5 things to know for July 16: Racist tweets, Assange, Puerto Rico, teens & screens

Posted at 4:04 AM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 06:17:22-04

Apollo 11 launched 50 years ago today. Here’s how astronaut Michael Collins remembers the mission that put humans on the moon. And 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. Politics

The House of Representatives plans to vote on a resolution condemning President Trump’s racist tweets about four Democratic women of color. It’s not clear when the vote will take place, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged GOP lawmakers to join Democrats in “condemning the President’s xenophobic tweets.”A few Republicans emerged yesterday to condemn Trump’s tweets, but others stayed silent.

And a few, like US Sen. Lindsey Graham, backed the President, with Graham saying the “squad” — as US Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have come to be called — are just a bunch of communistswho hate America. Trump doubled down on his extreme rhetoric, saying his tweets weren’t racist and that he’s unbothered by statements of support from white nationalists, who say they hear common cause in the President’s words. The congresswomen responded in a news conference, urging Americans not to be baited or distracted by Trump’s taunts.

2. Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange turned the Ecuadorian Embassy in London into a command center andcoordinated a series of damaging disclosuresthat rocked the 2016 US presidential campaign. The evidence for this comes in new documents obtained exclusively by CNN. Surveillance reports describe how Assange — now serving a one-year prison term in London — received potentially hacked materials related to the election via in-person deliveries. The documents build on the possibility, raised by special counsel Robert Mueller in his report on Russian meddling, that couriers brought hacked files to Assange at the embassy.

3. Puerto Rico

Pressure is building on Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to step down afterremarks he made in a private group chatwere made public. Puerto Ricans demonstrated against Rosselló over the weekend, and police gassed some protesters last night in San Juan. The messages between the governor and his inner circle reveal a seemingly vengeful approach to running the US territory, including attacking journalists by discrediting stories and threatening to turn over political opponents to police. The Center for Investigative Journalism published almost 900 pages from the private group chat.

4. Sadie Roberts-Joseph

Why would anyone want to hurt Sadie Roberts-Joseph? The 75-year-old community leader and activist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, wasfound dead last week in the trunk of her car. The death is being investigated as a homicide, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said. Roberts-Joseph was suffocated, an autopsy found. She was the founder of an African-American museum in the city and a nonprofit focused on creating a safer environment for children. “She’s a jewel in this community,” said Paul, who promised an arrest in the case.

5. Teens and screens

Do your teenagers spend a lot of time on social media? Are they glued to TV a lot, too? It might be a good idea to have them unplug for a while. A new study suggests a link between heavy amounts of screen time and depression. The study, published yesterday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, says that for every additional hour young people spend on social media or watching TV, the severity of depressive symptoms goes up within that same year. “To our knowledge, the present study is the first to present a developmental analysis of variations in depression and various types of screen time,” researchers wrote.


Super surprise

Erick Hill’s 6th birthday was anything but special: His house burned down. But some firefighters stepped in to save his special day.

Elvis has entered the building

Actor Austin Butler (yes, we had to Google him, too)will play the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in a new biopic opposite Tom Hanks.

Back to Paradise

It’s been eight months since the Camp Fire decimated Paradise, California. Now, the city welcomes back the first family to rebuild its home.

Not a Florida story

Police are telling people in one Tennessee town to stop flushing drugs down the toilet because itcould create “meth gators.”

The robots are coming

The next time you yell at the umpire at an MLB game, you might be screaming at a “robo ump.”


Awards time

Emmy nominations will be announced this morning. Expect lots of love for sentimental faves, “Game of Thrones” and “Veep.”


“The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”

An Air Force spokeswoman, telling the Washington Post that UFO enthusiasts should stand down from their plan tostorm Area 51and “see them aliens.”



Foraging fun

Hurry up and make a reservation at the high-end New York restaurants that use weeds — yes, weeds — to create their dishes. (Click to view.)