Mondays top story: Trump officials on the defensive over Syria, impeachment and G7. Plus, why environmental justice is one of the most pressing issues of our time

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Good morning, Im Tim Walker with todays essential stories.

Trump surprised by backlash to G7 summit plans

The acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, appeared on Fox News on Sunday, fronting the administrations efforts to contain the fallout from a politically perilous week. Mulvaney rowed back his own comments from last week, when he appeared to admit a quid pro quo in the presidents dealings with Ukraine. He also said Donald Trump had been surprised at the level of pushback to his announcement that next years G7 summit would be held at his own Miami golf resort a decision he reversed amid bipartisan criticism.

Bloomberg still looking at presidential run if Biden drops out

Michael
The centrist billionaire has repeatedly clashed with the progressive senator Elizabeth Warren over her anti-corporate policies. Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AP

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, has told friends and associates he is still looking at the possibility of a 2020 presidential run. The 77-year-old centrist, who has repeatedly criticised Elizabeth Warrens anti-corporate policy platform, has reportedly said he may consider a tilt at the Democratic nomination if Warrens fellow frontrunner Joe Biden were to drop out. Bloomberg apparently fears the progressive Massachusetts senator would be too far left to defeat Trump.

  • Third time lucky? Bloomberg also flirted with the idea of running as an independent in 2012 and 2016, but concluded both times that he would split the Democratic vote and help the Republican to win office.

Opioid makers to go on trial in Ohio after settlement talks fail

Walgreens
Walgreens, the second-largest pharmacy chain in the US, is among the companies in the dock in Cleveland. Photograph: Mohammad Khursheed/Reuters

The drug industry is set to go on trial over the opioids crisis in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, as a jury hears claims by thousands of US communities that drug manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies conspired to fuel the deadly epidemic. Last-minute talks to forestall the trial, which concerns lawsuits brought by two Ohio counties, failed amid a dispute over whether the offered settlement of $50bn was sufficient to meet the costs of the crisis. The companies in the dock have all denied responsibility.

  • Costly crisis. The opioids epidemic has cost the US more than $800bn in the last four years alone, according to a new study of its overall economic impact by the Society of Actuaries.

Meghan: I was warned UK tabloids would destroy my life

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‘It’s hard’: Meghan says friends warned her not to marry Harry because of British tabloids video

The Duchess of Sussex has said she was warned before marrying Prince Harry that the British tabloid press would destroy her life, in an interview for a TV documentary. When I first met my now husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy. But my British friends said to me: Im sure hes great. But you shouldnt do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life, she said in the film, which was broadcast in the UK on Sunday.

  • Legal action. The interview was filmed on the couples tour of southern Africa, during which it was announced the duchess was suing the Mail on Sunday newspaper, over claims it unlawfully published a private letter she sent to her estranged father.

  • Harry and Wills. The interviewer, Tom Bradby, is a longtime friend of the princes. Harry addressed rumours of a rift between himself and his brother, William, saying they were on different paths at the moment.

Cheat sheet

  • At least eight people are reported to have died in Chile amid a wave of protests and violence, prompted by a recent hike in subway fares that the countrys president, Sebastin Piera, reversed at the weekend in the hope of ending the unrest.

  • Cheap solar, wind and hydropower projects are proliferating at such a rate that the International Energy Agency now says global supplies of renewable electricity could expand by 50% in the next five years.

  • The former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King has warned in a speech in Washington that the world is sleepwalking into another financial crisis, which would be devastating to the legitimacy of a democratic market system.

  • Neuroscientists may have crossed an ethical rubicon by growing potentially sentient human mini-brains in the lab to investigate schizophrenia, autism and other disorders, researchers have said.

Must-reads

The
The Colorado river flows healthily on the Arizona side of the US-Mexico border. Photograph: Meghan Dhaliwal/The Guardian

Environmental injustice and our unequal Earth

To introduce the Guardians new series, Our Unequal Earth, five luminaries explain the pressing issue of environmental justice, while Nina Lakhani reports on the Colorado River, which serves more than 35 million Americans before reaching the Mexican border, where it is dammed leaving those on the other side with a dry delta.

Has Netflix fixed its controversial fat-shaming show?

The second season of the critically reviled beauty pageant comedy Insatiable has landed on Netflix, and it appears to be addressing its past mistakes in earnest fashion, writes Arielle Bernstein. But has it just slapped a Band-Aid over the problems of an overwhelmingly crass first season?

Teachers for Bernie, CEOs for Buttigieg: whos backing whom

The Guardian has analysed fundraising reports from the 2020 presidential candidates to find out who is winning over which professions. It turns out teachers love Bernie Sanders, executives are excited by Pete Buttigieg and lawyers opt for Joe Biden, but retirees back Donald Trump. Julia Carrie Wong and Peter Andringa crunch the numbers.

Health workers fight homophobia in Uganda

Maria Nantale holds a twice-weekly outreach in the Ugandan town of Mbale for those most at risk in the country with the worlds 10th highest rate of HIV. But Uganda is also one of the most homophobic nations, which is why Nantale is risking her life by helping others, as she tells Jacob Kushner.

Opinion

Now that she is approaching frontrunner status in the Democratic primary, Elizabeth Warren is facing questions about her healthcare agenda and staying vague on the answers. Thats because she senses the guide rails of electoral politics, says Art Cullen.

Its simple. Warren left herself enough wiggle room on healthcare to drive a Mack truck through so she can tack to the center for the general election.

Sport

The Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman was ejected for provoking a brawl as frustrations boiled over during the Falcons dispiriting 37-10 loss to the LA Rams on Sunday, while elsewhere in the NFL Aaron Rodgers was at his best as the Packers beat the Raiders 42-24.

The Galaxy has set up a Los Angeles derby with LAFC in the Western Conference semi-finals, after beating Minnesota United in the first round of the MLS playoffs on Sunday. Meanwhile Wayne Rooney has ended his MLS career on the bench, as Toronto FC scored four extra-time goals to sink the former England strikers DC United 5-1.

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Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

 

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