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New York is trying to get Congress Trump’s tax returns; the UK ambassador to the US resigns after leaked cables.


New York bill provides possible new route to Trump’s tax returns

Jose More/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
  • New York passed a bill that would give lawmakers access to President Donald Trump’s state tax records — but it remains uncertain whether Congress will take up the opportunity. [NBC News / Allan Smith and Adam Edelman]
  • Under the new law, the state’s tax commissioner must provide state tax returns to Congress if requested by the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation. House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal has been leading the battle for Trump’s federal tax returns. [WSJ / Jimmy Vielkind]
  • The bill doesn’t name Trump, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made clear whom it’s intended for. What remains murky is if and how Neal would use the bill, especially as criticism mounts against his slow handling of the situation. [NYT / Jesse McKinley and Nicholas Fandos]
  • After a long delay, Neal finally sued the Treasury Department last week to get Trump’s federal tax returns after his subpoena for the documents was ignored. [Fox News / Ronn Blitzer]
  • Trump’s lawyer has responded to the new bill by calling it “presidential harassment” and pledging to fight back if Congress actually uses it. [CNN / Paul LeBlanc, Lauren Fox, and Elizabeth Joseph]
  • There’s debate over how the state tax returns could actually help, although some say they could provide a “road map” to the Trump oversight investigation. The topic might be moot, though, as Democratic leadership has shown little interest in the bill for now. [Vox / Emily Stewart]

UK ambassador to the US resigns after scandal

  • UK Ambassador to the US Kim Darroch has resigned after private cables in which he made unflattering remarks about President Trump and the administration were leaked to a British tabloid. [Guardian / Peter Walker, Patrick Wintour, Rajeev Syal, and Sabrina Siddiqui]
  • In the leaked communications, Darroch characterized the Trump administration as “clumsy and inept.” The president responded by calling Darroch “wacky” and a “pompous fool” and vowed to no longer do business with the ambassador. [Washington Post / Siobhán O’Grady and Claire Parker]
  • In his resignation letter, Darroch said he was leaving his post, which technically doesn’t end until December, because his situation was making it impossible for him to do his job. [WSJ / Max Colchester, Jason Douglas, and Michael R. Gordon]
  • Prime Minister Theresa May stood up for Darroch, saying his departure was ”a matter of deep regret.” UK foreign secretary and prime minister candidate Jeremy Hunt also said if he is elected, he would keep Darroch as US ambassador until the end of his tenure. [AP / Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless]
  • It is unlikely, however, that Hunt will be elected, and frontrunner Boris Johnson failed to stand up for Darroch — which most likely fueled the ambassador’s resignation. During a televised debate Tuesday night, Johnson refused to say he would keep Darroch in his post if he won the election. [NYT / Stephen Castle]
  • As Vox’s Jen Kirby points out, people are angry that Johnson seems to be appeasing Trump to protect the prospects of a possible trade deal with the US following Brexit. This is a risky bet, considering that Trump does not exactly have a history as a reliable trade partner. [Vox / Jen Kirby]
  • Darroch’s resignation points to how bizarre the US-UK relationship has become. While there has typically been a separation between diplomacy and politics, such conventions do not stand in Trump’s administration. [BBC / Laura Kuenssberg]

Miscellaneous

  • Doctors in Cleveland delivered the first US baby born from the uterus of a deceased donor. It’s another positive development in the study of uterus transplants. [AP]
  • Prime Day, July 15, is Amazon’s biggest sale day. Warehouse workers in Minnesota will be using it to strike in protest of what they say are unfair labor practices by the company. [TechCrunch / Catherine Shu]
  • It’s illegal to own an alligator in the state of Illinois. So how did a 5-foot gator end up in the lagoon of a popular Chicago park? [CNN / AJ Willingham]
  • The housing crisis in LA has led to a rise in the homeless population. Business owners are trying to create physical obstacles that prevent people from camping outside their buildings — but many of their methods are technically not legal. [LA Times / Benjamin Oreskes]
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen visibly shaking for the third time in less than a month, sparking concerns about her health, though she told news outlets she is “very well.” [NYT / Melissa Eddy]

Verbatim

“We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept.” [Kim Darroch’s assessment of the Trump administration per his leaked cables]


Watch this: India and Sri Lanka’s violent fight over fish

How a maritime border created a conflict in the Indian Ocean. [YouTube / Johnny Harris]


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