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5 things to know for July 2: Border crisis, 2020 Dems, Hong Kong, EU, Antarctica

Posted at 4:04 AM, Jul 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 06:14:14-04

Can’t make it to South America to watch this afternoon’s total solar eclipse? Here’s how you can watch it from anywhere.

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. Border facilities

Reports of lewd and cruel social media posts about migrants allegedly made by border patrol agents are being investigated. US Customs and Border Protection officials say they are investigating the posts, which were found in a closed Facebook group for current and former border patrol agents, according to the investigative reporting group ProPublica. CNN has not been able to independently access and review the Facebook group posts. The posts reportedly feature jokes about migrant deaths and derogatory comments about Latina lawmakers.

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers toured a border detention facility in Clint, Texas. They did not like what they saw. US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet that people are drinking out of toilets. The head of operations for US Border Patrol denies this, saying there are “ample supplies” in the facilities. Ocasio-Cortez also called out the behavior of some border patrol agents, saying she saw some agents laughing in front of members of Congress and screamed at others for trying to take selfies with her before she toured a facility. “I was not safe from the officers,” the congresswoman told CNN.

2. Campaign 2020

Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren surged in the latest CNN poll after their strong debate performances last week. Harris is up nine percentage points since the last poll in May, putting her in second place at 17%. Warren is up eight percentage points, putting her in third at 15%. Their success seems to be coming at the expense of Joe Biden. The Democratic front-runner tumbled 10 percentage points to 22%, putting him just five points ahead of Harris (the margin of error is +/- 4.7%). These dramatic shifts in the race raise the possibility of a new glass ceiling that could be shattered in 2020, what CNN’s Stephen Collinson calls “a duel for a presidential ticket between two women.”

3. Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong’s government headquarters is being treated as a huge crime scene today after hundreds of protesters stormed in and trashed it. The masked and mostly young demonstrators left graffiti-scrawled slogans, broken glass and debris throughout the building. Police are now in control of the headquarters. Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, condemned the violence and vowed to pursue legal action. She also said the controversial extradition bill that protesters had been demonstrating against would not be brought back during the current legislative session.

4. Tariffs and the European Union

The US may have restarted trade talks with China, but a potential new front is opening up in the trade wars. The US is threatening new tariffs on the European Union. The proposed $4 billion in new tariffs on EU goods would cover 89 products, including meat, cheese, pasta, fruits, coffee and whiskey. This would be added to a list of EU exports worth $21 billion that the United States Trade Representative said in April would be subject to tariffs. The proposed tariffs will be subject to arbitration from the World Trade Organization. So, why tariffs on EU goods? It’s all part of a fight over aircraft subsidies, which the US and EU have been squabbling about for years.

5. Antarctica

Sea ice in Antarctica has been slowly increasing for decades, but now it looks like that’s over. Antarctic sea ice is now decreasing faster than sea ice in the Arctic, new research based on four decades’ worth of satellite data reveals. Sea ice in Antarctica increased until about 2014, then took a big drop and hitting a record low in 2017. Scientists say it’s just too early to determine what caused the change. Sea ice has a big impact on the Earth’s climate because it reflects huge amounts of sunlight back into space. Less sea ice means more sunlight gets absorbed by the ocean, which in turn warms the planet.

TODAY’S QUOTES

“Tyler has, and always will be, an important part of the Angels Family.”

The Los Angeles Angels, announcing the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27, who was found unresponsive in a hotel room near Dallas. The Angels’ game against the Texas Rangers was postponed.

“The alien spacecraft hypothesis is a fun idea, but our analysis suggests there is a whole host of natural phenomena that could explain it.”

Matthew Knight, a scientist at the University of Maryland, saying the weird, cigar-shaped object that passed through our solar system in 2017 (probably) wasn’t an alien spacecraft

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Happy birthday

What do you do to force the city to fix a pothole that’s tormented you for months? Throw a birthday party for it, of course.

Not OK

Cardi B wanted to trademark her famous phrase, “okurr.” The US Patent and Trademark Office said, “Uh, uh.”

‘Living my dream’

You’re a 15-year-old tennis phenom about to face off against one of your idols at Wimbledon. Time for an autograph? Nope, it’s time for a shocking victory.

Major league honor

The 13-year-old umpire stood his ground after his call sparked an adult brawl at a youth baseball game. An MLB umpire decided to honor him.

HAPPENING LATER

Women’s World Cup

It’ll be the team chasing history versus the team “everyone wants to beat” when England faces off against the US in the semifinals. You can catch the match this afternoon at 3 ET on Fox.

TODAY’S NUMBER

$3.6 billion

That’s how much Warren Buffett is donating, via Berkshire Hathaway stock, to five charities, including one run by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates.

TODAY’S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

Feline feet

Everybody loves to kick back and get a foot massage. Even cute kitties. (Click to view.)