Ethics probes into Pruitt will continue despite resignation

President Trump announced EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is resigning.

Posted: Jul 7, 2018 9:06 AM
Updated: Jul 7, 2018 9:24 AM

It's still hot y'all, and there's a dangerous heat wave coming for everyone in California and the Southwest. Stay hydrated, find some shade and bask in the AC. Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Scott Pruitt

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is out after months of speculation and scandal. His resignation came just two days after a CNN investigation revealed an ex-top aide alleged Pruitt and his staffers held regular meetings to "scrub" controversial events from his calendar. The ethics clouds had been gathering long before that, though, as lawmakers from both parties, environmental groups and government watchdogs raised questions about his spending, housing arrangements, security team and raises for political appointees. Pruitt is the subject of 14 probes into his conduct as EPA chief, and the agency's inspector general says they will continue. Still, President Trump yesterday stuck with Pruitt, tweeting that he has "done an outstanding job." EPA deputy Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, takes over for Pruitt.

2. China trade

Starting today, the US and China are imposing billions of dollars in tariffs on each other. The Trump administration's 25% tariffs target more than 800 Chinese products worth $34 billion, including industrial machinery, medical devices and auto parts. China's tariffs on US goods also went into effect, with China claiming the US is starting "the biggest trade war in economic history." But the game's not over. The US is set within weeks to slap tariffs on more Chinese goods, and China has vowed to retaliate. All this is supposedly happening because the Trump administration wants to pressure China to abandon unfair practices, such as stealing intellectual property and forcing US companies to hand over valuable technology. Beijing denies it's in the wrong and says it's ready to fight a trade war until the end. Meantime, some say a trade war could spread across Asia and push the US into a recession.

3. Bill Shine

Veteran Fox News executive Bill Shine is President Trump's new deputy chief of staff for communications, and to say it is a controversial hire would be an understatement. The former co-president of Fox News resigned last year after being accused of covering up sexual harassment scandals involving on-air talent at the network over decades. He was a key deputy of powerful Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who resigned in 2016 amid high-profile allegations of sexual misconduct. In addition to his troublesome history at Fox News, critics of Shine worry that his presence in the White House will further close the symbiotic echo chamber between the President and his favorite news network.

4. Thai cave rescue

A tragic update in the effort to rescue 13 people from a flooded cave in Thailand: A former Thai Navy diver assisting with the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach died early Friday morning while trying to exit the flooded tunnels around the cave. Former Sgt. Saman Kunan, 38, was returning from delivering oxygen tanks to the cavern when he ran out of air underwater. The rescue mission has proven to be treacherous and complex and could be very, very long. The boys and their coach have already been trapped for nearly two weeks, and a doctor who visited the group said it may be too dangerous to move them right now, as several are exhausted and malnourished.

5. Japanese cult executions 

Seven members of a Japanese cult have been executed for carrying out a deadly 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway that left more than a dozen people dead and thousands injured. The leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, known as Shoko Asahara, had been in prison for 22 years before his death. Asahara founded Aum Shinrikyo in 1984 and quickly attracted thousands of disciples with his religious teachings, new-age tactics and forecasts of a nuclear apocalypse that would turn Japan into a wasteland. The cult is linked to other attacks, but the 1995 gas attack was the most deadly and infamous.

TODAY'S NUMBER

10 days 

That's how long it's been since the US has said exactly how many kids separated from their families at the border are in custody. According to a US district judge's ruling, today is the deadline for officials to make sure every separated parent has a way to contact their child. By July 10, children younger than 5 must be reunited with their parents. And by July 26, all children should be reunited with their parents.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Former MSNBC host Ed Schultz has died 

The broadcaster most recently anchored a show on RT America. He was 64.

Why people get headaches looking at buildings 

Inexplicably, this article is topped with a big ol' picture of a building, so ...

The Postal Service has to pay $3.5 million to a sculptor because it styled a stamp after his replica Statute of Liberty and not the real one 

Truly, an American success story. 

Newlyweds escape falling tree branch while recording wedding video

That's either a very GOOD sign or a very BAD sign.

A giant Donald Trump baby balloon will fly near Parliament during Trump's visit next week to the UK

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a ... giant diapered rendering of the US President!

TOTAL RECALL

Quiz time!

Seattle became the latest US city to ban certain plastic items from food service businesses. Which of the following are NOT included in the ban?

a) straws

b) utensils

c) bags

d) cocktail picks

Play Total Recall: The CNN news quiz to see if you're right.

You can also find a version of the quiz on your Amazon devices! Just say, "Alexa, ask CNN for a quiz."

TODAY'S QUOTES

"We'll take that little kit and say, we have to go it gently because we are in the Me Too generation, and we will very gently take that kit, slowly toss it (to her)."

President Donald Trump, mocking US Sen. Elizabeth Warren (and the #MeToo movement) by saying she should take a DNA test to prove her claim of Native American heritage

"I don't believe them at all. I believe him. Jim Jordan is one of the most outstanding people I've met since I've been in Washington. I believe him 100%."

President Donald Trump, emphatically supporting GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, who is accused by two former student athletes of knowingly overlooking the sexual abuse of wrestlers he coached at Ohio State University

AND FINALLY

HOW HYPE ARE YOU FOR THE WEEKEND!?!

Maybe it's just me, but old workout videos are truly gifts from the past. Now, go high-kick Friday's behind! (Click to view.)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
Oktibbeha28314
Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
Itawamba897
Webster885
Panola873
Wilkinson859
Montgomery841
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun684
Walthall670
Amite651
Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Choctaw522
Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Tupelo
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Columbus
Broken Clouds
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Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
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Oxford
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Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
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