5 things to know for July 3: Politics, Brazil, India, Lee Iacocca, Women’s World Cup

Posted at 4:08 AM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 06:16:18-04

Planning to buy fireworks for the Fourth of July? Several kinds of fireworks have been recalled recently, so check out this list to make sure what you buy won’t put you in danger.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Washington

Things usually slow down in the summer, but not so much in DC this sizzling season. Here’s a rundown of the big story lines that are unfolding:

• A federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s policy of denying bond hearings to asylum-seekers.

• Unannounced inspections of Border Patrol detention facilities by a government watchdog found extreme overcrowding.

• There won’t be a citizenship question on the 2020 census. The Trump administration will print census forms without the controversial question, after the Supreme Court blocked it from being asked.

• House Democrats sued the Treasury Department and the IRS to get access to President Trump’s tax returns.

• Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to New Hampshire yesterday was abruptly canceled, and no one quite knows why.

• Washington is prepping for the President’s military-themed Fourth of July celebration, but many worry it will devolve into a partisan political event.

2. Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is making good on one of his campaign promises, and it’s accelerating deforestation in the Amazon. The rate of rainforest destruction has soared more than 60% compared to the same time last year, a Brazilian government agency reports. So, right now the Amazon is losing an area of rainforest a little larger than one and a half soccer fields every minute. Environmental groups blame Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, for the quickening pace of destruction, saying he has relaxed controls on deforestation. But Bolsonaro campaigned on exploring ways to capitalize on the Amazon’s economic potential as a way to boost the country’s economy. Brazil contains more than two-thirds of the Amazon forest, which is often referred to as the planet’s lungs, because it produces 20% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.

3. India

The monsoon season has arrived with a vengeance in and around Mumbai. At least 32 people have died and more than a thousand have been evacuated as the heaviest rain in a decade pours down on India’s largest city. The airport’s main runway was shut down, rail service interrupted and some public services suspended as some places took on water so fast it rose to waist-height. The rains came late this year, a delay that has worsened a crisis that’s the polar opposite of flooding: a nationwide dearth of groundwater that could put hundreds of millions of people at risk in the next five years of fatal droughts, famine and heat waves.

4. Lee Iacocca

Auto industry legend Lee Iacocca will be remembered for two things: helping create the Ford Mustang, and saving Chrysler in the 1980s. Iacocca died of natural causes yesterday at age 94. He led both Ford and Chrysler during his career and made an indelible mark at both. During his years at Ford he was a major figure in the development of the Ford Mustang — the first vehicle of its kind. Later, at Chrysler, he led that company during an era in which foreign imports first started to take a serious bite out of American automakers’ share of the car market. He orchestrated a $1.5 billion Treasury Department bank loan to keep the company afloat during the recessions of the early ’80s. He was a TV pitchman, too, starring in a series of Chrysler TV commercials with his catchphrase, “If you can find a better car, buy it.”

5. Women’s World Cup

What. A. Save. And what a match! That’s how the Twitterverse was feeling yesterday after the thrilling semifinal between the US and England. Team USA beat England 2-1 to reach its third consecutive final, but man, what it took to get there. England appeared to tie things up in the 67th minute, but the goal was controversially called back for offside. Later, US goalie Alyssa Naeher made a save for the ages that pretty much preserved the American victory. So, now the US awaits the winner of today’s Sweden-Netherlands semi (3 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1), while England ponders (again) what could have been.


He just made them happy

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Back to the Upside Down

“Stranger Things” returns tomorrow to Netflix, and if you’ve forgotten, well, pretty much everything that happened in Season 2, here’s a little refresher.

Try, try again

If you didn’t get a ticket to that disastrous Fyre Festival, consider yourself lucky. You can now buy the island used to promote it.

What could have been

Did you know Kevin Costner was planning a sequel to “The Bodyguard?” We didn’t either. And would you believe his co-star was going to be Princess Diana?


“So, he doesn’t count in the back?”

The driver of a hearse on an interstate in Nevada, after he was pulled over by a state trooper for driving solo in the HOV lane



Don’t move

Kids are challenged to stay completely still (to win a hoverboard). Parents watch in another room and giggle at the struggle. (Click to view.)