10 things you need to know today: June 6, 2021
Trump returns with speech at North Carolina GOP convention, Harris to visit Mexico, Guatemala, and more
Trump returns with speech at North Carolina GOP convention
Former President Donald Trump made a rare public appearance Saturday night when he gave a speech at the North Carolina Republican Convention. While on stage, he repeated his false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him — "The evidence is too voluminous to even mention," he said at one point. He also criticized the Biden administration and Dr. Anthony Fauci, demanded China pay $10 trillion for its role in the coronavirus pandemic, and endorsed Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) for North Carolina's open Senate seat after his daughter-in-law Lara Trump joined him on stage and said she will not run. Trump did not offer any clarity about whether he plans to make another White House bid in 2024.
Harris to visit Mexico, Guatemala
Vice President Kamala Harris will make her first trip abroad Sunday, traveling to Guatemala and Mexico to meet with political and civil society leaders. President Biden previously chose Harris to lead the White House's efforts to manage the flow of migration from Central America, and she reportedly plans to do so by addressing its root causes such as poverty, violence, and political corruption, per USA Today. The trip likely won't be the last for Harris, who is "still in the information-gathering mode," a White House official told CNN, adding that "the visit will certainly play a role in forming the Biden strategy" on migration.
U.S. to donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan
The United States will donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) announced Sunday while visiting Taipei with her colleagues, Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Chris Coons (D-Del.). Taiwan has kept coronavirus cases low throughout the pandemic, but has experienced a recent spike, and only 3 percent of its 23.5 million people have been vaccinated. "It was critical to the United States that Taiwan be included in the first group to receive vaccines, because we recognize your urgent need, and we value this partnership," Duckworth said, though she did not provide a precise date for when shipments would begin. It's also unclear which vaccine Taiwan will receive. Taiwan has accused China, which claims the democratically-ruled island as its own, of trying to block it from accessing vaccines internationally. Beijing denies the allegation.
Justice Department to stop seizing reporters' records
The Justice Department on Saturday said it will no longer secretly attempt to obtain reporters' records during leak investigations amid scrutiny about the practice. On Friday, The New York Times reported that the department had placed a gag order barring the newspaper from revealing a court fight over an effort — which began under the Trump administration and continued after President Biden took office — to obtain email logs from four reporters. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Saturday that no one at the White House was aware of the gag order, explaining that the Justice Department conducts its investigations independently, but she said "the issuing of subpoenas" for reporters' records "is not consistent" with Biden's "policy direction." Biden had previously said it is "simply, simply wrong" for the department to seize journalists' records.
At least 132 people killed in Burkina Faso attack
Gunmen killed at least 132 people in an attack on the village of Sol-han in northern Burkina Faso on Friday night, the government said Saturday. The assailants also reportedly burned homes and the village market. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the violence, though the West African nation has experienced an increasing number of attacks from groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State since 2015, especially in its border regions, BBC notes. United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said he was "outraged" by the "heinous" incident, which "underscores the urgent need for the international community to redouble support to member states in the fight against violent extremism."
Kemp booed, Raffensperger censured at Georgia GOP convention
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) was the recipient of a chorus of boos at the state's Republican convention on Saturday night, while a resolution to censure Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) was passed, further highlighting former President Donald Trump's influence over the GOP, CNN and Axios write. The anger directed at Kemp and Raffensperger stems from the fact that they have defended Georgia's election integrity over the last several months after Trump falsely claimed he lost the state to President Biden because of widespread voter fraud. Several other Republicans, including members of Congress who voted to impeach or convict Trump earlier this year, have faced similar reactions in their home states.
Meadows reportedly asked acting AG to investigate election fraud claims
Newly uncovered emails provided to Congress and reviewed by The New York Times show former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sent then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen several messages in late December 2020 and early January 2021 asking him to examine baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, including one "fantastical" conspiracy theory alleging that people in Italy used military technology and satellites to switch votes for former President Donald Trump to votes for President Biden. The emails do not show Rosen agreeing to open the investigations, and sources close to him told the Times he never did. The messages do, however, highlight the "increasingly urgent" efforts by Trump and his allies to "undermine" the election results while he was still in office, the Times writes.
Ocasio-Cortez endorses Wiley in New York mayoral race
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) weighed in on New York City's mayoral race Saturday, giving candidate Maya Wiley a high-profile endorsement. "I'm putting Maya number one," Ocasio-Cortez said, referring to New York's new ranked-choice primary voting. Wiley, a New School professor and former counsel to the city's incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio, has trailed frontrunners like Andrew Yang and Eric Adams in recent weeks, but appears to be gaining some momentum. Ocasio-Cortez's support likely won't hurt given the progressive congresswoman's popularity in her home district, which encompasses parts of the Bronx and Queens.
Normandy marks 77th D-Day anniversary with scaled-down events
Several scaled-down ceremonies are scheduled in Normandy on Sunday to commemorate the 77th anniversary of D-Day, when more than 150,000 allied troops landed on the code-named, German-occupied beaches of Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword, and Gold in the northern French region during World War II. The invasion led to the liberation of France and other parts of Western Europe from Nazi control. Sunday's events will, for the second consecutive year, be subject to coronavirus travel restrictions, which means, save for a few exceptions, veterans and families of fallen soldiers from allied countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada won't be able to make the trip. Denis van den Brink, a World War II expert, told The Associated Press the absence of veterans "really hurts us very much because they are all around 95, 100 years old," suggesting they may not have many opportunities to return.
Essential Quality wins Belmont Stakes
Essential Quality, the pre-race betting favorite, fulfilled expectations and won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, marking the end of horse racing's 2021 Triple Crown season. The Belmont, Kentucky Derby, and Preakness all had different winners this year. Essential Quality was in the middle of the pack for much of the race, with Hot Rod Charlie jumping out to a commanding lead. But Essential Quality, who was ridden by jockey Luis Saez, proved to be too much, gaining on his competitor during a thrilling final stretch and ultimately overtaking him before crossing the finish line.