TRUMP CRITICIZED FOR SIDING WITH PUTIN… Lawmakers from both parties have expressed outrage at President Trump for siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies yesterday. Following a meeting between the two leaders in Helsinki, Finland, Trump contradicted U.S. intelligence findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Trump claimed Putin assured him that Russia did not interfere in the U.S. election.
NRA-LINKED RUSSIAN ARRESTED… A National Rifle Association-linked Russian gun advocate residing in the U.S. has been taken into custody and charged with “work[ing] at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government,” according to the U.S. Justice Department. Maria Butina is accused of acting “as an agent of Russia… by developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.” Butina is believed to have worked on behalf of the Russian government to used the NRA in building a backchannel between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
KUSHNERS INVESTIGATED OVER TENANT HARASSMENT… The state of New York has launched an investigation into whether the real estate company owned by White House advisor Jared Kushner’s family harassed tenants in order to push them out of rent-stabilized residences in Brooklyn. New York’s Tenant Protection Unit wants to know if Kushner Companies violated state housing laws at the Austin Nichols House in Williamsburg. The investigation was announced by the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
JUDGE DELAYS RAPID DEPORTATIONS… A federal judge has temporarily barred the U.S. government from rapidly deporting immigrant parents who have reunited with their children. The delay will allow a court more time to consider the impact on children’s rights to seek asylum. The government is under a court order to reunite around 2,550 children who were separated by U.S. immigration officials from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border.
SOME TAX EXEMPT GROUPS CAN KEEP DONORS ANONYMOUS… The Treasury Department announced yesterday that it will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations including politically active nonprofit groups to identify their financial donors to U.S. tax authorities. The policy change maintains donor disclosure requirements for traditional charity groups organized to receive tax-exempt donations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. Conservatives called the policy change an advance for free speech.
CLOONEY MADE $239 OVER THE PAST YEAR… A Forbes magazine survey has found George Clooney made more money last year than any actor ever has across a 12-month period. The 57-year-old Clooney took in a reported $239 million in pre-tax earnings in the year beginning 1 June 2017. Much of the income came from the sale of a vodka company Clooney co-founded. Clooney finished second behind boxer Floyd Mayweather in an annual list of the world’s best-paid celebrities. U2, and British acts Coldplay and Ed Sheeran are also included in a top 10.
JOHNNY DEPP SETTLE SUIT… Actor Johnny Depp has avoided trial by reaching a settlement with his former managers. Depp sued his former managers early last year, accusing them of “spending millions of dollars without his permission” and seeking $25 million in damages. His managers at the Management Group then filed a countersuit, making public Depp’s lavish spending habits. The settlement comes after Depp’s former business manager reportedly told the actor that he had to sell “major assets” to keep afloat.
BRYCE HARPER WINS HOME RUN DERBY… Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper outslugged eight participants in last night’s Home Run Derby to become the third player in Derby history to win the event on his home turf. Harper outlasted the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber in the event’s final round
MLB ALL-STAR GAME TONIGHT… Managers AJ Hinch and Dave Roberts have unveiled their starting lineups for tonight’s 89th All-Star Game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Righthander Max Scherzer of the hometown Nationals takes the mound for the National League and will be opposed by lefthander Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox. The same two started last year’s All-Star game, as well. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
1. Mookie Betts, RF, Red Sox
2. Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
3. Mike Trout, CF, Angels
4. J.D. Martinez, DH, Red Sox
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B, Indians
6. Aaron Judge, LF, Yankees
7. Manny Machado, SS, Orioles
8. Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox
9. Salvador Perez, C, Royals
1. Javier Baez, 2B, Cubs
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH, D-backs
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves
5. Matt Kemp, LF, Dodgers
6. Bryce Harper, CF, Nationals
7. Nick Markakis, RF, Braves
8. Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants
9. Willson Contreras, C, Cubs