FEELIN' SO FLY LIKE A G7
This weekend, the Group of Seven aka G7 got together in Biarritz, France.
Seriously, no one had other ideas for a name?
Who knows, but it does make us wonder. It's, shockingly, made up of seven countries that are democratic, wealthy, and industrialized. The exclusive club members are the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK.
I've also heard of G8. Is that a different thing?
The OG group started in the '70s and became the G8 after inviting Russia to join in the late '90s. Then Russia got kicked out in 2014 after it annexed Crimea, a decision the other members clearly opposed. The group holds a summit once a year and let's just say, everyone brought along their political baggage for the trip this time around.
I'm going to need some caffeine.
Yes, you will. A lot of topics came up. Are you settled with a cup of coffee? Or tea, we don't judge. Let's dive in:
China…On Friday, Trump announced he would raise tariffs on Chinese imports and seemed prepared to invoke a law giving him the authority to force US businesses to leave China. During the summit, Trump was asked about the trade war and said he had "second thoughts." The White House later said his answer was misinterpreted and that he actually regretted not raising the tariffs higher. Then things shifted again when Trump said the two countries are going to restart trade talks.
Japan…Yesterday, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shook hands on core elements of a trade deal that they hope to sign next month. Trump says Japan will buy "excess corn" that the US has as a result of the trade war with China.
The Amazon rainforest…French President Emmanuel Macron said the leaders are close to an agreement on how to help fight the Amazon fires and try to repair the damage. This came after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro faced international outcry, and changed his mind to authorize sending armed forces to fight the fires.
French digital tax…On Friday, Trump criticized a French digital tax aimed at big US tech companies and threatened again to tariff French wine as retaliation. The EU said it will "respond in kind" if the US goes through with that, showing its support of France.
Brexit…Yesterday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said if there's a no-deal Brexit, Britain will no longer owe the EU the 39 billion pound divorce bill agreed by his predecessor, Theresa May. And he said this right before he met with the European council president. Awkward.
Russia…Trump still wants to let Russia back into the club. The outgoing Italian prime minister reportedly is all for it, Japan's trying to stay neutral, everyone else is still saying 'absolutely nyet.' And now, for the element of surprise...
Iran…The Iranian foreign minister made a surprise visit to the summit. Turns out, the French extended the invitation...and Trump's team was caught off-guard at a time when tensions are high between Iran and the US. Although Trump later said he knew the minister was coming. The meeting between Iranian and French officials was expected to be about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which European governments are still trying to keep alive. But it looks like there aren't any developments on that front.
The G7 summit is usually a preview for big issues that'll come up over the next year. Meaning there are a ton of things on world leaders' to-do lists. TBD if they're able to solve them by the time the next summit comes around. What we do know: we got another family photo.
Skimm More: The G7 is just one of many international squads. We have a guide for that. You're welcome.
Who people are remembering…
David Koch. On Friday, the billionaire conservative activist and philanthropist died at the age of 79. While a cause of death wasn't given, Koch previously battled prostate cancer and stepped down from Koch Industries because of his declining health. Koch and his brother Charles, known as the Koch brothers, built a large network of conservative donors and helped reshape US politics. They also founded Americans for Prosperity, the group that helped build up the Tea Party movement. His family said they "remember his iconic laughter, insatiable curiosity, and gentle heart."
What people are paying attention to…
Vaping. On Friday, Illinois health officials announced the first known death from a vaping-related lung illness. There have been at least 193 cases of severe lung disease in people who use e-cigarettes or vaping devices, spanning across 22 states. The most seriously affected people reportedly have had extensive lung damage that required oxygen treatment and days on a ventilator. The CDC says more information is needed to determine what exactly is causing the illnesses.
Who's hanging up his football cleats…
Andrew Luck. Over the weekend, the star quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts shocked everyone and announced his retirement from the NFL at the age of 29. He's suffered several injuries throughout the past few seasons. He said this was the "hardest decision" of his life, and that the injuries had "taken the joy out of this game." This happened just before the start of the NFL season, which kicks off next week.
Skimm More: Read up on the history (and danger) of football.
Who's saying 'hold up, there's room for me in there'…
Conservative radio host and former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh. Yesterday, he announced that he's challenging President Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. He's the second Republican to announce a run against Trump (hi, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld).
When you can't wait to see what Jesse Pinkman and T'Challa are up to…
Don't forget about Lizzie McGuire.