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Photo: Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Multiple groups led by Native American activists plan to protest President Trump’s July 3 Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, AP reports.

Why it matters: Activists believe the monument is a desecration of land stolen from Native Americans used to celebrate leaders who were hostile to Indigenous people.

  • The planned protest and the heightened attention on Mount Rushmore come during a national reckoning over the symbolism of monuments.
  • Some Native American activists believe the memorial is as reprehensible as the Confederate monuments being removed or torn down around the country.

What they're saying: Oglala Sioux president Julian Bear Runner told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that Trump failed to consult tribal leaders about his visit to the Black Hills, which the Oglala Sioux consider part of their Great Sioux Reservation and land that was never formally ceded to the United States.

  • Bear Runner said he also believes Mount Rushmore should be "removed."
  • "I don't believe it should be blown up, because it would cause more damage to the land," he said. "Removed but not blown up."
  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) tweeted last week that "The men on Mt. Rushmore helped make America the greatest country in history. They weren't perfect; nobody is. But we should learn from their example and work together to accomplish their dreams for our country."
  • Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives last week that would prohibit federal funds from being used to alter the faces of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, according to the Leader.

The big picture: Noem pushed for the return of an Independence Day fireworks display for Trump's visit. It will be the first pyrotechnical display at the site since 2009.

  • National fire experts said the return of the display "is ill-advised" because of fire danger.
  • The Black Hills National Forest has experienced abnormally dry conditions recently, which increases the risk of wildfires.

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.