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 TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments 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-CortezOcasio-Cortez on food assistance cuts: 'If this happened then, we might've just starved' Youth climate activists grade top 2020 Democrats on Green New Deal commitment Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHouse moves ahead on long-stalled resolution supporting two states for Israelis and Palestinians GOP leader says he had 'a hard time' believing Pelosi Al Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarAl Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles Republicans disavow GOP candidate who said 'we should hang' Omar Hillicon Valley: Trump officials propose retaliatory tariffs over French digital tax | FBI classifies FaceApp as threat | Twitter revamps policies to comply with privacy laws | Zuckerberg defends political ads policy 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 Pelosi 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments Bloomberg: Trump should be impeached On The Money: Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown | Trump asks Supreme Court to shield financial records from House Democrats | House passes bill to explicitly ban insider trading 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 PortmanSenators sound alarm on dangers of ransomware attacks after briefing Senate roundtable showcases importance and needs of women entrepreneurs Impeachment will make some Senate Republicans squirm 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 SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants House, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Why a second Trump term and a Democratic Congress could be a nightmare scenario for the GOP 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 McConnellDemocratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The case for censuring, and not impeaching, Donald Trump 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.

 



 

 



LEADING THE DAY

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 MnuchinOn The Money: Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown | Trump asks Supreme Court to shield financial records from House Democrats | House passes bill to explicitly ban insider trading Hillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC Mnuchin to lawmakers: 'I'm highly encouraged you will' pass Trump's North America trade deal 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 BarrHillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC Biden gets in testy exchange in Iowa: 'You're a damn liar' Huawei to sue US over new FCC restrictions MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossSpace race is on: US can't afford congressional inaction in this critical economic sector Trump escalates fight over tax on tech giants The Hill's Morning Report - Intel panel readies to hand off impeachment baton 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 ConwayOvernight Health Care: House to vote next week on drug prices bill | Conway says Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping | US spent trillion on hospitals in 2018 White House adopts confident tone after Pelosi signals go on impeachment Conway: Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping issue 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 MattisThreatening foreign states with sanctions can backfire Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Amazon to challenge Pentagon's 'war cloud' decision in federal court 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 BidenTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate On The Money: Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown | Trump asks Supreme Court to shield financial records from House Democrats | House passes bill to explicitly ban insider trading NYT editorial board calls on Buttigieg to disclose details of work at consulting firm MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Poll: Majority of voters name TV as primary news source Buttigieg: Harris 'deserves to be under anybody's consideration' for vice president 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 CruzTrade deal talks expand as Congress debates tech legal shield Sanders meets with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Cruz knocks Chick-fil-A over past donation: It has 'lost its way' 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 GillibrandHarris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Warren hits Bloomberg, Steyer: They have 'been allowed to buy their way' into 2020 race Supreme Court poised to hear first major gun case in a decade 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 YangCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi says House will move forward with impeachment Booker: Primary voters 'being denied' their candidates of choice MORE, Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSenators want FERC to protect critical infrastructure from Huawei threats Krystal Ball: What Harris's exit means for the other 2020 candidates Democrats hit gas on impeachment MORE (D-Colo.) and Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeKrystal Ball: What Harris's exit means for the other 2020 candidates Bullock drops White House bid, won't run for Senate O'Rourke ends presidential bid 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 BookerCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi says House will move forward with impeachment Booker: Primary voters 'being denied' their candidates of choice MORE (D-N.J.) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Klobuchar lauds power of free press in post about her father The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi says House will move forward with impeachment 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 WarrenTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg: Harris 'deserves to be under anybody's consideration' for vice president MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa 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 ClintonTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Saagar Enjeti ponders Hillary Clinton's 2020 plans Political ad spending set to explode in 2020 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.



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

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: asimendinger@thehill.com and aweaver@thehill.com. We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!



OPINION

Congress, stop ducking war-declaration authority on Iran, by former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/2XWoooo 

 

Ending asylum protection won't do anything to stop illegal border crossings, by Nolan Rappaport, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/2LmubSg 



WHERE AND WHEN

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThe US treats asylum seekers so poorly Lawmakers visit African migrants at US-Mexico border Preventative measures are needed in child welfare policy, data shows 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 KavanaughHouse, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Justices appear cautious of expanding gun rights in NY case Thanks to President Trump, major tests loom for Chief Justice Roberts 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 http://thehill.com/hilltv 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 PompeoReport: Pompeo had secret meeting with GOP donors in London The shifting impeachment positions of Jonathan Turley The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment 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 AxelrodGary Cohn says he's 'concerned' no one is left in White House to stand up to Trump Tucker Carlson: Obama has not backed Biden because Michelle Obama could run David Axelrod: Biden 'Mr. Magooing his way' through Democratic primary 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.



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ELSEWHERE

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). 



THE CLOSER

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.