RUSSIA PROBE. Robert Mueller hires more prosecutors as investigation expands: “As Mueller pursues his probe, he’s making more use of career prosecutors from the offices of U.S. attorneys and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents — a sign that he may be laying the groundwork to hand off parts of his investigation eventually, several current and former U.S. officials said.”
GIULIANI. No decision yet on Trump talking to Mueller.
SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE. Putin was trying to help Trump win election: “Breaking with their House Republican counterparts, the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that the intelligence community properly concluded in January of last year that Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to help Donald Trump when Moscow meddled in the 2016 election.”
SCARLETT JOHANSSON. Under fire for playing a transgender man: “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
HONG KONG. Same-sex couples entitled to equal visa rights, court says: “Hong Kong’s top court ruled on Wednesday that committed same-sex couples living in the city had the same rights to spousal visas as married heterosexual couples, a decision that advocates said could have ripple effects in advancing gay rights.”
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT. Republicans plan to gut it. ‘The legislation proposed by Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso will significantly revamp the Endangered Species Act, but critics of the move say it will essentially gut the law. Jason Rylander, a senior attorney with Defenders of Wildlife, is one of many such critics to raise concerns about the proposal. “The bill would undermine the Endangered Species Act in a whole lot of ways,” Rylander said in a phone interview.’
RIP. Former MSNBC host Ed Schultz dies at 64: “Schultz, a local and national radio and television personality, got his start as a sports broadcaster for Fargo-Moorhead television stations in the early 1980s, including time as sports director at WDAY-TV. He eventually moved to talk radio, including WDAY radio, dominating the local airwaves as a conservative firebrand in the 1990s.”
IN THE SKY. Trump baby blimp to fly during president’s UK visit. “London mayor Sadiq Khan’s Greater London Authority has approved a request for the flight after thousands signed a petition and a crowdfunding campaign raised more than £16,000 to get the six-metre inflatable off the ground.”
— Mirror Politics (@MirrorPolitics) July 5, 2018
SCOTUSWATCH. Mike Pence met with several SCOTUS hopefuls: “The meetings took place in recent days, according to a person familiar with the search process. The person did not specify which candidates Pence met with and spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday to describe the private search process.”
JOSH BROLIN. Hittin’ the beach over the 4th.
VENEZUELA. Nicolas Maduro urges armed forces to be ready for American invasion: “You cannot lower you guard for even a second, because we will defend the greatest right our homeland has had in all of its history.”
FLASHBACK. Trump wanted war with Venezuela.
BIG GAY ICE CREAM. Cheetos ice cream hits the menu. “The cone features a soft swerve swirl of vanilla-with-a-hint-of-cheese flavored ice cream, which is then rolled in Cheetos dust. Co-founder Douglas Quint says that finding the balance for cheese ice cream was harder than he thought it would be.”
MEAL OF THE DAY. Rhino poachers eaten by lions: ‘Sibuya reserve owner Nick Fox said in a statement on the reserve’s Facebook page that the suspected poachers entered the reserve late on Sunday night or early on Monday morning. “They strayed into a pride of lions – it’s a big pride so they didn’t have too much time,” Mr Fox told AFP news agency.’
PROMO OF THE DAY. Robin Wright in House of Cards.
DOCUMENTARY OF THE DAY. Diplo “Florida to California”.
THIRSTY THURSDAY. Arman Bashiri.