Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 7.31.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* The first rate cut since the crash: “The Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate by one-quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, marking the first such reduction in 11 years and providing an extra boost to the domestic economy as it faces the headwinds of a global economic slowdown.”

* Yeah, I’m sure this will fix everything: “The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday in a dramatic step bound to further escalate tensions with Tehran.”

* Family separations: “The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge Tuesday to block the Trump administration from continuing to separate migrant children from their parents, saying in court documents that more than 900 children have been separated from their parents since the practice was ordered to be stopped last year.”

* Ongoing political turmoil in San Juan: “Embattled Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, whose resignation becomes effective Friday, confirmed Wednesday morning he is appointing Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia as secretary of state, thereby likely becoming his successor.”

* I could’ve sworn Trump has repeatedly boasted that North Korea isn’t launching any missiles: “North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea Wednesday morning, the second launch of missiles in a week, a South Korean military official said.”

* I’m having a difficult time trying to understand this: “Jeffrey E. Epstein, the wealthy financier who is accused of sex trafficking, had an unusual dream: He hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at his vast New Mexico ranch.”

* Trade talks: “Plodding progress in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China this week is partly the result of a new tactic from Beijing, which increasingly thinks waiting may produce a more-favorable agreement.”

* A disappointing end to a case I’d been watching: “A federal judge in Manhattan on Monday dismissed a lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee that had accused President Trump’s 2016 campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia of illegally conspiring to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.”

* This controversy has a familiar ring to it: “The Justice Department is investigating whether former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke used personal email accounts for official business, a matter that has become part of a larger criminal probe into the departed official, according to a letter released by House Democrats on Tuesday.”

* I wish this were surprising, but it’s not: “Ronald Reagan, while serving as the governor of California, referred to United Nations delegates from an African country as ‘monkeys,’ according to a newly-released recording of a phone call between him and then-President Richard Nixon in 1971.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.