Jun 16, 2019

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

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🎬 See you tonight for "Axios on HBO" (6 p.m. ET/PT). Mayor Pete and I sit down at his South Bend headquarters. Watch a clip.

  • Joann Muller has an exclusive interview with GM CEO Mary Barra.
  • And Ina Fried visits Lego HQ in Denmark. Watch a clip.

Today's Smart Brevity count: 984 words ... < 4 minutes!

1 big thing: What happens when a migrant child crosses the border
Expand chart
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Since October of last year, the U.S. border patrol has arrested almost a quarter of a million child migrants who crossed the border alone or with their family, a Customs and Border Protection official tells Axios' Stef Kight.

Why it matters: The U.S. immigration system is not set up to handle this surge of young migrants mostly from Central American nations — and it's breaking down.

  • There are long waits, sickness and even child deaths.

Lazaro Gamio, our deputy managing editor for visuals, is pioneering "illustrated stories," based on expert reporting and driven by visuals.

  • Click here to see what happens when a child crosses the border.
2. Great victory for democracy: New surge paralyzes Hong Kong
The yellow banner reads: "Extradition law, funeral to Hong Kong." (Apple Daily via AP)

Bulletin: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam apologized today for a controversial extradition bill that prompted hundreds of thousands of black-clad protesters to return to the streets today — this time to demand her resignation.

  • "Organizers say that [today's] protest may be larger than last week’s demonstration, when they estimated more than 1 million people filed through the city center," Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: This is one of the great victories for democracy, and a threat to China’s authoritarian regime. The people have stood up to Xi like never before. 

3. "21st-century gunboat diplomacy"

The U.S. cyberwarfare strategy against Moscow "has shifted more toward offense, ... with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian [electric power grid] at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before," the N.Y. Times' David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth report.

  • Why it matters: "It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow."

The intrigue: "Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps."

  • "Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister."

Shot ... From a pair of Trump tweets: "Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper ... ALSO, NOT TRUE! "

  • Chaser ... From the N.Y. Times story: "Officials at the [White House] National Security Council ... said they had no national security concerns about the details of The New York Times’s reporting about the targeting of the Russian grid, perhaps an indication that some of the intrusions were intended to be noticed by the Russians."
4. Pic du jour: The hard hat mass
Photo: Karine Perret, Pool via AP

"A small congregation in white hard hats attended mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Saturday, the first service since fire devastated the Gothic landmark two months ago." (Reuters)

5. Lingo: "Shadow war"
The U.S. military says Iran's Revolutionary Guard removed an unexploded limpet mine from one of the oil tankers targeted near the Strait of Hormuz. (U.S. Central Command via AP)
The Trump administration began an urgent debate on Friday over how to respond to what officials say has grown into a shadow war with Iran ...
— Lead story of Saturday's N.Y. Times
6. Wall Street's 3 Dem favorites
Waiting for Kamala Harris in Dubuque, Iowa, last week (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

"The behind-the-scenes competition for Wall Street money in the 2020 presidential race is reaching a fevered peak this week as no less than nine Democrats are holding New York fund-raisers in a span of nine days, racing ahead of a June 30 filing deadline," the N.Y. Times' Shane Goldmacher reports.

  • The three candidates "generating most of the buzz": Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.

Between the lines: "[T]hose who care most about picking a winner are gravitating toward Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, while donors are swooning over Mr. Buttigieg enough to open their wallets and bundling networks for him."

7. 2020 snapshot
Courtesy CBS News

This CBS News survey, conducted by YouGov between May 31 and June 12, includes 7,885 Democrats in 18 states holding early primaries and caucuses.

Courtesy CBS News
8. Four years of Trump
Trump, four years on

Four years ago today — on June 16, 2015 — Donald Trump rode down the golden escalator at Trump Tower and declared his candidacy for president.

  • In a new oral history, Politico Magazine's Michael Kruse calls it: "The Escalator Ride That Changed America."

The N.Y. Times ran the story on page A16, with a front-page tease. Here's the lower-left corner of the next day's WashPost front page:

The Washington Post
9. O.J.'s "little gettin' even to do"
O.J. Simpson in the garden of his Las Vegas area home on June 3 (Didier J. Fabien via AP)

O.J. Simpson, 71, launched a Twitter account (@TheRealOJ32) with a video post saying he's got a "little gettin' even to do," reports AP's Linda Deutsch, now retired, who covered Simpson's legal cases during her 48 years as an L.A. trial reporter.

  • Simpson confirmed the account's authenticity to Linda, saying in a phone interview while on a Las Vegas golf course that it "will be a lot of fun."
  • "I've got some things to straighten out," he said.
10. 1 historic thing: A holiday grows
Zebiyan Fields, 11 (center), drums at the front of last year's Juneteenth parade in Flint, Mich. (Photo: Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

Juneteenth (coming up Wednesday) — the annual commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S — is spreading across the U.S. (46 states + D.C.; 150+ cities this year) and abroad, AP's Jesse Holland reports.

  • "Juneteenth" blends "June" and "nineteenth." The holiday has also been called Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day.
  • Celebrations include parades, concerts, and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The backstory: On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers told enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War had ended and they were free.

Juneteenth celebrations used to revolve around the church with speeches and picnics. It changed around the 1960s with the civil rights movement.

  • "It became a little more secular and stretched over more than one day," said Para LaNell Agboga, museum site coordinator at the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center in Austin, Texas.
  • "It became kind of a time of community gathering ... It's really more huge parties and huge parades and big concerts, but always bringing in freedom."
Mike Allen

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