effect immediately, will sharply restrict access to the existing system for asylum-seekers (The Hill).


Trump has repeatedly asserted that the majority of migrants from Central America who make it to the United States to claim asylum are abusing the system and do not qualify to live in America while they await court hearings, which can take years (The Washington Post).


The American Civil Liberties Association said it will “swiftly” head to court to try to block the administration’s action (The Hill).


The New York Times: Most migrants at the border with Mexico would be denied asylum protections under the new Trump rule.


The Associated Press: The overwhelming majority of migrants affected by the rule are from Central America, but there are also migrants from Africa, Cuba, Haiti and other countries who attempt to come through the U.S.-Mexico border with asylum claims.


The text of the administration rule, published in the Federal Register, is HERE.


> Abortion: On Monday, the administration said taxpayer-funded family planning clinics must stop referring women to abortion providers immediately, announcing it will begin enforcing a new regulation championed by religious conservatives and denounced by medical organizations and women’s rights groups.


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) formally notified family planning clinics that it will begin enforcing the ban on abortion referrals, along with a requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions. Another requirement that both kinds of facilities cannot be under the same roof would take effect next year.


Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics are suing the administration in federal court to overturn the regulations, but HHS says there are no current judicial orders that prevent the government from enforcing the rule while litigation continues (The Associated Press).

The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: and We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!


Congress, stop ducking war-declaration authority on Iran, by former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), opinion contributor, The Hill. 


Ending asylum protection won't do anything to stop illegal border crossings, by Nolan Rappaport, opinion contributor, The Hill. 


Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassDemocrats zero in on Ukraine call as impeachment support grows CBC marks 400th anniversary of slaves' arrival in US Senate could protect girls from sexual exploitation — but will it? MORE (D-Calif.) to discuss the upcoming hearing on women and girls in the criminal justice system; Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director at the Judicial Crisis Network, to talk about her new book, “Justice on Trial,” about the Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughThe impeachment controversy drags Supreme Court into the politics of the Trump era Supreme Court can prove its independence — or its partisan capture Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood plans M campaign for 2020 | Dem candidates embrace aggressive step on drug prices | Officials propose changes to encourage 'value-based' care MORE nomination fight; and Krish Vignarajah, president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, to promote the group’s new initiative to activate faith-based groups to stand against mass immigration raids at 9 a.m. ET. Find Hill.TV programming at or on YouTube at 10 a.m.


The House meets at 10 a.m. 


The Senate convenes at 10 a.m.


The president meets with his Cabinet at 11:30 a.m. and has lunch with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump: Let Assad, Russia or China protect the Kurds Reporter presses Pompeo on whether he met with Giuliani in Warsaw Pompeo: 'I wish the NBA would acknowledge' China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims MORE at 12:45 p.m. He’ll meet in the Roosevelt Room at 4 p.m. with House Republican leaders.


Vice President Pence delivers remarks at the Neil Armstrong spacesuit unveiling at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum at 8:45 a.m. He will join the president’s Cabinet meeting at 11:30 a.m. The vice president will meet with Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at 3:15 p.m. in his West Wing office. And Pence will meet with New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters at 3:45 p.m.


The Washington Post hosts a live event to interview presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 9 a.m., part of its series with 2020 White House contenders. The discussion will be live streamed. Information HERE.


The Library of Congress hosts a live discussion between political analysts and former presidential advisers David AxelrodDavid AxelrodTrump thanks Reid for warning Democrats not to underestimate him Reid warns Democrats not to underestimate Trump Axelrod blasts Trump's Romney tweet: He thinks laws and norms 'are for losers' MORE and Karl RoveKarl Christian RoveWashington Post fact-checker gives Plame three Pinocchios for Libby claim Karl Rove: Both parties are 'broken' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE at 6:30 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium in the library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE, Washington, D.C. Journalist Ann Compton moderates. The public event is free and it will be live-tweeted and live streamed. Tickets and information HERE.


The Smithsonian Institution tonight, Wednesday and Thursday will transform the east face of the Washington Monument into a 363-foot Saturn V rocket to salute the 50th anniversary this week of the Apollo 11 lunar mission. View the high-tech projection show on the Mall from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. Information is HERE.


Underage vaping is a serious problem. JUUL Labs is taking action, deploying 2,000 secret shopper visits per month to crack down on retailers that don’t comply with FDA policy and enhancing our online age verification system. Learn more.


Tech: Lawmakers and tech industry critics are frustrated that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a proposed $5 billion settlement with Facebook over its data practices, calling it a slap on the wrist. The settlement, which the Justice Department can amend or deny, raises tough questions about the government’s ability to effectively police Silicon Valley (The Hill) … Facebook dodged a bullet from the FTC. It faces many more (The Washington Post) … Facebook says it will not launch its proposed cryptocurrency until federal and international regulatory issues are assessed. Mnuchin, briefing reporters on Monday, said the government has “serious concerns” about Facebook’s interest in entering the cryptocurrency business. “They’ve got a lot of work to do to convince us,” he said (The Hill).


Cancer: Biden’s nonprofit, the Biden Cancer Initiative, announced on Monday that it has suspended operations indefinitely following the presidential candidate’s decision in April to retreat from the foundation and its partnerships as a way to guard against perceptions of conflicts of interest. The two-year-old nonprofit touted nearly 60 partnerships with drug companies, health care firms, charities and other organizations that pledged more than $400 million to improve cancer treatment (The Associated Press).  


State Watch: Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter labeled consumer products conglomerate Johnson & Johnson as a “kingpin” company that helped set off a public health crisis in the state. Hunter accused the company and its subsidiaries of launching and executing a “cunning, cynical and deceitful” marketing campaign that misrepresented what opioid drugs could do to help alleviate chronic pain. “There was a simple reason for the crisis: greed. The greed of the pharmaceutical companies caused the crisis,” Hunter said while closing his case in court on Monday against the drug manufacturer (The Associated Press). 


And finally … While the selfie continues to be a staple of everyday life, the trend in smartphone self-absorption is increasingly fatal, according to recent reports. According to a study by the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care in India, fatalities via selfie — known as “selficides” — account for more deaths than shark attacks. Between 2011 and 2017, there were 259 people killed in 137 selfie-related accidents, compared to only 50 deaths from shark attacks.


More recently, two British men died after they fell over a 32-foot wall along the eastern coast of Spain while trying to snap a selfie. An American also had a near-death experience when he was gored after he tried to snap a picture with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Great Falls National Park in Maryland — where there’s a view, a steep drop-off or rushing water, selfie accidents abound.