NPR News Newsletter: U.K. Ambassador To U.S. Resigns; Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump Dismissed; Sting And Shaggy Tiny Desk Concert

Published by NPR News on July 10th, 2019 12:21pm.

Plus, watch the victory parade for the U.S. Women's National Team in New York City.
by Korva Coleman and Jill Hudson
First Up
British Ambassador to Washington Kim Darroch, seen here in 2017, submitted his resignation Wednesday following the publication of embarrassing internal memos bashing the Trump administration.
Sait Serkan Gurbuz/AP

Here’s what we’re following today.

The British ambassador to the U.S., Kim Darroch, stepped down Wednesday after a series of leaked diplomatic cables revealed that he called the Trump administration “dysfunctional,” “clumsy” and “inept,” and that President Trump “radiates insecurity.” The publication set off a diplomatic firestorm, with President Trump ramping up his Twitter attacks against Darroch. "The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy," Trump wrote on Tuesday.

Pressure is mounting for Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to resign. President Trump said Acosta has done a good job leading the Labor Department but said he will look into Acosta’s involvement in a decade-old plea agreement with financier Jeffrey Epstein after new sex trafficking charges were filed this week.

A federal appeals court dismissed a constitutional challenge to President Trump's continued ownership of his businesses. A three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the attorneys general of Washington, D.C., and Maryland did not have the standing to bring the emoluments lawsuit.

France plans to put an "ecotax" on nearly all flights starting in 2020. Transportation officials hope the tax will bring in as much as $200 million annually that would support modes of travel that pollute less. The tax will not apply to connecting flights or flights that land in France — only ones that originate in the country. 

For the first time this year, the number of migrants taken into custody by immigration authorities after crossing the Southwest border has dropped. About 104,000 migrants were taken into custody in June — a 28% drop from May.

The Daily Good
Watch the victory parade for the U.S. Women's National Team in New York.
From left, U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and soccer players Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris celebrate the U.S. women's soccer team's world championship in New York, during a ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes Wednesday.
Craig Ruttle/AP

The U.S. Women's National Team is celebrating their World Cup championship with a ticker tape parade in New York City. Throngs of fans packed Manhattan's famed "Canyon of Heroes" to greet the squad led by Megan Rapinoe.

Today's Listen
Moon rocks still rock.
Buzz Aldrin (left) practices collecting a sample while Neil Armstrong photographs during a training session before the Apollo 11 mission. The Apollo 11 astronauts returned with about 50 pounds of material, including 50 rocks.

Nearly a half-ton of rocks were collected during the six Apollo missions to the moon. And as the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 first landing mission approaches, NASA has decided to open a still-sealed, never-studied moon rock sample that has been carefully saved for decades, waiting for technology to advance. (Listening time, 4:41)

Cardi B can’t trademark her signature “Okurrr.”

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has ruled it is not OK for rapper Cardi B to trademark one of her signature catchphrases. One reason her patent was denied — the trilling expression is already widely used in public. (Listening time, 2:18)

Digging Deeper
A black gun ownership group ponders whether to become more political. 
Philip Smith is the president and founder of the National African American Gun Association. Since its creation in 2015, the group has seen rapid growth with roughly 30,000 members and 75 chapters nationwide.
Lynsey Weatherspoon for NPR

The National African American Gun Association was created in 2015 to introduce African Americans to guns and teach them how to use them. Some see the group as an alternative to the National Rifle Association for black gun owners, but it has some notable differences. Organizers say it is a civil rights organization that aims to build community and promote self-protection. The group has 75 chapters across the country with about 30,000 members, and group leaders are considering whether to create a political action committee to support candidates sympathetic with their cause. "Does law enforcement, or more importantly larger society, view black men with firearms in a certain way?" asks Philip Smith, the group’s president and founder. While his group supports law enforcement, carrying a gun while black can have deadly consequences. Not all NAAGA group members are sure creating a PAC will help. Cassandra Light says she wants the group to be open to everyone, but "we also need to be careful about having a political stance because it's real easy for that to get blown out of proportion."

Today's Listen
How a grocery store's plan to stop customers from using plastic bags backfired.
East West Market in Vancouver, British Columbia, offered single-use plastic bags with embarrassing slogans to encourage customers to utilize reusable bags.
Courtesy of East West Market

Public shame. That's the tactic one Canadian grocery store used to get customers to ditch single-use plastics and instead utilize reusable shopping bags. Shoppers who didn't bring their own bags to East West Market in Vancouver, British Columbia, left with groceries in plastic bags that read "Wart Ointment Wholesale," "Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium" or "The Colon Care Co-Op." (Listening time, 5:02)

Today's Video
Sting and Shaggy: Tiny Desk Concert.
The Brighter Side Of Screen Time

Sting and Shaggy might not be the most likely musical pairing, but one thing is certain: They love playing each other's music. On a bright autumn morning, the legends arrived at the NPR Music office bleary-eyed yet excited to play. What’s most surprising? Just how well the collaboration works. Click here to watch the video.

Before You Go
Rip Torn during the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. On Tuesday, Torn died at age 88.
J. Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images
  • Rip Torn, the eccentric and temperamental Texan actor who won an Emmy for his role in the 1990s sitcom The Larry Sanders Show, died Tuesday at the age of 88.
  • Disney and Beyoncé fans got a surprise last night, ahead of the release of a live-action Lion King reboot, with the release of a new single, "Spirit." 
  • In more Disney news, the company is defending the casting of a black actress in a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Certain circles of the Internet are aghast that actress and singer Halle Bailey is African American. "Spoiler alert ... the character of Ariel is a work of fiction," Disney said.
  • Apparently, your hummus addiction can also be good for the earth. 

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