10 things you need to know today: June 14, 2022
Barr tells the Jan. 6 committee Trump appeared "detached from reality" on 2020 vote, Schumer promises a quick vote on gun control, and more
Barr tells Jan. 6 panel Trump was 'detached from reality' on election results
Former Attorney General William Barr said in pre-recorded video testimony played Monday by the House Jan. 6 select committee that after the 2020 election, he thought then-President Donald Trump had become "detached from reality" if he believed his claims of election fraud. In its second day of public hearings, the committee also played video of Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien saying Trump called the election a "fraud" even though aides told him the allegations were baseless, and his inner circle promptly split into "Team Crazy" vs. "Team Normal." Former Trump aide Jason Miller testified that on election night, Rudy Giuliani said Trump needed to "go say that we won," adding that Giuliani was "definitely intoxicated," an allegation Giuliani's team denied.
Schumer vows quick vote on gun safety package
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday that the Senate would vote on new gun legislation as soon as bipartisan negotiators hammer out the language. Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the bill "probably" wouldn't go through his committee, because any delays could sap the momentum needed to push it through. The bipartisan group of senators who agreed to a framework for modest new restrictions includes 10 Republicans, just enough to break an expected GOP filibuster and pass the legislation. The proposed bill would provide grants to states that enact red-flag laws, tighten background checks for gun buyers under age 21, and close the "boyfriend loophole" with tougher restrictions for people who have abused romantic partners.
Russia destroys last bridge to cut off Sievierdonetsk
Russian forces have destroyed the last bridge linking the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk to the neighboring Ukraine-controlled city of Lysychansk, cutting off the last route for evacuating citizens and soldiers, Ukrainian officials said Tuesday. Russian soldiers and artillery destroyed the second of the three bridges over the weekend. Now that the third is impassable, too, it will be "difficult, but not impossible," to resupply Ukraine's embattled defenders with food, weapons, ammunition, and reserve troops, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said. Ukraine has made increasingly urgent pleas for more Western heavy weapons to help its forces defend Sievierodonetsk, a crucial battleground in the fight for control of the eastern Donbas region.
Ohio governor signs bill letting schools arm staff
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Monday signed a bill letting school staff, including teachers, carry guns on campus after just 24 hours of training. A recent state Supreme Court ruling had required 700 hours of training, so House Bill 99 will make it far easier for school districts to arm more teachers. Supporters of the change say it is necessary to deter attackers like the one who killed 19 students and two teachers last month in Uvalde, Texas. The June 2021 Ohio Supreme Court ruling struck down a Butler County security policy by saying schools could only let staff carry guns if they met the same training requirement as police officers, effectively imposing the 700-hour standard and essentially preventing districts from arming school staff.
N.Y. governor signs bills to shield abortion providers, patients
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Monday signed a package of laws shielding abortion patients and providers from out-of-state legal actions, making the state among the first to adopt safe-haven legislation ahead of an expected Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. "We've already seen the threats of anti-abortion violence, and the climate out there is just getting more extreme every single day, and it's only going to get worse," Hochul said. "So we need to be ready for that as well." The bills passed easily in the Democratic-controlled state legislature. Kristen Curran, director of government relations for the New York State Catholic Conference, said the bills would "encourage abortion tourism."
Wall Street enters bear market territory
The three main U.S. stock indexes plunged on Monday following a sobering Friday inflation report. The S&P 500 dropped about 3.9 percent, falling into bear-market territory, meaning the index is 20 percent below its January high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite also dropped sharply. The Dow closed down 2.8 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 4.7 percent. Investors are bracing for the Federal Reserve to conclude a two-day policy meeting Wednesday with a decision to raise interest rates a half-point to rein in rising prices, with some analysts expecting a rare three-quarter-percent hike. U.S. stock futures made modest gains early Tuesday.
Report: Some GOP candidates ready to challenge Trump in 2024 primary
At least 15 Republicans are exploring possible bids for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and some might throw their hats in the ring even if former President Donald Trump runs, The Washington Post reported Monday. Among those reportedly testing the waters are Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Trump administration veterans former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been floated as a potential heir to Trump in the battle for the loyalty of the MAGA base, and two blue-state governors — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — offer a return to the more moderate, pre-Trump GOP.
108 million Americans told to brace for extreme heat
Record-setting heat pushed east on Monday, with 107.5 million people expected to be affected by heat advisories, warnings, and watches through Wednesday, the National Weather Service Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said Monday. People from parts of the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes and east to the Carolinas are being warned to stay indoors as temperatures rise to triple digits in many places. Several cities, including St. Louis, Memphis, Minneapolis, and Tulsa, were placed under excessive warnings due to forecasts of temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, worsened by high humidity that will make it feel like 110 degrees. Chicago is opening six public cooling centers on Tuesday and Wednesday and also inviting people to beat the heat in public libraries.
Fed starts meeting that could end with biggest rate hike since 1994
Federal Reserve policy makers start a two-day meeting on Tuesday that is expected to end with an unusually large half-percentage-point interest-rate hike to fight high inflation. The Fed already raised rates by a half point in May. But after Friday data on consumer prices showed inflation higher than expected in May, hitting its highest pace since 1981, an increasing number of analysts are predicting Fed leaders will discuss a three-quarter-point hike, which would be the largest since 1994. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has said the central bank would get more aggressive, if necessary, to bring down inflation, even if it hurts growth.
'Boogie Nights,' 'Seinfeld' actor Philip Baker Hall dies at 90
Prolific character actor Philip Baker Hall died Sunday, his wife, Holly Wolfle Hall, confirmed Monday. He was 90. Hall was known for memorable roles in movies like Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and Argo, and in modern TV classics including Seinfeld, The West Wing, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Modern Family. Hall started acting as he entered his 40s, following stints as a U.S. Army translator in Germany and a high school teacher. His first TV roles came later in the '70s on Good Times and M*A*S*H. His 1990s appearance on Seinfeld as a detective searching for a long overdue library book was so popular, he was brought in to reprise it in the comedy classic's finale.