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The "Trump Baby" blimp is nearly 20 feet tall, wearing nothing but a diaper and a grimace. A tuft of yellow hair tops his orange head. He is armed with a cellphone, ready to tweet.

And now he is nearly ready to fly over Parliament in London.

Mayor Sadiq Khan's Greater London Authority has given activists permission to launch the bouncing behemoth from Parliament Square Garden on July 12, when President Trump is set to arrive in London for a three and a half day visit to the U.K.

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

Scott Pruitt will no longer lead the Environmental Protection Agency, President Trump announced Thursday afternoon via Twitter.

"I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt," Trump tweeted. "Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this," Trump also wrote.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

President Trump has narrowed his list of Supreme Court candidates to three, according to two sources close to the process.

The three are Judges Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge with Kavanaugh and Barrett as the top two at the moment.

It's important to maintain that caveat, because President Trump has not made a final decision, and it could change.

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Former Fox News co-President Bill Shine has been named White House deputy chief of staff for communications and assistant to the president, the White House announced Thursday.

For many people, the dog days of July mean grabbing an ice pop, lounging outside, and letting the summer sun hit your skin. And for people of color, we're often doing those things sans sunscreen. After all, our melanin will protect us. Right?

Not so fast.

This week on Ask Code Switch we're taking on a question from Liz Mitchell, from New York. She writes:

"Dear Code Switch,

At Florida's Capitol in Tallahassee, four times a year, dozens of anxious people gather to hear a decision that will affect the rest of their lives. Felons whose sentences and probation are complete stand before the governor and other Cabinet members to ask for clemency and the restoration of their right to vote.

After waiting for years, Joanne Calvarese made her case to the clemency board in June.

"I feel that I have paid my consequences," Calvarese said. "I know I don't deserve your mercy, but I beg you for it."

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Morning News Brief

Jul 5, 2018

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We are now four months out from fall's midterm elections, and we know one thing Democrats stand for. The party is offering itself as a counterweight to President Trump.

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Activists in two separate protests against the Trump administration's immigration policies were arrested at the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday — one group unfurling a banner calling for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while in another act of defiance, a woman climbed the statue's base to protest immigrant family separations.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is heading back to North Korea on Thursday to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other senior officials.

His mission: to flesh out the details of a vaguely worded joint declaration that Kim signed with President Trump in Singapore last month.

In that document, the U.S. pledges security guarantees for North Korea, while North Korea commits to "work toward a complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

Despite all the Democrats' special election wins, high voter turnout in primaries and polls showing strong party enthusiasm heading into the midterms, the fact remains that Democrats are still stuck at their lowest level of power in nearly a century.

Even though President Trump's poll numbers have stabilized, party leaders see 2018 as a chance to seize back one key lever of government: the House of Representatives. But Democrats and their core voters can't seem to agree on the best direction to take.

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A former IT specialist for congressional Democrats who has figured prominently in right-wing conspiracy theories pleaded guilty Tuesday to making false statements on a loan application. Nevertheless, federal prosecutors said they found no evidence that he stole government secrets, as many conservatives, including President Trump, have suggested.

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Morning News Brief

Jul 4, 2018

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President Trump is undoing another act of his predecessor. President Obama offered advice on how schools could use affirmative action within the law.

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One day after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, a group calling itself Demand Justice staged a rally outside the court's front steps.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, one of the most powerful conservatives in Congress, has denied reports that he ignored the alleged sexual abuse of athletes while he worked as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University more than 20 years ago.

Allegations that Jordan was aware of sexual misconduct, and explicitly was informed of specific incidents of alleged assault by the wrestling team's doctor, first surfaced in an NBC news story on Tuesday.

Updated at 8:23 a.m. ET July 9

Poland is in the grips of a constitutional crisis, with the head of the Supreme Court standing in open defiance of the president — whose party enacted a new law that will force nearly 40 percent of the court's justices into early retirement.

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Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

The White House is withdrawing Obama-era guidance documents that encouraged schools and colleges to promote diversity through their admissions process.

The departments of Justice and Education announced on Tuesday that they have retracted several letters and memos that advised schools on how they could legally consider race in admissions and other decisions.

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A new liberal rallying cry — "Abolish ICE!" — calls for an end to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that enforces President Trump's immigration policies.

Many protesters held signs with the slogan at marches across the country over the weekend, and several leading Democrats echoed the grass-roots catchphrase.

Updated at 1:31 p.m. ET

Scott Schools, a top aide to the deputy attorney general, is planning to leave the Justice Department at the end of the week, according to two people familiar with his decision.

The job title for Schools — associate deputy attorney general — belied his importance as a strategic counselor and repository of institutional memory and ethics at the DOJ. Schools has played a critical, if behind-the-scenes, role in some of the most important and sensitive issues in the building.

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