TRNS News Notes is brought to you by Victoria Jones. Victoria Jones is the Chief White House correspondent and global analyst of the Washington DC based Talk Radio News Service, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.


News Now

  • Greece: No! / Finance minister resigns
  • Euro leaders’ reax: Cautious
  • Greece: 3 impacts on the U.S.
  • USA wins women’s World Cup in romp & rout: 5-2
  • World Cup: Pearl Harbor Twitter row
  • Trump/Mexico: GOP 2016 candidates respond
  • Immigration: Obama admin shifts enforcement
  • South Carolina debates Confederate flag
  • Kerry warns Iran: “Hard choices”
  • Congress: Time to get to work
  • 2016ers: July the Fourth fun

Greece: No! / Finance Minister Resigns (BBC, TRNS, me)

• Eurozone finance ministers expect new proposals from Greece on Tuesday, according to a Eurogroup statement. Meanwhile, a German govt spox says conditions for talks with Greece are not yet met, and they’re waiting for proposals from Greece’s side – breaking today

• Greece’s PM Alexis Tsipras has said Greeks made a “brave choice” in voting to reject the terms of an international bailout in Sunday’s referendum. Thousands celebrated in the streets (massive hangovers today – lesson: never drink Metaxa brandy) after hearing the final result was 61.3% “no” against 38.7% “yes”

• But European officials warned that it could see the country ejected from the eurozone and the euro fell across the board in Asian markets today. Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned. He wrote on his blog that he had been “made aware of a certain preference by some eurogroup participants and assorted ‘partners’ for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings.”

• The PM had judged this to be “potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement.” “I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride,” Varoufakis wrote. Greece’s governing Syriza party had campaigned for a “no,” saying that the bailout terms were humiliating. Tsipras said late Sunday: “I am aware that the mandate you gave me is not a mandate for rupture.”

• He said that Greece would go back to the negotiating table today, adding that an IMF assessment published this week confirmed that restructuring Greek debt was necessary. But some European officials had already warned that creditors could take a “no” vote to mean that Greeks had rejected further talks

• Chinese stocks closed higher today after Beijing unleashed an unprecedented series of support measures over the weekend to stave off the prospect of a full-blown crash that was threatening to destabilize the world’s second-biggest economy (Reuters)
European Leaders’ Reax: Cautious (BBC, me)
•  Germany’s Deputy Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, told local media that renewed negotiations with Greece were “difficult to imagine” and that Tsipras had “torn down the bridges” between Greece and Europe. Italian and Belgian ministers were more conciliatory, with Belgium’s FM saying that the door remained open to restart talks “literally within hours”

• Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the eurozone’s group of finance ministers, said the referendum result was “very regrettable” for the future of Greece. Martin Schultz, president of the European Parliament, warned that Europe was entering “a very difficult and even dramatic time” unless the Greek govt made “meaningful” proposals in coming hours

• Greece had been locked in negotiations for months with its creditors when the Greek govt unexpectedly called a referendum on the terms it was being offered. Greek banks are desperately in need of a lender of last resort to save them, and the Greek economy. Banks, shut since last Monday, are supposed to open Tuesday

• French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are scheduled to meet in Paris today. A summit of eurozone heads of state has been arranged for Tuesday

• The European Commission – one of the troika of creditors along with the IMF and the ECB – wanted Athens to raise taxes and slash welfare to meet its debt obligations. Greece’s Syriza-led govt, elected in January on an anti-austerity platform, said creditors had tried to use fear to put pressure on Greeks

• Vid: How did Greece go from economic stardom to financial ruin? Al Jazeera’s Kamahl Santamaria lays it out in 1:39

Greece: 3 Impacts on the U.S. (WaPo, me)
Your 401(k) could get scary, but don’t panic: The U.S. has little direct exposure to the Greek debt crisis, and central banks have done a lot to set up firewalls against a broader panic (we’re told). Only if the crisis spread badly to other countries such as Portugal and Italy would there be true reason for concern (have to factor wobbly emotions of traders into this)

Your vacation could get cheaper: The instability in Europe and the massive stimulus program by the region’s central bank have sent the euro plunging against the U.S. dollar. So every dollar you’ve saved for a European vacation will go further – and summer is peak tourist season in Greece. They’re taking great pains to assure people that they’re open for business

Mortgage rates could stay really low: If the European Central Bank has to provide even more stimulus to Europe to offset a Greek tragedy, and if that causes another spike in the dollar, and if that takes another bite out of exports, the Fed might hesitate to raise rates while the U.S. economy is fragile. And that would mean low mortgage rates would hang around for a bit

• David Sweat, the surviving escapee from a prison break and three-week manhunt will spend 23 hours a day in a maximum security cell at Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus NY, much more confined than he and fellow convict Richard Matt were before they broke out. (might cramp his style) Sweat will also be put on suicide watch (AP)
USA Wins Women’s World Cup in Romp & Rout: 5-2 (BBC, me)
• Carli Lloyd scored an incredible 13-minute hat trick as the U.S. thrashed Japan to win their third Women’s World Cup title. In a repeat of the 2011 football final, which Japan won on penalties, the Nadeshiko couldn’t live with their stronger and quicker opponents who went 4-0 up when Lloyd scored an astonishing third from the halfway line

• The American midfielder put the 1991 and 1999 champions two goals up within five minutes in a stunning start to the match. Lauren Holiday volleyed in after Azusa Iwashimizu’s woeful header and Lloyd then caused pandemonium among the huge contingent of U.S. supporters inside BC Place when she lobbed Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori

• The 2011 winners retaliated thanks to a Yuki Ogimi strike and a Julie Johnston own goal, but Tobin Heath made it 5-2 before 60 minutes had elapsed and despite further pressure, English coach Jill Ellis’s USA side held on

• The majority of the 53,341 fans inside BC Place erupted in joyous celebration at the final whistle before Confederation of African football president Issa Hayatou, standing in for FIFA president Seth Blatter, presented the World Cup trophy to former captain Christie Rampone and veteran striker Abby Wambach (boos for FIFA in the stadium)

• Chants of “U-S-A” reverberated around the ground when they lifted the trophy. The pulsating finale was the highest scoring in the tournament’s history. Japan were outclassed from the start. But they also suffered from a familiar foe as Lloyd added to the two goals she scored against Japan in the 2012 Olympic final between the two teams

• President Obama tweeted: “What a win for Team USA! Great game @CarliLloyd! Your country is so proud of all of you. Come visit the White House with the World Cup soon.” VP Joe Biden was at the match

Pearl Harbor Twitter Row (BBC, me)
• Victory for the U.S. in the Women’s World Cup turned into a Twitter row today after some fans began to relate the win to Japan’s 1941 attack on the U.S. Navy’s Pearl Harbor base. Pearl Harbor became one of the top trends among Twitter users in the U.S. early this morning

• “Hey Japan, that one was for Pearl Harbor,” said Cloyd Rivers, in a tweet which drew more than 8.500 retweets and was favorited more than 11,000 times. “They destroyed Pearl Harbor, we destroyed their dreams,” said user Sean Garcia

• Others referenced the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, with one user remarking: “Someone forgot to tell our US women’s team that we already avenged Pearl Harbor.” (why do we feel the need to do this? why do we like to bully when we win?)

• But many Twitter users expressed disbelief towards the racist reaction after the win. “Pearl Harbor isn’t funny. Hiroshima isn’t funny. Nagasaki isn’t funny. This isn’t WW2. This is a women’s soccer match in 2015,” said Twitter user Taylor Perry. “You’re not funny. You’re awful human beings,” said Twitter user Ginge
Trump/Mexico: GOP 2016 Candidates Respond (Guardian, Hill, Hill, Hill, me)
• Appearing on ABC on Sunday, former Gov Rick Perry (R-Texas) said: “Donald Trump does not represent the Republican party,” as he responded to Trump’s comments about Mexico and immigrants. Perry said Trump was “going to have to defend those remarks. I never will. I will stand up and say that those remarks were offensive.” (eventually)

• Trump made his original comments at his NY campaign launch, when he said, “They’re sending people who have a lot of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

• Responses included condemnation by the govts of Mexico and Venezuela as well as Hispanic leaders in the U.S., and a succession of terminations of business relationships with Trump, including actions by Univision, NBC, Macy’s and NASCAR

• Trump has protested that he “loves Mexico” while repeating and varying his charges. Friday, he told Fox News that the fatal shooting of a 32-year-old woman by an illegal immigrant with an extensive arrest warrant in San Francisco was “an absolutely disgraceful situation and I am the only one that can fix it. Nobody else has the guts to even talk about it.” (#megalomaniacmuch?)

Cruz: I Salute Him
• Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on NBC Sunday, “I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration. I like Donald Trump. He is bold, he is brash. He has a colorful way of speaking, and it’s not my way of speaking but I salute him.” (I agree, in other words)

• Former Gov Mike Huckabee (R-Ark) seemed a bit jealous. He neither supported nor condemned Trump, but said on CNN: “Donald Trump needs no help from Mike Huckabee to get publicity. He’s doing a really good job of that.” (wish I’d thought of it… – should have put it in my book…)

• Former Gov Jeb Bush (R-Fla) said on Saturday that Trump’s “not a stupid guy. Don’t think he thinks every Mexican crossing the border is a rapist. He’s doing this to inflame and incite and to draw attention, which seems to be his organizing principle of his campaign.” (smart)

• Trump struck back at Bush in a statement: “Just like the simple question asked of Jeb on Iraq – where it took him five days and multiple answers to get right – he doesn’t understand anything about the border or border security. In fact, Jeb believes illegal immigrants who break our laws when they cross our border come ‘out of love.'” (not what Bush said #magalomaniacmuch?)
Immigration: Obama Admin Shifts Enforcement (WaPo)
• In recent months, the Homeland Security Dept has taken steps to ensure that the majority of the U.S.’ 11.3 million undocumented immigrants can stay in this country, with agents narrowing enforcement efforts to three groups of illegal migrants: convicted criminals, terrorism threats or those who recently crossed the border – this story’s been virtually ignored

• While public attention has been focused on the court fight over President Obama’s highly publicized executive action on immigration, DHS has with little fanfare been training thousands of immigration agents nationwide to carry out new policies on everyday enforcement

• The new policies direct agents to focus on the three priority groups and leave virtually everyone else alone. Demographic data shows that the typical undocumented immigrant has lived in the U.S. for a decade or more and has established strong community ties. The new policies don’t grant illegal immigrants a path to citizenship

• Deportations are dropping. The Obama admin is on pace to remove 229,000 people from the country this year, a 27% fall from last year. Fewer people are also in the pipeline for deportation. The number of occupied beds at immigration detention facilities, which house people arrested for immigration violations, has dropped nearly 20% this year

• And on DHS Sec Jeh Johnson’s orders, officials are reviewing the entire immigrant detainee population – and each of the 400,000 cases in the nation’s clogged immigration courts – to weed out those who don’t meet the new priorities. (this is a major policy shift – yet the story hasn’t been picked up – why not?)

• ISIS on Saturday released a grisly video showing 25 Syrian govt soldiers being executed with pistols by boys as young as 12 in the ancient amphitheater in the city of Palmyra, as a crowd, including small children, watched (HuffPo)
South Carolina Debates Confederate Flag (WIS-TV, NYT, Rolling Stone, NBC News, me)
• South Carolina lawmakers will begin debating today whether to remove the Confederate flag from outside govt buildings to the state’s military museum, an action that was initiated by Gov Nikki Haley (R), following the racially charged shooting of nine black people at a Charleston church. Observers expect an emotional debate, particularly in the House

• “I don’t think that this
[flag debate] is going to be easy. I don’t think that it’s going to be painless,” Haley told Today. “But I do think that it will be respectful and that it will move swiftly.” Alleged shooter Dylann Roof posed with the Confederate flag prominently displayed in photos that were unearthed after the 17 June massacre

• To take down the flag requires two-thirds of both the House and Senate to vote for it and enough lawmakers to meet that quota say they’re going to vote to take it down. If both chambers vote quickly, a bill could make it to Haley’s desk by the end of the week. Any bill has to get three readings or votes in a chamber to pass

• If the bill gets one vote a day, it could reach Haley’s desk by late Thursday or Friday, but if the bill gets sent to committee or lawmakers add several amendments, there would be more debate. Two lawmakers currently have amendments prepared. One is for a South Carolina flag to go up on the flag pole behind the monument as a sign of unity

• However, Sen Lee Bright (R) wants the question put to a referendum. “It’s a part of history, I think the way a majority of South Carolinians feel. But they’re not being intimidated by the national media,” Bright said. He’s offering bumper stickers featuring the Confederate emblem in exchange for campaign contributions (class act)
• Thousands of South Carolina residents have been receiving a version of this menacing robocall since Friday. It compares “Obama’s haters” who want to remove the flag to ISIS, and claims that part of the “plan” is to have “graves dug up” along with renaming of schools etc. “What’s next?” it asks, calling it “sick.” Put out by the Conservative Response Team. (Raw Story, me)
Kerry Warns Iran: “Hard Choices” (NYT, AP, Reuters, me)
• SecState John Kerry, in Vienna, warned Iran on Sunday, “If hard choices get made in the next couple of days and made quickly, we could get an agreement this week. But if they are not made, we will not.” “We are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues. This negotiation could go either way,” Kerry said

• A nuclear agreement by Tuesday would enable the Obama admin to submit the deal to Congress this week for a 30-day period. If an accord isn’t presented to Congress by 9 July, the admin would have to decide whether to try to finish it later this summer so it could be submitted for a 60-day review or whether to back away from the talks (both huge political risks for Obama)

• In previous rounds, Iranian negotiators have often left major issues unsettled until the final days, either as a tactic to try to squeeze additional concessions (almost certainly) or because they haven’t been able to get the flexibility they need from Ayatollah Ali Khameini (likely). Iran state TV today is hinting that a deal is coming because Americans have made concessions

• Vid: Sen Tom Cotton (R-Ark) responds after Iranian FM Javad Zarif released a video Saturday urging “the courage to compromise” to get to a nuclear deal, calling Zarif “smug.” “Iran should’ve faced a simple choice: they dismantle their nuclear program entirely, or they face economic devastation and military destruction of their nuclear facilities,” Cotton said Sunday (Hill)

• Kerry seemed to be warning Iranians against brinkmanship: “There are plenty of people in the nonproliferation community, nuclear experts, who will look at this, and none of us are going to be content to do something that can’t pass scrutiny.” Foreign ministers from the five other world powers are in Vienna as talks near the Tuesday deadline

• Outstanding issues involve what steps would be taken to resolve suspicions about Iran’s past nuclear activities, what constraints would be placed on the development of more efficient types of centrifuges after the first 10 years of a deal, and the precise timing for removing sanctions (all tricky – all slippery)

• Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker (R-Tenn) on Sunday accused Kerry of rushing to avoid the 60-day congressional review period. “I urged him to please take their time,” Corker said on CBS, saying he had spoken to Kerry by phone on Saturday. (60-day review gives more time for lawmakers to push to nix the deal in Congress)

• This pic of a distraught gay youth sharing his anxiety about his future, posted on the Humans of New York Facebook page, went viral Friday. Two hours after it was posted, Hillary Clinton typed words of encouragement and reassurance. It has nearly 600,000 likes (NYT, me)

Congress: Time to Get to Work (AP, me)
• After July Fourth fireworks and parades, members of Congress return to work Tuesday facing a daunting summer workload and a pending deadline 30 September to fund the govt or risk a shutdown in the fall (groundhog day). Republicans really want to avoid another Capitol Hill mess as they struggle to hang onto control of Congress and try to take back the WH next year

• Near the top of the list is renewing highway funding before the govt loses authority 31 July to send much-needed transportation money to the states right in the middle of summer driving season. (will they punt for a few months?) The highway bill will probably be the way lawmakers will try to renew the disputed federal Export-Import Bank

• The bank makes and underwrites loans to help foreign companies buy U.S. products. The bank’s charter expired 30 June due to Congress doing nothing, a defeat for business and a victory for conservative activists (who claim the bank is “corporate cronyism” which it isn’t)


• First up for the Senate is a major bipartisan education overhaul bill that rewrites the much-maligned No Child Left Behind law by shifting responsibility from the federal govt to the states for public school standards. The House is moving with its own GOP-written education bill. Even if both bills pass, it’s uncertain whether Congress can agree on a combined version

• Actually, not much is likely to get done and sent to President Obama. Democrats are pledging to oppose the annual spending bills to fund govt agencies unless Republicans sit down with them to negotiate higher spending levels for domestic agencies. Republicans want more spending for the military but not domestic agencies, and have so far refused. Stand-off…

• As a result it looks like current funding levels could be temporarily extended beyond 30 September to allow more time to negotiate a solution. In addition, the govt’s borrowing limit will have to be raised sometime before the end of the year, the FAA must be renewed and some popular expiring tax breaks will need to be extended. Sooo, that’s all great, then…

• Vid: Shark Week! Australian diver Brett Vercoe has captured footage of three great whites (13 feet) and two tiger sharks happily chomping away on a sperm whale carcass off the coast of New South Wales – bit graphic but good old Shark Week stuff

2016ers: July the Fourth Fun (WaPo, AP, Weekly Standard, TRNS, TRNS, me)
• Hillary Clinton marched in a Fourth of July parade in Gorham NH. “We need to get a Democratic president,” she told one woman. One man who carried a sign that read “Benghazi” followed Clinton. Alluding to her time in the Senate, he screamed repeatedly: “Carpetbagger!” (LOL)

• Heard of the press being wrangled? Hillary Clinton’s people literally wrangled the press with ropes, as reporters were trying to cover the parade route in NH on Saturday. It was an actual moving rope line – appalling – and a terrifying vision of how her people might treat WH press corps – which we’re all well aware of, BTW

• Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and former Gov Rick Perry (R-Texas) brought energy to Amherst NH, running through the streets waving, shouting jokes and posing for photos. “Sorry the govt’s so screwed up!” Graham shouted to the crowd numerous times, often followed by an apology to any children about the future of Social Security

• Former Gov Jeb Bush (R-Fla), also in Amherst, shook so many hands on the parade route that his team had to nearly run down an entire street to catch up with the procession. “There’s nothing behind us – other than Hillary,” Bush joked to a voter who chided him for holding up the parade (#ratherbewithLindsey)

• Former Sen Jim Webb (D-Va) quietly jumped into the 2016 race Thursday. The former Navy Secretary and Marine is hard to pin down politically – can be centrist, can lurch left. A former Republican, he’s known for an idiosyncratic collection of positions on the issues. He’s also viewed as an often prickly iconoclast who doesn’t like campaigning (so that’s that, then)



• Princess Charlotte was christened on Sunday. William, Kate, Prince George and Princess Charlotte leave the church. Charlotte is in an old stroller that the Queen used for two of her children. Charlotte’s wearing a replica of the lace and satin christening gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria, in 1841 (gorgeous!) (E!online)

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Victoria Jones – Editor

TRNS’ William McDonald and Anna Merod contributed to this report


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