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President Trump, Mexican president celebrate new trade deal

President Donald Trump and Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will meet at the White House on Wednesday to highlight a new trade deal signed between Mexico, Canada and the United States. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) went into effect last week and replaces NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) that essentially eliminated tariffs between the three countries. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he will skip the meeting, citing tariff threats from the U.S. and ongoing coronavirus concerns.  

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced agreement on a modified North American trade pact, handing President Donald Trump a major win on the same day that Democrats announced their impeachment charges against him. (Dec. 10)

AP Domestic

Facebook civil rights audit to be released

The final civil rights report in a years-long audit of Facebook’s policies and practices, authored by former ACLU director and civil rights attorney Laura Murphy, will be released Wednesday, according to chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. The report’s release will come a day after civil rights leaders ripped into CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying he showed no signs of taking steps to curb hatred and violence on the social media giant’s platforms. The sharp rebuke came after the leaders met with company executives Tuesday and amid escalating calls for reform at Facebook. It also set the stage for further conflict in the advertising boycott led by civil rights groups. The groups have led a massive backlash against Facebook, with nearly 1,000 companies pulling millions of dollars in advertising to protest the spread of hate speech, violent threats and misinformation on the company’s platforms.

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Facebook says it will flag all “newsworthy” posts from politicians, including President Donald Trump, that may incite violence, suppress voting or break its other content rules. (June 26)

AP Tech

Ivy League takes a stance on college athletics in the fall

The Ivy League will decide Wednesday whether its schools will try to play sports this fall in an announcement that could serve as a bellwether for the rest of college athletics. On March 10, the Ivy League was the first college sports entity to announce that its basketball conference tournament would be canceled due to the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, many fans and even some of the athletes viewed that decision as an overreaction. But just two days later, other conference tournaments and eventually the NCAA announced they would not be able to go forward. 

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SportsPulse: Dan Wolken and Paul Myerberg discuss if there will be college football this fall. As Wolken put its, all it takes is one bad outcome due to the pandemic to send the sport into chaos.

USA TODAY

Major League Soccer will return with ‘MLS is Back’ tournament 

Major League Soccer will open its World Cup-style tournament, “MLS is Back,” in Florida at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN. All matches will be played without fans in attendance at the sports complex at Walt Disney World. The games will be the first time the league has been in action since play was shut down on March 12 because of the coronavirus. Orlando City will play expansion Inter Miami in the first match,. The second game of the day, Nashville SC vs. Chicago Fire FC, has been postponed after five Nashville players tested positive for COVID-19. 

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SpaceX to launch Starlink satellites

After several hardware-related delays, SpaceX is slated to launch the tenth batch of Starlink internet satellites into space on Wednesday. A 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket, packed with 57 Starlink satellites and two spacecraft for BlackSky Global, is scheduled to launch at 11:59 a.m. According to the new U.S. Space Force (no, not Steve Carell’s Space Force), weather for the attempt stands at 70% “go” with the possible presence of cumulus clouds noted as the primary liftoff concern.

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Tuesday, carrying the U.S. military’s newest, most accurate GPS satellite. (July 1)

AP Domestic

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