Good Saturday morning.
Situational awareness: Pope Francis today "accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, one of the U.S. Catholic Church’s most prominent figures who has been at the center of a widening sexual abuse scandal," per Reuters' Philip Pullella.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Think back to the wild conspiracy theories that once floated through your head, or the minds of friends and critics of President Trump: collusion with Russia ... Hidden hush money to former lovers ... Shady business dealings that only insiders like fixer Michael Cohen knew of — and they'd never tell.
Now, think about July, 2018, as narrated by Axios CEO Jim VandeHei:
Be smart: Who the hell knows how this wild saga ends? But it’s striking how much of it was foreseeable — and foreseen.
"State-sponsored Russian hackers appear far more interested this year in demonstrating that they can disrupt the American electric utility grid than the midterm elections, according to United States intelligence officials and technology company executives," the N.Y. Times David E. Sanger writes:
What's new: "[T]here is surprisingly far more effort directed at implanting malware in the electrical grid."
"The U.S. economy grew at the fastest pace in nearly four years this spring ... [a] seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 4.1% in the second quarter," The Wall Street Journal's Harriet Torry writes (subscription):
Trump tweets: "We have accomplished an economic turnaround of HISTORIC proportions!"
Reality check from AP: "The U.S. economy just entered its 10th year of growth, a recovery that began under President Barack Obama, who inherited the Great Recession."
P.S. CNN's Kevin Liptak calls it "another agony-and-ecstasy week":
"Curiosity and awe ... greeted a complete lunar eclipse, the longest one of this century and visible in much of the world," AP reports from Johannesburg:
The blood moon rises next to the Colosseum in Rome.
New Yorker contributing writer Ronan Farrow, who reported harrowing accounting by victims of Harvey Weinstein, rocks the entertainment world with vivid, on-the-record accusations by women who say CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves sexually harassed them "between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts":
Sophie Gayter, a former “60 Minutes” employee, "and another junior female employee told me that their bosses asked them to complete the company’s mandatory online sexual-harassment training programs for them."
Moonves told The New Yorker: “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees ... I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely."
"President Trump has sought repeatedly to punish journalists for the way they ask him questions, directing White House staff to ban those reporters from covering official events or to revoke their press credentials," the WashPost's Phil Rucker, Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker report:
"Until this week, ... Trump’s senior aides have resisted ... They convinced him that moves to restrict media access could backfire and further strain the White House’s fraught relationship with the press corps."
Why it matters: "The move revealed a fresh willingness inside the West Wing to execute the president’s wishes to punish reporters."
"The Bachelorette Party’s Over: Venues Snub Bridezillas and Their Entourages ... [S]ome wineries, tour operators and hotels want a divorce from rowdy bachelorette partyers — forbidding veils, tiaras, crowns and inflatable objects" — Wall Street Journal A-hed by Jennifer Levitz (subscription):
Thanks for reading. Updates all weekend on Axios.com.