5 things to know for July 15: Trump tweets, Barry, immigration

Posted at 4:04 AM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-15 06:17:14-04

Ever wonder why the people in all those historic portraits never smiled? It’s partially because for most of human history the open smile has been frowned upon.

Here’s what else 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. President Trump

President Trump launched a racist Twitter attack against four Democratic congresswomen of color over the weekend, telling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley to “go back” to their home countries. The tweet implies that the congresswomen weren’t born in America, but they all are American citizens. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley are natural-born US citizens, while Omar was born in Somalia and immigrated to the US when she was young. Telling people of color to “go back to where you came from” is a tactic often used by racists to try to silence blacks and other minorities.

The congresswomen hit back at Trump, with Ocasio-Cortez tweeting that Trump is “angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats also condemned the President. Will members of the Republican Party join the Dems in denouncing Trump’s tweet? No, says CNN’s Stephen Collinson, because most GOP voters and lawmakers are satisfied with the ideological direction of the Trump presidency and are willing to turn a blind eye to his conduct. “The President knows he can trade in such base tactics because he will pay no price in a Republican Party cowed by his fervent political base,” Collinson writes.

2. Tropical Depression Barry

Barry, which barreled into Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday, is now a tropical depression. The storm’s remnants are slowly moving through north Louisiana and into Arkansas. There was some flooding in Louisiana, but not the epic deluge that many had feared. New Orleans didn’t see catastrophic storm surges as Barry moved through the region. Life started returning to normal in the Big Easy yesterday, and the city’s mayor said municipal offices would reopen today. Barry is forecast to hit the lower Mississippi River Valley through portions of Arkansas, west Tennessee and northwest Mississippi with 3 to 6 inches of more rain.

3. Immigration

Raids targeting about 2,000 undocumented immigrant families — who have received removal orders — began yesterday, a senior Trump administration official said. But there were no confirmed reports of migrants being apprehended, at least in Baltimore, Chicago or New York, immigrant advocacy groups told CNN. News of the raids has left many undocumented immigrants frightened. They’ve been stocking up on groceries and making plans to stay in their homes with the lights off and the blinds down. Some are staying home from work. Others are posting signs inside their homes reminding them what to do if ICE agents show up. Unsure of where to turn, they’re flooding hotlines with calls.

4. China

The trade war is taking its toll on China. The country’s economic growth slumped to its lowest level in almost 30 years. China’s gross domestic product grew 6.2% in the latest quarter, the slowest quarterly growth rate since 1992. In the previous quarter, the GDP grew at 6.4%. Things won’t get better anytime soon, China’s National Bureau of Statistics predicts. The country’s economy will continue to face “downward pressure” in the second half of the year, the bureau says. The US and China recently agreed to restart talks in their months-long trade dispute, but the consensus among observers and businesses is that a deal is a long way off.

5. Somalia hotel attack

You may have never heard of Hodan Nalayeh. The Somali-Canadian journalist was a social media star, using her large following to tell positive stories about her home country of Somalia, a place long blighted by famine and war. But she was one of 26 people killed late last week in a hotel terrorist attack in the Somali port city of Kismayo. Nalayeh, 43, was born in Somalia but moved with her family to Canada when she was six. Just eight weeks ago she had moved back home, only to die in the attack with her husband. News of her death led to an outpouring of grief on social media, with many young Somalis saying she had inspired them with her uplifting stories about their country. The four terrorists involved in the bomb-and-gun attack were killed by security forces. Among the dead in the attack were three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans and one Briton.


Grand green

Novak Djokovic celebrated his Wimbledon win by eating grass, but if you’d just survived an epic, five-set, nearly five-hour Grand Slam final, you might nibble the green stuff, too.

The show must go on

When Manhattan went dark during the weekend blackout, Broadway just took its shows to the streets.

Put your money where your mouth is

Secret isn’t just talking the talk. The deodorant brand, a sponsor of the US Women’s National Soccer team, made a $529,000 donation to address the pay gap.

When Meghan met Bey

British royalty met pop royalty when Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan met Beyoncé and Jay-Z at “The Lion King’s” European premiere in London.

Friends forever

What’s better than hearing Paul McCartney sing Beatles songs in concert? Hearing them with a little help from Ringo Starr.


$198 million

That’s how much you won, if you’re the one who bought the winning Powerball ticket on Saturday in Tennessee


“You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job.” 

Actress Scarlett Johansson, reigniting a debate about Hollywood actors playing characters of other races, genders and sexual orientations. She later clarified her comments. Johansson was accused of “whitewashing” when she played the role of an Asian woman in the 2015 movie “Ghost in the Shell.”



Rub away

Let’s ease into this work week with a few belly rubs, because yeah, they’re good for dogs, but we humans love giving them, too. (Click to view)