10 things you need to know today: June 7, 2023

Flooding forces mass evacuations after Ukraine dam collapse, former N.J. Gov. Chris Christie launches presidential campaign with Trump attacks, and more

A rescue boat carrying several people out of flooded areas in Ukraine
Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate after a dam collapsed in Ukraine
(Image credit: OLEXANDER KORNYAKOV / AFP via Getty Images)

1. Ukraine dam collapse forces evacuations

The collapse of a major dam and hydroelectric plant in part of southern Ukraine occupied by Russian forces caused flooding that prompted evacuation orders for tens of thousands of people. The United Nations nuclear watchdog also warned that the falling water level of the reservoir created by the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River in Kherson threatened to cut off water needed to cool the reactors at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, which is under Russian control. The river separates territory controlled by Ukraine from Russian-occupied areas. Ukraine blamed Russia for the destruction of the dam, accusing Russian forces of "ecocide." Russia said shelling by Ukrainian forces had caused the damage.


2. Chris Christie launches presidential campaign

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday filed paperwork to officially join the increasingly crowded field of candidates for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Christie formally announced his candidacy later in the day in a town hall speech in early voting New Hampshire. He has tried to distinguish himself among other GOP hopefuls by directly criticizing the party's front-runner, former President Donald Trump. He called Trump a "self-serving mirror hog" who divided the country by "pitting us" against each other. "He undermined our democracy because he was angry we didn't re-elect him," Christie, a former Trump ally, said. Christie could also hurt Trump's closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, by making it harder for him to win over Republicans tired of Trump.

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USA Today The New York Times

3. Iran claims to have built its 1st hypersonic missile

Iran claimed Tuesday that it had created its first hypersonic ballistic missile, a weapon it says can travel at 15 times the speed of sound to beat Western air defenses. The missile was unveiled during a ceremony in Tehran attended by Iranian President Ebrahim Rahisi. Called Fattah, or "Conqueror" in Farsi, the missile "can fly at very high speeds and perform various maneuvers in and out of earth's atmosphere," according to Iran's state-run IRNA news agency. Raisi said at the event that a "deterrent power has been formed," adding that the missile "is an anchor of lasting security and peace for the regional countries."

The Guardian The Associated Press

4. Report: U.S. knew of Ukraine military proposal to blow up pipeline

Ukraine's military drew up a plan to sabotage the undersea Nord Stream pipelines that carry natural gas from Russia to Europe, and a European ally told the Biden administration about the scheme three months before explosions damaged the lines, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. The Post said the CIA received the information from a European intelligence service in June 2022. The document, the most concrete piece of evidence suggesting a link between Ukraine and the blasts under the Baltic Sea, was among the military secrets Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira allegedly posted on the Discord chat platform popular with gamers. Ukraine denies it had anything to do with the attack, which President Biden called "sabotage" and some in his administration have blamed on Russia.

The Washington Post

5. Federal judge blocks Florida ban on transgender care for minors

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle on Tuesday temporarily blocked Florida from enforcing its ban on gender-affirming care for people under 18, allowing three transgender youths to get puberty blockers despite the new Florida law. "Gender identity is real," Hinkle wrote in his ruling. Hinkle said the parents suing over the law and state medical board rules are motivated by "love for their children and the desire to achieve the best possible treatment for them. This is not the State's motivation." The ruling came as part of an ongoing lawsuit seven parents of transgender youths filed against the state, arguing its ban on puberty blockers, testosterone, and estrogen for transgender youths violates the Equal Protection Clause of U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.

Orlando Sentinel

6. Smoke from Canada wildfires worsens air quality in Northeast

Smoke from more than 100 wildfires in Canada wafted south and darkened the skies over much of the U.S. Northeast and triggered air-quality alerts from Massachusetts to Minnesota. The smoke briefly gave New York City the worst air quality of any major metropolitan area in the world on Tuesday. Mayor Eric Adams said the city's air had become "very unhealthy," reaching 218 on the Environmental Protection Agency's Air Quality Index, far above its typical rating below 50 in the "good category." Ten school districts in central New York state canceled all outdoor activities. There are more than 150 wildfires burning in Quebec, more than twice as many as in any other Canadian province. Quebec has had twice as many wildfires than normal so far this year.

CNN The New York Times

7. 2 die in shooting after Virginia high school graduation

A gunman killed two people outside a Richmond, Virginia, theater after a high school graduation ceremony on Tuesday. One of the people killed was an 18-year-old graduating senior. The other was a 36-year-old man who attended the ceremony. Several others were hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Police arrested a 19-year-old suspect who will face two murder charges, Interim Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards said. The sudden burst of gunfire sent people leaving the Huguenot High School graduation fleeing in panic, with people crying and clutching children as they scrambled to safety outside the Altria Theater. "It was obviously chaos," Edwards said. "This should have been a safe space."

USA Today

8. Prince Harry testifies that tabloids hacked his phone

Prince Harry took the stand in a London courtroom Tuesday to claim that the Mirror tabloid newspaper group hacked his cellphone more than a decade ago. Harry, the first senior British royal to testify in court in more than a century, said the constant efforts by reporters to dig up information on his personal life made him paranoid and tainted his childhood. Harry also said that editors and reporters had "blood on their hands" because of the damage the prying has done, an allegation he has made before in reference to his mother, Diana, who died in a 1997 car crash after being chased by paparazzi. An attorney for Mirror Newspaper Group said Harry had no proof of any hacking.

The New York Times

9. Earthquake rattles Haiti after heavy rains kill dozens

A remote part of Haiti's southern peninsula was shaken by a 4.9 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. At least three people were killed. The victims were found under a collapsed house, said Frankel Maginaire of Haiti's Civil Protection Agency's office in Jeremie, near the epicenter outside of Les Abricots. The disaster came as the impoverished Caribbean nation, already plagued by gang violence and an outburst of vigilante justice, struggled with flooding from heavy rains that fell last weekend. At least 42 people have died in the floods and landslides. Another 85 people were injured and 11 remained missing on Tuesday.

USA Today

10. PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and DP World Tour announce merger

The PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf League announced unexpectedly on Tuesday that they had agreed to join forces and form a unified golf league, ending a legal fight that has lasted more than a year and split some of the sport's top players. The tour called the deal "a landmark agreement ... on a global basis." PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said the tours realized that their fight was helping no one, and "we can have a far greater impact on this game" working together than apart. The tours made the deal with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which financed LIV Golf, without telling players.


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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.