June 6, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- Supreme Court rules for Christian cake baker but voices support for gay rights too (Los Angeles Times)
- Taking migrant parents from children is illegal, U.N. tells U.S. (New York Times)
- Slow-moving flood of lava claims hundreds of homes, fills Kapoho Bay (Hawaii News Now)
- Chris Christie: 'Outrageous claim' that Trump cannot obstruct justice (CNN)
- Giulani: Trump could have shot Comey and not be prosecuted (CNN)
- Across U.S., toxic blooms pollute lakes (Environmental Working Group)
- Thousands of acres ablaze in Colorado, New Mexico (CNN)
- Admission that Trump dictated statement on Trump Tower meeting raises new questions (The Hill)
- Manafort attempted to tamper with witnesses, prosecutors say (Yahoo News)
- Mexico imposes $3 billion in tariffs worth of U.S. exports (CNN)
- Guatemala’s Fuego volcano eruption kills 25, injures hundreds (Reuters)
- Saudi Arabia issues first driver’s licenses to women (BBC)
- Russia's Putin signs "counter-sanctions" legislation into law (Jerusalem Post)
- Mexican tariffs weigh on tight house races (Reuters)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.
The Supreme Court upheld both gay rights and religious freedom Monday with a narrowly written decision in favor of a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. By a 7-2 vote, the court said Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker, was treated with hostility and bias by a state commission …But the court’s opinion also emphasized the importance of equal rights for gays and lesbians, and it largely rejected the claim that store owners have broad religious liberty rights to turn away customers because of their sexual orientation.
Taking migrant parents from children is illegal, U.N. tells U.S. (New York Times)
The Trump administration’s practice of separating children from migrant families entering the United States violates their rights and international law, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday, urging an immediate halt to the practice. The administration angrily rejected what it called an ignorant attack by the United Nations human rights office and accused the global organization of hypocrisy.
Slow-moving flood of lava claims hundreds of homes, fills Kapoho Bay (Hawaii News Now)
A massive river of lava covered hundreds more homes overnight as it poured into the sea, filling all of Kapoho Bay and decimating entire neighborhoods. Among the properties destroyed: A second home owned in Vacationland by Mayor Harry Kim.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knocked the claim from Donald Trump's legal team that, by nature of his office, the President cannot obstruct justice and could simply shut down the Russia investigation altogether. "It's an outrageous claim, it's wrong," the former Republican governor said on ABC News' "This Week." Christie, who was a former federal prosecutor before becoming governor, added that Trump's legal team "was trying to make a broad argument."
Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed Sunday that the President hypothetically could have shot the former FBI director to end the Russia investigation and not face prosecution for it while in office. Giuliani told HuffPost in an interview that Trump's presidential power extends so far that "in no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted."
Across U.S., toxic blooms pollute lakes (Environmental Working Group)
No government agency collects nationwide data on toxic blooms. But EWG’s research found news reports of almost 300 blooms in lakes, rivers and bays in 48 states and the Gulf of Mexico since 2010. Based on those reports, the problem appears to have worsened over the past few years. In 2010, there were just three reports of toxic blooms in the U.S. ..In 2016, there were 51…Last year, 169 blooms were reported…. Algal blooms don’t always produce toxic microcystins. When they do they’re not just a gross and smelly nuisance, but can pose serious health hazards to people, pets and wildlife.
Massive wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico have torched thousands of acres and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes.
President Trump's allies and legal experts faced new questions on Sunday about the legal ramifications of the revelation that the president dictated a letter about a 2016 meeting between his campaign aides and a Russian lawyer, even as his lawyers argue he can't obstruct justice in the special counsel's probe. "Jay Sekulow said time and time again directly into the faces of the American people on television — Sarah [Huckabee] Sanders did the same thing, and said in no uncertain terms ... they said the president had nothing to do with that statement by Donald Trump Jr. and didn't draft it, didn't sign off on it," former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said on CNN's "State of the Union." "And it turns out that is completely untrue.”
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort made several attempts to tamper with witnesses in his ongoing criminal case, prosecutors said Monday as they asked a federal judge to consider jailing him while he awaits trial.
The US trade dispute with Mexico is heating up. In retaliation for the Trump administration announcing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and much of the rest of the world, Mexico Tuesday imposed a series of tariffs against US exports to its market valued at $3 billion. They'll hike the price of products including pork, apples, potatoes, bourbon as well as different types of cheese.
An estimated 25 people, including at least three children, were killed and nearly 300 injured on Sunday in the most violent eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego volcano in more than four decades, officials said.
Saudi Arabia has issued driving licences to women for the first time in decades just weeks before a ban on female drivers is lifted.
Russia's Putin signs "counter-sanctions" legislation into law (Jerusalem Post)
The legislation gives the president, among other things, the power to sever ties with unfriendly countries, and to ban trade of goods with those countries.
Mexican tariffs are roiling U.S. congressional campaigns in states where U.S. exporters could take a hit and President Donald Trump’s Republicans face tough races in November congressional elections.