10 things you need to know today: June 11, 2017
Sessions to testify before Senate Intel Committee, May loses two top advisers amid calls to resign, and more
Sessions to testify before Senate Intel Committee
Attorney General Jeff Sessions indicated in a letter Saturday he will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the coming week to respond to fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony about him this past week. "In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey's recent testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum," Sessions said, noting that the Intelligence Committee is appropriate because it "has been conducting an investigation" into ties between the Trump team and Russian election meddling, in which Sessions is implicated.
May loses two top advisers amid calls to resign
Theresa May's co-chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, resigned Saturday, the latest blow to the embattled British prime minister after unexpected election losses. May announced plans to form a coalition government with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, but negotiations have yet to clinch that deal. Meanwhile, pro-Labour protesters gathered outside Downing Street as rumblings of dissent are reported within the Conservative Party. A former top Tory aide said Saturday the atmosphere of May's government is "pretty dysfunctional" and "toxic," while former Chancellor George Osborne, a fellow Conservative, on Sunday called May a "dead woman walking."
Macron seeks French parliamentary majority
After one month in office, French President Emmanuel Macron is poised to consolidate his victory by taking a majority in the National Assembly elections, which begin Sunday. Polling shows a strong lead for Macron's En Marche! movement, founded just a year ago and fielding candidates in 525 of 577 districts, of which the new party is expected to win as many as 400 seats. The only other party predicted to take more than 100 seats are the conservative Republicans. Like the presidential race, France's parliamentary election for the lower house is a two-stage runoff. A second round of voting is set for Sunday, June 18.
Trump DOJ tries to stop emoluments suit
The Justice Department has argued a federal judge should dismiss a lawsuit alleging President Trump is violating the Constitution's ban on federal officeholders accepting "emoluments" (gifts or payments) from foreign governments without congressional consent. "Were Plaintiffs' interpretation correct, Presidents from the very beginning of the Republic, including George Washington, would have received prohibited 'emolument,'" the DOJ filing said, arguing the clause does not cover the president's businesses. The governments of countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Turkey have held official events at Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel.
Sanders rips Trump, touts 'political revolution' in People's Summit speech
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) relived the glory of his presidential bid Saturday evening in a speech at the progressive People's Summit conference in Chicago. Sanders' talk targeted President Trump for "telling the people of this country that he was going to stand up for the working class, that he was going to stand up to the political establishment and then, once he got elected and without a second's hesitation he brings more billionaires into his administration than any president in history." Of his own "political revolution," Sanders said, losing the election did not mean losing "the battle of ideas."
Puerto Rico votes on statehood
Puerto Ricans vote Sunday on whether their island, currently a U.S. territory, should become the 51st American state. The referendum is not binding; should the vote for statehood win, it would still require approval from Congress and President Trump to move forward. The vote takes place on the 100th anniversary of Puerto Ricans obtaining U.S. citizenship, and along with statehood and maintaining the status quo, the ballot also offers voters a chance to endorse national independence. Puerto Rico is suffering a decade-long economic depression which many attribute to its territorial status.
3 U.S. troops killed, 1 wounded in Afghanistan
Three U.S. troops were killed and one more wounded in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province on Saturday, a local official reported. The attacker was an Afghan soldier who was killed by return fire; the Taliban claimed the shooter was an infiltrator acting on the terrorist organization's behalf. "We are aware of an incident in Eastern Afghanistan. We will release more information when appropriate," said a Pentagon representative, while the White House confirmed President Trump is "following the emerging situation in Afghanistan."
Washington gay pride parade met with anti-corporate protest
Washington, D.C., hosted the annual Capital Pride parade on Saturday, drawing thousands of marchers as well as a group of anti-corporate protesters. The parade was rerouted after being blocked by demonstrators from a group called No Justice No Pride, which criticized the main event for "consistently demonstrat[ing] it is more interested in accommodating the interests of Metropolitan police and of corporate sponsors than it is in supporting the very communities it supposedly represents," particularly minorities. Other LGBT pride parades were organized this weekend in cities around the country.
Winning ticket sold for $448 million Powerball prize
At least one person in California purchased the winning lottery ticket to claim Saturday's $448 million Powerball prize. The winner has yet to be identified, and it is unknown whether the jackpot may be split between multiple ticket-holders. This is the seventh-largest Powerball winning of all time thanks to a months-long victory drought. The lump sum payout is $279 million if the winner rejects a 30-year annuity; either way, there will be a large tax bill. Odds of victory are one in 292 million.
Batman actor Adam West dies at 88
Actor Adam West, best known for his eponymous role in the iconic 1960s Batman series, died Friday night after a brief battle with leukemia, his family confirmed Saturday. He was 88. Best remembered for his work in the campy Batman show, West struggled to break away from the character later in his career. In recent years, he turned to voiceover work. West is survived by his wife of 47 years, Marcelle, as well as six children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. "He was and always will be our hero," said a statement from the family.