DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Resigns: US Politics in 60 Seconds

What will Attorney General William Barr reveal about the Mueller Report when he testifies on the Hill?

I don't think very much he'll defend his summary and say that more will be revealed once the redaction period is over and you can put out the full report. So he'll probably evade a lot of tough questions.

Will DHS go in a tougher direction now that Secretary Nielsen is gone?

Trump certainly hope so. More zero-tolerance policy at the border, fewer asylum refugees let in, and he certainly wants to go much tougher with Secretary Neilsen gone.

Can Dems stop the logjam on emergency aid on Capitol Hill?

Well they'll try with a bill that adds money for disaster relief in the Midwest. But the issue of Puerto Rico disaster funding is still going to be a problem in the Senate. So I'm not sure the logjam is over.

Can the New York State legislature force the release of President Trump's tax returns?

Well they're certainly going to try with a new bill to do that. Democrats control the state so you'd think that they could but there's still a lot of questions about whether this would be a bad precedent to force the release of a single person's tax return. So the effort will be there. I'm not sure it'll be successful.


And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft on The Issues.

When Donald Trump first started talking about buying Greenland last week, we figured it was a weird story with less legs than a Harp seal.

Signal readers, we were wrong. President Trump was so serious about purchasing the autonomous Danish territory that this week he abruptly cancelled a trip to Denmark after the country's prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, labelled the idea "absurd."

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The Amazon in flames – More than 70,000 forest fires are burning in Brazil right now, most of them in the Amazon. That's up 84% over the same period last year, and it's the highest number on record. This is the dry season when farmers burn certain amounts of forest legally to clear farmland. But critics say Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro's efforts to loosen conservation rules have encouraged farmers, loggers, and miners to set more fires, many of them illegally. Bolsonaro – a science skeptic who recently fired the head of the agency that tracks deforestation – says, without proof, that NGOs are setting the fires to embarrass his government. Meanwhile, the EU is holding up a major trade deal with Brazil unless Bolsonaro commits to higher environmental protection standards, including those that affect the Amazon.

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Over the past fifty years, the Amazon rainforest has shrunk by an area equal to the size of Turkey. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Brazilian government supported settlement of the sparsely populated region for security reasons. Since then, huge swaths of the forest -- which is crucial for limiting the world's greenhouse gasses -- have been cleared for farmland used to feed Brazil's population and support its massive agricultural exports. Greater awareness of the environmental impacts in the 1990s produced tighter conservation regulations, though plenty of illegal clearing continues. In recent years, the annual deforestation rate has begun to rise again, and Brazil's new president Jair Bolsonaro has pledged to weaken regulations further in order to support businesses.

3: The US has recruited Australia to join its nascent mission of protecting ships in the critical Strait of Hormuz. Along with Britain and Bahrain, Australia is now the third country to join the US-led maritime mission, as high seas brinksmanship with the Iranians continues.

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