Trump, Mexico, Hong Kong and Nadal: The weekend’s biggest news

Editors, USA TODAY
Published 5:42 p.m. ET June 9, 2019 | Updated 8:05 p.m. ET June 9, 2019

Trump pulls back Mexico tariff threat made over migrants

President Donald Trump on Friday night yanked back his threat to slap escalating tariffs on all Mexican imports if the country didn’t address migrants at the southern border. The move seemed to avert a new trade war while ensuring “strong measures” by Mexico to curb the flow of Central American migrants, though critics said Trump avoided a political crisis of his own making. The New York Times reported Saturday that the deal’s steps were ones Mexico had already agreed to in previous rounds of negotiations. In a tweet Sunday, Trump claimed Mexico said it would take further steps to curb migration that would “be announced at the appropriate time.” Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States, Martha Bárcena, admitted there were “details” not in the deal’s official declaration.

Hundreds of thousands protest bill in Hong Kong

Hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to demonstrate against proposed amendments to an extradition bill, which would allow the transfer of criminals to mainland China. Police estimated the crowd at 240,000; organizers said it was closer to 1 million. After around 10 hours of peaceful protest, tensions rose when demonstrators stormed the government headquarters. The group briefly made it to the lobby, but police responded with batons and pepper spray. The massive demonstration took place three days before Hong Kong’s full legislature considers the bill, which critics fear would let China target political opponents in the former British colony and could undermine its judicial independence.

Nadal makes history with 12th French Open title

In a rematch of the 2018 French Open final, Rafael Nadal downed Dominic Thiem to claim his 18th Grand Slam and become the only man or woman to win the same major tournament 12 times.  Nadal has won the past three French Opens and has never lost a French Open final. Nadal took the first set 6-3, but Thiem held serve in the second to go up 7-5 and break the 10-set winning streak the Spaniard held over him in Paris. But Nadal reasserted himself by grabbing 16 of the next 17 points and 12 of the remaining 14 games. “I gave everything I had,” Thiem said. “It’s amazing: 12 times here. It’s unreal.” Nadal beat Thiem in straight sets in 2018.

A month’s worth of rain in a day: The Southeast faces flooding

Roads became rivers, high-water rescues were underway, and states of emergency were being declared in parts of the Southeast on Sunday after more than a month of rain fell in a day with more on the way. “The same storm system that linked up with tropical moisture and dumped more than a foot of rain in portions of the south-central United States is crawling eastward,” AccuWeather meteorologist Renee Duff said. Flooding that brought havoc to Oklahoma, Arkansas and other states over the past two weeks was sweeping east, threatening metro areas such as Atlanta and Nashville, Tennessee, AccuWeather said. The rains that rolled into the region will linger at least until Monday. 

Meet the first woman to lead an Army infantry division

A brigadier general who led Black Hawk helicopters in Iraq will become the first woman to lead an Army infantry division. Brig. Gen. Laura Yeager will assume command of the California National Guard’s 40th Infantry Division in ceremonies later this month at the Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos. Yeager, taking the reins from retiring Maj. Gen. Mark Malanka, will take charge of a force of more than 10,000 soldiers. She began active-duty service in 1986 after receiving her commission as a second lieutenant from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at California State University Long Beach.

‘NCIS’ actress won’t return: She’s ‘terrified’ of co-star

Pauley Perrette says she will never return to “NCIS” – and she says that’s because of her former co-star Mark Harmon. The actress, 50, took to Twitter Friday to say she is “terrified” of Harmon, 67, who has a leading role in the criminal investigation series. “I am terrified of Harmon and him attacking me. I have nightmares about it,” she said. Perrette, who played forensic specialist Abby Sciuto, departed the series in 2018 after 15 seasons on the show. In May 2018, she said her departure was due to “multiple physical assaults.”

Body of police chief who fell from boat found in Texas 

Searchers on Sunday found the body of a Texas police chief who toppled from a fishing boat into Galveston Bay, setting off a frantic-two day search, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The body of Kemah Police Chief Chris Reed, who had been missing since Friday afternoon, was found Sunday morning north of the Texas City Dike, according to the Coast Guard. Reed, who was not wearing a life jacket, fell overboard when his boat was hit by a large wake from a passing vessel, officials said Friday. After his wife, who was also aboard and was not injured, called 911, the Coast Guard and dozens of local, state and federal agencies launched a search involving helicopters, rescue ships and drones.

When Supreme Court justices get snippy

In written opinions and dissents, things have gotten a bit snippy at the Supreme Court. The court’s four liberals have displayed irritation at its new, more conservative majority – including once in the middle of the night. And some of the five conservatives are showing impatience with the incremental pace of change. Ill tempers are colliding with Chief Justice John Roberts’s effort to lower the temperature following the contentious confirmation of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “We are seeing more expression of frustration and anger from the justices this term,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California-Berkeley School of Law.

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