Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 26, 2022

Pence's former chief of staff testified to Jan. 6 grand jury, Pope Francis apologizes to Indigenous Canadians for residential schools, and more


Pence's former chief of staff testified to Jan. 6 grand jury 

Marc Short, former Vice President Mike Pence's onetime chief of staff, testified last week before a federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, The New York Times reported Monday. Greg Jacob, who was Pence's counsel, also appeared before the committee. Short and Jacob are the highest-ranking Trump administration officials known to have cooperated after being subpoenaed by federal prosecutors. Short and Jacob also testified to the House Jan. 6 committee about how Trump and his allies tried to pressure Pence into blocking the certification of President Biden's 2020 election victory. "If the mob had gotten closer to the vice president, I do think there would have been a massacre in the Capitol that day," Short told ABC News.


Pope apologizes to Canada's Indigenous people for church role in residential schools

Pope Francis on Monday apologized to Indigenous people in Canada for the church's role in running residential schools where students were subjected to abuse, sometimes fatal, and forced assimilation for more than a century. "I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples," Francis said to a crowd of Indigenous people in Maskwacis, Alberta, the site of a former residential school. Christian churches operated most of the schools for the government; Catholic orders ran 60 to 70 percent of the 130 facilities. Residential school survivor Cam Bird, 42, said the apology was "genuine," and showed the pope "believes us."


Report: Trump deleted call to prosecute rioters from Jan. 7 remarks 

Then-President Donald Trump deleted lines from his prepared remarks the day after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack that called for prosecuting rioters, according to evidence released Monday by Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), a member of the House select committee investigating the riot. In a video Luria posted, Jan. 6 panel investigators showed Ivanka Trump, who served as a senior adviser to her father during his presidency, a draft of his Jan. 7 statement, titled "Remarks on National Healing," in which handwritten edits Ivanka Trump identified as her father's deleted mention of prosecuting rioters. Trump also apparently crossed out a line telling violent members of the mob, "you do not represent me."


Lavrov says Russia aims to free eastern Ukraine from 'unacceptable regime'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that his country's military goal in Ukraine was to "help the people of eastern Ukraine to liberate themselves from the burden of this absolutely unacceptable regime." Moscow's top diplomat, speaking at an Arab League summit in Egypt on Sunday, appeared to mark a shift from the Kremlin's claims early in its invasion that it was not out to topple the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to The Associated Press. Lavrov said last week that Russia plans to take control of more than just the regions of eastern Ukraine where it is concentrating its current offensive. "We will certainly help the Ukrainian people to get rid of the regime, which is absolutely anti-people and anti-historical," he said.


Georgia judge blocks prosecutor from investigating state senator

A judge in Georgia ruled Monday that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can't look into Republican Georgia state Sen. Burt Jones' role as one of the 11 "fake electors" who falsely claimed that then-President Donald Trump was the rightful winner of the state's electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election. A Fulton County grand jury is investigating efforts by Trump and his supporters to overturn President Biden's victory in Georgia. Jones, who is running for lieutenant governor, asked the court to disqualify Willis from the case because she supported his Democratic opponent, Charlie Bailey, at a fundraiser earlier this year. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney disqualified Willis from investigating Jones only, not the other fake electors.


Heat wave eases in Northeast but Pacific Northwest braces for record temperatures

A heat wave that scorched parts of the Northeast with daily record high temperatures is easing, but extreme heat is intensifying in the Pacific Northwest. More than 60 million Americans remained under heat alerts on Monday in the Northeast, the central United States, and the Pacific Northwest, where temperatures are expected to rise Tuesday. "Daytime highs will surpass the 90s each day and even eclipse the century mark in the Columbia River Gorge and Columbia River Basin," the Weather Prediction Center said. "Daily record highs will likely be broken from northern California to the Portland and Seattle metro areas." Extreme heat is expected to continue through the week in the region.


Gazprom further cuts gas flow to Europe 

Russian energy company Gazprom said Monday it was shutting down another Nord Stream 1 pipeline turbine, further reducing the flow of natural gas to Germany. The gas flow through the pipeline, a key energy source for Europe, will be cut to 20 percent of normal capacity. The European Union has accused the Kremlin of using gas supplies to blackmail Western nations for imposing sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia has said the sanctions have made it harder to get parts and maintenance services necessary to keep the pipeline working properly. The latest cuts raise pressure on European nations to come up with alternative energy sources before winter.


SEC charges former GOP Rep. Stephen Buyer with insider trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday charged former Rep. Stephen Buyer (R-Ind.) with insider trading, accusing him of making more than $300,000 in "illicit profits" by buying stock in companies after learning they were about to be purchased. Buyer served in Congress from 1993 to 2011 before leaving and starting a consulting firm. In 2018, he learned while consulting for T-Mobile that the company was about to buy Sprint, and he bought more than $500,000 worth of Sprint stock. Once the acquisition went through, Buyer "reaped ill-gotten" gains of $100,000, according to the SEC filing. Buyer's lawyer, Andrew Goldstein, said the former lawmaker is innocent. "His stock trades were lawful," Goldstein said. "He looks forward to being quickly vindicated."


Woman fires gun in Dallas airport, suspect arrested 

A 37-year-old woman was injured, then arrested by police at Texas' Dallas Love Field Airport on Monday after she allegedly opened fire near ticketing counters. An officer took the suspect, Portia Odufuwa, to a hospital after shooting her in the "lower extremities" and apprehending her, Chief Eddie Garcia of the Dallas Police Department said. No other injuries were immediately reported. Garcia said Odufuwa had been dropped off at Dallas Love Field around 11 a.m., "then appeared to change her clothes in a restroom before emerging and opening fire inside the airport," according to The New York Times. The incident panicked travelers and delayed flights, although the airport resumed operations after a brief shutdown.


Goodfellas actor Paul Sorvino dies at 83

Actor Paul Sorvino, who played mobster Paulie Cicero in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, died Monday of natural causes, his wife, Dee Dee, announced. He was 83. "Our hearts are broken, there will never be another Paul Sorvino, he was the love of my life and one of the greatest performers to ever grace the screen and stage," she said. Sorvino, the father of Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), died at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, publicist Roger Neal said. In a half-century career, Sorvino portrayed a wide range of roles, including James Caan's bookie in 1974's The Gambler and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone's 1995 film Nixon. He also played Det. Phil Cerretta for a season on NBC's Law & Order.


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New York Knicks legendary captain Willis Reed dies at 80
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