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12:40 PM ET, June 15, 2019


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Hong Kong's Leader Is Set to Delay Extradition Bill Indefinitely  —  HONG KONG — On the defensive after days of huge street protests, Hong Kong's chief executive is preparing to indefinitely suspend her push to adopt a contentious extradition bill after consulting with her superiors in mainland China …
Associated Press:
Hong Kong leader delays unpopular bill; activists want more
Discussion: The Week
Bowing to pressure, Hong Kong leader suspends extradition bill
Mike Ford / RedState:
Hong Kong Protests: China's Kobayashi Maru
Discussion: BBC
Cristina Maza / Newsweek:
Germany joins chorus casting doubt on Trump administration claim that Iran was behind attack on oil tankers  —  Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Friday cast doubt on evidence that the U.S. government claims is proof that Iran was behind an attack this week on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
Bret Stephens / New York Times:
The Pirates of Tehran  —  If Iran won't change its behavior, we should sink its navy.  —  On April 14, 1988, the U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts, a frigate, hit an Iranian naval mine while sailing in the Persian Gulf.  The explosion injured 10 of her crew and nearly sank the ship.
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
Top Trump Census Official Communicated With GOP Operative About Citizenship Question  —  On May 30, the plaintiffs challenging the Trump administration's census citizenship question dropped a bombshell: A central portion of the Justice Department's rationale for the question was apparently written …
Tierney Sneed / Talking Points Memo:
Even More Evidence Emerges Linking Deceased Consultant To Trump Census Push  —  Voting rights group say they have found even more evidence connecting a now-deceased GOP gerrymandering consultant to the Trump administration's push to add a citizenship question census.
Discussion: ThinkProgress
New York Times:
U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia's Power Grid  —  WASHINGTON — The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia's electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools …
Peter Baker / New York Times:
As Trump Accuses Iran, He Has One Problem: His Own Credibility  —  WASHINGTON — To President Trump, the question of culpability in the explosions that crippled two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman is no question at all.  “It's probably got essentially Iran written all over it,” he declared on Friday.
Discussion: Spectator USA, Reason and Newser
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Trump campaign zeroes in on a new threat: Elizabeth Warren  —  President Donald Trump's reelection machine is setting its sights on a new target, one it had left for dead just a few months ago: Elizabeth Warren.  —  With the Massachusetts senator rising in polls and driving a populist message …
Zogby Analytics:   The Zogby Poll®: Biden has big leads in key battleground states; Sanders in distant second …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
4 early takeaways from the Democratic debate lineups
Jonathan Greenberg / Washington Post:
Saving face  —  How Donald Trump silenced the people who could expose his business failures  —  How did Donald Trump, a self-serving promoter who lost billions of dollars for his investors, convince the world that he is a financial genius?  It wasn't just by fabricating tales of his success.
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:
Justice backs Mnuchin's refusal to turn over Trump's taxes  —  The Justice Department issued a legal opinion Friday finding that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was right to withhold President Donald Trump's tax returns from a House committee that subpoenaed them.
Discussion: Press Herald
Rashaan Ayesh / Axios:
Justice Department backs Treasury on blocking Trump tax returns
Discussion: Politico
Alex Pappas / Fox News:
DOJ defends Mnuchin's refusal to hand over Trump's tax returns
Thomas Burr / Salt Lake Tribune:
Utah Rep. Chris Stewart says it would be ‘foolish’ for a candidate not to look at foreign intel against an opponent  —  Washington  • Rep. Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday that it would be “foolish” not to take information …
Discussion: Washington Post
Julia Arciga / The Daily Beast:
Alex Jones Offers $1M Reward After Alleged ‘Malware’ Attack That He Says Planted Child Porn on His Servers  —  The conspiracy theorist appeared to suggest someone tied to the Sandy Hook families framed him.  “I am so sick of their filth and living off the dead kids of Sandy Hook,” he said.
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
Richard Holbrooke and a Certain Idea of America  —  This is an Age of Pessimism.  But America can still remake, redeem and rescue.  —  On July 6, 1939, a couple of months before the outbreak of World War II, a young Polish Jewish immigrant named Abraham Dan Golbraich went before a judge and changed his name to Dan A. Holbrooke.
Chauncey DeVega / Salon:
Yale psychiatrist Bandy Lee: Trump's mental health is now a “national and global emergency”  —  Dr. Bandy Lee convened experts to study the Mueller report.  They conclude that Trump “can no longer see reality”  —  Robert Mueller's report is 448 pages long and took almost two years to complete.
NBC News:
Ivanka Trump made almost $4 million from Trump Washington hotel last year  —  The president's daughter is working as an unpaid adviser in the White House, but continuing to make millions from the family business.  —  Ivanka Trump pulled in almost $4 million in revenue last year from her stake …
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
Appeals Court Rebukes Brett Kavanaugh, Grants Abortion Access to Undocumented Minors  —  Justice Brett Kavanaugh's old court rebuked his anti-abortion jurisprudence on Friday, compelling the Trump administration to allow undocumented minors in federal custody to terminate their pregnancies.
Discussion: CNN, Wall Street Journal and The Hill
Court Rules in Favor of Jane Doe, Other Young Immigrant Women in ACLU Abortion Case
Reed Richardson / Mediaite:
Ex-CIA Director Leon Panetta: Trump's Foreign Dirt Comments Are ‘Violation of the Oath of Office’  —  On CNN's OutFront with Erin Burnett, former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called out President Donald Trump's recent comments about accepting campaign assistance from foreign governments as …
The Guardian:
UK rights advocate co-owns firm whose spyware is ‘used to target dissidents’  —  Exclusive: Yana Peel co-owns NSO Group that licensed Pegasus software to authoritarian regimes  —  A leading human rights campaigner and head of a prestigious London art gallery is the co-owner …
Jeremy B. Merrill / Quartz:
Does Google not realize Beto O'Rourke is running for president?  —  It can be hard to keep track of all 23 Democrats running for US president, we know, but Google's advertising enforcement systems don't seem to realize that Beto O'Rourke is one of them.  —  Google has been treating Beto's campaign ads …
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 More Items: 
Chris Mills Rodrigo / The Hill:
McCabe says it's ‘absolutely’ time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump
The White House:
Executive Order on Evaluating and Improving the Utility of Federal Advisory Committees
KCRW 89.9FM:
Early days in Iowa
Sheelah Kolhatkar / New Yorker:
Can Elizabeth Warren Win It All?
Washington Post:
Inside the NRA's finances: Deepening debt, increased spending on legal fees — and cuts to gun training
BuzzFeed Staff Plan to Walk Out in Push to Get Union Recognized
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
EU: Russians interfered in our elections, too
León Krauze / Washington Post:
Trump bullied Mexico into becoming his wall. But success is far from guaranteed.
Discussion: Vox and The Intercept
Julia Musto / Fox News:
Nancy Pelosi is the real “Grim Reaper”: Minority Whip Scalise
Discussion: Breitbart
Susan Davis / NPR:
Why 2020 Democrats Are Lining Up For Clyburn's ‘World Famous’ Fish Fry
We know the real Donald Trump. America needs four more years | Opinion
Lara Bazelon / San Francisco Chronicle:
Open Forum: Exaggerating California crime to protect their livelihoods