10 things you need to know today: June 16, 2023

Ukraine counteroffensive slows against intense Russian resistance, a grand jury indicts classified-document leak suspect Jack Teixeira, and more

Ukrainian troops in Zaporizhia
(Image credit: Anatolii Stepanov / AFP via Getty Images)

1. Ukraine counteroffensive slows after early gains

Ukraine's nascent counteroffensive against Russian forces has slowed after several early successes, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Kyiv didn't claim to have taken back any occupied villages for a third straight day. "It is very difficult to advance," said Hanna Malyar, a deputy Ukrainian defense minister. Ukraine has faced heavy losses, including some recently supplied Western tanks and other armored vehicles. But it's too early to predict how successful the counteroffensive will be as Ukraine tries to recapture territory Russian forces have occupied since invading last year. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told NBC News that Ukrainian troops are facing heavy resistance "because for Russia to lose this campaign . . . actually means losing the war."

The New York Times NBC News

2. Leak suspect indicted in classified documents case

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira in connection with the leak of classified documents online. Teixeira, 21, was identified as the alleged source of the classified documents posted in a social media chat room popular with gamers. A member of the chat group told the FBI about the leak in April, and said someone named Jack who claimed to be a member of the Air National Guard had started posting classified documents in December. Teixeira faces six counts of willful retention and transmission of national defense secrets. People with access to national security secrets have a "fundamental duty to safeguard the information" to protect the nation and its service members, acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy said.

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ABC News

3. RNC declines request to bend on requiring candidates to back eventual nominee

The Republican National Committee on Thursday declined a request by presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson to modify the RNC's requirement that all GOP candidates pledge to support the eventual nominee, Politico reported. Candidates who do not sign the pledge will be barred from participating in GOP presidential primary debates. Hutchinson told Politico on Wednesday, a day after former President Donald Trump was arraigned on 37 federal felony counts, that he is "not going to vote for him if he's a convicted felon." Congressional Republicans lined up to support Trump. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) urged donors in a fundraising email to "stand with Trump" against the "witch hunt" against him.

Politico The Associated Press

4. Justices uphold Native American adoption law

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, which gives preference in the adoption of Native American children to their relatives and tribes. The decision marked a victory for tribes that argued that weakening the law, enacted in response to past removals of Native children from their families for adoption, would have eroded their right to govern themselves. "Congress' power to legislate with respect to Indians is well established and broad," Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote for the 7-2 majority. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented in the case, which pitted a white foster couple from Texas against five tribes and the Interior Department over the adoption of a Native American child. Alito said the majority was overlooking children's needs.

The New York Times The Washington Post

5. U.S. tourist killed near Germany's famous Neuschwanstein castle

German police on Thursday arrested a 30-year-old American man accused of killing one U.S. tourist and assaulting another near Neuschwanstein castle, a popular tourist site in southern Germany. The man reportedly met the two female tourists, ages 21 and 22, on a hiking path near a bridge over a gorge with a famous view of the castle. "The younger of the two women was attacked," police spokesman Holger Stabik said. "The older one tried to rush to her aid" and was choked, then pushed down a slope.The attacker allegedly tried to sexually assault the 21-year-old, and pushed her down the same slope. She died of her injuries at a hospital. The suspect left but was arrested nearby.

The Associated Press

6. U.S. sends nuclear submarine to South Korea after Pyongyang missile tests

The United States has sent a nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine, the USS Michigan, to South Korea in a show of force, the first such deployment in six years. The massive submarine, one of the biggest in the world, arrived Friday, a day after North Korea resumed missile tests to protest live-fire drills involving the U.S. and South Korea. The USS Michigan, which can carry about 150 Tomahawk missiles, will participate in training to "respond to the advancing North Korean threat," South Korea's Defense Ministry said in a statement. Its presence is part of a recent agreement to step up "regular visibility" of U.S. military might to send Pyongyang the message that "a nuclear strike by North Korea would be suicidal," according to Bloomberg.


7. Montana man sentenced to 18 years for targeting town's LGBTQ residents

A federal judge in Montana on Thursday sentenced a man to 18 years in prison for shooting at a woman's home with an AK-style rifle at the start of a violent spree intended to drive LGBTQ residents out of his small town. The jury convicted the man, John Russell Howald, of a hate crime in February, finding that he had fired at the woman, an out lesbian, and targeted other LGBTQ residents in Basin, Montana, which has a population of about 267. A group of churchgoers who knew Howald were credited with stalling him to prevent him from doing more harm. Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ordered five years of supervised release for Howald after he gets out of prison.

USA Today

8. Tornado kills 3 in Texas Panhandle city

A tornado tore through the Texas Panhandle city of Perryton, killing at least 3 people and injuring dozens more. One person was killed in a "direct hit" on a mobile home park that destroyed 30 homes, Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher said. Two others died in the downtown business district. The violent weather was part of a wave of severe storms moving across parts of the southern and central plains with damaging wind gusts, large hail, and several tornadoes. In the South, from Texas to Florida, a heat wave brought record-breaking temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit to some areas, with more than 35 million people in southern Texas, Louisiana and Florida under excessive heat warnings.

CNN Reuters

9. FDA says next Covid vaccine should target new dominant variants

The Food and Drug Administration's scientific advisers said Thursday that the next round of Covid-19 vaccines offered to Americans should only target the newest coronavirus variants dominating new cases worldwide. Vaccine makers said they could have shots targeting these variants — a branch of the omicron family tree named XBB — available within months. The final decision is up to the FDA. Coronavirus infections are down, but could rise sharply next winter, FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks said. "We're concerned that we may have another wave of Covid-19 during a time when the virus has further evolved, immunity of the population has waned further, and we move indoors for wintertime," he said.

The Associated Press

10. Oscar-winner Glenda Jackson dies at 87

Two-time Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson died Thursday at her London home after a short illness. She was 87. Jackson was one of Britain's biggest movie stars in the 1960s and '70s, winning Oscars for "Women in Love" and "A Touch of Class." She left acting to enter politics in 1992, serving as a Labour Party member of Parliament for 20 years. After ending her political career in 2015, Jackson returned to acting with a Bafta-winning performance in the 2019 TV production "Elizabeth is Missing," about an elderly woman in the early stages of dementia. She also won a Tony Award in Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women." Weeks ago, she finished filming for "The Great Escaper" alongside Michael Caine.

USA Today Daily Mail

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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.