10 things you need to know today: June 13, 2022
Senators reach bipartisan gun-control deal, Idaho police say white nationalists plotted riot during pride parade, and more
Senators agree on bipartisan gun-control proposal
Twenty senators — 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans — on Sunday announced a tentative gun-control deal in response to recent mass shootings. The framework, kept modest to win enough support to overcome an expected Republican filibuster, calls for establishing a federal grant program encouraging states to adopt red-flag laws, which generally allow authorities to temporarily confiscate the guns of people deemed a threat to themselves or others. Other provisions would close the "boyfriend loophole," preventing gun sales to domestic violence offenders other than spouses, and provide money to bolster mental health care and school security programs. The bipartiasn negotiations started after deadly mass shootings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and a Buffalo, New York, supermarket.
Idaho police: 31 white nationalists planned riot during pride parade
Thirty-one men arrested in Idaho on Saturday planned to violently disrupt a LGBTQ Pride parade in the city of Coeur d'Alene, authorities said Sunday. Police said the suspects are affiliated with the white nationalist group Patriot Front. They were caught packed into a U-Haul truck within sight of the parade. "It is clear to us based on the gear that the individuals had with them ... that they came to riot downtown," Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White said in a news conference. Police were tipped off by a citizen who reported seeing the men jumping into the truck, carrying shields, and looking "like a little army."
Ukrainian official says Russia could cut off key city within days
Russian forces could succeed in cutting off the strategically important Ukrainian industrial city of Sievierodonetsk within days, the regional governor, Serhiy Haidai, said Sunday on the messaging app Telegram. "The situation in Sievierodonetsk is extremely difficult," Haidai wrote. "The Russians are making every effort to cut off Sievierodonetsk." The city is the last major urban center in Luhansk province still in Ukrainian hands. Moscow has focused on seizing the eastern Donbas region, which includes Luhansk, after Ukraine stopped Russian forces from taking the country's capital, Kyiv. Russia has faced intense resistance in eastern Ukraine, too, but has made slow progress there under heavy artillery fire.
House Jan. 6 committee to hold 2nd public hearing
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by a mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters will hold its second public hearing on Monday. The testimony and questioning will focus on Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, and how that "big lie" motivated rioters to storm the Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden's victory, The Washington Post reported Sunday, citing lawmakers on the bipartisan panel. Committee members said Sunday they have uncovered enough evidence for an unprecedented criminal indictment against Trump for trying, as a sitting president, to overturn the election results.
Palin leads in Alaska special House primary
Early results show former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin holding a solid lead in Alaska's 48-candidate special primary election for U.S. House. The first unofficial results in the election Saturday showed Palin with nearly 30 percent of the vote, followed by businessman and investor Nick Begich III with 19 percent. Independent Al Gross, an orthopedic surgeon who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2020, was in third with 12 percent, followed by Democratic former state Rep. Mary Peltola with 7 percent. The top four in the special primary advance to the August special general election, which will be the state's first using ranked-choice voting.
Brookings president resigns amid lobbying investigation
The Brookings Institution's president, retired Marine Gen. John Allen, resigned Sunday as he faces a federal investigation into whether he illegally lobbied for Qatar. Allen, who once led U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged. He said in a letter to the think tank that he was stepping down with a "heavy heart" because "it is best for all concerned at this moment." Brookings placed Allen on administrative leave last week after the FBI seized his electronic data. Court filings revealed that he quietly tried to help Qatar influence U.S. policy as the gas-rich Persian Gulf monarchy confronted a June 2017 diplomatic crisis. His alleged lobbying included a trip to Qatar to provide advice on communicating Qatar's positions to the White House and Congress.
Leftist bloc, Macron's centrists nearly even in 1st round of French elections
French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist alliance faces an uphill battle to keep its parliamentary majority after finishing narrowly behind the left-wing Nupes coalition led by veteran hard-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon in the first round of voting on Sunday. Turnout was a record-low 47.7 percent. Ipsos estimates that the Nupes bloc earned 25.6 percent of the vote, ahead of the Macron alliance's 25.2 percent. Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally came in third with 19 percent. The second and final round is scheduled for next Sunday. "We have a week ahead of us to mobilize," Elizabeth Borne, Macron's newly appointed prime minister, said Sunday. Elabe projected that Macron's Ensemble bloc would win between 260 and 300 seats in France's National Assembly, with 289 required for a majority.
Iconic Moscow McDonald's reopens with new name and owner
A famous former McDonald's restaurant in Moscow's Pushkin Square reopened on Sunday under a Russian owner and a new name, three months after McDonald's halted operations in Russia in response to the country's invasion of Ukraine. Last month, McDonald's announced it was leaving Russia altogether, and it subsequently sold its 850 restaurants in the country to Alexander Govor, who had 25 franchises in Siberia. Govor is hurrying to reopen the shuttered fast-food restaurants under the name Vkusno-i Tochka ("Tasty-period" or "Tasty and that's it"). The Russian owner pushed to reopen 15 former McDonald's outlets on Sunday with a goal of opening 200 by the end of June. The Pushkin Square location opened in 1990, providing Russians a taste of the U.S. as the Soviet Union slowly opened to the world.
FDA staff says Pfizer vaccine is effective in kids under 5
Food and Drug Administration staff said Sunday that the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children under age 5 is safe and 80.4 percent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19. The release of the analysis by FDA scientists came ahead of a Wednesday meeting of a panel of independent experts, who will make a recommendation on whether to authorize the vaccine for use in young children, the only age group not yet eligible for a coronavirus vaccine in the United States. The FDA's advisory panel will also consider a request to authorize Moderna's vaccine for children under age 6; FDA staff said Friday that Moderna's vaccine is safe and effective in infants and young children, too.
'A Strange Loop,' 'The Lehman Trilogy' win top Tonys
A Strange Loop won best musical at the 75th Tony Awards on Sunday. Jennifer Hudson scored a Tony for producing A Strange Loop, giving her the rare EGOT status of those who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. The Lehman Trilogy took the award for best play. Company, which flipped the gender of the protagonist of Stephen Sondheim's classic musical to become more female-focused, won five prizes, including best musical revival. Take Me Out took the Tony for best revival of a play. The award ceremony capped a tumultuous year for the theater industry. Broadway reopened at the end of last summer after nearly a nearly two-year shutdown due to COVID-19, but nearly every production had to cancel some shows or use understudies at times due to virus outbreaks.