Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 6, 2018

Democrats avoid shutouts in key California primaries, Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts again, and more


Democrats keep House hopes alive in Tuesday primaries

Voters in eight states cast ballots Tuesday in this year's biggest day of primary elections. In California, where the top two candidates advance regardless of party, Democrats feared their numerous candidates would split the vote and leave the party locked out of some of the 10 GOP-held congressional districts they are targeting in their effort to regain control of the House, but preliminary results showed Democrats holding second place in all of those races. Democrats failed to control the governor's race, however, as Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will face off against Republican businessman John Cox. In New Jersey, the national Democratic Party's favored candidates easily won key primaries, including in Republican incumbent Rep. Leonard Lance's district, as well as in the race for retiring GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo's seat. The Democrats need to flip 23 seats to win the House.


Women make more gains in Tuesday primaries

Women candidates continued to make gains in Tuesday primaries. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) won a Republican primary and is favored to beat Democrat Billie Sutton to become South Dakota's first female governor. In New Mexico, former state Democratic Party head Debra Haaland won a chance to become America's first Native American congresswoman, and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham won the Democratic nomination for governor. If she beats Rep. Steve Pearce (R) to succeed Gov. Susana Martinez (R), New Mexico will become the first state to elect back-to-back female governors. In Iowa, 28-year-old state legislator Abby Finkenauer won the Democratic nomination to face incumbent Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) in a key swing district. She'll be the youngest woman elected to Congress if she wins.


Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts again, forcing more evacuations

Guatemala's Fuego volcano emitted a new blast of superheated volcanic material that probably will send a "curtain" of ash downwind, authorities in the Central American nation said Tuesday. The ash cloud could go as high as 20,000 feet above sea level. Guatemala's disaster agency ordered new evacuations Tuesday afternoon and told rescuers and journalists to leave towns destroyed Sunday. At least 70 people were killed in Sunday's flows of hot gases and ash, which wiped out villages and, in some cases, entire families. Francisco Ortiz and his wife survived because they moved away from one of the devastated towns, Los Lotes, two months ago. So far searchers have found the body of only one of their relatives who stayed behind. "The people ended up buried in nearly 3 meters of lava," Ortiz said. "Nobody is left there."


Mexico follows through on threat to retaliate with tariffs

Mexico imposed tariffs Tuesday on about $3 billion worth of U.S. goods including pork, whiskey, and cheese, in retaliation for President Trump's levies on imported steel and aluminum. Trump's tariffs escalated tensions between the U.S. and numerous allies just as the U.S., Mexico, and Canada were making a push to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has called a bad deal for America. Trump's chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said that Trump's "preference now, and he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately." Kudlow said on Fox & Friends that handling the negotiations that way would speed things up. "You know," he said, "NAFTA has kind of dragged on."


EPA chief had aide explore Chick-fil-A job for wife

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt had an aide try to arrange a meeting with Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy to see about getting Pruitt's wife, Marlyn, a job at the fast-food company, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. In emails recently released under a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club, the request for a meeting to discuss "a potential business opportunity" with Cathy came three months after Pruitt was sworn in. A call was set up but canceled. "The subject of that phone call was an expression of interest in his wife becoming a Chick-fil-A franchisee," company representative Carrie Kurlander told the Post via email. Kurlander added that Pruitt's wife "started, but did not complete, the Chick-fil-A franchisee application."


New Kilauea lava destroys hundreds of Hawaii homes

Fresh lava flows from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano have destroyed hundreds more homes in two recently evacuated oceanfront communities, authorities said Tuesday. There were no injuries when the homes, vacant since last week, were hit with the lava. At least 117 other homes have been wiped out since lava started seeping out of cracks in the earth around the volcano last month. "We don't have an estimate yet, but safe to say that hundreds of homes were lost in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland last night," Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County, said Tuesday. Lava filled Kapoho Bay and inundated most of Vacationland, including the second home of Big Island Mayor Harry Kim.


Kelly Sadler, aide who mocked McCain, ousted from White House

White House communications aide Kelly Sadler has been quietly ousted a month after she made disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his health. In May, Sadler said during a meeting that it didn't matter if McCain, who is fighting brain cancer, was opposed to CIA director nominee Gina Haspel because he's "dying anyway." The White House would not condemn her comments, but Sadler reportedly apologized to McCain's daughter, Meghan. It was not immediately clear whether Sadler quit or was fired, but White House spokesman Raj Shah confirmed her departure Tuesday night. "Kelly Sadler is no longer employed within the Executive Office of the President," he said.


Trump hosts 'Celebration of America' without Eagles players

Instead of hosting the Philadelphia Eagles at the White House on Tuesday, President Trump threw a "Celebration of America" event full of patriotic songs. The president mouthed some of the words to the U.S. Army Chorus' rendition of "God Bless America" and touted standing for the national anthem. The event resulted from Trump's Monday decision to cancel a planned visit from the Super Bowl champions because, he said, some team members "disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem, hand on heart." No Eagles kneeled during the 2017-18 season. Amid the kerfuffle, the biggest stars of the NBA Finals, Cleveland's LeBron James and Golden State's Stephen Curry, said that no matter who wins, the NBA champions won't want to be invited to the White House.


Judge who sentenced Stanford swimmer recalled

Voters in Santa Clara County, California, on Tuesday recalled Judge Aaron Persky, who faced harsh criticism for giving a sentence of just six months in jail to former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner for a sexual assault conviction. A statement from the victim, who faced cross-examination about her drinking habits and sexual experience, intensified attention to the case and prompted expectations of a longer sentence for Turner. "You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today," she said in the statement, which was read in court before the June 2016 sentencing. Michele Dauber, a women's rights campus activist who launched the recall effort, said the recall vote showed the lasting power of the #MeToo movement.


Fashion designer Kate Spade dies in apparent suicide

Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her Manhattan apartment Tuesday, hanged with a scarf in her bedroom in an apparent suicide. She was 55. Police said Spade left a note but they would not discuss what it said. TMZ reported that the note was addressed to her 13-year-old daughter. Spade's handbags became a symbol of status and good taste when she emerged in the 1990s, and became the foundation of an accessories empire. "Kate Spade had an enviable gift for understanding exactly what women the world over wanted to carry," said Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast. "There was a moment when you couldn't walk a block in New York without seeing one of her bags, which were just like her; colorful and unpretentious."


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Flooded cemetery in Jakarta
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Ukraine says Kahkovka dam destruction won't derail counteroffensive
Flooding in Kherson after dam failure
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Why does India have so many train crashes?
Balasore train crash
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Why does India have so many train crashes?

Iran claims to have built its first hypersonic missile
The Fattah missile unveiled by Iran.
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Former Vice President Mike Pence on a motorcycle
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Actors union votes to authorize strike
A writers strike picket line outside Sony Studios in Culver City
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