Friday briefing: Trump drops bid to 'weaponise' US census

Friday briefing: Trump drops bid to 'weaponise' US census

Immigration activists outside the US supreme court. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

President uses executive order to demand migrant data ??? Google admits eavesdropping via Assistant ??? and Kubrick???s unhappy marriage scripts

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Main image: Immigration activists outside the US supreme court. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Top story: Question would have targeted migrants

Good morning, I???m Warren Murray and your day in the news starts here.

Facing defeat in court, Donald Trump has abandoned attempts to put a citizenship question on the US census ??? instead issuing an executive order telling federal agencies to turn over records on the number of citizens, non-citizens and undocumented immigrants living in the US.

The president has been criticised for trying to ???weaponise??? the census. ???It is clear he simply wanted to sow fear in immigrant communities and turbocharge Republican gerrymandering efforts by diluting the political influence of Latino communities,??? said Dale Ho from the American Civil Liberties Union, adding that Trump???s new effort to compile citizenship data would be closely scrutinised by the ACLU. Trump previously admitted to reporters that the proposed question was part of a long-term Republican blueprint to tilt electoral districts in their favour.

Separately, US immigration officials have said raids targeting thousands of families for deportation will take place in major cities across the United States, starting on Sunday. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit arguing many of those targeted may not even have known they were due in court.


???The best of Britain??? ??? Jeremy Hunt has told British diplomats to keep ???speaking truth to power and standing up for British interests??? amid the fallout from the resignation of the UK ambassador to Washington. In what will be seen as a coded rebuke to Boris Johnson, Hunt praised the departing US ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch, hailing him and his diplomatic colleagues as ???the best of Britain???. Johnson, the favourite to become the new PM, has faced intense criticism from other Conservatives over his perceived abandonment of Darroch. Hunt said he had phoned Darroch over the ???absolutely disgraceful??? leaking of candid diplomatic telegrams penned by the ambassador.


Key to the cell door ??? Prisoners may get incentives for good behaviour as governors are told to put more emphasis on rewards and less on punishments. Cooking their own meals, more time to spend in the gym, choosing when to shower, having access to their cell keys, and more time to meet visitors are among possible perks. Those who did not abide by the rules would still lose privileges, says the justice ministry.


Google workers listening in ??? Google has admitted its personnel are eavesdropping on what people say to its Assistant software and devices, including conversations that have been captured by accident. More than 1,000 audio clips were obtained by the Belgian public broadcaster VRT ??? they included identifiable information such as one person???s address, a family discussing their grandchildren by name, another user discussing their love life, and a user talking about how quickly a child was growing. The recordings may put Google in breach of the EU???s General Data Protection Regulation limiting the information that can be held about consumers.


Kinder for chickens? KFC is to become the first UK fast food chain to adopt new European welfare standards for farmed chickens. The new requirements include more space in barns and environmental ???enrichment??? such as perches, straw and vegetables for pecking, and natural daylight. The standard stipulates a pledge to purchase slower-growing breeds, in an industry where fast-grown, over-bred birds sometimes collapse under their own weight. The move puts pressure on the likes of McDonald???s to follow suit ??? as well as on supermarkets, which are responsible for most of the chicken sold in the UK.


India???s moon shot ??? A rover named Pragyam will trundle out on to the lunar surface in September if the Chandrayaan 2 moon mission goes to plan. The journey begins on Sunday with the launch of the rocket carrying the lander, which is called Vikram, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on India???s south-east coast. It will be India???s first attempt at a soft landing on the moon ??? and would make it the fourth to achieve the feat, after Russia, the US and China.

Today in Focus podcast: Why is stop and search on the rise?

The first stop and search Jamal ever experienced was when he was 11 years old. He is now 24 and has been stopped numerous times. Most recently a stop became aggressive and he was hit in the face with a pair of handcuffs, then charged and convicted with assaulting an officer. There is little evidence stop and search works in combating violent crime, and it is disproportionately targeting young black men.

Lunchtime read: Kubrick on wedded bliss

???Marriage is like a long meal with dessert served at the beginning???: one of the sentiments that moved Stanley Kubrick to sketch out newly unearthed draft screenplays about post-nuptial strife. The mixture of typed, handwritten and annotated material envisages three movies: Married Man, The Perfect Marriage and Jealousy.

Stanley Kubrick on the set of A Clockwork Orange in 1971.
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Stanley Kubrick on the set of A Clockwork Orange in 1971. Photograph: Allstar Picture Library/Alamy

The trove dates from between 1954 and 1956, when Kubrick was having marital problems with his second wife, Ruth Sobotka, an actor and dancer. The material was recently transferred to the Kubrick archive at the University of the Arts London. Within the jottings are ideas that would end up in Eyes Wide Shut four decades later ??? notably in Jealousy, an argument with a wife after a man comes home drunk, and in The Perfect Marriage, in which Kubrick dashed out notes: ???Setting Xmas. Wife preparing for party Xmas eve that night. Fussing. Husband depressed by Xmas. Story about marriage, fidelity, cheating.???

Sport

Eoin Morgan admitted the idea of England reaching the Cricket World Cup final would have been laughable four years ago. But after his players swatted aside Australia with a ruthless semi-final display the joke has become reality. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer meet once again today with the Swiss needing a quick kill given his knees may not be up to Nadal???s ploy of taking their Wimbledon semi-final to five sets. Serena Williams smilingly agreed that her brief collaboration with Andy Murray had helped her to reach her 11th singles final in SW19. The British Grand Prix should ensure it does not clash with other major sporting events, Lewis Hamilton has said before this weekend???s meeting. The Netball World Cup gets underway today in Liverpool, with Australia suddenly looking beatable and England hopeful of success. And youth impressed for Liverpool in the traditional pre-season friendly against Tranmere at Prenton Park as Rhian Brewster scored two in a 6-0 win.

Business

Donald Trump has announced that he is ???not a fan??? of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, saying on Twitter that they ???are not money??? and are based on thin air. The president ??? who had earlier held a social media summit at the White House packed with a handpicked crowd of conservative commentators ??? also took a swipe at Facebook???s move into banking and said that such companies needed to submit to proper regulation if they wanted to be a lender.

On the markets, Asian stocks have been flat ahead of key China trade data. The FTSE100 is expected to be up 0.4% today, while the pound is sitting at $1.254 and ???1.113.

The papers

England???s cricketing victory over Australia is the one unifying theme on the fronts today. Away from sport, the papers are splashing on a variety of stories.

Guardian front page, Friday 12 July 2019
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Guardian front page, Friday 12 July 2019.

The Times reports on new incentives for prisoners to behave well: ???Inmates to be handed cell keys???. The Guardian leads on the 30 whistleblowers who will give evidence to the EHRC: ???Dozens more will testify over Labour antisemitism???. The Telegraph has Jeremy Hunt responding to Iranian attempts to impede the passage of a British ship through the Gulf. Its headline is ???Hunt: Iran crisis shows we must boost Navy???.

The FT is concerned with the latest front in Trump???s trade war, warning ???France and UK face showdown with US over tech tax plans???. The Mail asks ???How can this be justice???? in response to news that a female paedophile will be released from prison, while the Sun is pleased that Boris Johnson is joining its campaign for veterans. The Express meanwhile leads on revelations of ill treatment of Commons staff: ???Damning inquiry slams MPs bullying???.

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