The Note: Cell Phone Strife


  • CELL PHONES TO BE SCRUTINIZED BY TSA: If some overseas passengers flying to the United States want to bring cell phones and other electronics onboard with them, they're going to have to show that the devices can turn on, the Transportation Security Administration said, reports ABC'S MIKE LEVINE and PIERRE THOMAS. The move comes just days after the Department of Homeland Security announced TSA would be increasing security measures at certain airports overseas amid what ABC News learned was deepening concern that terrorists in war-ravaged Syria are trying to develop a new generation of bombs that could be smuggled onto commercial planes. "As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones," TSA said in a statement. "Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft." TSA said travelers themselves "may also undergo additional screening." It's unclear exactly which airports overseas will have to implement the expanded security measures.
  • WHO IS IMPACTED? TSA has been in close contact with all carriers affected by the new measures, particularly American, Delta and United airlines. DHS is also directing airport authorities and airlines operating in Europe and elsewhere to further scrutinize U.S.-bound passengers' shoes and increase random screenings of travelers, sources told ABC News. "We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as possible," DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement. Earlier this year, U.S. officials learned that a particularly extreme "subset" of terrorist groups in Syria was working alongside operatives from al Qaeda's prolific offshoot in Yemen to produce "creative" new designs for bombs, as one source put it…Bolstered by more recent intelligence, U.S. analysts believe the "subset" of extreme terrorists in Syria could be looking to down a U.S.- or European-bound plane, with help from one of the thousands of Americans and other foreign fighters carrying U.S. and European passports who have joined Al Nusrah Front and other groups in the region.
  • WATCH ABC'S DAVID KERLEY take a look at the tightened security and enhanced screening for electronic devices on GMA this morning:
  • THE WHITE HOUSE TODAY: President Obama focuses on education today as he sits down with teachers at the White House, notes ABC's MARY BRUCE. At 12:10 pm, Obama, joined by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, hosts a group of teachers for lunch at the White House to discuss his administration's efforts to "ensure that every student is taught by an effective educator," according to the White House. Timed to the meeting, the administration today is announcing a new "Excellent Educators For All Initiative" intended to "help states and school districts support great educators for the students who need them most."


ABC's RICK KLEIN: Given the time and energy consumed on the politics of internal Republican warfare, it's time for a policy fight to dominate for a while. Indeed, the next front in the endless wars between the tea party and the establishment isn't in Tennessee or in Kansas but right back on Capitol Hill. The expiration of the Export-Import Bank's charter is the perfectly timed proxy fight between those who see the bank's mission as "crony capitalism" and those who view it as a critical (and money-making, for the US treasury) pipeline for American businesses operating abroad. It cuts down the now-familiar lines, with tea party groups joining with Heritage Action and the Club for Growth in taking on the Chamber of Commerce and … the Obama White House. Democratic senators are vowing to push reauthorization this month, to put pressure on the GOP-controlled House. The soon-to-be House majority leader, of course, is already on record opposing reauthorization - and Rep. Kevin McCarthy can hardly afford to reverse himself early in his tenure on an issue that has the grassroots base fully engaged. The fight's resolution will show who's steering the congressional ship, for the rest of this Congress and potentially beyond.

ABC's ALISA WIERSEMA: With just four months until the midterm elections, a new political battle could be flying under the radar across the Western portion of the U.S. The greater sage grouse, a chicken-sized bird native to many Western states, is at the center of a multilayered debate as candidates deliberate whether they should support the federal government's considerations of placing the bird on the endangered species list next year. Labeling the fluffy bird as such would not only affect states' economic and environmental policies, but would also fuel the debate of whether state or federal governments have the ability to determine matters of land development and conservation. In May, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Rep Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Rep Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) co-sponsored legislation that would block the federal government from listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species, provided that states developed their own conservation management plans to maintain appropriate bird populations. Thus far, the bird is not officially considered endangered, but ongoing debates could prove to be problematic for 2014 Western state candidates who are running on pro-business development platforms, given that conservation efforts may prevent businesses from expanding in states with low sage grouse populations.

ABC'S RYAN STRUYK : The U.S. Senate candidates in North Carolina will be playing tug-of-war with Obamacare in the coming months. GOP challenger Thom Tillis is trying to drag the unpopular healthcare law into the spotlight, while vulnerable incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan tries desperately to keep it out. Instead, Hagan has been honing in on women's issues, leveraging last week's Hobby Lobby decision to attract the GOP's most vulnerable group: college-educated white women. Meanwhile, Tillis is off the campaign trail, tending to a budget squabble in the state house. The state is crucial to Democrats trying to hold onto their majority, but, as the only major swing state won by Mitt Romney in 2012, Republicans are hopeful the spot will be part of a 51-seat majority next January.


ISRAEL'S AMBASSADOR: 'A MURDER IS A MURDER WHETHER IT'S A JEW OR AN ARAB' As tensions escalate in the Middle East, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. said the Israeli government plans to find and prosecute those who murdered a Palestinian teenager in what appears to be a revenge killing, ABC'S ALISA WIERSEMA reports. Ron Dermer condemned the murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, telling ABC's MARTHA RADDATZ on Sunday's "This Week" that "a murder is a murder is a murder, whether it's a Jew or an Arab." Six Israeli suspects were reportedly arrested on Sunday in connection with the murder of Abu Khdeir, whose charred body was found in a forest. "Our prime minister right when this happened condemned it [and] said that he would use all means available to bring the perpetrators to justice," said Dermer. "We will find and prosecute to the full extent of the law anyone who perpetrated this action." Dermer also called video showing Israeli police officers beating a teenager, identified as Abu Khdeir's cousin Tariq, as "very disturbing." "Excessive force is not something that we accept in Israel and there's an investigation by our Justice Ministry to look into exactly what happened," he said.

U.S. BORDER PROTECTION HEAD: CENTRAL AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS NOT DANGEROUS The migrants from Central America surging across the border are "family members" and do not present a danger to the U.S., Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said today, according to ABC's JIM AVILA, BENJAMIN BELL, and MARYALICE PARKS. "These are family members, these are not gang members, these are not dangerous individuals," Kerlikowske told ABC's JIM AVILA in an exclusive interview, his first since the crisis began. "I think that we all need to work through this problem together as Americans." When asked if he had enough agents, Kerlikowske said he did. "[Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson] has just deployed an additional 150 agents to the Rio Grande Valley, and that is on top of the 115 that are already moving in. So I am confident that we have the resources," Kerlikowske said. Texas Gov. Rick Perry disagrees and said on ABC'S "This Week" that the commissioner was wrong. "He is absolutely and totally wrong," Perry said. "The idea that there is equity and enough Border Patrol agents is totally and absolutely incorrect."

PERRY: OBAMA DOESN'T CARE WHETHER BORDER IS SECURE Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said Sunday he doesn't think President Obama "particularly cares" about the immigration problem he said is plaguing the United States' southern border, and charged that the administration has even sent "powerful messages" that people who cross the border illegally will be accepted, ABC's BENJAMIN BELL reports. During an exclusive interview this morning on "This Week," Perry said a key to solving the crisis is ensuring border security and he argued that is not something that the president is concerned about. "I don't believe he particularly cares whether or not the border of the United States is secure," Perry said. "And that's the reason there's been this lack of effort, this lack of focus, this lack of resources," the Texas governor told ABC's MARTHA RADDATZ. "The president has sent powerful messages time after time - by his policies, by nuances that it is OK to come to the United States and you can come across and you'll be accepted in open arms. That is the real issue," Perry said.


HILLARY CLINTON ON THE CRISIS ON THE BORDER: When asked by ABC'S ANN COMPTON whether it is acceptable that most of those arriving illegally never show up in court but disappear into communities? "No it is not acceptable," Hillary Clinton answered. "If they do make it they cannot believe they will have any opportunity to stay in our country. They have to be processed appropriately but then returned." And Clinton believes there is consensus in Washington that a Bush era law must be changed so make their deportation easier. "The administration needs the legislative approval to be able to do what all of us think is necessary."

HILLARY CLINTON SAYS SHE'S DONATED ALL UNIVERSITY SPEAKING FEES Hillary Clinton continued to justify her high-dollar speaking fees on Friday, telling ABC's ANN COMPTON that all of the money she's made from colleges over the past year and a half has been donated to her family's foundation, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ notes. "All of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and life-saving work. So it goes from a foundation at a university to another foundation," Clinton said when asked about the criticism she and her husband have faced recently for their wealth. Hillary Clinton reportedly makes roughly $200,000 for each speaking engagement. And recent reports show that she has made much more from some of the country's top universities. Last week, students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where Clinton is scheduled to speak at a fundraiser in October, asked the former secretary of state to return her fee of $225,000 back to the university. If she does not, the students said they plan to protest her visit.

HILLARY CLINTON 'BEWILDERED AND CONFUSED' BY SUPREME COURT'S CONTRACEPTIVE RULINGS Hillary Clinton said she's "very bewildered and confused" by the Supreme Court's ruling to further allow employers with religious objections to avoid offering contraceptives in their healthcare plans, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ reports. Just days after the Supreme Court issued its controversial Hobby Lobby decision and ruled in favor of a for-profit corporation seeking an exemption from the contraceptive mandate, the court issued an unusual order Thursday providing temporary relief to a non-profit college that also objects to the mandate. Clinton, who is openly pro-choice, called the latest development "a serious breach of a woman's right," and called for government action: "There has to be some action taken, in the Congress or by the executive to try to clarify what the court just did," she said in an interview with ABC's ANN COMPTON. On Monday, Clinton slammed the Supreme Court for their initial ruling in Hobby Lobby, warning that it was a "really bad slippery slope" that should incite a "real outcry" from the American public.


CATCH "THIS WEEK'S" VIEWER JULY 4 TH PHOTOS: This July 4th weekend we asked you, our audience, to submit your photos, showing us how you are celebrating the holiday weekend. The long weekend may be over, but relive it with these fun viewer photos and also a few shots from our ABC News family.


" STATEN ISLAND'S TOUGH-GUY CONGRESSMAN FACES SOMEBODY HIS OWN SIZE. DOMENIC RECCHIA ANSWERS CALL TO UNSEAT MICHAEL GRIMM" by The New York Times' Jason Horowitz. Domenic Recchia thinks there's something for everyone to loathe about the man he wants to unseat in Congress, Michael G. Grimm. There is that 20-count federal indictment, for starters, that accuses Mr. Grimm, a two-term Republican from Staten Island, of employing illegal immigrants and hiding around $1 million in sales and wages at his Manhattan health-food restaurant, Healthalicious. Not the kind of work history, Mr. Recchia says, that is likely to impress the many union members who live in the neighborhoods of the 11th District, encompassing Staten Island and a slice of southern Brooklyn. And then there are the district's mothers and fathers, who Mr. Recchia, a Democrat, says ought to be appalled by Mr. Grimm for threatening, on camera, to toss a diminutive television reporter off a United States Capitol balcony - with the parting promise: " I'll break you in half. Like a boy." "Michael Grimm should pick on someone his own size. You know?" said Mr. Recchia, who is a large and lumbering trial lawyer, whereas Mr. Grimm is a taut and stocky former Marine. "I know how to fight," he said, recalling his college years playing outside linebacker. For good measure, he added, "Let's get somethin' straight." It is precisely Mr. Recchia's old-school Brooklyn bearing - his thinning hair gelled into something resembling gray tubes, his one-two-tree accent - that the city's Democratic power brokers are banking on to neutralize Mr. Grimm's own outer borough credentials.

"BLOOMBERG'S GUN GROUP TO START 2014 MIDTERMS STRATEGY BY SURVEYING CANDIDATES" by the Washington Post's Philip Rucker. The gun-control group founded by former New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) will begin surveying all federal candidates in the 2014 midterm elections on gun issues Monday as it tries to become a political counterweight to the National Rifle Association. This is the first big step by Bloomberg - who has committed to spending $50 million of his personal fortune this year to build a national grass-roots movement that will pressure lawmakers to pass more restrictive gun laws - to devise a political strategy heading into the November elections. Bloomberg's group, Everytown for Gun Safety, is asking all Senate and House incumbents and candidates to complete a 10-part questionnaire stating publicly where they stand on issues such as expanding background checks for gun buyers, limiting the capacity of ammunition magazines and toughening gun-trafficking statutes. The survey intends to make candidates state their positions on the record for the first time. Everytown plans to use their answers - as well as an analysis of any past legislative votes and public statements - to rally voters for or against them in key Senate and House races this fall, similar to how the NRA uses its ratings system to motivate pro-gun-rights voters.


SCOTT BROWN CAMPAIGN RELEASES NEW MITT ROMNEY VIDEO: Today, the Brown campaign released a new web video featuring Governor Romney's endorsement of Scott Brown. The video, titled "Unity," showcases Romney and Brown rallying together with hundreds of Republicans and supporters at the Scamman Bittersweet Farm in Stratham. During his remarks, Romney zeroes in on Senator Jeanne Shaheen's record of voting with President Obama 99 percent of the time. Romney declares, "Washington is not a place where New Hampshire wants to play a game of 'Simon says.' She is the 'Simon says' senator. We don't need that. We need an independent senator." Saying that people across New Hampshire know the "stakes are high," Brown adds that, "A unified party after the primary, along with those good independents and good Democrats who are just fed up, is Senator Shaheen's worst nightmare." Brown goes on to say that once elected, he will be, "Nobody's yes man. Nobody's rubberstamp," and concludes by saying, "Let the change begin right here in New Hampshire." WATCH:


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